(Closed) Car search is on… any tips?

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 17
Member
11268 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@CakeyP:  my dh does most of the maintenance himself so it’s not bad.  it’s actually a good thing because it’s an old car and things are needing a lot more attention lately.

i have driven in the snow a lot and drove a 4wd and an awd.  i prefer the awd.  i felt like i had more control at all times. 

Post # 18
Member
3552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Here’s a link to my Dad’s super thorough custom used car checklist. We used it to buy both my and Fi’s car and except for lemon tires on FI’s car both of our cars have been really good, just needing a few maintainence things here and there.

Post # 19
Member
11232 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Darling Husband and I both have Imprezas and love them. Both purchased used from dealers, and I did the same thing you did as far as preparation went. I didn’t need it, since the dealer I went to uses True Market Value and whatnot, so I did all of that research for nothing, haha.

And yes, Subies are great in the snow *if* you have good tires. I have shitty OEM tires ($250 a piece Bridgestone Potenzas) that are awful in the snow.

Post # 20
Member
295 posts
Helper bee

I would also recommend check out the Ford Escape. I brought one couple years ago (upgradged from a 1996 Chevy Cavalier) for the snow. I went to school in the UP part of Michigan and needed something that could handle the snow. For me the Escape been the best car with very few problems and rommy enough to fit what I need. Although I do second you can get a really good car for $6000 just be patient. Also bring someone who knows a lot about cars with you. When I gone car shopping I always brought along a mechanic.

Post # 21
Member
3246 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@CakeyP:  I found out when I bought my car in another state that, when car buying, check if the dealers can charge a “conveyance fee.” In some states (Connecticut is where I got my car) the dealer conveyance fee is not limited and can be really freaking high– I paid $400!!! On top of the price of the car! It’s just a way for the dealers to earn extra money on top of what they earn from the sale. Yell

Also, check out lots of online listings for cars similar to what you want, and if there are any good ones with comparatively low prices, being sold within 100-200 miles of where you are, print out the ads for the lowest priced ones. Having examples of lower priced, comparable cars will help you bargain.

Also, if you are hoping to pay in cash (rather than taking out a loan) make sure you don’t take out ALL cash from the bank– get a bank check for most of the cost, then maybe $500-1000 or so in cash so you can negotiate and not have to get a new bank check. You don’t want to be carrying that much cash around! (I was dumb about this and didn’t get a bank check, and luckily nothing bad happened.)

Post # 22
Member
3246 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@CakeyP:  Oh, oops, I guess I didn’t look at your updates carefully enough. Not paying in cash, I guess!

Subarus are great and last for a really long time. My SO bought a rusty old one (1999 I think) a few years ago when it had I think 130,000 miles on it, and drove it until it had 180,000 maybe? Perhaps more? It would have gone a lot farther if it wasn’t for its frame rusting out– that’s what happens to cars that aren’t carefully taken care of in Vermont!

The Toyota Matrix is a similar car, but a little smaller and (I think) cuter. I love Toyotas (I adore my Corolla, which is the model the Matrix is derived from). The Matrix is most commonly available in AWD, and Toyotas are incredibly reliable– more than Subarus, I’m told (by my SO’s family, who have had lots of both types of cars).

 

Post # 23
Member
3281 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I have a certified pre-owned Toyota, and it has a longer warranty than it would if I bought the thing new! So while I don’t know much about buying cars, I do recommend going the certified pre-owned route if possible!

Post # 24
Member
3789 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

@CakeyP:  I just purchased a CRV 2 or 3 weeks ago, a 2007 (so a bit older) and I LOVE it! I’d say just pay attention to the details. If the vehicle was well maintained visually, it was likely maintained mechanically. Fiance is a mechanic, and the first thing he does is start it up and check the color & smell of the oil, and also look for splatters under the hood, and in the wheel wells… he can usually tell me if something is worth test driving after checking those things. Just use your BS detector, and make sure they know that you are “shopping around”. If they know you’re antsy for a vehicle, they wont give you a good deal. I’m a firm believer in “if its’s meant to be, it’ll be”, as is my step-dad. He has offered a price on vehicles before and the salesman kinda of laughed at him. Step-dad told him his offer stands and to give him a call if it didnt sell.. he got a call 3 weeks later and got the price he wanted! lol

Good luck!

Post # 25
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

You can use True Car where dealers will give you a lower than sticker price price for a car emailed to you, and you can go off of there to start lowering the price offer. You can use Motor Trend to find the True Cost to Own tool to find out what it really will cost you yearly to own either of the cars.

Depending on what bank you have, the best banks for interest rates on car loans will be credit union banks. It is from my personal experience and that of family and friends, that I make this suggestion.

Other advice would be to test drive the cars, get as much research as possible and if you can afford the time, take the process slowly. You do not want to come off desperate to the dealerships because they wont budge on pricing.

However, this would be the best time to buy 2013 models of cars because the dealerships want to get rid of them before the 2014s come in, if they havent already. You can get a better deal on a car around this time but the options will be smaller, such as wanting this particular car in black with this color interior and sunroof… you get the idea. And lastly, sometimes a car go under a whole new exterior/interior redesign so look at the differences between the ’13s and ’14s, if the year doesnt matter, are you sure you would want to pay $2-3K more for the exact same car with not much of a difference?

 

Best of luck to you! Do not let anyone sway your decisions, or alter your list of desires when it comes to a car and most importantly do not let them think they can rob you because you’re a woman! At 22 I am proud to say I did not let anyone bullshit me when I bought my car this year, hell no! To have seen the look on their faces when I told them “this girl wont be bullshitted, I want this for this price or Im walking out the door!” was the best feeling in the world!!! And for that I thank my awesome Dad!!

Post # 26
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Btw, when you have been given a price you like, the car buying process isnt over. The dealer will try to sell you ad-ons, be very careful here!  

Post # 28
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

@CakeyP:  They asked pretty early if I was going to finance. I said yes, but ONLY if they could get me a rate under 4%… I got 2.9%. I did not have a trade. From my research, I found I could get more privately selling my car. I did tell them during my test drive about not having a trade-in (I’m not sure if that was the best thing to do). 

Do not let on that you have the money to pay the car off early. They might not give you the best price. But DO make sure there is no penalty for early payment. I learned that the hard way.

Be super confident! Don’t let them push you around. Don’t settle until you get exactly what you want. I got them to fix all the scratches in my car and got 3 free car washes! 

Gosh, this makes me want to buy another one!

Post # 30
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

@CakeyP:  I would love to be your broker! I suggest walking in there with one SPECIFIC car in mind. If you are test driving different cars, they will assume you are uneducated when it comes to car buying. Oh, my car was previously leased. These cars are usually up to date with all scheduled maintenance. Also, I asked to see the service records and found my car had been sitting on the lot for three months. This also helped with my negotiations!

Post # 31
Member
1120 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@CakeyP:  No real tips about how to go about car buying unfortunately (my fiance’s uncle is a mechanic and was happy to help my SIL out – i.e. checking out the car, test driving and also making sure we weren’t going to get ripped off) but I can recommend a car! She ended up getting a 2005 Hyundai Getz – this was like three years ago so it was second-hand but in great condition and she has not had a single problem with it since. For an 8 year old car that has now done about 120,000kms it’s going pretty good!

Is there anyone else who might be able to help you out? Even just to take a look at a car? Maybe a mechanically inclined mutual friend or relative? It’s always handy to have someone who knows what they’re doing/talking about and has your back.

The topic ‘Car search is on… any tips?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors