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Car-buying (because my timing is effing splendid).

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Hammer Pants, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    My truck's engine died last night — directly in the damn middle of a 100-mile drive, of course — and it can't be repaired.

    My choices are new engine, used engine or new car, and I'm going new car, because the economy is great and the future of journalism is so sound. Seriously, I'm not buying a new engine, I don't want to risk a used engine, and I'd like a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

    That said, I must be reasonable with this purchase, because any of us at any shop could be laid off at any point, apparently. I'm looking at two similar, used-but-basically-new cars tomorrow that have retail values around $15,500 and listed prices around $16,000.

    So, if I like either car, my first bid will be what? And what should I accept?

    I haven't bought a vehicle in more than five years — right after I got my first full-time job with benefits after college — and my dad helped me with that negotiation. I will of course demand a CarFax and all of that, but I'm curious about the bidding war.

    I'm sure this thread could hysterically veer off course, but I'd appreciate a few serious thoughts in between the jokes. I need to do this relatively soon, because I don't want to pay for a rental any longer than necessary.

  2. Depends on the cars. What are they?
  3. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    Always walk away like you're going to leave. You automatically get a better deal because they know their odds of getting you go down once you leave.
  4. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

  5. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Actually, now is a pretty good time to buy.

    Car lots are struggling like newspapers right now. They're looking to get rid of inventory ASAP.
  6. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    That's my hope.
  7. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    Both are 2008 Ford Focus SESs. That's the nicest Focus, apparently. That might be like something like the world's tallest midget, but I don't know that I see a better potential buy for the fuel-efficiency, warranty and good interest rate (I have 'A' credit).

    I've had decent experiences in nicer Focuses for long rental rides, too.
  8. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    May I suggest, instead of a new car, you should consider a program car
    You can get some fantastic deals on cars that were rentals for a year or less.
    My car is a program car. Paid about 10 grand for it, was still under warranty, haven't had a hint of trouble out of it in the time I've had it.
    The GF is looking at getting a car as well. One place had a 2009 program car and it was on sale for about 11k. The exact same car, just new, was selling for 23k.
  9. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    A man with your screen name can't be wrong all that often. I'll look into it, for sure. Thanks.

    Any more suggestions, my mostly-anonymous, waiting-to-be-laid-off comrades?
  10. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    My 2006 Cobalt was a program car, and I got it for about 12K less than I would have paid for it new. And I got my dad's employee discount through GM, so that walloped off another few thousand.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I got a program car (a 98 Sunfire, shut it!), bought an extended warranty, which paid for itself when my air conditioner went out, and I was pretty happy with the situtation. You can get a pretty good car that just a year or two old and not abused that way.
  12. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Also Hammer, look into GAP insurance if you're buying a newer car. It wasn't that much more to add to my payment, maybe 15-20 bucks a month, but it's worth it to have just in case.
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