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Any tips on buying used cars?

PierreBear

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We've been fortunate enough to not have to replace cars very often and purchased one off of craigslist once as well. However, we are considering a slightly used model (2011 to 2015) which seems more readily available at dealers or CarMax etc instead of from a private seller. Any tips other than compare it to the value on Kelly Blue Book? In the past I remember that cash offers would provide a discount but now it seems like there are no deals/negotiation room. Thanks in advance!
 

Dancing Fire

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Tips??..Buy a Japanese car... :wink2: Our family own 6 Japanese cars, 3 Honda, 2 Lexus and 1 Toyota.
 

Dancing Fire

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PierreBear|1468432030|4055163 said:
We've been fortunate enough to not have to replace cars very often and purchased one off of craigslist once as well. However, we are considering a slightly used model (2011 to 2015) which seems more readily available at dealers or CarMax etc instead of from a private seller. Any tips other than compare it to the value on Kelly Blue Book? In the past I remember that cash offers would provide a discount but now it seems like there are no deals/negotiation room. Thanks in advance!
The best deal I negotiated was for my daughter's new 2014 Honda Accord sport. The MSRP was like $28,600 ?? and we bought it for $25,200 out the door. Last yr DD#1 bought a 2015 Honda Accord for $1k under MSRP out the door.
 

PierreBear

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Dancing Fire|1468435554|4055185 said:
PierreBear|1468432030|4055163 said:
We've been fortunate enough to not have to replace cars very often and purchased one off of craigslist once as well. However, we are considering a slightly used model (2011 to 2015) which seems more readily available at dealers or CarMax etc instead of from a private seller. Any tips other than compare it to the value on Kelly Blue Book? In the past I remember that cash offers would provide a discount but now it seems like there are no deals/negotiation room. Thanks in advance!
The best deal I negotiated was for my daughter's new 2014 Honda Accord sport. The MSRP was like $28,600 ?? and we bought it for $25,200 out the door. Last yr DD#1 bought a 2015 Honda Accord for $1k under MSRP out the door.

Oh wow... good job... I can only imagine your skills at negotiating for diamonds. :clap:
 

sarahb

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You are better off financially finding the vehicle you want from a private source, then finding good mechanic you trust, getting the vehicle vetted by said mechanic, & buying. Once the vehicle hits a dealers lot, you've got quite a bit added to the price to compensate for the dealers overhead etc.

The dealership--if it is a New Car Dealership, on the other hand, can help with a lot of the worry about reliability etc, especially if the vehicle you are considering is a Certified Preowned (CPO). If you look up Certified Preowned for the manufacturer you are considering, you can learn the process that the individual manufacturer employs for their CPO vehicles prior to re-selling. CPO's are usually lease returns. Obviously, CPO vehicles will cost a bit more than a dealership non CPO, & a private seller generally less than the dealership.

If you are considering a 2015 model year, I would encourage you to consider new, as the factory warranty can be a value.

This time of year is a perfect time to shop the new 2015's, as fall is generally the time dealerships begin the closeout process, and deals can be had. Look online to see when the model will be replaced (what month/year) to dial in exactly when the closeout process will begin on that particular model.

Regardless of where you choose to purchase, there are certainly cases to be made for and against certain manufacturers even certain models & certain model years. Go & research your product, & be armed with knowledge. IE, certain model years may be a notoriously bad ownership experience, for example--and other model years completely bug free. Again, knowledge is key.
 

Dancing Fire

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PierreBear|1468440043|4055206 said:
Dancing Fire|1468435554|4055185 said:
PierreBear|1468432030|4055163 said:
We've been fortunate enough to not have to replace cars very often and purchased one off of craigslist once as well. However, we are considering a slightly used model (2011 to 2015) which seems more readily available at dealers or CarMax etc instead of from a private seller. Any tips other than compare it to the value on Kelly Blue Book? In the past I remember that cash offers would provide a discount but now it seems like there are no deals/negotiation room. Thanks in advance!
The best deal I negotiated was for my daughter's new 2014 Honda Accord sport. The MSRP was like $28,600 ?? and we bought it for $25,200 out the door. Last yr DD#1 bought a 2015 Honda Accord for $1k under MSRP out the door.

Oh wow... good job... I can only imagine your skills at negotiating for diamonds. :clap:
Wish I can negotiate 10% off MSRP for loose diamonds... :wink2:
 

House Cat

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pay cash.

Negotiate like a badass if you are buying from a dealer.

Do NOT get emotional about ANY car. There are literally THOUSANDS out there just like it. (See above.)

Be willing to walk away. Remember, the dealer is actually MORE emotional about the deal than you. They NEED the commission. You don't NEED the car. You can buy another car on another lot! Don't love the car until after you've bought it!

Don't buy a Ford.

Buy Japanese.

Do your research.

Don't get duped on the extras. You don't need a Marine 1 level clear coat. Really, it is just a car.


I think that is all I have. :)

Oh, and if the salesperson creeps you out, walk...or run...away. I don't do well with creepy and every car or vehicle I have bought from creepy was a TERRIBLE vehicle. I won't ever do it again.
 

Dancing Fire

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House Cat|1468504041|4055375 said:
Be willing to walk away. Remember, the dealer is actually MORE emotional about the deal than you. They NEED the commission. You don't NEED the car. You can buy another car on another lot! Don't love the car until after you've bought it!
Yup, We made an offer on a Honda Accord and this dealer turn us down, so I told him we'll drive 8 miles to another dealership which we did and saved $1K for an identical car.
 

Puppmom

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I've had some success negotiating over the phone. It's really saved me a lot of time and energy (and painful in-person conversations!). I also suggest staying away from Ford or Chevrolet unless you're looking for a truck. If I hadn't totaled it last year, I'm pretty confident I would still be driving my 15 year old Toyota Corolla with 202k miles. It never broke down, it never struggled to start and everything functioned properly even at over 200k miles.
 

PierreBear

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Dancing Fire|1468514894|4055419 said:
House Cat|1468504041|4055375 said:
Be willing to walk away. Remember, the dealer is actually MORE emotional about the deal than you. They NEED the commission. You don't NEED the car. You can buy another car on another lot! Don't love the car until after you've bought it!
Yup, We made an offer on a Honda Accord and this dealer turn us down, so I told him we'll drive 8 miles to another dealership which we did and saved $1K for an identical car.
Well we were eyeing a 2011 car and offered $1K less than they were offering. It was a trade in vehicle so it wasn't one of their cars that they were usually selling. Wouldn't budge on the price even though it was just $1K. Two days later it was sold... :o I'm finding that a used car in a price range we are hoping for doesn't really have the availability factor.
But strange that others have commented that paying in cash helped. For the dealer, there wasn't any incentive whether it was cash or financing. No more discounts offered and this is a question asked to more than one dealer.

Well as another person mentioned, I think the 2017 model is coming in so that might encourage others to trade in their older model. Perhaps there will be more out in the market. Thanks for all the comments thus far!
 

Tacori E-ring

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I have not had great luck negotiating at car dealerships. Even though I usually e-mail in advance to make sure they negotiate AND walk away, it just seems difficult to get them down much. I bought in cash which I think actually works against you since they can't make money off financing. Buying a car is so stressful! Best of luck!
 

PierreBear

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OK one more question... I've done some googling but would be curious if anyone has bought a car that was previously used as a rental car before (ie through Hertz etc). Came across a website called www.vroom.com.. It seems to be discounted enough with low mileage and has a 7 day return policy. Was thinking about just taking the 7 days to our local mechanic to get it checked out. Can all that potential joy riding really ruin a car? Good idea/bad idea? Thanks in advance!
 

sarahb

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The one thing a rental return has that a privately owned vehicle may not have, is a consistent service record. As part of a fleet, the vehicle will have been serviced regularly & most likely correctly over the course of its life as a rental. Private owners may not have performed the regular maintenance.

On cash vs financing: don't disclose what means you are using for payment, as it may work against you. In fact, don't even disclose if you plan on trading in something. (Your best outcome is to sell your vehicle privately rather than trading in at a dealership.) Keep the deal focused on the purchase only, not financing or trade in allowances. This is critical.
 

VRBeauty

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I bought my first used car last year. I bought a 2-year old lease return from a local dealership. It came with a 1-year full warranty (certified pre-owned) and the option to buy a 10-year extended warranty (which I did not do, though it might have been a good idea in this case). This particular model had not been on my radar screen when I started looking, but someone talked me into test-driving one and I really liked it. But I didn't buy that one - I went home and did a lot of research and started checking on-line inventories. I eventually ended up with that same model, feature packages and even color I wanted, for over 1/3 less than the new price. I did get the dealership to knock about 5% off their asking price but that involved some time. If they had sold the car during that time I'd probe my have ended up spending more so that was a risky delay on my part.

BTW it sound like you've already decided on a model, in which case this would not apply to you but for anyone else who might be looking.... Take the time to look beyond the ratings. My car got poor initial customer satisfaction/reliability ratings. a lot of on-line research showed there were two issues that led to those ratings. The first was a problem with the infotainment system that had already been fixed. The second was that the original fuel efficiency estimates had been over-estimates. Not a problem for me since I was using the corrected estimates in my comparisons. Reading consumer reviews and owner forums helped me put the ratings into perspective.

And as a result... I never thought I'd end up with a Ford but that's what I'm driving now! ;))

ETA - I just pulled out my paperwork and emails to double-check the numbers - I saved over 45% from the original sticker price, for a car with less than 20,000 miles on it. I'll definitely be looking at lease returns again next time I buy a car.
 

PierreBear

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Hi everyone. Just wanted to follow up on this thread as we have learned a lesson that we are still trying to figure out. We bought a used volvo just right under warranty in a different city from where we live. It was a traded into the acura dealership but was transferred over to the sister company, the Volvo dealership, which is where we purchased it. The sales person assured me that the Acura store did an inspection but I also wanted Volvo to do their own test. I should have been specific and asked for a full diagnostic report but they must have only done a visual inspection. Granted, it wasn't certified pre-owned but I really feel like Volvo did not due their diligence as we now noticed an city safety breaking issue due to a camera not working right. The Volvo dealership where we live ran the diagnostic test and sure enough there were error codes that the Acura store wouldn't have detected since it was more of ensuring emissions and other things will pass.

The car is in the shop for the second time to try and resolve this city safety breaking problem. Only 80 more miles to go before warranty goes out. Just wanted to share so someone can avoid this preventable headache!
 

kenny

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I'd buy the cheapest stripped down entry model of Honda or Toyota before I'd buy ANY used car.
A NEW car, even a cheapo with a warranty, from a top maker is a groovy thing.
Then take good care of it and drive it for 300,000 miles, so the depreciation when you drive it off the lot is compensated by having a manufacturer new car
warranty.

Oh and never trade in a car.
Sell it yourself to get max $$$.
Then, pay cash for your new car so you pay ZERO in interest on any loan.

Spend your money on something important, like a nice diamond.
 

madelise

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We bought DH's preowned 2 year old Audi S6 for $55k. It was all upgraded, with massage and ventilated leather seats. It would've cost us just short of 6 figures new.


Search on ALL the online venues. Be willing to travel. If BMWs are super popular in your area, and you want one, you won't get that great of a deal vs. getting it from an area where no one cares for BMWs. We bought the Audi from TX, where apparently, Audis aren't hot. It had barely any miles on it, and the owner traded it in at the BMW dealership. The dealership couldn't unload it, and kept discounting it over and over, and it was days away from being sent to auction. We flew in to TX to check it out and drove it back to Los Angeles. Even if it didn't make out for a purchase for us, the potential reward was worth the risk of losing the flight and hotel money.
 

madelise

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kenny|1470530039|4063161 said:
I'd buy the cheapest stripped down entry model of Honda or Toyota before I'd buy ANY used car.
A NEW car, even a cheapo with a warranty, from a top maker is a groovy thing.
Then take good care of it and drive it for 300,000 miles, so the depreciation when you drive it off the lot is compensated by having a manufacturer new car
warranty.

Oh and never trade in a car.
Sell it yourself to get max $$$.
Then, pay cash for your new car so you pay ZERO in interest on any loan.

Spend your money on something important, like a nice diamond.

The loan we got from our credit union was 0.7%. Our financial advisor told us NOT to put any money down, since cash in even a saving's account would make more money than the interest rate.

I really recommend checking out loans from credit unions.
 

Marquise_Madness

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kenny said:
I'd buy the cheapest stripped down entry model of Honda or Toyota before I'd buy ANY used car.
A NEW car, even a cheapo with a warranty, from a top maker is a groovy thing.
Then take good care of it and drive it for 300,000 miles, so the depreciation when you drive it off the lot is compensated by having a manufacturer new car
warranty.

Oh and never trade in a car.
Sell it yourself to get max $$$.
Then, pay cash for your new car so you pay ZERO in interest on any loan.

Spend your money on something important, like a nice diamond.
Do what I did and just happen to total your car the Thursday before you're supposed to trade in your car... I'm serious! My axle somehow snapped in half while I was driving on the freeway exiting onto another freeway during rush hour and since I couldn't steer, I hit a guardrail. I was fine (only a few bruises) but we got $17k for my car instead of $13k or so. It was just a freak accident.

I traded it in for a 2016 Ford Escape and it's pretty nice. I dig it. I had a used 2009 Ford Escape before and it was fine except my brother got t-boned and I think the car should have been totaled in 2013 because the tire on that side kept losing air and I kept paying to get it patched and I got a flat in my neighborhood (which was a bad neighborhood) numerous times and my tire blew out which I think caused my axle to snap in that accident.




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