Car buying tips?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bridget, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. bridget

    bridget Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Soon I will have to buy a new car or put big bucks into my 96 escort. I was looking at the smaller Kias -used-for around 8 or 9 thousand. Would it be possible to get one with payments at less than 200 a month? Hopefully a lot less?

    Any tips on how to buy a used car would be appreciated.
  2. MelissaW

    MelissaW Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2003
    NE Ohio
    You will pay far less if you by one through a private party rather than a dealer. Of course, this would require getting financing indepedantly. You could talk to your banker about various kinds of loans. My husband does automotive repair on the side, and his customers often bring cars they are test driving by for a "check up" before purchase. If you have a mechanic friend who is willing to do this, it's a good idea to have them lined up in advance. I also look up the Kelley Blue Book or NADA value of any car customers bring by. You can check the trade in, private party, or retail value of any car that way. Every car dealer knows about these guides, so if you choose to go retail, be armed with your numbers in advance. They will be less likely to try to rip you off that way. If a fairly new car has been re-painted, ask LOTS of questions. Chances are it has been wrecked, which can cause problems down the line. You can also look up the book value of your Escort before you sell it to give you an idea of what to ask. Best of luck!!

  3. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

    Oct 14, 2004
    New or used, I never finance one for longer than the warranty. I could never understand making payments and paying large repair bills on a car. This may drive the payment out of most peoples range or force cash only sales, but it's one I'll put up with.
  4. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 10, 2005
    NW Georgia
    If you can qualify for membership in a credit union, that is oftentimes a good place to finance a used vehicle. Buying a low mileage vehicle from an individual is usually the best route (as noted above), and this past year, I ran across a Hyundai with only 90 miles on it!! The lady had won it in a contest and she prefered her Lexus (go figure). Most of the warranty transferred with it. Good luck.
  5. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2004
    What does the "big bucks" include for fixing the Escort? I always figure it is cheaper to keep a car going until the body falls apart than to replace it, and I would never borrow money to cover an expense, which is what a car is. Many people replace a car when it would be only the cost of one or two payments on a different one to repair what is needed. Of course, I don't know the details, but be sure to consider repairs instead of replacement.

  6. pogitondo

    pogitondo Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    I can offer a couple of tips.
    Regarding payment,figure $20-$25 monthly payment for every $1000 you finance.Your credit score really determines this,if its over 700 you are golden.
    Shop early,I have seen offers turned down at 9 pm that would have been accepted at 9 am.
    Salesman often makes a bonus if deal closes before noon.
    Friday morning is a good time to go...they want to start the week-end sales!
    Take some one with you,anyone .
    If they pull out the old four square ,don't focus on monthly payment...look at total sales price and trade allowance.
    If you don't like your salesman ask for another.
    Don't be afraid to get up and walk out.
    When I sold Kia about a year ago,it was easy to get a certified former daily rental for around 7k
    You do pay more at a dealer, but (Here in Ca.)you know it will pass smog and the brakes are good........
    Hope this helps,
  7. 1/4acre

    1/4acre Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    Take any car you are considering for a test drive to your favorite mechanic. With a "96 "escort you probably know several. All VIN numbers can be checked via the net to see if the car has been in an accident. Make sure to check or have your mechanic do it for you. I've had very good luck finding used cars for sale through the local newspaper and through friends. Good Luck with your search. :)
  8. airotciv

    airotciv Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 6, 2005
    NW Oregon
    My husband is so good at going here. First, Act interested. Then walk away. come back the next day and look again. Then offer them what you can aford. They(car dealership) will come back with this is the lowest they can take. Say No. If they are needing this sale they will call you back for the price you want. If not we look for another car. We don't buy cars much, we just wear them out, but when we do need a new (used) car, we tell them what we will pay for the car. The last 3 cars, over a 20 year period have been at our price not theirs.
  9. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

    Nov 11, 2004
    State of Jefferson
    Don't buy a car from the gulf coast for the next few years
  10. pcwerk

    pcwerk Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 1, 2003
    SE Minnesota
    I have kept a 1987 Escort going that my mom drives. Try not to get into
    the payment thing.
  11. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 13, 2004
    Middle of nowhere along the Rim, Arizona
    I just bought a brand new truck and traded in a nearly paid off S10 for it. I'll tell you why -- I'm a woman, I drive alone in remote areas, and danged if I want to break down by the side of the road on some remote road where cel phones don't work and god-knows-who is listening to the CB!

    Also, I've not found the the bit about repairs being less than payments on a new car to be true if you drive a lot ... I sold the dang S10 after it broke down 3 times in two months, and when I added up the repairs on it, plus the new tires it would need within a year, and the brake shoes/rotors it needed, plus some issues I knew it had lurking that would need repairs within a year or two, it made more financial sense to buy a new truck. The payments on the new truck will be less, over the next few years, than expected repairs on that S10.

    As far as dickering ...

    BEFORE you go, figure out what features you want, what features you'd like, and what you can live without. (And remember, base models have fewer doohickies to break. I happen to like wind up windows and manual seats. They're cheaper to fix three or four years down the road when they break!)(

    Find out your credit score and get prequalified for a loan at a credit union or bank -- you may not need the loan at the union, but it's a dickering point. (When I bought my truck, the funniest part was that the dealership ended up getting my loan through the same credit union I'd used to find out what I was eligible for.)

    Figure out what your payments will be per month per thousand financed, with the interest rate you qualified for. Write this down. Bring a calculator. I can do loan calculations longhand, but I'm sure there are online calculatorss that can help you figure out what you'll pay for X interest rate at Y months for one thousand dollars.

    If you know you're going to pay, say, $20 per thousand dollars at 72 months, you can figure out payments yourself either in your head or on a calculator, and trump the !#$# salesman when he pulls the little four-square paper out. It REALLY scares them if you look like you're doing loan calculations in your head, by the way, which is easy to do if you pause, cock your head, do some basic multiplication in your head because you already know what it costs per thou, and pause a minute longer, and then pretend you just did the entire calculation in your head for the payment rather than just doing a few times tables, and tell them what the payment should be. (I wouldn't do that. Naaaaaah.)

    Be ready to walk. I didn't get the price and terms on my truck I wanted until we got up and LEFT, meaning to leave. (I knew the payments should be around a certain amount and they weren't giving it to me.) They ran after us in the parking lot.

    And one more tip -- if you think you've agreed to certain terms for the loan, READ YOUR PAPERS when you get them. It's not unheard of for dealerships to try to poull a "fast one" and hand you an agreement to sign with different terms than what you discussed. They pulled that one on me! Consider yourself on enemy territory and making a deal with the devil when buying a car ...

  12. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    SouthEastern Illinois
    Buy CHEAP! I cannot Justify spending $20k on Transportation!

    Get somthing for $5,000 or less, and invest in quality tools(incl. scanner) so you can fix the car yourself!

    You'll save THOUSANDS in vehicle cost and Labor from the local repair shop, also you will gain work experience with the Vehicle, it is good to know how to fix your own car.