Author Topic: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!  (Read 6052 times)

Leoni

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Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« on: August 29, 2016, 09:07:50 PM »
Hi,

I am Leoni. My husband (FliXFantatier on MMM) and I recently moved to Los Angeles. He has been a mustachian for a while now and convinced me about the goals that mustachians try to achieve. So I am now registered too and I am starting to get my head around all those things in regards to how to achieve financial independence.

We are now looking into buying a car and have a lot of questions.

Dealer vs. private seller? - We thought about getting a car at a dealer because of warranty and service. And we both are not really car experts so that we couldn't really judge the condition of a car from a private seller - good idea or not necessary?

New Car vs. used? - I guess it makes sense to buy a used, not to old car in a good condition with warranty from the dealer (we saw offers that cover the next 100,000miles)

Cash vs. financing vs. leasing? - We just moved to the US at the start of August and we don't have any credit history yet. I read that financing is only good if the rates are good. We were surprised to find that we would not get a price reduction if we paid 100% cash in hand. What makes more sense?

Insurance? - Any insurance recommendations? Friends of ours got their insurance at allstate and recommended it.

What am I looking for you might ask. I am looking for a small car - not a ClownCar!!! - So far I had a look at a Honda Civic, a Ford Fiesta or Focus - something not toooo big. The car should have low maintenance cost and a good/low fuel usage. It it primarily for bigger grocery shopping trips and getting around in the city- most trips we will try to do with our bikes. We found a flat close to my husbands work, but as I am still waiting for my working permit and don't know where I am going to work but I will try to find work in a 7 miles radius too. So it we definitely don't need a car for traveling to work.

What else do we need to keep in mind? We haven't had a car in Munich, Germany, where we lived before, so we are not only new as car owners in the US as new as car owners in general.

Thanks for your input and advice!!!

I am looking forward to joining into the community in the future.

Zamboni

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 09:15:19 PM »
Cash . . . used . . . . something known to be reliable.

Your local library probably has consumer reports if you want to look at their annual listing of reliable used cars. There are some 10+ year old cars that are still quite reliable and those or more likely to be found for a reasonable deal from a private seller.

Sounds like you are on the right track.

meerkat

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 06:20:24 AM »
Something to factor into your decision - how long do you expect to have your car? Does the car you're looking at fit with what your needs will be x years from now? I say that as someone who is getting ready to trade in a two door Civic for something that can handle two car seats. I think when I was figuring out which cars to look at, I read the MMM car post(s) and the Consumer Reports information on recommended vehicles.

If you can pay cash, pay cash.

Regarding used - with our last car purchase we knew we wanted a used car and we ended up with an almost new car. It had been produced, sold, repo'd, then sold to us as a used car all within the same year. It definitely made me reconsider my previous biases about used cars. We also found that a couple of used car lots in town that do no-haggle pricing and were very obviously trying to not pressure people, I really enjoyed that so I'm planning on visiting them first when we replace my vehicle.

lthenderson

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 08:09:14 AM »
Dearer vs. Private Seller: Doesn't matter when dealing with used cars. You can get lemons either place and you can get good cars at either place. If you don't trust yourself to make a good decision, brings along someone who does to look things over. I generally go by the rules, if it sounds good, if it drive good and there is no leaking fluids in the engine bay which looks clean, you are probably getting a good car. I also look at gap lines in the body panels to make sure they look even (if not it might have been wrecked) and also check for other colors of paint, also a sign that it might have been wrecked.

New car vs. Used: If you drive a car until it is on its last legs, I prefer new. If you like to trade to get new features, buying used is the way to go.

Cash vs. financing vs. leasing: Absolutely pay with cash. If you can't, you don't need a new car.

Insurance - Depends so much on state and type of car you end up purchasing. Shop around is your best advice.

Cwadda

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 08:20:14 AM »
Buy used, there's no need for a brand new car. I prefer buying from a private seller as well. Ask for service records and you'll know how well the previous owner took care of the car.

Has the car ever been in any accidents?
Was there any body work done (look for inconsistencies in panels)?
How often were oil changes performed?

These are some of the questions you can ask.

Some small cars to look into:
Honda Civic
Mazda3
Will update when I think of more.

Fodder

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 08:36:43 AM »
When we were car shopping, I developed a spreadsheet to try to figure out true comparable costs of buying + owning a car.  In the vehicle category we were looking at (the very non-mustachian CUV), I was very surprised to discover that the vehicles were not depreciating quickly enough to have a used vehicle make financial sense, given the amount that we drive and the length of time we plan to own the car.

We live in a rural location and put about 30 000km on our vehicle in a year (I know, it's too much).  We expect any vehicle to last us until at least 300 000km (so 10 years old).  So with my calculation, I divided the cost of the vehicle over the number of years we could expect to own it (i.e., if a vehicle had 90 000km on it, we could expect to reliably own it for 7 years) and when I compared that to the cost of new vehicles, with the cash discount I was able to negotiate, the used cars ended up costing at least the same amount per year of ownership, with the added irritation that I would have to buy another car more often.  This may not be true for all categories, but it's what I was finding for the highly-rated, 'fuel-efficient' and reliable CUVs I was considering.  I also had an additional section in my spreadsheet for estimated gas costs, to make sure I wasn't looking at false economies of a much cheaper vehicle that ended up being a gas guzzler.  If you drive very little, then this type of calculation doesn't make a lot of sense because your operating costs will be much lower and your car will last a lot longer than 10 years (and frankly, I'm hoping mine also will!).

Here's the basics of what I did - you can obviously sub miles but you'd have to calculate your fuel costs differently.

((expected total life km of the car) - (current km on car))/km driven per year = predicted number of years you own vehicle
total purchase price of car/predicted number of years you own vehicle = cost of vehicle purchase per year
((km driven per year)/100) x (predicted combined L/100 km) x estimated cost per L of fuel = estimated annual fuel cost

Sample calculation with dummy numbers on a vehicle costing $16 000 with 60 000km on it, and a combined fuel efficiency of 10L/100km.

(300 000 km - 60 000 km)/30 000km = 8 years
$16 000/8 years = $2 000
(30 000 km/100) x 10L x $1.00 = $ 3 000
Predicted annual cost of owning vehicle (not including insurance and maintenance) - $5 000

So your cost per year of owning the vehicle is the amortized cost of the purchase per year plus the estimated fuel cost per year.  Obviously this doesn't take into account every variable, like insurance (we found insurance prices were pretty comparable on all vehicles in this category, and the age of the vehicle did not make a significant different), and recognizing the fallibility of predicting gas prices over the next decade (with mileage like ours, fuel efficiency became a very clear priority).

I found this was helpful in comparing used (and new) vehicles with various mileages, fuel economies, etc.

I know mine is not a mustachian vehicle purchase and that I should live near my work and cycle all the time, but just wanted to bring up a way to compare costs of vehicles in a way that reflects known habits and costs.  As fantastic as our 2005 Matrix has been, we were getting to the point where it just wasn't fitting our needs as well as it used to (basically the kids got bigger and we could no longer stash things in and around their feet, so any sort of excursion became miserable for all involved as the car was packed to the gills).  :p

I'm sure someone will point out some massively erroneous assumption I've made, but I was honestly shocked at how little the vehicles were depreciating and how the lost mileage/warranty/future life of the car was really not reflected in the purchase prices of the used vehicles I was considering in this category.

@meerkat - A hatchback is fabulously awesome with two carseats.  Our Matrix served our needs excellently for the first 8 years of parenthood.  We've upgraded to a Mazda CX-5 to hopefully get us through the next 10+ years.  :)

Spork

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 09:02:24 AM »
My suggestions:

* almost always used is going to be the better buy.  If you can afford to buy a new car with cash, wreck it on the way home, shrug, go back and buy the same car for cash -- maybe new is okay for you.
* I've bought both from private party and from dealers.  Both are okay.  In both cases you have to know what you're willing to pay for the car before you arrive and be willing to politely refuse and walk away if that number isn't reachable.
* if you buy from a dealer, go the last day of the month.  It matters to their numbers.  They will often sell a car at a slight loss to get their numbers for the month.  Both the dealers and the salesmen get kickbacks based on the total number they sell a month.  (Yes, this applies to used cars as well.)
* buy a month long subscription to autocheck to run VINs.  It's like Carfax, but you can do an unlimited number of queries for 30 days for a flat fee.

RWD

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2016, 09:31:50 AM »
You should always have a car independently inspected before you buy it, regardless of whether you buy from private party or dealer, new or used.

Used car buying checklist:
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/used-car-buyers-checklist-the-podcast-1751452590

RWD

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 08:48:34 PM »
One thing we were considering in regards to maybe financing a used car.
We could very efficiently use that to build up a decent credit history as we are starting from scratch on that front.
Is that a reasonable assumption and might that be worth the higher overall cost?

Building credit is never a good reason to pay loan interest. There are plenty of free ways to build credit. That said, if you can get a good enough interest rate then it can make sense to finance anyway. But don't use financing just to build credit or to buy a more expensive car than you would otherwise.

galliver

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 04:38:16 AM »
I can't comment on most of this, but if you decide to buy from a dealer, work with the internet sales department. They were more reasonable and assumed we knew how to Google and use kbb. The one time we talked to a salesman face to face, we got "I don't know where you saw that price, no one can sell this car for that price." And they were able to use high pressure sales tactics. Online, we submitted quote requests at several dealerships, got quotes back, discarded all but the lowest 2-3, which we played against each other a bit before settling on one. Picked it up the next weekend, no hard sells on any extras, very pleasant experience.

BTW, it made sense to me to cast my quote net wide once we figured out what we wanted. If you have to rent a car or take $100 of Uber or spend 3 hrs to get to the dealership...it's a one time thing, and if that saves you $1k-$2k on the car, you come out ahead! But you can still do test drives nearby.

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NoStacheOhio

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 10:14:08 AM »
Fair enough.
But yea if we were to get good interest rates it might be worth it irrespective. Not that I hold up any hope for that with no credit history in the us.
Also rest assured we will not end up buying a larger car than we need only because we can. I will keep an eye on that. ;p

Sounds like good idea galliver.

It seems like banks have been pretty aggressive on auto loans lately, so with a good job, you may be able to get a rate under 3% even with no history.

Zamboni

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 05:43:52 PM »
Whatever you decide to do, please don't go car shopping at Crazy Johnny's!:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U2eDJnwz_s

SeaEhm

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 08:24:18 PM »
If I was to purchase a used car for a family, I would buy a Honda Fit. What year?  Depends on what your budget is.

Honda hatchbacks seem to be magic cars in terms of spaciousness and what you can fit inside of them.

southern granny

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 08:33:43 PM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

Leoni

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2016, 09:38:00 AM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

We had a look at "certified pre-owned" cars at the dealers. The cars are up to 5 years old and the dealer renews the original warranty by certifying them...so you would have a guarantee on the transition and the engine for the next 60k-100k miles and they have the guarantee like a new car on all the other stuff...I think that is a good thing!?

saijoe

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2016, 10:27:18 AM »
Buy used.  Two schools of thought.  If you're FIRE or closed to it, I like the idea of a 2-3 year old low mileage car.  If you're in a lot of debt, get a 10 year old Honda or Toyota. 

And stay away from badgering car salesman (video). 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Xf5tC8VUY

RWD

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2016, 10:37:36 AM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

We had a look at "certified pre-owned" cars at the dealers. The cars are up to 5 years old and the dealer renews the original warranty by certifying them...so you would have a guarantee on the transition and the engine for the next 60k-100k miles and they have the guarantee like a new car on all the other stuff...I think that is a good thing!?

Keep in mind that "certified" doesn't necessarily mean anything. Look at the actual terms of the warranty for any car you are considering buying and you should still have it inspected by a third party mechanic.
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/cpo-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-the-podcast-1785615002

meerkat

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2016, 01:48:52 PM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

We had a look at "certified pre-owned" cars at the dealers. The cars are up to 5 years old and the dealer renews the original warranty by certifying them...so you would have a guarantee on the transition and the engine for the next 60k-100k miles and they have the guarantee like a new car on all the other stuff...I think that is a good thing!?

Keep in mind that "certified" doesn't necessarily mean anything. Look at the actual terms of the warranty for any car you are considering buying and you should still have it inspected by a third party mechanic.
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/cpo-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-the-podcast-1785615002

How long should it take to get something inspected by a third party mechanic? Should I expect to be able to sit around for an hour while they look at it, or is it a situation where I should expect to leave it for a day? This is assuming I have made an appointment in advance so I'm not just showing up and expecting to be shoe horned into their work day.

RWD

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2016, 02:09:12 PM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

We had a look at "certified pre-owned" cars at the dealers. The cars are up to 5 years old and the dealer renews the original warranty by certifying them...so you would have a guarantee on the transition and the engine for the next 60k-100k miles and they have the guarantee like a new car on all the other stuff...I think that is a good thing!?

Keep in mind that "certified" doesn't necessarily mean anything. Look at the actual terms of the warranty for any car you are considering buying and you should still have it inspected by a third party mechanic.
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/cpo-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-the-podcast-1785615002

How long should it take to get something inspected by a third party mechanic? Should I expect to be able to sit around for an hour while they look at it, or is it a situation where I should expect to leave it for a day? This is assuming I have made an appointment in advance so I'm not just showing up and expecting to be shoe horned into their work day.

Probably depends on how in-depth the inspection is, but I'd expect an hour or two.

galliver

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2016, 04:02:19 PM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

We had a look at "certified pre-owned" cars at the dealers. The cars are up to 5 years old and the dealer renews the original warranty by certifying them...so you would have a guarantee on the transition and the engine for the next 60k-100k miles and they have the guarantee like a new car on all the other stuff...I think that is a good thing!?

Keep in mind that "certified" doesn't necessarily mean anything. Look at the actual terms of the warranty for any car you are considering buying and you should still have it inspected by a third party mechanic.
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/cpo-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-the-podcast-1785615002

How long should it take to get something inspected by a third party mechanic? Should I expect to be able to sit around for an hour while they look at it, or is it a situation where I should expect to leave it for a day? This is assuming I have made an appointment in advance so I'm not just showing up and expecting to be shoe horned into their work day.

Probably depends on how in-depth the inspection is, but I'd expect an hour or two.

How do you set one up, pre-purchase, with the dealer? What do you leave to guarantee you'll bring the car back? Or does a salesperson go with you, like on a test-drive?

southern granny

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2016, 06:38:05 PM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

We had a look at "certified pre-owned" cars at the dealers. The cars are up to 5 years old and the dealer renews the original warranty by certifying them...so you would have a guarantee on the transition and the engine for the next 60k-100k miles and they have the guarantee like a new car on all the other stuff...I think that is a good thing!?

Keep in mind that "certified" doesn't necessarily mean anything. Look at the actual terms of the warranty for any car you are considering buying and you should still have it inspected by a third party mechanic.
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/cpo-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-the-podcast-1785615002

How long should it take to get something inspected by a third party mechanic? Should I expect to be able to sit around for an hour while they look at it, or is it a situation where I should expect to leave it for a day? This is assuming I have made an appointment in advance so I'm not just showing up and expecting to be shoe horned into their work day.

Probably depends on how in-depth the inspection is, but I'd expect an hour or two.

How do you set one up, pre-purchase, with the dealer? What do you leave to guarantee you'll bring the car back? Or does a salesperson go with you, like on a test-drive?
I wouldn't trust the place I was buying from to do the inspection.  Take it to a mechanic you trust.  The only thing I remember ever having to leave with the dealership was a copy of a driver's license. 

RWD

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2016, 06:58:52 PM »
we like to buy a vehicle that is less than 3 years old with at least a little warranty left so that I know it wasn't traded in because it had problems.  Even then, I like to call the previous owner (at least in our state they are required to give you that information) and ask them about the car.  If we do buy a vehicle without any warranty, we will have it checked out by a mechanic before we buy.   We have allstate insurance and have been very satisfied with them.  Every couple of years I call around and check prices and no one (reputable company) has ever given me a better deal.  we make sure to change the oil and rotate the tires when recommended.

We had a look at "certified pre-owned" cars at the dealers. The cars are up to 5 years old and the dealer renews the original warranty by certifying them...so you would have a guarantee on the transition and the engine for the next 60k-100k miles and they have the guarantee like a new car on all the other stuff...I think that is a good thing!?

Keep in mind that "certified" doesn't necessarily mean anything. Look at the actual terms of the warranty for any car you are considering buying and you should still have it inspected by a third party mechanic.
http://oppositelock.kinja.com/cpo-doesnt-mean-what-you-think-the-podcast-1785615002

How long should it take to get something inspected by a third party mechanic? Should I expect to be able to sit around for an hour while they look at it, or is it a situation where I should expect to leave it for a day? This is assuming I have made an appointment in advance so I'm not just showing up and expecting to be shoe horned into their work day.

Probably depends on how in-depth the inspection is, but I'd expect an hour or two.

How do you set one up, pre-purchase, with the dealer? What do you leave to guarantee you'll bring the car back? Or does a salesperson go with you, like on a test-drive?
I wouldn't trust the place I was buying from to do the inspection.  Take it to a mechanic you trust.  The only thing I remember ever having to leave with the dealership was a copy of a driver's license.

You may also be able to just ask the seller to take the vehicle to a shop of your choosing then you can get the report directly from the shop afterwards.

Sylly

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2016, 12:32:21 AM »
We recently financed a CPO at 1.69% from the dealer. They beat our CU's rate.

Did our research using various websites (kbb, Edmunds) -- to compare various specs, ratings, reviews, and estimate cost of ownership. Decided on a CPO since we tend to just keep our cars for as long as possible, and having to replace older cars more frequently doesn't really appeal to us. As it's a Hyundai, we ended up with a pretty decent warranty that's even longer than some new cars. Note though -- that (at least for them, I don't know for other makers) the CPO warranty isn't a reset of their 10yr/100k miles, but the remainder of it.

And it does seem like the internet sales department was one with the good starting price, with a little wiggle room -- whereas as walk-ins the sales manager tried to start with a 1-1.5k above the internet list price.

And this may vary with dealers, but do ask about the total price and be persistent. One dealer kept trying to present us with the monthly payment numbers when all we wanted to see was what's the final sale price, and what else they're trying to throw in there (i.e., they kept trying to sell add-ons when we wanted none of it).

Leoni

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2016, 03:19:56 PM »
Hey,

We bought a used former rental car (Hyundai Elantra) on the weekend :)

I hope it will last long and will serve us well!

Thank you all for your help!


englishteacheralex

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2016, 07:28:18 PM »
One thing we are unsure about is the liability insurance sum
We currently have:
Per Person per Accident: 500k
For underinsured other parties: 500k

I cannot really judge if that is too much, or too little or what we should choose‽

Our policy with cars and insurance:

Toyota, 10+ years old, 100k miles or less, used, cash, less than $3,500, private sale (most dealerships don't bother with cars under $5000). Buy either from someone you know or from someone who kept all the records and has them in a neat folder to present to you when you show up to their door. Walk away from any seller who can't do this for you.

We've been doing it this way for 15 years. Had three cars in that time, two of which are still going strong. Put about $3000 of repairs into them, total. Our net worth is over 500k at the age of 35/36. One reason why is that we consider cars depreciating assets and value them accordingly.

As for insurance: don't get collision (you can afford to replace the car if it is damaged). Get the absolute max you can for liability. You insure for the things that will bankrupt you. $500k is fine, in my opinion.

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Re: Buying a car - soooo many questions!!!
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2016, 07:57:40 PM »
One thing we are unsure about is the liability insurance sum
We currently have:
Per Person per Accident: 500k
For underinsured other parties: 500k

I cannot really judge if that is too much, or too little or what we should choose‽

It may be oversimplification, but: What is your net worth? 

Insurance becomes really cheap (per dollar) as you go up.  Don't skimp.  If you've got a reasonably high net worth, just go ahead and pay for it.  It doesn't just get you liability insurance, it gets you a different tier of lawyer.  If you happen to be sued for an ungodly amount of money -- AND YOU ARE INSURED FOR IT -- they will bring their damn A-game.