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    Tips on buying a new(er) car

    I don't remember where I got this information but I am happy to pass it on: I haven't had a chance to use it since I haven't purchased a car in years but I will be soon and plan on using these tips:

    We all know that brand new cars are a rip off, first of all. Try to buy a year old car, lease turn in or something like that. With these you can usually still get a warranty. (However according to my husband who is a mechanic companies will get out of over 80% of warranty claims or find a way to make money anyway)

    Rental agencies sell their cars after a certain amount of miles and you can usually get great deals through them.

    Best time to buy a car: when there is a sale or seasonal clearance going on. Remember that the "car year" does not start in January and end in December. Each year they move it up and up it seems but it seems summer is good for them to get rid of the "old ones".

    Best week to buy a car: last week of month. Sales people are on quotas for their sales and profit. They will probably have their profit quota but not their sales quota. So that means for you they will probably drop their commission to make the sale.

    Best day: slowest is mid week. Another great thing is rainy or nasty weather. You don't want to be out and neither does anyone else but you can get great deals.

    Best time: near closing but not too close if you are going to have to go through financing and all that. You want to be done before they close.

    Here is a great tip I read:

    Look through (either online, in books or in person) at the types of cars you want.

    Narrow it down to something pretty specific. (if there are a lot, even narrow the color)

    Test drive it somewhere but do not buy it yet!

    When you are sure you know what you want, get the fax numbers to all the dealers within a decent radius of where you are.

    Fax a proposal (sort of) to the dealer asking for the best price of this car (descirbe it in as much detail as possible.

    In the letter let them know that you will accept bids up until whatever day and you will be purchasing the following day.

    (If you are going to do this, make sure you have good credit, cash in hand, or a pre-approved loan)

    In the letter let them know you will only accept bids back by fax (so they can't try to call you and talk you into something)

    When you get responses (and you will if you let them know you are buying within the week or so) take the best two or three.

    Fax the higher ones back with a letter letting them know what your price at another dealer is.

    Continue until the day before and then fax a letter confirming that you will be there the next day with your bid in hand.

    I read about this and the author swears that the dealers will all but jump at the chance. But this biggest thing is to do all this by fax so that they can't pressure you to come in.

    Hope this helps.

    #2
    Re: Tips on buying a new(er) car

    Also another good idea is dont trade in your old car you will get a better deal by selling your old car yourself.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Tips on buying a new(er) car

      Buying a car that is for sell by a rental company may not be the best purchase you have ever made.
      Do you remember the last car you rented> How well did you take care of it?
      How about all of the people before you? Was the car damaged in the past?
      Do you really know who well or how bad this car was treated so far?
      Used rentals are a BIG risk.
      Buying a car at the lowest possible price:

      Do all of your research on-line.
      Go drive the car you want at a dealership.
      Get a list of the seven closest dealers concerning the exact car you want.
      Email all seven delaers. Give them the exact specs on the car you want and ask for their bid. Let them know that you will be accepting the lowest bid you get.
      You may want to email and hold a second round to get the dealers down even further,
      Now and only now are you ready to go to the dealership.
      The above has proven to work many times.
      If you go to any dealer to buy a car, you are in their territory and they know everything that works on humans. Stay away at all costs until you are ready.
      You can win at this as long as you take control of the process.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Tips on buying a new(er) car

        Originally posted by barbd00
        Best time to buy a car: when there is a sale or seasonal clearance going on. Remember that the "car year" does not start in January and end in December. Each year they move it up and up it seems but it seems summer is good for them to get rid of the "old ones".

        Best week to buy a car: last week of month. Sales people are on quotas for their sales and profit. They will probably have their profit quota but not their sales quota. So that means for you they will probably drop their commission to make the sale.

        Best day: slowest is mid week. Another great thing is rainy or nasty weather. You don't want to be out and neither does anyone else but you can get great deals.

        Best time: near closing but not too close if you are going to have to go through financing and all that. You want to be done before they close.
        I bought my car gently used (hey, it was new to me!), but check out when I bought: Walked on the at 8:30 at night on Wednesday 9/27. Seasonal clearance, last week of the month, mid-week, and right before closing with financing already arranged. Wish I'd seen this article ahead of time, I wouldn't have felt quite so bad going in so late!

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Tips on buying a new(er) car

          Originally posted by nobodyspecial
          Buying a car that is for sell by a rental company may not be the best purchase you have ever made.
          Do you remember the last car you rented> How well did you take care of it?
          How about all of the people before you? Was the car damaged in the past?
          Do you really know who well or how bad this car was treated so far?
          Used rentals are a BIG risk.
          i was about to post this but i guess somebody beat me to it... my DH used to work for a car rental company and told me he wouldn't trust a used rental car... they take tons of abuse from everybody and generally aren't as well maintained as private cars... i'd rather take a private car that has been taken care of (it helps if they have a log of maintenance and repairs) by somebody like my DH... he's had his 94 since 99 and it's still running well because he babies it...

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Tips on buying a new(er) car

            Another good time for bargaining power is just before they have to count inventory for taxes. Car dealers don't like paying taxes anymore than the rest of us.

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              #7
              Sell your car on-line as you get a much bigger audience. We got 60% more selling our car recently using an on-line auction site.

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                #8
                Consider using ebay motors. This is a great place to sell your old car, and also to lookfor new cars too.

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                  #9
                  Great info...thanks everyone!

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                    #10
                    Another way to knock anywhere from $600 to $1200 off the purchase is to buy a vehicle with a manual transmission.

                    The majority of drivers don't like shifting gears so dealer's have a hard time getting rid of them. As such, they may be inclined to offer a better deal to get it off the lot. Maintenance is usually cheaper as well. Changing manual transmission oil can be an easy DIY job, but flushing an automatic is much more difficult and would probably require the services of a garage.

                    So if you can operate a clutch pedal and a gear stick, you could get a fairly nice car for a lower initial cost and lower TCO.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by melinuxfool View Post
                      Another way to knock anywhere from $600 to $1200 off the purchase is to buy a vehicle with a manual transmission.
                      True, but you will also reduce the resale value when it's time for you to sell.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sweeps View Post
                        True, but you will also reduce the resale value when it's time for you to sell.
                        He don't know me very well.

                        I don't sell cars. I keep them until they need to go to the junk yard. I don't think I've ever gotten rid of a car with less than 200,000 miles on it. By that time, considering I live in Maine, capital of the rust belt, there is no resale value, automatic or standard.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by melinuxfool View Post
                          He don't know me very well.

                          I don't sell cars. I keep them until they need to go to the junk yard. I don't think I've ever gotten rid of a car with less than 200,000 miles on it. By that time, considering I live in Maine, capital of the rust belt, there is no resale value, automatic or standard.
                          That's good, but you're not most people. Most people sell their car before it gets driven into the ground. Resale value would be a consideration for those people.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by sweeps View Post
                            That's good, but you're not most people. Most people sell their car before it gets driven into the ground. Resale value would be a consideration for those people.
                            This is true, if you intend to get rid of a car before it's usefulness is up, resale value might be a consideration. But how much interest could that $1000 you saved in the purchase earn over the time you own the car if put in a money market? Enough, perhaps, to cover the difference in selling price down the road? Depends on your area too. In big cities, it's much harder to get rid of a stick shift, but in the country, many people can drive either and have little or no bias either way.

                            Also worth considering are the reduced maintenance costs. Manual transmission maintenance is unscrewing a bolt every 30,000 miles or so, draining the fluid, screwing the bolt back in, and adding about $8 worth of new fluid. As long as you can operate a ratchet or breaker bar, it's a do-it-yourself job.

                            An automatic requires service at roughly the same intervals (though some a few are longer intervals) but it is far more expensive. Usually 15 to 20 quarts of fluid, some of it is wasted in the process, and it is labor-intensive. It can cost in the $100 range for the flush service.

                            While all cars last longer with proper maintenance, there is less "proper maintenance" required on a standard.

                            Of course, for a standard to actually be cheaper over the long haul, it goes without saying you actually have to know how to drive one. A clutch is pretty expensive to replace.

                            Another tip for saving money on cars over the long run. Check the maintenance schedule before you buy. Don't buy a car with a timing belt. That is $300 or more job that has to be performed at least every 60,000 miles. Unless you want to risk permanent engine damage (seems like that was intentional to me). Make sure the car you are about to purchase has a timing chain. Maintenance costs can add up, and if you are going to keep the car a long time, cheap maintenance can almost be better than a cheap purchase price.

                            Other things that don't hurt to check up on: Does the car use regular gas, premium, or diesel?
                            How much do simple parts cost? Air filter, fuel filter, transmission filter (if it's automatic), oil filter, PCV valve, windshield wipers, lights, TIRES etc. All things that have to be replaced periodically so it doesn't hurt to have an idea what they cost.

                            How easy are parts to access? In other words, can simple maintenance be performed by the cars owner, or is everything so jammed in there you can't do anything without removing a dozen other components that are in the way (I stay away from cars like that).

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                              #15
                              If you have couple of grand in cash for down payment, you may ask discount. I got almost 10% off my old camery for paying 3k downpayment as cash.

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