Author Topic: Buying a "new used" car, or, is there a way I could have handled this better  (Read 2209 times)

WootWoot

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Hi folks--This might be a long thread, so please bear with me. And I might ramble a bit.

We have one car, a '99 VW New Beetle that has engine problems (and we're not sure what it would cost to fix them). Recently we began looking around for a "new used" car. I have the money in a Capital One money market acct. and ready to transfer to my local credit union, where I figured I'd just get a certified check. We did find a car we wanted to buy, and the seller wants a certified check. Saturday, we told him we could most likely meet up with him on Tuesday of this week.

Monday morning, spouse had a car accident in a snowstorm that resulted in the oil pan of the VW leaking all over the place. He thinks he can fix it himself, but found out he needs a certain tool that we don't have in the house. Bus service around here is sporadic and stops at 6 p.m. I work until long after bus service has stopped. Monday, I told him we should rent a car, but he thought it was too expensive. This was before I found out about the tool and the fact that even IF he can fix the VW, it still might not be driveable as the car is so old & a bit neglected (his words).

OK, so in the meantime, I'm trying to get my money from Cap One over to my credit union. I find out that it will take about 4 business days to do so. Cap One suggests I simply get a certified check from them, made out directly to the seller. For $20 they'll overnight it to me. Sounded good so I arranged for it. Spouse didn't know about it, so when Cap One called our landline instead of calling me on my cell, he thought it was spam and said he would have to call me and I'd call them. They took this as some sort of sign to cancel the darned check. The proviso with said check was that as long as I did before 2 p.m. that day, I'd get it the next day. They'd send a tracking # and someone would have to be home to sign for it. I figured spouse would be at home working on the car.

I had to go through the online process of getting the check again, which means I won't get it till Thursday. Spouse is concerned he won't be there to receive it (iin case he can get a ride to the auto parts store) or something will go wrong w/the delivery.

So, Plan B: I applied for a car loan from my credit union, which is under consideration right now. I should get it today if it is approved. Seller is texting us asking when we can set up the title and transfer stuff. Spouse went to rent a car, & found out it was $100 a day all included, not the $45 he was quoted on the phone. He wants to try and rent it for one day only, so we can get to the credit union, pick up the check (assuming I'm approved for the loan), and get to AAA for the transfer.

OK, if you're still with me: Is there a way I could have handled this better? What do others do about paying for cars? What do one-car families do for back-up? I had my "new car fund" in Cap One b/c it paid more interested than my piddly local credit union. I keep about $5K in the credit union for emergencies. (Car is $7,500, plus tax and title etc.).

I have had the craziest couple of days. To add to all this, spouse is recovering from minor surgery and had to cancel his followup appointment (was on way there when accident happened).

Sigh...thanks for listening.





ketchup

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Quote
Is there a way I could have handled this better? What do others do about paying for cars? What do one-car families do for back-up?
I'd have transferred the money to your account when you began car shopping.  A key with buying a used car is being able to move quickly once you find a deal.  Personally, when car shopping last, I had $3000 cash sitting at home for when the opportunity arose.  When it did, I called the guy an hour after it was posted to Craigslist, left right away and brought enough cash with me to look at the car for the first time, and drove it home two hours later.

We are a one-car couple and have been for almost two years.  GF is either at home during the week or flying somewhere most days (self-employed), and I commute 9-5 M-F.  Once or twice a month, she'll need the car for a day and I'll usually take the bus to work ($2) and Uber home (~$18).  If she needs a car for longer, or we truly need two cars, we'll rent a car.  I'd do the same if our car broke down.  $100/day is insane, and $45/day is also very high (as low as $15/day in the dead of winter when nobody wants to rent a car).  There have to be other options nearby.  In these situations, we usually pay $20-40/day depending on demand.  I think the most she's paid for a car was $90/day, and that was at an airport.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 12:18:56 PM by ketchup »

eljefe-speaks

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Maybe transfer the funds out of Cap One as you are shopping as opposed to after you have found the car you want to buy? The bit about the VW crash was just bad luck. There is nothing you could have done there.

NoStacheOhio

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I would say telling your spouse about the Capital One check. Do you have Lyft/Uber in your area?

WootWoot

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I would say telling your spouse about the Capital One check. Do you have Lyft/Uber in your area?

I was about to text him about the Cap One check and they called him before I could even send the text. He had just received three spam phone calls in a row and got nervous and suspicious.

Yes, we do have Uber but I don't have a smartphone, so I've never used it.

WootWoot

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Quote
Is there a way I could have handled this better? What do others do about paying for cars? What do one-car families do for back-up?
I'd have transferred the money to your account when you began car shopping.  A key with buying a used car is being able to move quickly once you find a deal.  Personally, when car shopping last, I had $3000 cash sitting at home for when the opportunity arose.  When it did, I called the guy an hour after it was posted to Craigslist, left right away and brought enough cash with me to look at the car for the first time, and drove it home two hours later.

We are a one-car couple and have been for almost two years.  GF is either at home during the week or flying somewhere most days (self-employed), and I commute 9-5 M-F.  Once or twice a month, she'll need the car for a day and I'll usually take the bus to work ($2) and Uber home (~$18).  If she needs a car for longer, or we truly need two cars, we'll rent a car.  I'd do the same if our car broke down.  $100/day is insane, and $45/day is also very high (as low as $15/day in the dead of winter when nobody wants to rent a car).  There have to be other options nearby.  In these situations, we usually pay $20-40/day depending on demand.  I think the most she's paid for a car was $90/day, and that was at an airport.

We've only had one car for at least six years and it's worked out well so far. Spouse is at home most of the time and drives me the three miles to work. We did actually find another rental agency nearby, but they had nothing left in the lot.

Do you mind if I ask what firm you are renting from? Is it one of the Big Guys, like Hertz or Budget? Thanks!

Midwest

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I would say telling your spouse about the Capital One check. Do you have Lyft/Uber in your area?

I was about to text him about the Cap One check and they called him before I could even send the text. He had just received three spam phone calls in a row and got nervous and suspicious.

Yes, we do have Uber but I don't have a smartphone, so I've never used it.

Get the cash to your credit union or in actual cash.  When I sell, typically it's to the first person that shows up.

I bought a car a off craiglist a few years ago.  Took $7,000 in cash to his bank and closed the deal.  The small amount of interest you lose for taking the cash out for a few days/month will be outweighed by the amount of money you could save by being in the right place at the right time with cash.

ketchup

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Quote
Is there a way I could have handled this better? What do others do about paying for cars? What do one-car families do for back-up?
I'd have transferred the money to your account when you began car shopping.  A key with buying a used car is being able to move quickly once you find a deal.  Personally, when car shopping last, I had $3000 cash sitting at home for when the opportunity arose.  When it did, I called the guy an hour after it was posted to Craigslist, left right away and brought enough cash with me to look at the car for the first time, and drove it home two hours later.

We are a one-car couple and have been for almost two years.  GF is either at home during the week or flying somewhere most days (self-employed), and I commute 9-5 M-F.  Once or twice a month, she'll need the car for a day and I'll usually take the bus to work ($2) and Uber home (~$18).  If she needs a car for longer, or we truly need two cars, we'll rent a car.  I'd do the same if our car broke down.  $100/day is insane, and $45/day is also very high (as low as $15/day in the dead of winter when nobody wants to rent a car).  There have to be other options nearby.  In these situations, we usually pay $20-40/day depending on demand.  I think the most she's paid for a car was $90/day, and that was at an airport.

We've only had one car for at least six years and it's worked out well so far. Spouse is at home most of the time and drives me the three miles to work. We did actually find another rental agency nearby, but they had nothing left in the lot.

Do you mind if I ask what firm you are renting from? Is it one of the Big Guys, like Hertz or Budget? Thanks!
It varies based on who offers the best price, but it's typically Hertz, Avis, or Enterprise.  Always price compare and book online, but never pay in advance, even if they offer a discount for doing so.

WootWoot

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Thanks, ketchup! We didn't book online--spouse just went there in person.

UPDATE: Spouse's friend will lend us a vehicle tomorrow. Spouse will be home when certified check arrives (fingers crossed).

As for the loan, they neglected to tell me in advance that 1) they wanted a copy of the title in color, front and back, as well as a letter of intent to sell from the dude with the car; and 2) once they have this stuff, it'll be at least 48 hours before I can pick up my check.

I blew up on the phone at the credit union. I'm annoyed with them as it is (junk mail, both digital and hard copy, comes from them constantly) and am scouting around for alternatives. I have been a member for over 30 years. It used to be a federal CU, from when I worked for the gov. Then it changed hands once, then again, and everyone I know is unhappy with them.

As my mother would say, "Next time you'll know better."

ketchup

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Thanks, ketchup! We didn't book online--spouse just went there in person.
From what I've heard, that's a great way to get fucked by them.  I called Hertz over the phone once and got an absolutely ridiculous rate quote (something like $450 for 5 days).  Online or nothing.

englishteacheralex

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I've done exactly this! We have a capital one account and a credit union, same exact situation. I wound up applying for a quick loan from the credit union so I could buy a car while waiting for the transfer to go through. It all worked out but next time I will definitely transfer the money at the beginning of the shopping process and just take out a big chunk of cash.

As for the bad luck with the accident, yeah, I'd do exactly what you did and see if I had any friends who could help me out with a ride. Or Uber or a cab or something. $100 for a day's car rental is dumb.

englishteacheralex

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Oh! I didn't get a car loan with the credit union, just a signature line of credit. I think I have up to $10k for that or something. And it's now opened for the next 5 years, so I actually might just do that for the next time we buy a car--use the signature line of credit and then pay it back with a transfer from the capital one account.

WootWoot

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Oh! I didn't get a car loan with the credit union, just a signature line of credit. I think I have up to $10k for that or something. And it's now opened for the next 5 years, so I actually might just do that for the next time we buy a car--use the signature line of credit and then pay it back with a transfer from the capital one account.

For my very first car, way back when, I took out a personal loan, not a car loan.

Another update: Something did indeed go very wrong with the delivery. We got an email from UPS this morning stating that the check would be delayed another day. I was furious. So we had to do a wire transfer to my local checking account, run to the bank and pick up the check--just before the bank closed for the day.

Never again. In fact, I'm now questioning the intelligence of having an online bank...and thinking of switching credit unions...