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Forum > Miscellaneous > Car buying ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Car buying
So confused
HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Member since 1/13/10
Posts: 782
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Date: 5/10/13 2:46 PM

I need to update my car in some way. But: new or used? If used, dealer or private party? If private party, how do you protect yourself? I am leery about handing over thousands of dollars to someone who puts an ad on Craigslist.

And then, what to get ...

I have one particular new model scoped out, and it is my fallback if I can't figure out anything else before my current car falls apart. I just have so little time to schlep around and look at used cars, but if I can get something usable for thousands of dollars less it might be worth it. I don't know.

I don't drive a lot at the moment, but I might need to be driving more in the near future, and I want something safe and reliable.

Any advice/experience? TIA

P.S. My current car is 18 years old, and I bought it new!
-- Edited on 5/10/13 2:47 PM --

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3151
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Date: 5/10/13 2:51 PM

Here's what we are doing ...

Drive Free; Retire Rich

You'll have to scroll down to see the 5 minute video. Don't worry - it's nothing to purchase! It just shows you what getting in debt for a new car does to you and how you can drive a nice car without debt.

I drive a BMW and DH drives a Land Cruiser. Both are in good shape, fully loaded, nice leather, etc. (eta: and paid for) We're on our second iteration of Drive Free Cars and have banked our car payment (we can only afford one "car payment" right now) for 18 months. It's grown to nearly $11,000 so far.

At this rate, I'll be able to afford a sewing machine soon. :D :D
-- Edited on 5/10/13 2:53 PM --

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Mary


allycovey
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allycovey  Friend of PR
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Arkansas USA
Member since 11/16/07
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Date: 5/10/13 2:56 PM

I just bought a Honda Accord. I got a new one because of the financing. .9% I couldn't beat that on anything. Also, the used one I looked at was priced at just $1500 less than the new one, so I didn't see any reason in goign that way. I feel like Honda's are very reliable. 13 years ago I owned a RV sales lot and also used to deal in used cars. I remember trying to buy Honda's at the car auction and you couldn't touch them they were selling for so much. If a dealer was lucky enough to get a Honda you wouldn't have it on your lot for very long. I saw Honda's with 250,000 miles on them still going strong. I helped DD buy a 30 year old Honda (after she wrecked the new oldsmobile I had signed for her to buy) Anyway, that car ran her all over ARkansas for two years. She even started dating a boy who lived accross the state and she took that car to his house everyother weekend for a year and a half. When she finally got her credit up enough to sign for her own car she couldn't afford a Honda but that will be her next car when this one is paid off.
I beleive toyota camry's are just as good, but toyota has been in the news a lot for defects that caused wrecks.

Anyway, My two cents worth I hope it helps.

marymary86
marymary86
Intermediate
Georgia USA
Member since 7/20/08
Posts: 3151
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Date: 5/10/13 3:04 PM

I realize I didn't really answer your questions.

Do you have a trusted mechanic? I rely on mine asking him at each inspection if my car is still reliable and worth hanging on to. When he tells me it's time to start looking, I'll start with him. What should I look for, etc.

Have you considered certified pre-owned cars? That has worked out well for us.

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Mary


kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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Utah USA
Member since 12/7/05
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Date: 5/10/13 3:25 PM

ally makes a good point, the price of used cars these days isn't that much less than new.

We bought a new mazda a few year ago through Costco, very good experience. Costco pre-negotiates with dealers, and the price is just a bit above invoice. made me feel pretty confident, and costco followed up later to make sure we were happy...

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Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
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Posts: 782
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Date: 5/10/13 3:35 PM

Thanks for the comments.

marymary, I have seen that video. We already do that -- i.e., save the money up for this sort of thing. So I am going to be paying cash for this car either way (new or used). The question is the best way to spend it.

My first choice for a new one is a Honda Fit, and I have NOT seen used ones significantly less expensive than new (except on Craigslist, and I am leery of going that route). They are already the least expensive car Honda makes so not a whole lot of markup on them in the first place.

I do have a good mechanic, and he thought my current car was nearing the end of when it's practical to fix it. It has been a good car and very reliable (a Ford Escort), and I had him fix some things last year (~$1,000) to keep it going with the plan to get a new car before anything else expensive went wrong with it. I don't think it will get through the summer without something going wrong, judging from the way it's running, and I don't want to find myself broken down on the side of the road in 100 degree temps.

ShantiSeamstressing
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ShantiSeamstressing
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Member since 6/11/10
Posts: 1633
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Date: 5/10/13 3:42 PM

About how to protect yourself if you buy used..... (our two vehicles are used) ~ take the vehicle to a mechanic you trust, absolutely a must. We have always done this and it's worked every time.

clothingengineer
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clothingengineer  Friend of PR
Connecticut USA
Member since 5/7/10
Posts: 511
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Date: 5/10/13 4:02 PM

Unless you personally know someone that has a car for sale and trust them, go new.

The general rule used to be that buying used was the fiscally smart way to go. HOWEVER, after Cash for Clunkers and the downturn of the economy causing people to keep cars for much longer there's just not as many used cars to go around and the prices are very inflated. With the internet they also think they should be able to get the KBB dealer retail-excellent condition price for their car when really they should be selling it for the private party average to very good condition price.

Another big issue with the used car market is that many cars that were flooded in hurricanes should have been junked, but instead unscrupulous people clean them up and like to take them out of state and resell them to unsuspecting buyers for what seems like a great deal. They may look fine but actually have massive water damage to the electronics and engine.
-- Edited on 5/10/13 4:03 PM --

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-- Anne
clothingengineer.com

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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Member since 12/15/02
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In reply to HarrietHomeowner <<


Date: 5/10/13 4:07 PM

I brought a Sonata in 2008( knock on wood very strongly). It's never seen the inside of a repair shop. Just routine oil changes etc. It's been the most reliable new car I've ever had.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

talesofawannabe
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talesofawannabe
Advanced Beginner
Virginia USA
Member since 6/25/10
Posts: 298
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Date: 5/10/13 4:08 PM

My advice would be to arm yourself with all the knowledge you can find before going into the dealership. Back in the summer my BF and I went looking for cars and I was blown away by how little knowledge the salespeople had and their ability to just tell outright lies.

At the VW dealership I think we got a salesman on his first day on the job. He had no clue whatsoever about the details of the car unless it was listed on the window sticker. When asked about financing he got out his cell phone to use the calculator, typed in a few numbers, closed his phone, and said I don't know. SMH

Then we went to the Kia dealership. ( He was still looking at various cars deciding what the liked best.) The car was priced above what the Kelly Blue Book said the fair value for that car was. ( My BF is very well researched before he does anything.) The saleslady claimed she didn't know what Kelly Blue Book was!!! Yeah, right.

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http://talesofawannabeseamstress.blogspot.com/

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