Ask for tips buying a car

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JoDa
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Postby JoDa » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:41 pm

I'd second buying used if you can get a good offer. The last (and hopefully final) car I bought those 9 years ago was a late-model used. Only 1 year old (demo model) and low mileage, and I paid ~45% below MSRP on a new one with a free 3-year warranty and excellent financing for the time. The offers are often better on new cars, but paying $25K versus $13K is still a $12K difference...
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MrMosby
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Postby MrMosby » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:46 pm

Correct, so on the flip side you could factor in the lower gas cost with a newer vehicle as well.
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JoDa
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Postby JoDa » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:19 pm

Well, if there's a major difference. Note the model I bought in that instance was only 1 year out-of-date. A 2013 vs. a 2014 won't do much for gas mileage. But, of course, a 2014 vs. a 2004 would...
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daniel2304
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Postby daniel2304 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:14 pm

Thanks for all the comments.
I can't decide yet because i'm waiting on my check for the total loss. I looked into the ford escape and ford fusion and kinda like them too. Is it expensive to maintenance a ford? Does it last? I only bought Japanese cars before so I have no idea how reliable the ford is.
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Postby rockyrock » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:42 am

daniel2304 wrote:Thanks for all the comments.
I can't decide yet because i'm waiting on my check for the total loss. I looked into the ford escape and ford fusion and kinda like them too. Is it expensive to maintenance a ford? Does it last? I only bought Japanese cars before so I have no idea how reliable the ford is.


I just bought a 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid, I paid $4k under MSRP. I used the USAA car buying service so I had a fairly pleasant buying experience. Once I decided which vehicle I wanted I just used the service and my vehicle was located and the dealer contacted me. I wasn't able to negotiate much more out of the deal but like I said I got it for several thousand under MSRP. If you don't have USAA, Amex offers a car buying service, so does Costco and many credit unions. If you aren't good at haggling or just don't want to this could be the right approach for you. I've bought six new cars since 2002 and this is the first time I've used a service and I liked it.

Our other car is a 2008 Escape Hybrid and it's running like a champ, still gets 30+ MPG and all we do is change the oil. The Escape is consistently ranked as one of the top compact SUVs on the market and is a pleasure to drive. Even though they aren't making the hybrid version any more, in about two years once the Fusion is paid down we plan to buy another Escape.

You really should do research on sites like Consumer Reports and Edmunds before buy.

My experiences, YMMV.

Good luck!
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Postby keno » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:42 am

Truecar is very handy for getting bottom dollar prices before you even walk into a dealership.
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Postby JoDa » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:49 pm

Can't comment on reliability, but I've driven rental Focuses (Foci?) and they were very nice cars. Comfy with lots of features and good space. My only complaint was too many buttons, but that seems to be a trend (I rent a car from Zipcar once or twice a month, they range from Toyotas to Nissans to VWs to Fords...and the occasional Audi or BMW when the previous renter doesn't get my "budget" car back in time and they upgrade me gratis...and they all have too many buttons). From what I understand from stories I kind of catch, Ford has done a lot with their reliability in the last few years. Most American cars are actually easier to work on than foreign ones. I did a good chunk of my own maintenance on the GMs I owned (only ever owned GMs, last and final one a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix) without much difficulty.
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daniel2304
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Postby daniel2304 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:08 pm

Yeah, the reason I recently looked for Ford because I have rented a Fusion and I like it. It totally changed my view on American cars. I always thought of American cars as gas consuming and expensive to maintenance. However, a lot of reviews on late models are quite positive. Now I'm just worried about its reliability and depreciation. It seems like Ford lost its value fairly fast.
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samhradh
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Postby samhradh » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:44 am

I looked at the Fusion when I was making more money last year. Really liked it. I see them on the road a lot now too. Decided to keep my 1997 Honda Accord, though. I'm getting the impression the Fusion is the new Accord (in the sense that you see Accords everywhere and they're a reliable sedan).
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Postby darkguy2 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:18 am

Something minor that you may want to think about is the ease of maintenance if you ever plan on doing your own regular maintenance. I have a Saturn and I can tell you that whoever designed my car was an idiot. To change the oil filter you have to reach up around a bar to unscrew it so you cannot see what you are doing and then when the oil drains out when you take it off it will drip down onto the one of the struts. On top of that it is mostly horizontal so you cannot pre-fill it with oil. And don't get me started on changing the alternator as we had to lift the engine to get to it. It my not be a problem when you first buy the car and have others do it for you but later down the road it will.
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