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  1. #1
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    Default Buying a new car.

    Actually a used car. But anyways, my 1995 Ford Probe Gt is about to hit 200,000 miles. Im not going to get into detail with all of the problems Im having with the car and why I want to get rid of it asap but with all those miles you can image all the little things that add up quickly. The cars im looking at are all used and $12,000 or under. The cars are Dodge srt4, Subaru wrx or sti, Chevy Cobalt ss, Infiniti g35. How should I start to "arrange" my finances to be able to buy one of these? Should I pay my ccs down and use them as a down payment, or just start putting my money aside for a cash down payment? Also, any tips or tricks i should look for when I go into the car dealer? Anything with the car itself?
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  2. #2
    JNK
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    1) Do your homework regarding the car(s) you are interested in BEFORE you walk into the dealership so you don't get 'pressured' into making a choice you may not be comfortable making or get yourself into the position of feeling pressured in general which in turn ruins your car-buying experience.

    2) If you have time to 'spring clean' your credit (for example, paying down credit cards so your credit utilization is lower), I would suggest doing so ESPECIALLY if you will need a loan. The better your credit, the better loan deal you can get and since a car loan is for a longish period of time, it's really important to get as good of a deal as you can.

    3) Speaking of which, if you need a car loan, do some research on who/where to get the best rates for your car loan (after you've spring cleaned your credit, if you decide to do so).

    4) If there is any way for you to both work on paying down your credit card AND putting aside money for the down payment, I would do so. I would not recommend putting a down payment on a credit card unless you either have some superb credit card terms and/or unless you're able to pay that balance off FAST. Generating a crapload of interest for a down payment (if the dealership will allow credit for a down payment in the first place) is not a good idea, in my opinion.

    5) Here's another thing to possibly consider - car insurance! If you like all the different cars equally, you may try sharing this possibility of buying another car with your car insurance company and ask if there is a better rate for certain cars. I know in my area, red Honda Civics are priced HIGH for insurance and if you happen to be male, it's priced even higher. (Don't you love it how insurance seems to be the only sector of business where 'discrimination' can happen legally?)

    6) If you are not a 'under the hood' sort of mechanic-y type yourself, PLEASE bring a mechanic along with you who you trust to be on your side. A reputed dealer is not a problem, usually, but you never know and a mechanic can sound out potential problems during test drives that the dealer may not (or may) know about.

    7) Make sure it's a 'clean' car and not an accidental lemon because of its history.

    8) Trust your instincts and gut; if something doesn't seem quite right, then back out.

    All that said, that's my advice; maybe other people will have some advice, too.

    You've got some good miles on that car; it seems like you've done each other good and it's time for it to retire. In my own experience, once one things goes... everything else seems to want to follow - especially in an older car (10+ years).

    Best of luck with your car-buying!
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  3. #3
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    Ok, I work for a dealer (powersports - not cars), but I know how the game works.

    1) Before you do anything, get a copy of "You Can Negotiate Anything" by Herb Cohen. It's fairly short, but read it cover to cover. If you're a smart person, you'll take away all the principles he uses as an example. You can especially tie in the refrigerator example to buying a car, the same tactic will work. Also, be sure to use forceful words when deal with them. Example "What kind of deal ARE you going to give me?" vs. "What's the best you CAN do on this?" When you use the latter, as a salesman, I'm hardly going to take anything off. Or I'm going to say I can't do it on this car. Using the former, you sound a little serious and like you know how the game works.

    2) Do NOT give them your info and let them talk you into running your credit. That is the last thing you want. Get your loan from the BANK or local CREDIT UNION. Dealers make a portion of the interest each month, and that's why they want you to get the loan from them.

    3) Do NOT let them convert you to payments before you know what's going on. Dealers will often take a person who doesn't know that much about how they work and mess with them. You might say "Oh $15,000 is too much. It's beyond my budget"." They'll immediately take you to payments and say "What can you afford per month?" Once you answer, they go to the finance guy, pretend to do something, and they'll come back and say something like "Ok, we can get it for you for that much per month."

    4) Don't EVER let them catch you with the "What's stopping you from buying today?" where they attempt to mess with you and trick you into buying today if you're an impulse buyer.

    5) MOST IMPORTANTLY!!! DO NOT tell them your current car is dead. Borrow a friends car (a nice one) and go there. Tell them you are just looking for another car, but don't NEED one. You have NO IDEA what you want. You're ONLY going to get something if it's a killer deal. If you announce that your car is dead, they know that you need a car and they have the upper hand. You CAN NOT give them the upper hand if you want a good deal. If you show up in a newer car that runs fine, act like you're just bored, the guy will follow you like a puppet, but he won't know what model you're interested in.

    6) You NEED to act like none of the models stand out and you really don't care. Honestly, PLAY STUPID. Make the salesman work his ass off, and don't tip your hand that you know how to negotiate and that you're smarter than them until it starts after you've wasted 3 days of their time. At that point, they either make a good deal and lose some commission, or they just wasted half of their week and have nothing to show for it. It will really burn the guy, but that's how the game is played.

    6) Be prepared to walk out at any time. When the negotiation starts, set the tone early. One thing they like to do is hold on to your license for extended periods of time. Don't let them do that. Tell them to make their copy or whatever they need and bring it back immediately. If it isn't back in a couple minutes, or the salesman comes back without it, just be like "Joe (or whatever his name is), I need my license back." If he gives you a hard time at all, just be like "Joe, are we going to have a problem here? I need my license back, and I need it right now." They do it as a tactic to keep you in the store. If he refuses or tries to brush it off again, say "Ok Joe, let's go find your manager and see what he thinks." This should catch his attention. In RARE cases, they still play the game. At which point you pick up the phone and inform them that you are calling the police (It really should never get to this point. Only heard of it happening about 3 times total at real shady dealerships) because they've stolen your property and are preventing you from driving home.

    If they pull any more of the salesman tactics, just be like "Joe, enough of these tactics. I know how it works and I'm not here to play games now. Make me an offer I can't refuse, or I'll go somewhere else. I told you when I first came in, I don't NEED a car, but at the right price I'll get one."

    If they won't help you out, walk out. To get an absolute killer deal, there is more to it than I can type here. But that should give you a really good base for going off of.

    Just don't fall in love with a certain car... or if you do, DO NOT let them see or realize it.

    Good luck!

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    I feel like a commercial, but ask for the Carfax. It can sometimes mention things that the dealer won't. I was looking at a car that seemed a little too good for the money. It turns out it was a salvage title. It's worth knowing before you can't do anything about it.

    As a side note I'd suggest a WRX over the STi. The performance difference does not justify the price difference. I've seen a slightly modded WRX destroy STi's at a SCCA race.
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  5. #5
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    Cash is King with used car dealers. Show them you have the $$$ and now and they will bend over faster than you blink.

    As for the actual vehicle, what are your plans with it? Mod it? track it? Leave it alone?

    Are you looking for a 10 second car???
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    A decently fast car thats going to get me from point A to B. I always loved turbo cars. I pretty much plan to just leave it alone. They are all pretty fast. Any faster and il probably just get into trouble with it I originally planned to mod my probe gt but ended having to fix things that werent expected and then changed my mind to just get the most out of the car before I can afford a new one. As far as the wrx being faster than the sti, its possible, with HEAVY mods! The price difference is only about 3k and by the time you do what you have to under the hood and to the suspension to equal the sti's, not to mention the interior Im sure thats over 3k.. Idk, theres just always something about the black or white sti's I fell in love with. (the 2004-2007s). Another thing! Why do dealers have HUGE markups on these cars than private sellers? I mean i know they have to make money too but in Chicago they literally like double if you get it from a dealer.. (Well atleast they sticker it at double) Is possible to get them down closer to the private party price, or on certain, high demand cars do they hold firm at the higher end?
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    Quote Originally Posted by paparoach429 View Post
    A decently fast car thats going to get me from point A to B. I always loved turbo cars. I pretty much plan to just leave it alone. They are all pretty fast. Any faster and il probably just get into trouble with it I originally planned to mod my probe gt but ended having to fix things that werent expected and then changed my mind to just get the most out of the car before I can afford a new one. As far as the wrx being faster than the sti, its possible, with HEAVY mods! The price difference is only about 3k and by the time you do what you have to under the hood and to the suspension to equal the sti's, not to mention the interior Im sure thats over 3k.. Idk, theres just always something about the black or white sti's I fell in love with. (the 2004-2007s). Another thing! Why do dealers have HUGE markups on these cars than private sellers? I mean i know they have to make money too but in Chicago they literally like double if you get it from a dealer.. (Well atleast they sticker it at double) Is possible to get them down closer to the private party price, or on certain, high demand cars do they hold firm at the higher end?
    Mark-ups are as a result of overhead and greed. Used car dealers or stealers as I often refer to them are alwaying going to be more expensive than a private seller. The only risk of a private sale is you need to do your homework and investigate the car's history yourself.

    I would still do that with a dealer tho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcarter609 View Post
    2) Do NOT give them your info and let them talk you into running your credit. That is the last thing you want. Get your loan from the BANK or local CREDIT UNION. Dealers make a portion of the interest each month, and that's why they want you to get the loan from them.
    All good points except this one. Get pre-approved at your local bank or CU. Walk in with financing arranged. But let them try to beat it. My dealer was able to get me 0.7% lower than I could get on my own with the same bank. They were also upfront with me about the kickback they receive - it's way lower than I expected. A "we approve anyone!" lot may make a huge fee from financing, but most dealers get $100 or less.

    Also, you will have different experiences at different dealers. An Infiniti dealer will treat you differently than a Dodge dealer. One Infiniti dealer may treat you differently than another. But, I think you'll find that higher level brands will, on the whole, be easier to deal with. When I was shopping around, the Lexus dealer showed me exactly how much they paid for the car I was looking at and what they'd paid to get it ready for sale.

    My one takeaway point is this:

    If you find the car you want, find two dealers that have it. If you have family out of state, see if prices are lower in their area. Call the dealer with the higher price and tell them about the one with the lower price. Have them make you an offer. Then, call the other dealer and tell them the first dealer undercut them. Play them back and forth until you get what you want. I cut over $3000 (more than 10%) off of the asking price of my RDX using a dealer 60 miles away and one 1000 miles away near my parents' house to beat down the local dealer until they cried uncle.
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  9. #9
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    I actually thought I'd pay more with going through my bank? Don't they charge interest too. they have to make money? Any unfortunatly, the cars I want, in the color I want, In or under the mileage I want, and under the price I want are very hard to come by. Private sellers have them but I found only one dealer that has a black srt4 and one that had a a silver Infinity. I guess il just have to play the waiting game!
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    Also what interest percentage should I plan on paying with about a 700 credit score. My friends mom has a credit score of 598 and at the end of the day shes paying $28,800 for her base chevy hhr!
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