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  1. #1
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    Purchasing an Ex-police car. Good idea, or stay away?

    Hello!

    Something that I have wondered for a while is whether or not it's a good idea to purchase retired police vehicles, and I figured why not ask you fellas.

    Now, I'm mainly talking specifically about Dodge Chargers, but I imagine they are treated, and maintained the exact same way as Crown Vics, Impalas, Explorers, Tahoes, etc. I've noticed that Ex-Police vehicles are significantly cheaper when comparing them to the same cars that had private owners, even when sold on Used Car lots.

    However I have noticed that nearly every Ex-Police Charger, or any LE vehicle that I have found have either Salvaged, or Rebuilt titles, is that standard when retiring a police vehicle, or is it because they were actually totaled?

    Let me state this as well, I do not want an Ex-police car to look like a cop, or pose as one, I just really like the Chargers, and the Ex-police ones are really cheap, and seem like really good deals, if they are still good cars.

    I know you guys probably wouldn't buy one for yourselves because you drive them on your job, so I highly doubt you would want the same thing for your private vehicle, but would you recommend one to a friend or family member?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Band-aid jockey mikeymedic's Avatar
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    They're "really cheap" for a reason.

  3. #3
    10-8 FER SHIFT The State's Avatar
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    We get rid of our cars because they have come to the point that it no longer safe for our deputies to be performing their job duties in them at the level we do. With that being said, they have over 100K on them and we drive 140+ all the time, I assuming the general public will not be doing this and most of the cars we sell are in "decent" working order.

  4. #4
    Police Officer Michigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike2791 View Post
    would you recommend one to a friend or family member?

    Thanks!
    Nope.
    "The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence...
    Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land... The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa."
    Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog."
    -Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

  5. #5
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    I would not mind a Charger for my personal vehicle, jut not an ex-cop car. You'd be better off with a used taxi.
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  6. #6
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    My Agency attempts to retire a patrol vehicle at 100,000 miles. Quite often, they go well beyond that. Our patrol vehicles are assigned take homes, so the care and maintenance are far above average. OTH, many agencies, the majority in fact, run vehicles 24/7, and vehicles simply aren't built to withstand that use for too long. Would I buy a used police vehicle? Given a choice, no. As has been correctly noted, they are often cheap for a reason.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for you answers, I appreciate it!

    If you guys can generally get 100,000 miles or above out of vehicles, then I'll just buy an non-police one, with decent miles. If you guys can get that much use, I can only imagine what a normal citizen could get out of one. I'm fairly certain the drive train is the exact same on an R/T Charger as the Pursuit package.

  8. #8
    It's Complicated Iowa #1603's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike2791 View Post
    I'm fairly certain the drive train is the exact same on an R/T Charger as the Pursuit package.
    You would be greatly mistaken
    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


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  9. #9
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    Really? I know they put completely different parts on the suspension, interior, etc. But the Power / Drive train too? I know they come with the same engine (5.7L HEMI) and I'm fairly sure they come with the same Transmission.

    I would imagine that the gearing varies for different use, and the electronics and ECU are different from the R/T and Pursuit to Beef up the Pursuit, but is there something that they do to the Pursuit's Engine itself to make it more reliable or something?

  10. #10
    Molon Labe LA DEP's Avatar
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    Knowing how I drove a radio car, I would never even consider buying an used one at any price
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

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  11. #11
    Forum Member CruiserClass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike2791 View Post
    However I have noticed that nearly every Ex-Police Charger, or any LE vehicle that I have found have either Salvaged, or Rebuilt titles, is that standard when retiring a police vehicle, or is it because they were actually totaled?

    Ex-police ones are really cheap, and seem like really good deals, if they are still good cars.
    They are either rebuilt wrecks or cars that have been used well past their prime in most instances. Exceptions do occur. Rarely. Unless you have a competent mechanic inspect it and get a good warranty with it, I wouldn't even consider it. Actually, I wouldn't consider it anyway, but you get what I mean.

  12. #12
    Forum Member kf4vix82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike2791 View Post
    Hello!

    Something that I have wondered for a while is whether or not it's a good idea to purchase retired police vehicles, and I figured why not ask you fellas.

    Now, I'm mainly talking specifically about Dodge Chargers, but I imagine they are treated, and maintained the exact same way as Crown Vics, Impalas, Explorers, Tahoes, etc. I've noticed that Ex-Police vehicles are significantly cheaper when comparing them to the same cars that had private owners, even when sold on Used Car lots.

    However I have noticed that nearly every Ex-Police Charger, or any LE vehicle that I have found have either Salvaged, or Rebuilt titles, is that standard when retiring a police vehicle, or is it because they were actually totaled?

    Let me state this as well, I do not want an Ex-police car to look like a cop, or pose as one, I just really like the Chargers, and the Ex-police ones are really cheap, and seem like really good deals, if they are still good cars.

    I know you guys probably wouldn't buy one for yourselves because you drive them on your job, so I highly doubt you would want the same thing for your private vehicle, but would you recommend one to a friend or family member?

    Thanks!
    You gotta understand that this all depends on who drove the car, and you may not have access to that information.

    A chief/deputy chief's old car? Buy it, probably won't give you much trouble.

    A patrol car? Let me put it like this: most patrol vehicles are driven at high speeds daily, over curbs, through ditches. If it isn't a take home car, it is likely running 20 hours per day. Suspension may be shot.

    Depending on the habits of the drivers and policies of the department, there may be cigarette burns in the interior, food stains, or worn out upholstery. Springs in the seats may be shot. This is all cosmetic, however.

    The average driver puts 15000 miles on their privately owned vehicle per year. We have crown vics at our agency that are only a couple years old with 190,000 miles. So, I don't know what to tell you, but if my agency just up and put for sale signs in our cars, I wouldn't be spending *my* hard earned money on one of them.

  13. #13
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    I dont even really want to drive most of our cars while at work. Consider, we eat, drink, slee..., hang out in those cars our entire shift, then hand it off to the next shift. During that shift, we often drive hard and sometimes run over stuff. We stick all manor of humans in the seats of these cars. Once, guys on the other crew had to wrestle a guy into a car and broke his colostomy bag. These cars are just abused for their short life. We get to 100,000 miles in less than 3 years. And at that point, the car is usually crying for mercy...
    If you can't convince them, confuse them
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  14. #14
    Forum Member ArkansasFan24's Avatar
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    They're total pieces of ****. Stay away.

  15. #15
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    I'm with LA Dep..........no way..not even if it was given to me.

    The cars are driven 24/7 and are probably worse than buying a rental car. Think of how people drive rental cars...do they care? I can't tell you how many times I jammed it into park...(before it came to a stop) and exited the car.............well I hope this helps in your decision.

    Oh yeah...then there is the maintenance preformed on them..."county garage" enough said?
    This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

  16. #16
    Forum Member CarlGlock288's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't buy one.

  17. #17
    Cant keep it under 100... Unit453's Avatar
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    We all have take home vehicles. There's no way these are driven as hard as you guys with pool cars or units that run 24/7. I average 250 miles per shift and I've put on 42k miles in 6 months worth of actual work days. I know how mine was driven. I got it with 3 miles on it. I know the idle time and the maintenance that's been done to it. With that being said, I would buy my old Crown Vic when it retires at 90k. Throw on a paint job and get some full size wheel covers, remove the spotlight and fill the holes in and it's a clean car. The interior is clean and there's no rips or tears either. Take home cars are definitely a different animal.

    I also tend not to jump curbs or haul a-ss through ditches. I'm county and cover quite a bit of rural roads to include 21 miles of interstate. Most of my mileage is at high speeds.

    I also bought a 99 Crown Vic back in 2003 for $4000. It had 78k miles on it and was clean. I painted it, bought some rims for it, had all the holes professionally repaired and drove it for 8 years as a secondary vehicle without any problems. I replaced an alternator and battery and a couple of wheel bearings but other than that, I sold it for $3000 with 140k miles on it. It was the most reliable "used" car I've ever owned. I put on 62k miles with no real issues. I would say that was a worthwhile investment. Just my opinion though. Back then, I was working for an agency that had only Impalas and Tahoes.

  18. #18
    Forum Member LawFowl's Avatar
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    When a police car's odometer says "100,000" on it, with the idling time it's probably more like 150,000 or more.

  19. #19
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    You couldn't pay me to drive a ex cop car for personal use...
    Retired LASD

  20. #20
    I see dumb people... mac266's Avatar
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    Don't buy any car that used to be assigned to me!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retired96 View Post
    You couldn't pay me to drive a ex cop car for personal use...
    Yep. Not to mention that I would never stick family and friends in the back seat after seeing what can go on (or out) in there.

  22. #22
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    ugh.. Don't even want to think about it.

    Made my decision pretty clear.

  23. #23
    Equal Height Equal Light
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    Quote Originally Posted by LawFowl View Post
    When a police car's odometer says "100,000" on it, with the idling time it's probably more like 150,000 or more.
    Came here to say this; around here our cars probably idle for 2-3 hours a day. The odometer doesn't give you the full story with a patrol vehicle.

  24. #24
    Forum Member moparfan's Avatar
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    For Crown Vics the newer cars have an hour counter on them. Take what the hours are the times that by 33. IN the manual it says for every hour the car idles it equals 33 miles. As mentioned above the odometer is only a small glimpse into the miles and abuse the car/suvs take. Now if its a plain wrap detective or brass car than thats another story. a Patrol unit NO WAY, unless for a demo durby car.
    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

    It should be noted that any and all post that are made or based on my own thought and opinions.

  25. #25
    Specialist BOHICA NJLAWMAN214's Avatar
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    While I would never buy an old police car, I don't see the issue with buying one if you want a reliable vehicle for cheap. Old cop cars make great taxis. Many of these taxis have 200K or more miles on them. The Crown Victoria is a reliable vehicle when considering the beatings that they take as patrol vehicles. My agency, generally speaking, takes patrol vehicles out of service around 100-110K. In addition, the heavy duty components on them tend to age well.
    " The Beatings will continue until Morale Improves "

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