Author Topic: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy  (Read 3873 times)

LiveLean

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Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« on: November 26, 2019, 04:33:34 PM »
Bought a new Toyota RAV4 today. Paid cash. Ecstatic that I got $4,700 in trade for a dying minivan with 120K miles.

Stroked a check for $18,800. We tend to keep cars 8-9 years or until they drop. Given our net worth - close to FIRE - this is a modest purchase. Unfortunately, even when you pay cash you have to sign all of the paperwork with the finance guy, who shook his head when I handed over the check. "Man, you really should lease," he said.

"Why's that?" I asked.

(DW sensing tone in my voice: "Let it go, honey.")

Finance Guy: "You're losing out on all of that interest."

Me: "We keep cars 8-9 years. You lease you pay a ridiculous premium for three years. It's the most expensive way to have a car."

Finance Guy: "Yeah, but I get a new car every three years."

Me: "How much would you say you've spent on cars in the last decade?"

Finance Guy (doing some calculations): $58,000 in the last eight years. (Works for Toyota, drives a Lexus).

Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."

Finance Guy: "Man, you got to live a little. Can't take it with you." (Quite a salesman for Toyota, don't you think?)

Me: "You might want to listen to some Dave Ramsey."

Finance Guy: (pointing to cell phone) "Oh, I listen to him all the time. He's a big fan of leasing cars."

Me: "I think you got the wrong guy."

« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 04:37:51 PM by LiveLean »

Glenstache

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 04:54:19 PM »
He did his math on how much he spent over the last 8 years wrong, that's for sure...

MilesTeg

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 05:12:50 PM »
Bought a new Toyota RAV4 today. Paid cash. Ecstatic that I got $4,700 in trade for a dying minivan with 120K miles.

Stroked a check for $18,800. We tend to keep cars 8-9 years or until they drop. Given our net worth - close to FIRE - this is a modest purchase. Unfortunately, even when you pay cash you have to sign all of the paperwork with the finance guy, who shook his head when I handed over the check. "Man, you really should lease," he said.

"Why's that?" I asked.

(DW sensing tone in my voice: "Let it go, honey.")

Finance Guy: "You're losing out on all of that interest."

Me: "We keep cars 8-9 years. You lease you pay a ridiculous premium for three years. It's the most expensive way to have a car."

Finance Guy: "Yeah, but I get a new car every three years."

Me: "How much would you say you've spent on cars in the last decade?"

Finance Guy (doing some calculations): $58,000 in the last eight years. (Works for Toyota, drives a Lexus).

Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."

Finance Guy: "Man, you got to live a little. Can't take it with you." (Quite a salesman for Toyota, don't you think?)

Me: "You might want to listen to some Dave Ramsey."

Finance Guy: (pointing to cell phone) "Oh, I listen to him all the time. He's a big fan of leasing cars."

Me: "I think you got the wrong guy."

Leasing is generally a bad idea, but dropping cash on a purchase in today's market conditions is not necessarily the best financial move either.

Should always run the math.

The_Big_H

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2019, 09:20:05 PM »
Bought a new Toyota RAV4 today. Paid cash. Ecstatic that I got $4,700 in trade for a dying minivan with 120K miles.

Stroked a check for $18,800. We tend to keep cars 8-9 years or until they drop. Given our net worth - close to FIRE - this is a modest purchase. Unfortunately, even when you pay cash you have to sign all of the paperwork with the finance guy, who shook his head when I handed over the check. "Man, you really should lease," he said.

"Why's that?" I asked.

(DW sensing tone in my voice: "Let it go, honey.")

Finance Guy: "You're losing out on all of that interest."

Me: "We keep cars 8-9 years. You lease you pay a ridiculous premium for three years. It's the most expensive way to have a car."

Finance Guy: "Yeah, but I get a new car every three years."

Me: "How much would you say you've spent on cars in the last decade?"

Finance Guy (doing some calculations): $58,000 in the last eight years. (Works for Toyota, drives a Lexus).

Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."

Finance Guy: "Man, you got to live a little. Can't take it with you." (Quite a salesman for Toyota, don't you think?)

Me: "You might want to listen to some Dave Ramsey."

Finance Guy: (pointing to cell phone) "Oh, I listen to him all the time. He's a big fan of leasing cars."

Me: "I think you got the wrong guy."

Leasing is generally a bad idea, but dropping cash on a purchase in today's market conditions is not necessarily the best financial move either.

Should always run the math.

If hes close to FIRE id say hes making good financial moves

Travis

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2019, 09:43:45 PM »

Finance Guy: "You're losing out on all of that interest."

...

Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."

Finance Guy: "Man, you got to live a little. Can't take it with you."



Way to deflect there, Mr. Salesman. 

Gremlin

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2019, 10:12:54 PM »
His job is to part you from your money.   He gets more if you lease.

As Upton Sinclair said - It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

iris lily

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 08:14:12 AM »
We recently bought a used car for cash. Somewhere in our long rambling conversation with a car salesman, and before we talked about how we were going to pay, he made some crack about people paying cash for cars. Soon after we said hey we’re writing a check today, Ok?

He laughed at himself for his previous crack. But they did send the  “manager “ In to talk to us about the joys of financing. Maybe we wanna keep that money for a nice vacation? Finance the car instead? Ah no,I can afford to pay cash for the car AND ALSO take a nice vacation thank you very much.


panda

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2019, 09:04:27 AM »
Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."
Is there a typo in that number? $110,000 seems really high for two cars given I've only spent about $30,000-ish on two cars in a little under twenty years.

Just Joe

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2019, 09:50:42 AM »
That seems high to me as well. Well, it COULD be lower if a person was motivated to. Keep your cars longer.

JAYSLOL

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2019, 09:55:59 AM »
Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."
Is there a typo in that number? $110,000 seems really high for two cars given I've only spent about $30,000-ish on two cars in a little under twenty years.

I think they mean two cars at a time over that period, meaning they spent about the same per car over 28 years that the salesman did in 10. 

MilesTeg

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2019, 09:57:25 AM »
We recently bought a used car for cash. Somewhere in our long rambling conversation with a car salesman, and before we talked about how we were going to pay, he made some crack about people paying cash for cars. Soon after we said hey we’re writing a check today, Ok?

He laughed at himself for his previous crack. But they did send the  “manager “ In to talk to us about the joys of financing. Maybe we wanna keep that money for a nice vacation? Finance the car instead? Ah no,I can afford to pay cash for the car AND ALSO take a nice vacation thank you very much.

The finance guy certainly wants you to finance so they get more money out of you and are in no way looking out for you, but that doesn't mean buying a car with cash can't be a lose-lose scenario. They lose financing income, you lose due to the opportunity cost of not using that cash in more productive ways than avoiding a loan.

Ann

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2019, 10:01:55 AM »
Perhaps the OP is including maintenance and repairs as well — which is fair, because you can’t accurately compare leasing vs purchasing without adding in maintenance and repairs.  I am *not* advocating for leasing but those that lease will quickly point out that they don’t have to worry about these “unexpected*” expenses.


*I put “unexpected” in quotes because they really should be expected.  They are more “irregular” or (hopefully) “infrequent” expenses.  I absolutely expect these costs to pop up in the future and save a slush fund for the various irregular insurance premiums, registration fees, and maintenance.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 10:25:30 AM by Ann »

DadJokes

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2019, 10:09:25 AM »
(DW sensing tone in my voice: "Let it go, honey.")

Your wife has me rolling. I think I've heard that phrase from mine a few times...

MilesTeg

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2019, 10:11:23 AM »
Perhaps the OP is including maintenance and repairs as well — which is fair, because you can’t accurately compare leasing vs purchasing without adding in maintenance and repairs.  I am *not* advocating for leasing but those that lease will quickly point out that they don’t have to worry about these “unexpected*” expenses.


*I put “unexpected” in quotes because they really should be expected.  They are more “irregular” or (hopefully) “infrequent” expenses.  I absolutely expect these costs to pop up in the future and save a slush fund for the various irregular insurance premiums, registration fees, and maintenance that will pop up.

The maintenance and repair costs on leased vehicle are no less than a purchased vehicle. Leased vehicles don't pay scheduled maintenance (oil/etc.) and any repair work will be covered under warranty on the purchased vehicle.

Edit: I should clarify that I mean compared to purchasing/owning a new vehicle for the same term as a leased vehicle (typically 3 years)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 10:26:50 AM by MilesTeg »

Ann

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2019, 10:35:19 AM »
Perhaps the OP is including maintenance and repairs as well — which is fair, because you can’t accurately compare leasing vs purchasing without adding in maintenance and repairs.  I am *not* advocating for leasing but those that lease will quickly point out that they don’t have to worry about these “unexpected*” expenses.


*I put “unexpected” in quotes because they really should be expected.  They are more “irregular” or (hopefully) “infrequent” expenses.  I absolutely expect these costs to pop up in the future and save a slush fund for the various irregular insurance premiums, registration fees, and maintenance that will pop up.

The maintenance and repair costs on leased vehicle are no less than a purchased vehicle. Leased vehicles don't pay scheduled maintenance (oil/etc.) and any repair work will be covered under warranty on the purchased vehicle.

Edit: I should clarify that I mean compared to purchasing/owning a new vehicle for the same term as a leased vehicle (typically 3 years)

Ah, thank you for the edit.  I was about to add that my post was assuming one would  keep a vehicle long after the warranty runs out (and not purchasing an extended warranty).

Goldielocks

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2019, 12:47:49 PM »
I bought a new to me used car last week.

Because I agreed to finance, I got a reduction in price and they agreed to detail the car I am selling. (We walked away from a deal over $1000 difference four days before we came back to renegotiate, so I know we got the best price possible right now).

The finance deal is strange.
$0 Down
7.8% financing rate, over 60 months.  No penalty if we pre-pay.
First payment due in 30 days.  Can pay off the remainder the day after.
If we keep the loan in place for 8 months, they give us $300 to cover the interest. 

BUT, the interest on 8 payments is only about $170 if we pay down almost all of it after 1 month.

So we make another $130 net and I pay interest on a modest sum for 8 months at a high rate.

AND they get a bonus for financing it of about $1000 from the finance company.

joleran

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2019, 03:07:59 PM »
I bought a new to me used car last week.

Because I agreed to finance, I got a reduction in price and they agreed to detail the car I am selling. (We walked away from a deal over $1000 difference four days before we came back to renegotiate, so I know we got the best price possible right now).

The finance deal is strange.
$0 Down
7.8% financing rate, over 60 months.  No penalty if we pre-pay.
First payment due in 30 days.  Can pay off the remainder the day after.
If we keep the loan in place for 8 months, they give us $300 to cover the interest. 

BUT, the interest on 8 payments is only about $170 if we pay down almost all of it after 1 month.

So we make another $130 net and I pay interest on a modest sum for 8 months at a high rate.

AND they get a bonus for financing it of about $1000 from the finance company.

edit: nevermind, I see what you're saying, but you'd need to only pay it off so your first 8 payments would just barely cover the 8 payments or you'd end up paying it off earlier.

MoneyQuirk

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2019, 02:31:34 PM »
"You gotta live a little" - Snooty Car Financial Guy

I'm living just fine without having my money stolen, thank you very much.

I'd argue I might just be living a little more than you, because I have time to do things.

firstmatedavy

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2019, 11:59:42 AM »
Reminds me of the time my husband was considering trading in his car for a newer used car, because his cousin the mechanic said it would need an expensive repair soon. We were looking at a Subaru of some kind (it was a while ago), and they sat us down with someone to talk about financing even though we were very much not sold on it - the car was more expensive than we'd expected and they didn't offer us much for trade in.

At some point I said we didn't want to take on debt for something that would just depreciate like the last car did (low trade in value), and the guy decided it was time for a hard sell and went on this rant about how we want a good car, we want a car that holds value, we need a SUBARU! Yeah... Sorry buddy, all cars depreciate.

Luckily, it turned out my cousin in law's idea of an expensive repair wasn't all that bad. We got the old car fixed and it still runs fine.

mtn

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2019, 01:06:12 PM »
They're just trying to make a sale. They're not personal finance professionals.

We recently bought a brand new Kia. Most money I've ever spent on anything that wasn't a hospital bill or a house, first new car I've ever had, and a huge change for us as our prior 5 cars were an average of 14 years old at the time of purchase and an average of $1800. So the $30k minivan was a big deal. We had been pre-approved by our credit union, and I told them the rate. They said they could match it, so I said, sure. Our rate at the CU was 2.74%. Salesman comes back and says "well, we did it! 3.84%". I said, "Ok, well, that is off by quite a bit - give me a second to do the math".... About 2 minutes later, I said "ok, this is going to be a difference of about $940 over the course of the loan - we're reducing the sale price by that much, right?"

Next day I paid that loan off in full with the credit union loan. Worked out pretty well for me.

MrDelane

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2019, 04:10:28 PM »
They're just trying to make a sale. They're not personal finance professionals.

We recently bought a brand new Kia. Most money I've ever spent on anything that wasn't a hospital bill or a house, first new car I've ever had, and a huge change for us as our prior 5 cars were an average of 14 years old at the time of purchase and an average of $1800. So the $30k minivan was a big deal. We had been pre-approved by our credit union, and I told them the rate. They said they could match it, so I said, sure. Our rate at the CU was 2.74%. Salesman comes back and says "well, we did it! 3.84%". I said, "Ok, well, that is off by quite a bit - give me a second to do the math".... About 2 minutes later, I said "ok, this is going to be a difference of about $940 over the course of the loan - we're reducing the sale price by that much, right?"

Next day I paid that loan off in full with the credit union loan. Worked out pretty well for me.

Hahahah.  Brilliant.
This is fantastic, well done.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2019, 04:24:24 PM »
My random car story. Had my mind set on a 1-year old malibu. They are a pretty much a commodity. Made it clear I only cared about the bottom line. Monthly payment made no difference to me and preferred the 36mths 1.9% special offer ($430/mth). I stated what price i would be good at he said that probably wouldn't work. We went back and forth 4x and the guy got within $75 of my original number, each time coming down but shuffling ("we took off the charged for certification"). If they would've just started at that I would've been fine.

Then i asked if they charged for using a credit card for a down payment. After they said no, I asked what's the most I could put on it (so I could hit minimum spend on the card). I'm pretty sure he had no clue on how I did my math and just assumed I couldn't afford the car or something and that is why I tried putting 3k on the card.

dogboyslim

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2019, 07:56:50 AM »
I bought a new to me used car last week.

Because I agreed to finance, I got a reduction in price and they agreed to detail the car I am selling. (We walked away from a deal over $1000 difference four days before we came back to renegotiate, so I know we got the best price possible right now).

The finance deal is strange.
$0 Down
7.8% financing rate, over 60 months.  No penalty if we pre-pay.
First payment due in 30 days.  Can pay off the remainder the day after.
If we keep the loan in place for 8 months, they give us $300 to cover the interest. 

BUT, the interest on 8 payments is only about $170 if we pay down almost all of it after 1 month.

So we make another $130 net and I pay interest on a modest sum for 8 months at a high rate.

AND they get a bonus for financing it of about $1000 from the finance company.

I did this.  Had to keep the loan for 3 payments.  As soon as the loan originated, I paid a principal payment down to the level that the 3rd payment was a payoff.  Total interest was MUCH less than the amount I got off for the purchase.  Got a call 4 months later from the finance guy from the dealership asking what I did.  Apparently they didn't get the kickback they expected and were pissed.  I said I paid 3 payments, at which time the loan was paid off, just like you said I had to, agreed to show him the loan transactions to prove it.  He then said, so then why was the finance charge so low?  I explained exactly what I did, how it was allowed in the terms, and then he said "<F--->, I should have just let you pay cash."

DadJokes

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2019, 08:11:27 AM »
I bought a new to me used car last week.

Because I agreed to finance, I got a reduction in price and they agreed to detail the car I am selling. (We walked away from a deal over $1000 difference four days before we came back to renegotiate, so I know we got the best price possible right now).

The finance deal is strange.
$0 Down
7.8% financing rate, over 60 months.  No penalty if we pre-pay.
First payment due in 30 days.  Can pay off the remainder the day after.
If we keep the loan in place for 8 months, they give us $300 to cover the interest. 

BUT, the interest on 8 payments is only about $170 if we pay down almost all of it after 1 month.

So we make another $130 net and I pay interest on a modest sum for 8 months at a high rate.

AND they get a bonus for financing it of about $1000 from the finance company.

I did this.  Had to keep the loan for 3 payments.  As soon as the loan originated, I paid a principal payment down to the level that the 3rd payment was a payoff.  Total interest was MUCH less than the amount I got off for the purchase.  Got a call 4 months later from the finance guy from the dealership asking what I did.  Apparently they didn't get the kickback they expected and were pissed.  I said I paid 3 payments, at which time the loan was paid off, just like you said I had to, agreed to show him the loan transactions to prove it.  He then said, so then why was the finance charge so low?  I explained exactly what I did, how it was allowed in the terms, and then he said "<F--->, I should have just let you pay cash."

It warms my heart to hear a dealership finance guy upset that someone outsmarted the system.

Just Joe

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2019, 04:57:54 PM »
 I just don't have the patience for the finance guys anymore. After going 'round and 'round with a couple years ago I default to credit union financing regardless.

Dave1442397

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #25 on: December 05, 2019, 05:05:29 PM »
I just don't have the patience for the finance guys anymore. After going 'round and 'round with a couple years ago I default to credit union financing regardless.

Same here. I have a 3.49% loan on a used car right now. When I told the finance guy my rate, he said the lowest he could do was 3.99%. I said "Well, that's higher than what I got from PenFed, so I guess I'll be going with their financing", and that was that. He passed me off to a hottie who tried to seduce me into buying extended warranties, which I also resisted. I'll have the car two years this month, and of course nothing has gone wrong with it.

Glenstache

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2019, 05:25:29 PM »
Bought a new car a few months ago. I went new because the used versions of the vehicle I wanted were so close to new cost that it did not make sense to buy used (which was surprising). I researched actual sales numbers and shot to get the upper end of the curve. It was pretty simple. I went to the dealership, saw the car, made it clear that I had done my research and was willing to walk away. I told them the inclusive price I would need out the door to sign that evening. I went in mentally prepared to walk away over any price over my threshold and that it would take a few hours to go the process. I was respectful to the sales person (who was not a sleaze, actually a decent person as far as i could tell). The process of back and forth took about 3 hours from walking into dealership to driving away, paid in cash.

I had earlier had a few interactions with other dealerships which ran the gamut of sleaze (hiding major mechanical issues, etc) to easy. I walked away from one deal because they remained just a couple hundred dollars above my threshold. Such is life.

I truly feel bad for people with poor financial literacy trying to go through the process. It is a large sum of money for many people, and the losses of $$ to finance schemes, "just live a little" arguments, etc is a big setback to a lot of people over the long term. A lot of the sales are heavily influenced by emotion either by desire, confusion, being worn down, such that it takes even more than just knowing how to do the numbers to really make the right decision. This goes for buying houses, etc too. Those lessons are tough to learn on your own.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2019, 09:02:46 PM »
Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."
Is there a typo in that number? $110,000 seems really high for two cars given I've only spent about $30,000-ish on two cars in a little under twenty years.

This doesn't make sense to me, either. What am I missing?

slugline

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2019, 08:57:33 AM »
Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."
Is there a typo in that number? $110,000 seems really high for two cars given I've only spent about $30,000-ish on two cars in a little under twenty years.

This doesn't make sense to me, either. What am I missing?

Could we be going all-in on the cost of driving -- the cars themselves, gas, maintenance, parking,  tolls, insurance? The average American might go into cardiac arrest if they saw that total over the course of decades.

ketchup

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2019, 09:32:58 AM »
Man, I'm glad I've never bought a car from a dealer.  Awful.

joleran

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2019, 11:06:57 AM »
Man, I'm glad I've never bought a car from a dealer.  Awful.

I can't believe how badly I mishandled the first dealing I had with one.  Spent literally 8 hours with them and still probably overpaid by a good $2k on a $14k car.  Fool me once...

FINate

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2019, 11:34:11 AM »
Short of physical torture, it's difficult to imagine a customer experience more painful than the dealership. I'm actually quite thankful for it -- whenever I'm tempted to replace one of my old paid-off vehicles I contemplate the ordeal involved and sanity is quickly restored.

panda

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Re: Got a Lecture from Car Dealer Finance Guy
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2019, 10:13:47 AM »
Me: "See,wife and I here have spent $110,000 on TWO cars over the last 28 years, $129K if we count this Rav4. We've made a lot of "interest" on that money I didn't spend on cars."
Is there a typo in that number? $110,000 seems really high for two cars given I've only spent about $30,000-ish on two cars in a little under twenty years.

This doesn't make sense to me, either. What am I missing?

Could we be going all-in on the cost of driving -- the cars themselves, gas, maintenance, parking,  tolls, insurance? The average American might go into cardiac arrest if they saw that total over the course of decades.
Going off of my number that's also a really high total cost of ownership and I'm accounting for a period where my insurance was higher than my car payment.