General car buying tips.

Chino Kapone

Yo, whats wrong wit da beer we got?
Jun 10, 2005
16,959
2,196
608
#1
Share some of your car buying tips and successes here.

I once bought a Tahoe for $25k when they were asking $32k. I stuck to my guns, got irate and spent 2 hours negotiating, but I got a great deal. When I totaled that car 8 months later, the value of it was $30k and after my $1000 deductible got a $6000 because I was able to negotiate such a good deal.

I am currently looking at trading in my MINI, and at the same time 2 friends of mine want my help buying a car. I figure we have all had enough experience buying cars that there are some good tips to share.

These are some good videos as well.

My favorite quote "If you feel like an asshole, you're doing it right."

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Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
17,843
5,188
838
Wilmington, NC
#2
Not really a tip at all...but it helps when you know someone. I've got a brother who is a New Car Manager with Ford. It helps big time, because he can usually run numbers over the phone and I don't have to step foot on a car lot and sense the sharks (salesmen) circling me. My brother tells me some horror stories about some of the sales guys....he hates it. Customer parking at the dealership is already pretty limited, so he says a group of them will just hang out, talk, and smoke out on the sidewalk in front of those spots, since that's where the customers have to park. Before you can even get out of your car, they're at your window..."Hey there partner, what can we do fer ya?" But yeah, I know I got a pretty good deal and there was no bullshit because my brother handled it all.

High five...

 

MayrMeninoCrash

Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
24,337
8,515
693
Silverdale, WA
#3
If you're not much of a negotiator, just go through Sam's or Costco buying service. Usually a flat 2% over invoice and the Fleet guys helping you are usually bending over backwards to help.
 

DanaReevesLungs

I can keep rhythm with no metronome...
Donator
Jun 9, 2005
9,134
2,535
681
Louisiana
#4
Pay with cash, buy a used car and do a private sale rather than going to a dealership.
 

Cunt Smasher

Caligula Jr.
Aug 26, 2005
13,119
3,841
563
#5
There is a natural tendency to see possibilities instead of reality in used cars, meaning, you'll look at a car and think "that will buff out, and some new spark plugs,a lil' tune up..." when really the car is a turd. I've discovered dealers can be the same way, and have done better at trading in cars when I just leave them dirty, covering the stains and scratches a bit.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,446
2,155
818
Florida's Nature Coast
#6
I believe in looking for deals, either model-year leftovers, demo-models, or extremely low-mile certified used.

I don't think I will buy brand new, even though I could.
 
Feb 5, 2003
5,546
919
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With a stranger
#8
Go at the end of the month. The dealers don't want to make another payment on the vehicle so they're willing to make a better deal. If you go later in the evening on the last day of the month, then they'll really work with you. No salesman wants to waste his last 2 hours of the month and see you walk away and the manager wants that car gone to avoid the payment.
 

LiLJimmysHog

Professional negative prick
Dec 18, 2005
1,228
186
498
#9
The end of the month thing is right on. We have bought almost all our cars at the end of the month and the dealers bend over backwards to get you in the car. Also I put on kind of a "meh, I not really impressed with the car" act. Seems to have worked out pretty well so far. My wife is embarassingly bold in "jewing" the price down.
 

Buds Spuckley

Registered User
Mar 17, 2008
895
17
143
#11
Anyone use or hear anything good or bad about this site? http://www.truecar.com/
I used them back when they were part of overstock.com I got a great deal on my car at the time. I basically negotiated the price over email, went to the dealership, went over the paperwork and was out in about 2 hours. Easiest car purchase ever.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,446
2,155
818
Florida's Nature Coast
#12
Here's one alot of people overlook. Negotiate the price of the car first. Don't say anything about trading anything in. Then negotiate the trade-in separately.

Do the same for an extended warranty if you want it.
 

Chin nuts

Your breath smells like a dead baby's coffin.
Mar 17, 2006
809
17
323
Island Park, NY
#13
The videos were spot on especially the advice in the "back room". This is where the dealer throws in the upgrades, forever paint, undercoating, extended warranties etc. Be a dick and hold your ground no matter what they say to you. You could try and turn the tables on a deal if you come in stating you really want a car with all the bells and whistles. It will help you negotiate the price down especially if the dealer thinks you'll spring for the super bloated options. Get them all drooling and when you get to sign the deal refuse all those bells and whistles. Tell them you need some more time to think on it or that you'll be coming back soon to get all that gravy they offer. I've used this in the past and it does work. Dealer will either walk away from it or go with it by this time.

Buying in the fall the previous model year when the lot is full with the new models is also a great time to haggle. Also if you're going to lease don't say so until you've nailed the cost of the car down as if you were paying out of pocket. Get them to write all incidental charges then you negotiate lease or payment terms. Also check out credit unions for car loans if your in one they usually have better rates than what the dealer will offer.
 

VicVinegar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2012
1,578
636
163
#14
I used them back when they were part of overstock.com I got a great deal on my car at the time. I basically negotiated the price over email, went to the dealership, went over the paperwork and was out in about 2 hours. Easiest car purchase ever.
TrueCar used to be much better and gave you actual prices on the site, plus dealer cost and invoice prices. Then they got sued by auto dealers and some state dealer regs say you can't do pricing like that or something stupid that was probably paid for by the NADA. After that they stopped giving out actual prices and other pricing info. Now the "target price" is usually weaker than what a dealer will advertise on their website. Maybe when you actually follow through with a sale the price improves, but the numbers I see on there now aren't impressive.
 

Jambi

Infidel
Nov 29, 2006
3,452
374
523
FL
#15
Here's one alot of people overlook. Negotiate the price of the car first. Don't say anything about trading anything in. Then negotiate the trade-in separately.

Do the same for an extended warranty if you want it.
This. Do your research. Have a bottom line price for the purchase, then have a bottom line for the trade-in. Don't be afraid to walk. If a salesman asks you what you want your payments to be tell him to eat dick. And a PAL doesn't hurt.

I can't overemphasize "don't be afraid to walk."

Edited to add: The whole "what do you want your payment to be" is a ruse.... a low payment is stupid if it's paid off over a longer term.... what matters is the amount you've paid at the end to own the car.
 

DanaReevesLungs

I can keep rhythm with no metronome...
Donator
Jun 9, 2005
9,134
2,535
681
Louisiana
#17
My first 3 cars were all brand new off the dealer's lot. I haven't had a car payment since August 2006 and won't ever have one again. My next car I'm looking at is a Tundra Crew Cab. Brand new it would cost me ~$35K. About 3-4 years old, it'll be near ~$19K. I just saved ~$16K buying a low mileage Tundra from some schmuck who is probably under on his payments but needs to get rid of a truck he can't afford.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,446
2,155
818
Florida's Nature Coast
#18
I walked out after getting an insulting lowball offer on our trade last month. The salesman and manager came out as I was putting the car in reverse to back out of the parking spot begging me to come back in. They ended up giving me what I wanted for my trade, and got me at the price I wanted for the car I bought.

I cannot emphasize enough how much better it is to buy certified-used instead of brand new.
 
Feb 5, 2003
5,546
919
753
With a stranger
#19
I walked out after getting an insulting lowball offer on our trade last month. The salesman and manager came out as I was putting the car in reverse to back out of the parking spot begging me to come back in. They ended up giving me what I wanted for my trade, and got me at the price I wanted for the car I bought.

I cannot emphasize enough how much better it is to buy certified-used instead of brand new.
Sometimes buying used doesn't work out well even if it's from the original dealer. My girlfriend bought an Elantra that was 1 year old and had very low mileage. It had just been traded in because the woman who owned it allegedly was used to driving SUVs and decided that downsizing was a bad idea for her. Well, flash forward 2-3 months and the check engine light keeps coming on but there's apparently nothing wrong with the engine. She keeps bringing it to the dealer since it's under warranty and they keep "fixing" the problem--until another month or so passes and the light comes back on. After multiple trips to the dealer and no real resolution, the dealer finally called in Hyundai techs from the corporate offices to come check out the car--but only after she mentioned that she had researced Lemon Laws. It's been fine ever since the corporate guys came out to fix it but the headache of constantly having to get the car checked out and fighting with the dealer to get a loaner every time was a huge pain in the ass. It's funny how they always said they were out of loaner vehicles until she asked to speak to the manager and then they would magically find one for her.
 

Sinn Fein

Infidel and White Interloper
Wackbag Staff
Aug 29, 2002
31,446
2,155
818
Florida's Nature Coast
#20
Sometimes buying new doesn't work out well either. There are new cars that end up being lemons.

My point was the cost savings as well as the longer warranty on a certified used vs new vehicle are the reasons to shop certified used.
 

OilyJillFart

Well-Lubed Member
Sep 26, 2008
2,860
1,120
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#21
Talked to an old guy in a campground a while back who was retired and living in his trailer seeing the country.. His lifetimes worth of sage advice was 'never buy a new truck, never buy a used trailer'.
Makes sense when you think about it, unless you can afford the extra 10k for the new vehicle.