Author Topic: Need to buy a car in the next week.#20, #25, #39, #41, #46, FINAL #59. New? #63  (Read 4463 times)

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jpcher

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Thank you all for your sound advice. I really appreciate your help.

Checking any car out with my mechanic is very important. WillyNilly I didn't think about calling a mechanic local to where the car is. Great idea! I was trying to figure out how to "test drive" a car in order to go to my mechanic who might be 30 minutes away

Slartibartfast -- another great idea! . . . arranging for the seller to meet me at my mechanic's shop. I'm betting this would automatically negate sellers that are trying to sell me a lemon.

JoW -- excellent point about the floods and damaged cars. Something to be wary of.


I did think of going to my mechanic, just to share my tale of woe, since he's been working on that car for the past 2-3 years. I also thought of asking him for suggestions, since he'll be the one working on the car. ("What's your favorite type of car to work on? ;D")


Lots of car dealerships now have the carfaxes online. I browsed them when used car hunting. There was one used car I liked very much but the carfax showed 6 owners in the previous 4 years and I decided that was a warning sign.

Sounds like a warning sign to me, too! Thanks for this tip. I will definitely use it.

CuriousParty -- Enterprise mentioned this to me this morning when I went to get a rental. I do like the idea of having all the service records available, but I'm betting it's more on the high end of what I'm wanting to spend.

I'd really like to spend only what the insurance company gives me. But I'm betting I'll have to put in at least another $2k for something decent and reliable. :-\


As for renting a car, many companies in the US won't rent to anyone under 24 or thereabouts, so you might end up driving the rental, and letting them drive yours, until you find something.

Yup. That's what we found out this morning. I'm not crazy about driving the rental full time, but they did upgrade the car from Economy Class to a Nissan Altima . . . pretty nice car! Enterprise also added DD#1 as a driver and waived the $12.50/day fee for an under 25 driver. DD#2 is not allowed to drive the car at all.


I was told that I'll be hearing from a claims adjuster by next Thursday. It would be great if they could fix the car, but considering the hood was bent, steam coming from the engine (radiator?), the entire front end (bumper/headlights/grill) was smashed/torn away and the passenger side door not able to open, I'm betting it's totaled.



Thanks, again for all of your help.

I'll keep you posted.





(eta) P.S. JenJay awesome thought about e-mail dealing! And I do belong to a credit union, I'll check with them.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 01:17:58 PM by jpcher »

siamesecat2965

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Thank you all for your sound advice. I really appreciate your help.

Checking any car out with my mechanic is very important. WillyNilly I didn't think about calling a mechanic local to where the car is. Great idea! I was trying to figure out how to "test drive" a car in order to go to my mechanic who might be 30 minutes away

Slartibartfast -- another great idea! . . . arranging for the seller to meet me at my mechanic's shop. I'm betting this would automatically negate sellers that are trying to sell me a lemon.

JoW -- excellent point about the floods and damaged cars. Something to be wary of.


I did think of going to my mechanic, just to share my tale of woe, since he's been working on that car for the past 2-3 years. I also thought of asking him for suggestions, since he'll be the one working on the car. ("What's your favorite type of car to work on? ;D")


Lots of car dealerships now have the carfaxes online. I browsed them when used car hunting. There was one used car I liked very much but the carfax showed 6 owners in the previous 4 years and I decided that was a warning sign.

Sounds like a warning sign to me, too! Thanks for this tip. I will definitely use it.

CuriousParty -- Enterprise mentioned this to me this morning when I went to get a rental. I do like the idea of having all the service records available, but I'm betting it's more on the high end of what I'm wanting to spend.

I'd really like to spend only what the insurance company gives me. But I'm betting I'll have to put in at least another $2k for something decent and reliable. :-\


As for renting a car, many companies in the US won't rent to anyone under 24 or thereabouts, so you might end up driving the rental, and letting them drive yours, until you find something.

Yup. That's what we found out this morning. I'm not crazy about driving the rental full time, but they did upgrade the car from Economy Class to a Nissan Altima . . . pretty nice car! Enterprise also added DD#1 as a driver and waived the $12.50/day fee for an under 25 driver. DD#2 is not allowed to drive the car at all.


I was told that I'll be hearing from a claims adjuster by next Thursday. It would be great if they could fix the car, but considering the hood was bent, steam coming from the engine (radiator?), the entire front end (bumper/headlights/grill) was smashed/torn away and the passenger side door not able to open, I'm betting it's totaled.



Thanks, again for all of your help.

I'll keep you posted.





(eta) P.S. JenJay awesome thought about e-mail dealing! And I do belong to a credit union, I'll check with them.

I had an Altima last month when I rented for a trip, VERY nice car. and recently, when I replaced my old one, I went with a Camry, since my mechanic loves Toyotas. I'd def. check with yours to see what makes he recommends; I know mine gave me good advice as to what to look at, and also what to avoid! that would be the best bet. And sadly, it does sound like your car is toast.


carol1412

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If you have a mechanic you like and trust, see if he/she can recommend a mechanic in the area the car is being sold in. May also ask your mechanic if they know of anyone selling a car. Mine not only had suggestions about cars he knew (had worked on) he also went to the local car auction once a month or so. I told him what I was looking for - he was able to look at the cars for sale with an eye to what condition they were in and how much work they might need up front.

sevenday

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Don't do what a friend did.  She thought she was being smart by checking the car out at local mechanics (local to the car place).  But what she did was she called the car place and asked what mechanics were local to them.  The dealership named a place that they got "great deals" with - and the mechanic did not tell her about some significant work that needed doing, probably in the hopes of having the work done at that car shop or something.   Google/the phone book is your friend here.  Also, asking your regular mechanic is a good idea too.  The one that I use doesn't do certain work, but they knew who else in the area did work that they ("my" mechanic) approved of.  I went to the second shop, got a reasonable price, and the work passed inspection next time it was in the regular shop for an oil change.  Sometimes mechanics move around, and yours may be able to warn you off of some places. "We had a guy named Bob here last year, but he was terrible. I hear he's working at Y mechanic on Z Street now, you'll want to check."

jedikaiti

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Yea, I am not sure I'd go with the closest or most convenient to the dealership for exactly that reason. Just go on Google, check reviews on Yelp, and find someone who's honest.
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jpcher

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Minor Update:

I had an Altima last month when I rented for a trip, VERY nice car. and recently, when I replaced my old one, I went with a Camry, since my mechanic loves Toyotas. I'd def. check with yours to see what makes he recommends; I know mine gave me good advice as to what to look at, and also what to avoid! that would be the best bet. And sadly, it does sound like your car is toast.

LOL! I asked my mechanic what type of car is his favorite to work on, since he'll be the one doing all the work on the new car.

He laughed and said, "To be honest? I really love working on Chryslers. Because they bring in a whooole lot of money for me!"


I really feel so much better after talking to my mechanic . . . I feel like there's someone that I trust who will hold my hand during this process. We talked for close to 45 minutes.

*He told me that he would be more than happy to check out any car I'm interested in -- no charge.

*His car brand of choice is Honda -- as luck would have it one of DD#1's friends BF's cousin is selling a Honda (don't know model or other details at this point.)

*His dealership of choice is Carmax -- He had a customer come in the day after she bought a car from Carmax (signed/sealed/delivered) to have mechanic look it over. Mechanic found a problem (weak water pump) called Carmax and they fixed the problem with no charge. Mechanic also sends all of his family members to Carmax.

*He recommended a body repair shop, in case the car isn't totaled.

I asked him if the car wasn't totaled and work was done someplace else, would he do an inspection for me?

*He said "Most definitely, please bring it in here after the work is done. I'll be happy to look it over for you. If there is anything amiss, I'll call the shop where the work was done and get it taken care of for you."

*He did whimper a bit about the DDs car. "Oh, No. That car was in excellent shape!"


So, that's my update for now. Still haven't heard back from the insurance company, but I'll start looking at Hondas.




eta: forgot to add -- If the car is totaled, insurance will only pay for the rental for only 1-2 days after settlement is made. I really do not like the hurry-up and rush factor.



edited to fix quotes.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 02:14:33 PM by jpcher »

White Dragon

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It sounds as though you have relatively good news so far.
That you have a mechanic willing to be so helpful is a huge help!

The used car we bought last weekend was a Honda Sonata.
We were pleased by it's reliability rating and safety record.
The only flaw - if you can call it that - is that it doesn't have a ton of "jump". Acceleration is very smooth and comfortable, which makes for a good driving experience, but if you need to speed up suddenly (ie: changing lanes in heavy traffic), you'd need a bit more time to get up to speed. It's just a question of adapting driving style to the performance of the car.

The top of our list for good quality in used cars were:
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Camry
Honda Civic
Hyundia Sonata

Hope the process continues to go well!

jpcher

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It sounds as though you have relatively good news so far.
That you have a mechanic willing to be so helpful is a huge help!

The used car we bought last weekend was a Honda Sonata.
We were pleased by it's reliability rating and safety record.
The only flaw - if you can call it that - is that it doesn't have a ton of "jump". Acceleration is very smooth and comfortable, which makes for a good driving experience, but if you need to speed up suddenly (ie: changing lanes in heavy traffic), you'd need a bit more time to get up to speed. It's just a question of adapting driving style to the performance of the car.

The top of our list for good quality in used cars were:
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Camry
Honda Civic
Hyundia Sonata

Hope the process continues to go well!

Yeah. The "jump" factor 8) . . . The car in the accident was an 8-cylinder. I don't think they even make 8-cylinder cars anymore. But you talk about get-up-and-go? Even though it was a 2001, it still had plenty of acceleration power behind it.

The DDs will have to learn this about any new car they drive.

Outdoor Girl

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If it is a manual or a sport shift, you can always downshift to a lower gear to give you the jump for acceleration.  I wouldn't do this with a regular automatic, though.

I drive a stick.  If I'm close to a shifting point, speed wise (and RPM wise), I'll downshift if I need extra acceleration.  So if I'm on a secondary highway and go to pass someone, I'll downshift to 4th gear then shift back up to 5th after I pass them.
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Don't be afraid to take the car on a long test drive. When I was looking at a car at a Hertz car sales lot, another family came in looking for the exact same car. Our salesman told us to take it for a long drive. We took it out for a few hours, including a trip to the family mechanic. We put about 100 miles on it that day.

That little car was still running at 225,000 miles when I traded it in.

jpcher

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Sooo, I've been doing a lot of on-line shopping.

I found a few cars (Honda Accord sedans) that are within my price range with a couple of  dealers (not carmax . . . Carmax doesn't have anything under 10k ::))

I did a cross-check with Kelly's Blue Book and the cars that I saw on-line are coming up in the retail value close to $1,000 less than what dealer is asking.



Any tips on haggling prices?

Should I bring in a print-out of Kelly's BB quote? Should I insist that the dealer lower the price?

Is there any benefit to offering cash?

HELP?


otterwoman -- my parents were once offered to take a test-car out for an entire weekend! But that was an extremely high-end car. No matter who I talk to, I will insist that my mechanic check it out prior to purchase.




eta: I had a message on my machine today from the insurance company saying that my rental needs to be returned tomorrow. LOL! Not going to happen. But this stresses the need to do a hurry-up rush purchase a new car. Sigh.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 08:58:29 PM by jpcher »

kareng57

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Sooo, I've been doing a lot of on-line shopping.

I found a few cars (Honda Accord sedans) that are within my price range with a couple of  dealers (not carmax . . . Carmax doesn't have anything under 10k ::))

I did a cross-check with Kelly's Blue Book and the cars that I saw on-line are coming up in the retail value close to $1,000 less than what dealer is asking.



Any tips on haggling prices?

Should I bring in a print-out of Kelly's BB quote? Should I insist that the dealer lower the price?

Is there any benefit to offering cash?

HELP?


otterwoman -- my parents were once offered to take a test-car out for an entire weekend! But that was an extremely high-end car. No matter who I talk to, I will insist that my mechanic check it out prior to purchase.




eta: I had a message on my machine today from the insurance company saying that my rental needs to be returned tomorrow. LOL! Not going to happen. But this stresses the need to do a hurry-up rush purchase a new car. Sigh.


I'm hardly one to offer advice, since I only purchased my first car on my own last October (before that, late Dh had done all the car-buying although I had input).  It was a 2010 Ford Escape and I figured it was already fairly well-priced, but I did a bit of haggling re the remaining warranty.  It also helped that I had DS #1 and his fiancee along as my advisors.  DS is pretty car-savvy and did part of the test-drive himself.

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See if you can get a detailed spec sheet of what features the cars have.  I know the KBB website will let you put that information in to get a better idea of the cost of the car.

If the prices are still coming in lower than the dealers, I would call or email them both up and say
"Hey, I've been shopping around and am getting quotes that are about coming in at (dealer price -$1500).  Why are you so high?  It's a nice car, but I'm not willing to pay that much for the car."

Tell them you are willing to pay (dealer price -$1200) and see what they say.  I'm not a big fan of talking to dealers as they tend to set my skin crawling, but if it's down between a few cars, I'll email and follow up with a phone call.  Once I'm down to a couple of cars, I call in to let them know I'm coming in for a test drive and a mechanic check
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Slartibartfast

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Sooo, I've been doing a lot of on-line shopping.

I found a few cars (Honda Accord sedans) that are within my price range with a couple of  dealers (not carmax . . . Carmax doesn't have anything under 10k ::))

I did a cross-check with Kelly's Blue Book and the cars that I saw on-line are coming up in the retail value close to $1,000 less than what dealer is asking.



Any tips on haggling prices?

Should I bring in a print-out of Kelly's BB quote? Should I insist that the dealer lower the price?

Is there any benefit to offering cash?

HELP?


otterwoman -- my parents were once offered to take a test-car out for an entire weekend! But that was an extremely high-end car. No matter who I talk to, I will insist that my mechanic check it out prior to purchase.




eta: I had a message on my machine today from the insurance company saying that my rental needs to be returned tomorrow. LOL! Not going to happen. But this stresses the need to do a hurry-up rush purchase a new car. Sigh.

1) DON'T mention cash.  Don't mention anything about how you're going to pay.  (They hope to make extra money on the financing, so be noncommital as long as possible.)


2) Don't go in person until you have to - once they have you on the lot, they have the advantage in that they can try to pull the "gosh, maybe you want this other car after all" thing. 

3) Make a new email address you'll never need again (to avoid future spam).

4) Call each dealership's number, tell them the exact car you're interested in, and ask what the lowest no-haggle price is they can offer you.  Tell them you're ready to walk in and buy today if they can give you a solid price and stick to it.  Get them to email you the details (so you can print it out), and make sure you get their name.  Promise you'll buy the car specifically from them if they're the lowest offer.  Some dealerships won't actually give you a number - that's why giving them the email address is helpful.  (They tell you to come to the dealership in person to find out, you say no thanks never mind, and they send you an email twenty minutes later because they'd rather at least get a small chance at getting your business than no chance at all.)

5) Very important - make sure the price they give you includes ALL the things you'd have to pay - taxes, title, fees, whatever.  Insist they break it down for you, or at least give you a list of what all their offer covers.

6) Print out the offers and go to the one you like best first.  Ask for the salesperson you talked to over the phone, tell them you're there for the XYZ car in ABC color they quoted you for $X, and you're ready to buy today.  Be ready to walk out if they try to change the price or to tack on extras ("Oh, the title wasn't covered in the quote" when they told you it was).

7) If the first dealership tries to jerk you around, go to the second one on your list.  If that one jerks you around too, wait a day and be ready to accept apology calls/emails from someone who just got their rear handed to them by their boss for not making the sale  :P

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Also, the Motley Fool has an excellent step-by-step runthrough for how to buy a car without getting taken to the cleaners: http://www.fool.com/Car/Car.htm.  (My comment above was largely cribbed from what I remember their book saying, however many years ago I read it - although back then it was dealing with faxes.)