Post # 1
- Wedding: October 2019 - City, State
So I just got approved for my auto loan through my employer’s credit union (awesme rates and easy pay options! yay!). I still currently owe 11k on my 2012 dodge charger. It’s in good shape with no major cosmetic or mechanical issues. and 45k miles. I dont’ anticipate having a hard time getting enough to cover my loan for payoff, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get a little extra but would be satisfied to just break even.
I have heard great things about going to carmax to sell them your car. I hear they give more than what the dealer usually offers for a trade in. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with doing a trade in at carmax? did they give you a fair price? I have an appointment this afternoon to take my car in for an appraisal.
I feel better knowing I have my financing taken care of already so I know that no matter what I’ll be able to make this happen this week.
I’ll be honest here bees…. I’m 31 years old. I have been through the car buying process twice before. Once when I first got my “adult” job and finally had the income to take on a car note and I was so caught up in the excitement of buying a new car and didn’t know squat about the process or details I just literally went and picked one out at the dealer and my mom haggled for me and that was that.
the second time I had a fully paid off car already and so I didn’t have to deal with making sure I got a certain amount for it and was able to just take that money and use it towards my new purchase which helped a lot. Even then I got caught up in wanting to buy something fun and exciting because I didn’t really spend time on my first car and just bought the first thing that was appealing at the first dealer I went to. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my charger but it really is just a fun car and not very practical. I have a son that’s 10 years old and in football and baseball (year round) and I commute during chicago winters and need something that’s going to be more solid for me.
So here I am. two cars bought and both of those were lessons learned. I feel much better this time because i’m going to take more time and actually make a good decision (I hope!). My budget is 28k so I need to make sure i’m mindful of that. I would buy new or used but right now i’m aiming for a used car with low miles. Other than that I dont’ know what direction I’m going in. I would love an SUV but a solid sedan would be ok too.
I’m mostly looking for some support, experiences, advice on the process in general and anything else you may think is useful for me to know.
Post # 2
I can only give you advice on the buying part. I’ve had my first car for the past 11 years. So, I skew towards cars that have a reputation of lasting a very long time (Toyota, Honda). Mine is a Toyota, and while I did keep the mileage low for the first decade, it gets a lot of daily mileage now. I get 30/35 mpg, and I anticipate it might go strong for another 3-4 years. I’m pleasantly surprised. So far, the biggest repairs (other than 2 battery replacements) were the water pump and rewiring the electronic door locks. Engine, etc is great.
So, for a new car, I’m starting to look just to understand my budget, what it can purchase, and save appropriately. I’m definitely interested in crossover SUVs. My eye is on the Mazda CX-3, but I need to have a better understanding of how Mazdas last. Otherwise, it will probably be a Honda HR-V, CR-V, or Rav4 (which is a little too big for me). I will potentially go for used, not sure if it will be Carmax or certified used from a dealer.
As far as used cars go, Ford Escape is a great deal on resale. If you get a RAV 4, buy a more recent model that does not have a wheel on the back. They found over time that those who got rear ended had to have the whole back panel replaced. I think the Rav 4 and CR-V would both be large enough for your purposes.
Also look into the Hyundai and Kia SUVs. Hyundai has a pretty great warranty. Hope this helps!
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2019 - City, State
cruisinbee: thanks! I am first tackling the trade part of things so I know that I can cover my loan and so I can see what I may have to put down on my new purchase. Once I have some solid numbers on that front I feel like I can shop better because I’ll have a better idea of how far I can stretch my budget. 28 is my absolute max (mentally)and I would like to stay as far under that as possible. But realistically I can be comfortable and afford 28k now that I know my rate and have a good idea of what payments will be (ball park anyway) I could go higher but have no desire to stretch myself any further than 28k.
Post # 4
We love Carmax & will never be tortured by a new car store again. Dh & I have both sold several cars to Carmax. They appraise it & cut you a check, totally separate from your buy transaction. The dealer just buries what they “give” you in trade someplace in your purchase transaction.
Yes, we are always pleasantly surprised by their offers. It’s always been a little over book.
I really appreciate that they separate the selling of your car from the buying of one of theirs. We are totally hooked on Carmax. We’ll be buying again in the next few months. We considered buying new, but refuse to go to a dealer. We’ll go to Carmax & find something with less than 10K on it.
Post # 5
The thing with Carmax is that it depends on what their inventory is and the inventory in your area. So you might get a great price or you might not get a great price. I would check the Kelley Blue Book value of your car (for both sale and trade) and see what that number is and compare it to the offer they give you so you have an idea. Keeping in mind that if you trade the vehicle versus selling it, there are tax savings so depending on where you live, that might factor into your decision. I recently bought a 09 Honda CRV with 50,000 miles for under 20k and it’s 4 wheel drive and has all the bells and whistles. I wouldn’t normally go that old, even with the low miles, but I work at a garage so I know if there was an issue the guys would take care of me. This was also a one-owner trade and I have all the service records, so that helps. It really depends on what you want. Carmax will give you peace of mind to buy and sell, but might not give you the best deal. Good luck!