Author Topic: Advice on Buying a Car?  (Read 3745 times)

2527

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Advice on Buying a Car?
« on: May 18, 2013, 07:20:13 AM »
I want to buy a new or 1-3 years old Honda Accord or similar car (probably a Honda Accord). 

I'm not looking for advice to buy a bike instead or to buy a 10 year old Ford Escort or stuff like that.  Decisions on those topics have already been made.

I've only bought one new car in my life (I'm 49) and really only bought two cars in my life, in the normal sense.  All the others were things like buying a car from a relative or friend or something like that...whatever was available from a source I trusted.     

I don't need to finance it; I'll pay cash.

Any advice on how to shop around, use the internet, etc?

Thanks!
Jeff 

olivia

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Re: Advice on Buying a Car?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 07:35:27 AM »
When I bought a used car (Toyota Camry) several years ago I shopped around online a TON. Autotrader.com, Cars.com, and some more I can't remember right now.  Also expand your search area. I was in a smaller city at the time but there was a much larger city 1.5 hours away with way more selection and lower prices.  I ended up buying there for several thousand dollars less than the cars that were available in my city.

Cars also seemed to be cheaper at non-Toyota dealerships where they had been traded in. I bought mine from a BMW dealership.  So I would check Honda dealerships last.  And it's typically better to buy from an individual than a dealer, but in my search the dealer had a way better price than any individuals.

Dynasty

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Re: Advice on Buying a Car?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 02:46:01 PM »
With used car prices right now, buy a new Accord.

Also, before you are 100% set on the Accord, at least test drive a new Camry. You might like it better than the Honda, or it will solidify your preference for the Accord.

Not sure about Honda financing right now, but the Toyota dealers near me are offering 0% financing. I'd rather pay a low finance fee of a few hundred dollars and keep a bunch of cash on hand.


DavidR

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Re: Advice on Buying a Car?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 04:55:45 PM »
Dynasty is Correct

The discount for one to three year old Honda's is so small relative to the price of a new one, so that the new one with its warranty  is the better value.  With a one to three year old you are buying a car with little or no factory warranty and no knowledge of its history or maintenance.

With the Accord, if you maintain it properly you should be able to keep it for 20 years and get over 200,000 miles or more.  That is the critical thing here, buying a car and keeping until it is no longer safe or reliable or has too big a repair bill.  Buying new will mean that your liklihood of being able to keep it for two decades is much higher.

StarryC

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Re: Advice on Buying a Car?
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 07:58:59 PM »
My advice would be that you practically cannot negotiate too hard in most dealership purchases.  Either new or used, do your research.  If there are more than 5 cars of the age and model you want in a 50 mile radius you are in good shape.

Of course you should be nice.  And, there is a limit under which they simply will not sell the car.  But you can definitely walk away and go to the next place.  Car dealers negotiate every day.  You probably cannot make an offer so low that they will be offended and walk away.  And, if they do, you go to the next guy and offer $500 more.  Ask for perks if you care- free oil changes, new floor mats, extra keys made, a full tank of gas.  But don't let them sell you a car for $1,000 more in exchange for 3 free oil changes. 

If you go used, don't buy the additional warranty.  Generally it excludes almost anything that is actually expensive to fix.  They want to sell it to you because they make more money on it. 

I bought a used car this year and made some mistakes.  I knew the price, and knew the 8 cars that I thought would be good options.  I walked away when one dealer simply would not negotiate on price, and got the same car in a different color.  However, I bought the warranty.  When I got home and read it I realized it was a mistake and cancelled within the 7 day window, but it was annoying to drive back and fill out that paperwork. 

Dynasty

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Re: Advice on Buying a Car?
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2013, 08:38:08 PM »
My advice would be that you practically cannot negotiate too hard in most dealership purchases.  Either new or used, do your research.  If there are more than 5 cars of the age and model you want in a 50 mile radius you are in good shape.

Negotiating new is a lot easier than used. Its apples to apples vs apples to oranges.

When I bought my car months back I got a really good internet quote from one dealer. Drove there, and they totally low balled my trade in offer. After some haggling, they bumped my trade in up but still short of my number.

I thanked them for their time and walked out.

Drove to the next dealer, and negotiated a trade in allowance on my car first. It met my number. After that, I pulled out the written quote from dealer #1. Initially, they could not meet that number.

So I thanked them for their time and walked out.

After I got home, both dealerships were calling me and text messaging me to see how they could earn my business.

Eventually, I got the purchase price I wanted and the trade in value at both dealerships within probably $50 dollars of each other. I ended up buying at dealer # 2 because they were a lot more straightforward to work with.  Plus far closer to my house than the first place.  Traded down a Lexus for a Camry. However, the Camry is a lot more comfortable and doesn't have the luxury car stigma attached to it that I hate. 

They key is being willing to walk away from the negotiating table and actually doing it. And you need to be in a position that their desire to sell you a car is more than your need to buy a car.  Plus it's good to have at least two dealers you are working with at the same time. Creates a mental advantage for the buyer.

All that being said, I've done not so hot on previous vehicle purchases. Generally because I needed (or wanted probably more like it...) the car they were selling more than they needed to sell it.

I hope to not purchase another vehicle for a long time.




OzzieandHarriet

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Re: Advice on Buying a Car?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 02:41:52 PM »
I was reading this thread while sitting at the Honda dealer buying my new car. I hope this wasn't a mistake, but they offered me this deal where if I got financing at .9%, they would take $500 off the price of the car. Then if I pay it off at the first payment, I will have paid maybe $20 in interest (I put $2,500 down on my credit card -- I get points -- always pay that in full every month).

I did fend off the hard sell of the extended warranty.

I so hated to leave my old faithful car friend of 18 years behind, but it was time.