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Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: grad
Date: December 27, 2006 03:32PM
Been to lots of websites which offer lots of tips, but now I'm interested in your personal experiences.

Any of you MacResourcers have any good tips to get the best deal (in your recent car buying experience)? What helped the most?







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2006 03:34PM by grad.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: spearmint
Date: December 27, 2006 03:39PM
i am thrilled with my seven year old Buick. Runs like the wind and reliable.




Da Good Life
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: incognegro
Date: December 27, 2006 03:41PM
if the seller won't look you in the eyes, or avoids your direct questions... move to the next one.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: saintyohann
Date: December 27, 2006 03:58PM
Just be a total ass.

Most of their tools use the fact that you're trying to be a decent friendly person. They just don't know how to manipulate a total ass.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: December 27, 2006 04:04PM
new or used?



Grateful11
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: December 27, 2006 04:05PM
Do you know what style of vehicle you want to buy? Until you've identified that, there's not too much further you can go.

Summer before last, shortly after my husband died, I knew it was time to shift some cars, because the place looked like a used car lot. I suspected selling both a Suburban and a sedan and replacing them with one smaller MUV was the way to go. I did internet research until I identified some likely possibilities, and then I went out and did test drives. One was too small; one was too big; and one was just right. At that point, I began to examine specific options available, and then I haunted AutoTrader until I found one that looked right. I chose a certified used vehicle that had been on a dealer's lot too long, so the price was reduced. I love it, although I do wish now I'd gotten one that was a little newer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2006 04:06PM by AlphaDog.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: Carm
Date: December 27, 2006 04:18PM
FWIW: My S/O used [edmunds.com] to get her 2005 altima. She told the car dealer, I want it at this price, if you cant match it, See you later. We did the same thing for the Sequoia we had. DIfferent dealerships.

There was a thread about buying a car here a while back.Me thinks.

Carm
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: dad@home
Date: December 27, 2006 04:34PM
This article "Confessions of a Car Salesman" is required reading if you haven't bought a new car before.

Understanding the enemy is the first step.....


[www.edmunds.com]
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: davester
Date: December 27, 2006 04:40PM
My primary tip is never buy new. Unless you're buying an highly in demand vehicle, look for a couple of year old car that is still under warranty and has low miles...and buy from a private party to avoid the dealer "tax".



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: bobalu
Date: December 27, 2006 04:53PM
Arrange your own financing because most dealers will try to tack on a percent or two and then get it back as a kickback from the financial institute. I second getting the pricing from Edmunds and holding the dealer to that price. It worked for me.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: grad
Date: December 27, 2006 05:12PM
Yes, NEW.



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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: grad
Date: December 27, 2006 05:13PM
Quote
dad@home
This article "Confessions of a Car Salesman" is required reading if you haven't bought a new car before.

Understanding the enemy is the first step.....


[www.edmunds.com]

thanks! i have already read all of the available internet website info! smiling smiley



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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: December 27, 2006 05:57PM
If you are a Costco member, they have a buying program for new cars that will get you a fixed good deal - on the car I bought it was $500 over invoice.

All the dealers here in western WA will give you that price whether they are participants of the program or not.

[www.costco.com]|1||P_SignDesc1&Sp=C&ec=&topnav=
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: December 27, 2006 06:26PM
The last two cars I bought I did this:

1. Decided to buy used to save the depreciation.
2. Decided the make, model and color I wanted.
3. Searched Autotrader, cars.com, carmax.com and any other places I could think of. Searched anywhere within a day's drive and back... 400 miles or so.
4. Checked the best candidates with CarFax. Picked my first choice.
5. Called the dealer to verify the vehicle, price, make sure it didn't have smoke smell, make sure that the condition was excellent. (Could be a lie, but I tell them I'll walk if the car's not right. And I will. Never had to.)
6. Set up an appointment, drove to the dealer's and bought the car.

Amazingly simple. Got just the vhicle I was looking for; color, model, options... Worked great.





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 27, 2006 07:07PM
dont buy, lease.





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: Rain
Date: December 27, 2006 07:09PM
negotiate the admin. fees -

most dealerships will lower them if asked.



[www.reverbnation.com]

Thanks for everyone's help and support after Hurricane Katrina!
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: grad
Date: December 27, 2006 07:14PM
Quote
jdc
dont buy, lease.

whoa! that is the single most expensive way to own/drive a car.



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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: testcase
Date: December 27, 2006 07:48PM
The "invoice" price is a joke dealers use to make buyers think they're getting a good deal when in fact, the "invoice" price already has a big profit in it. My experience with buying clubs leads me to believe that the clubs really aren't getting their members the best possible deal. I've always liked the report you buy from Consumers Reports. They seem to cover and explain everything and, the report is reasonably priced. It also includes shopping / buying tips / strategies. With the CR printout in hand, I got a very good price when I ordered my 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE Limited back in May, 2003. I shopped six different dealers, everything from cold walk-ins to referrals from Sam's Club, AAA etc.. The CR printout definitely made the dealers the most uncomfortable. When they tried to tell me that the prices CR listed weren't what the dealer paid for a vehicle, I countered with, "those are the prices Toyota Corporate reported that they charged their dealers to the Federal Government". It shut them right up. As mentioned earlier, be ready to walk when you know your being lied to. You're coming into prime time for buying car. Jan / Feb showrooms are often ghost towns. Dealers definitely need you more than you'll need them. Remember, a typical consumer only buys a car every few years (or more). Salesmen sell every day and they're comfortable taking advantage of the naive. Try to take your time and have your "homework" done before you set foot in a dealers showroom. Good luck!
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: chas_m
Date: December 27, 2006 08:06PM
Get a Prius.



chas_m




[crawlingfromtheusa.blogspot.com] <-- Moving to Canada blog
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: maurycy
Date: December 27, 2006 08:32PM
Quote
grad
Quote
jdc
dont buy, lease.

whoa! that is the single most expensive way to own/drive a car.

Strongly disagree. I am leasing my second car now and the difference in monthly payment goes right into my investment portfolio. By the lease end, I am actually saving money. You should also consider that 3 year lease falls within warranty period so you do not have to worry about nothing else but oil and gas.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: December 27, 2006 09:38PM
Quote
maurycy
Quote
grad
Quote
jdc
dont buy, lease.

whoa! that is the single most expensive way to own/drive a car.

Strongly disagree. I am leasing my second car now and the difference in monthly payment goes right into my investment portfolio. By the lease end, I am actually saving money. You should also consider that 3 year lease falls within warranty period so you do not have to worry about nothing else but oil and gas.

If you lease, aren't you always paying?
I haven't had a car payment on my car in 7 years.





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: spacescape
Date: December 27, 2006 10:18PM
Quote
maurycy
Quote
grad
Quote
jdc
dont buy, lease.

whoa! that is the single most expensive way to own/drive a car.

Strongly disagree. I am leasing my second car now and the difference in monthly payment goes right into my investment portfolio. By the lease end, I am actually saving money. You should also consider that 3 year lease falls within warranty period so you do not have to worry about nothing else but oil and gas.

I agree w/ you on leasing. Especially if you can get be practical and get something they are running good deals on. For Example, my friend has a 27 month lease on a Town and Country Mini Van w/ Aluminum Wheels, Stow and Go seating and a few other extras (not tons) for $189 a month. With the $500 he put down he only pays about $5600 over the 27 months. He writes his off as well for business so that's another plus for him. My point is that EVEN if you get a $25,000 Minivan there is NO WAY that car is worth $19,000 after 27 months. So, your avoiding depreciation. Now, if your looking a imports then that is another story.

Really a Two year old car is the way to go. Especially if it's still under warranty. Now me, I'm not that practical and hate screwing around with repair bills. Every used car I've ever bought has cost me before I ever paid it off. But I know several people who prove my bad luck and just bad luck.

Bill



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/27/2006 10:23PM by spacescape.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: Michael
Date: December 28, 2006 06:02AM
What helps me most is knowing the retail/invoice/holdback, not wanting the newest, hottest car, and be willing to walk. I really think it comes down to attitude. I'm not willing to play games; if I get any sort of a game, I just walk away. I tell reps I'm willing to pay invoice and what I want for my trade. I've found getting invoice is no problem, but the real issue is the trade. I have bought vehicles without trading in and sold on my own, but in my state, sales tax is based on the difference between trade and new prices, so selling on my own costs 7% additional on that difference. So, I prefer to trade. However, the trade is probably the best place for dealers to make money. I start by asking retail for the trade, but I'll go to the average trade-in value. Making a deal really takes minutes because I won't go back and forth more than a couple of times. I make my offer, they counter, I counter and then I'm done. I don't have long discussions about how they have to keep the lights on, etc.

I buy cars either when new models are brought out (I buy last year's model) or during winter at the end of the month, hopefully during bad weather. I won't pay additional dealer mark-ups nor documentation fees. I buy vehicles in smaller towns usually, since in my area the smaller dealers don't even ask for doc fees.

Right now, we're looking at Honda CRVs and trading our 02 Accord. They are new and hot and the dealers are all asking for additional dealer profit. We've driven one and like it, but I'm simply not going to buy one until the prices soften. I imagine we'll get an 07 next summer when the 08s come out. When I see a couple of dozen of them on the local dealer lot, I'll get serious about the car. RIght now they have 2 or 3 on the lot.
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: SteveJobs
Date: December 28, 2006 06:52AM
I keep being tempted by Suburban (Novi, MI) lease deals. No, I'm not near there, but their lease specials are very attractive. [they were the trunk monkey guys]

$500 down
$99/month

or

$2300 one-time payment for 27 months.

on some cars.

And YES I personally DO quality for EP (aka Employee Pricing) on DCX vehicles. So, I realize I might have an 'in' that others living on the coasts might not have.

[www.suburbanchryslerjeep.com]

Here are all of their brands:

[www.suburbancollection.com]



******************************

******************************
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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: grad
Date: December 28, 2006 10:34AM
Thanks all!



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Re: Buying a Car: ANY TIPS?
Posted by: mjgkramer
Date: December 28, 2006 01:21PM
In late 1998 after much shopping and comparison of minivan makes, we decided that we wanted a 1999 Toyota Sienna XLE. The Sienna had just received a very high rating from one of the car magazines, Toad and Rack as I recall, so few Siennas were available, which also made the dealers think they didn't have to give any discount off sticker. One actually told me I was lucky they didn't quote me a price that was higher than sticker.

I decided to go out for bid, obtaining the addresses of 30 or so dealers within a 200 mile radius from an internet phone directory. I sent out a bid solicitation with all the options I wanted and sat back for two weeks to see what came back. I received approximately 15 bids, all with some discount and a few offering 15% or so. I selected the second best price from a dealer in Houston, 160 or so miles away, taking that bid because it was submitted by a fleet manager rather than a salesman. The experience was very pleasant with absolutely no pressure to buy a maintenance contract, additional expensive accessories, etc. When we asked for the fleet manager we did get glared at by the salesmen clustered around the front door.

I paid cash for the Sienna and have had very good experience with it. It has 130,000 miles on it and finally had its first engine problem two weeks ago, a failed oxygen sensor.
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