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alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Mandalay posted:

I'm getting some really price-competitive, hassle-free quotes from https://www.truecar.com. Seems too good to be true?

Interesting website - anyone know how accurate all of the values are?

Dealer paid/average paid/factory invoice/etc.

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alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


I am probably going to buy a car over the next couple weeks and am trying to figure out how to find what a good price is on a used car. I am looking for 2007-2008 Hyundai Elantra or maybe a Sonata. A lot of dealers are listing these cars for between 11-13k. What is a reasonable offer to open with? I was thinking roughly 20% below their price. There seems to be a lot of information out there for finding the dealer costs of current models, but it gets much murkier with used vehicles.

I plan on just paying with cash, should I wait to mention that and focus on price first?

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Throatwarbler posted:

No, he will still be ahead (albeit only marginally, by the value of the lease option) even if he keeps the car forever. I explained why in my post from 5 pages ago. Faceless Clock is correct, leasing is ALWAYS better than buying a new car, with no exceptions. Your problem is that you are still thinking of it in terms of month to month payments, without considering the whole picture.

Throatwarbler, I thought we discussed this earlier. A lease is not always better. It depends obviously on the cost of the lease vs purchasing. This is definitely NOT an absolute. You have this idea that because a lease is an option it is always the better option. This is just a plain fallacy.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


FiancÚ and I are selling two 14 year old cars and are planning on buying a slightly used car (2009ish). Does anyone know what a good target is in terms of percent of annual income to price? I do NOT mean monthly payments/DTI, but are we being too spendy by spending 15k on a car? To be clear, we are going to be paying cash and just want to get a sense of how much income one should have to justify this.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Thanks, that is sort of what I was thinking. I have maxed 401k and IRA to federal limits (as has she) and we still have plenty of cash left over. I feel totally comfortable paying for the car, but it starts to get into a sort of nebulous big picture budget question. How much should I be saving for retirement, possible house downpayment/rennovation, big expenditures like vacation, are there any other big ones I am missing here? This goes beyond the scope of this thread, but I am curious to see goon's budgets for this stuff (not month-to-month). Maybe I'll start a longterm budget thread.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


ttysco posted:

I know VW-dealers will report all maintenace to carfax. It's when someone gets in an accident and doesn't report it to the insurance and just pays some random mechanic to fix the problem is when it doesn't get reported.

I just sold my car that was in an accident and it was not on the car fax. There wasn't any serious damage, but because a lot of body panels were wrecked it was a very pricey repair bill so I went through insurance.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Grumpwagon posted:

Buy a Korean car, seriously. They're like what Honda/Toyota were back in the 90s. Their quality has improved WAY faster than their reputation, so they're cheap.

They also have the best warranties of any company. 60,000 / 5 Year bumper-to-bumper and 100,000 / 10 Year power train.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


hobbesmaster posted:

Ignore this post if you buy used.

Did you do any research? The 5yr/60k bumper to bumper warranty transfers to any subsequent owner. The 10yr/100k power-train warranty does not, except if it is purchased as certified pre-owned from a Hyundai dealership (as mine was).

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Doing all of your own repairs also has the tremendous cost of time.

I can look up a few mechanics to get some quotes, drop my car off, and swing later and pick it up. I spent maybe a little over an hour dealing with the whole problem rather than it being a day long project.

People who are doing their own car maintenance have usually invested a large amount of time into learning it. These are usually the same people who really enjoy cars and doing their own maintenance so when they are reading AI about a guy who totally did a sweet job swapping cylinders in his RX8 (I know), they are leaning. Also there is no guarantee if you do it yourself you get it right either. It possible you'd the need to take it to a mechanic to really fix it.

If working on cars is something you really enjoy doing then by all means go ahead and do it and I'm glad it helps you save a bundle, but it's really not practical advice for most people.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


The more I think about it I honestly believe the biggest factor is if you find it fun and enjoyable it is for you to work on.

If you don't enjoy it, then spending six hours working on your car is really 'work' you are being 'paid' for via cost savings. If you do enjoy it, then it's a hobbie that lets you save money. Obviously time is a requirement and if you are working 80 hours a week it doesn't matter, but I think really it comes down to how you view the activity.

If you don't do work yourself, then like Cornholio said it is easy and valuable to at least know the basics about your car. Being able to point out the air filter, oil filter, fuse boxes etc. can save you from being screwed. Also assuming the car is in condition to run just take it to a couple different mechanics and get different estimates.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


LorneReams posted:

Some utilities use a credit forward payment service that absolutely will count as an installment loan on a credit report.

My gas bill is on my credit report where as my electric is not. Sort of annoying because each billing cycle it will shows $104/104, 100% utilitzation. Glad I have a few high-limit cards to still keep the ratio low...

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


This is BFC, can you at least post your income and expenses? It is certainly a poor financial decision, but if your pulling down 150k you can afford to do it. If you are a couple years out of school making 50-60k it really is a terrible idea.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


I see your point and you have been saving but I just want to make a few points.

1) You have the income to make this purchase without going bankrupt. However it is going to cost you tremendously in the long run. Due to the power of compounding interest if you put that in savings now and make this purchase later in life you will be much better off.
2) I also understand the car passion so while you certainly will be spending more than BFC would ever recommend, why not come down in price? You could still pick up a number of nice slightly used luxury cars. I'm thinking an 08/09 Audi/BMW/Acura.

If you do end up buying a new car the usual suggestion is to email/fax asking their absolute lowest price on x car with xyz in color and options.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


I was looking for something very similar to you about six months ago. My old car was falling apart on the inside and would occasionally give me heart attacks that it wouldn't start.

Pretty quickly I decided I want to buy used as the value proposition is just so much stronger. However I didn't want to go too old so I focused my search on cars less than three years old and under 40,000 miles. After I decided on that I started to focus on make and model. One benefit of my job is I rent a car every week so have been in a huge variety of cars and had an idea of what I wanted (mid size four door). The models I immediately focused on were:

Toyta Camry
Honda Accord
Nissan Altima
Ford Fusion
Hyundai Sonata
Mazda 6

I got in all of them at a variety of dealerships and got a feel for each one. One thing I quickly found out is that about 50% of all the cars I was looking at were in fact ex-rentals. At first I was off put by this but did a bunch of reading and came to the conclusion it was not a big detriment. Rental cars are maintained reliably and when you're buying a slow mid-size car, it's not like people are beating the crap out of them. I'll admit I was first biased towards the Toyota and Honda based on the cars my family and friends have had and just how solid they are, but they really do command a premium as a used car. Every one of them I found either had more miles, was more expensive, or had no options. I liked the fusion but there weren't a ton of them around me for some reason and the few I checked out had issues (one had three inches of water in the bottom of the trunk?!). I got in the Mazda and just didn't like it from a personal preference and the fact it was a little bit more expensive.

That left the Nissan and the Hyundai, these were the two winners of this list for me. Once I had narrowed it down I did a ton of research on both of them, down to which years had certain issues, recall information etc. Both of them were fine cars but a couple things really helped me make a final decision. The Nissan's were slightly more expensive, typically had slightly fewer options, and the biggest was didn't have as good of warranty. After two months of searching I finally decided on the Hyundai Sonata.

Once I had picked out the Sonata I looked at every dealership in a 50 mile radius and pulled their used inventory. I wanted to buy from a Hyundai dealership because that was the only way to get it certified pre-owned which transferred the 10year/100,000 mile power train warranty. I ended up pulling about 150 Sonatas in total (benefit of living in a large metro area) and compiled a list of year/VIN/miles/list price/clean history. I then spent about three weekends driving around to different dealerships and test driving several dozen.

I would negotiate a price and then usually walk out to see what would happen while I was doing these test drives. In general the sticker on the lot was about $1000-$2000 higher than was listed on the internet. They would open saying they could come a couple hundred off the sticker but that was it. I would always bring a print out of a car I was serious about and show that to them. I would say in general I was able to negotiate another $500-700 off the internet price. So a car listed for $16,500 on the lot was listed for $15,000 online I could get down to maybe $14,200-$14,500. If I started walking off I could usually get another couple hundred down off the price, but that was about it. I did the hard walk out on numerous places and didn't get any further than that.

At one dealership I finally found a car that had impeccable service records (oil charges every 3000 miles, all scheduled maintained performed at a dealership, and all recorded). It also was not a rental but was a traveling sales man car - 35,000 miles in 2 years. It had every single option aside from navigation which was the one option I didn't want. Negotiated with almost the exact same results and finally made a deal. I always did negotiations with the 'out the door' price. After any taxes, fees, etc. I also paid cash so I didn't play any financing games. They inspected the car, replaced the rear brake pads since they didn't have enough life left to meet the pre-owned inspection criteria.

When we were checking out used cars, the saleswoman asked if I wanted to check out new cars. I didn't really want to buy one but said sure to check it out. Base model new cars were $19k and ones with the options were $24k-26k. I am glad I looked because it basically re-affirmed my decision to buy used. In the end I could not be happier. I still have the manufacturer bumper-bumper warrant for another 2.5 years / 20,000 miles which at my driving rate should happen around the same time. Because I bought CPO from the dealership I also have the extended 10year/100k warranty. The interior of the car reminds me more of an upscale Lexus/Acura/Infiniti than a Toyota or Honda. I could not be happier with my purchase.

The warranty is comically better than other companies, the interior is nice for the price, and it's more affordable than the Japanese imports.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Mazda 5 are semi popular rental cars, you might be able to find a couple new ones with high miles. I was looking for Hyundai's and a lot were rentals. You know they were maintained, and I doubt any seriously was too hard on a four cylinder minivan.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Look for a used Hyundai. If you buy certified pre-owned the warranties carry over and will cover you for 5 years/60,000 miles. For their price level they have some really nice features.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


NOTinuyasha posted:

I just put a deposit on a new 2011 Elantra Limited, only paid $100 above invoice (~$20,100 plus $720 destination), 2.9%/48 months. I'm 20 with a 640 credit rating, $4000 down and had my grandfather co-sign. The insurance comes out to $160 a month.

Other cars I test drove :

-Fiesta, really narrow thanks to a big center console and narrow wheelbase, terrible rear seats
-Cruze, higher price, annoying styling, GM resale value
-Mazda3, higher price, crappy fuel economy, way too common

I didn't bother with the Corolla/Civic/Fit since all seem to be end of lifecycle for 2011.

The Hyundai dealer wasn't pushy at all, but the Elantra seems a bit difficult to pin down, they didn't have any on the lot except for the one I test drove, which was sold the next day. I wanted a specific color anyway, so it's getting shipped in this week :)

Great choice, I have a Hyundai and absolutely love it as well. It has been one of those purchases every time I get in the car I feel good about my purchase, even a year later. Also the ipod hookup is great the way it can be controlled through the actual stereo.

One thing though, maybe try shopping around on insurance. Unless those are Aussie dollars, you have been in a wreck, or have a $0 deductible, it seems quite high. I have a Sonata with full coverage $500 deductible and its $69/mo.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


Orange_Lazarus posted:

However I remember reading that older Hyundais need to be avoided like the plague, is this still true and if so when did Hyundai turn around?

Believe their big quality turnaround was 2005-2006. I wouldn't look prior to that. I'm going to toss in a vote for Nissan. I have three friends who have Altima/Maximas from early 2000's and those cars seem bulletproof.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


CornHolio posted:

I'm giving serious thought to getting a third vehicle.

Now, before you go all "HAHA TYPICAL CH NOTHING CHANGES OMG" let me explain. This probably wouldn't happen until this fall or even next spring, when I'm in an even better position than I am now.

I'd like a cheap spare utility vehicle like a small pickup or SUV. I'm thinking Ford Ranger, Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Dakota territory. I'm also thinking no more than $1,000.

Here are my arguments:

- Being able to pull one of my other two cars off the road and fix at my leisure, rather than having a mechanic do it because I need it back right away.
- Being able to haul stuff as needed rather than rent a U-haul or borrow someone elses vehicle
- Parts for what I listed above are stupidly cheap nd decent examples are all over the pick-n-pulls.
- If I need the money I should be able to sell it for about what I paid for it, assuming halfway decent condition and still running.
- If I have to replace one of my daily drivers, I can take my time doing so rather than needing a new vehicle right away and not being able to do research or wait for a good deal.

I have a hard-on for the old AMC 4.0 six, which is why I'd like a Cherokee; though I've heard the manuals have issues, so I might have to spring for an automatic and hate life. I don't know much about Dakotas or Rangers but don't often hear bad stuff about them. I have, however, heard bad things about working on S10s so I think I'd avoid those.

Am I completely insane or am I being rational here? And if I am in fact being somewhat rational, any thoughts on what a good cheap spare vehicle would be?

From a purely financial point of view I think this is dumb decision.

First of all I think it would really cost more than $1000 for a truck, and if it was a $1000 or less, its going to break down and require its own maintenance. You are going to have to pay taxes, insurance, and registration on the truck as well increasing the true cost of ownership. That money would go a long way towards buying AAA towing coverage, renting a truck on the few occasions you need it.

Clearly the way you worded it is you want it to be something more of a hobby. That's fine but lets not phrase it a financially wise step. As for if you have the money for it now, I would say no. Wait until you are debt free and then if its something you still want to pursue, go for it.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


NOTinuyasha posted:

I test drove the '11 Jetta TDI today - I really love the power output of the diesel engine but the interior was really lovely and the steering was reminiscent of my old Volvo.

That is what did it for me. Cars are built pretty well now, Toyota/Honda/Ford are all going to last if you treat them well. But the interior of the Hyundai was closer to their luxury brands than the cheap brands. Plus the warranty was totally kick rear end.

alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


NOTinuyasha posted:

After a month of waiting for an Elantra I had a change of heart, canceled my deposit and went searching again. I found an '08 mercedes C300 sport RWD, with 35k, listed for $26,000. That was 4 grand below the KBB; it had been sitting for 5 months and had been marked down over and over. Great shape, new tires/brakes + 15 months warranty. I bought it today, financed for 66 months/1.99% with 8 grand down. The insurance actually worked out a bit cheaper then the Hyundai which didn't make much sense but whatever. Because I bought an overpriced brand name German import that takes premium when premium costs 4 dollars a gallon I'm not sure if I'm allowed to whine about VWs in this thread anymore.

Haha drat, that seems like a total 180 from a modest Hyundai compact. To each their own though... Hopefully you don't need 66 months to pay it back, that seems like such an odd term.

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alreadybeen
Nov 24, 2009


blugu64 posted:

What's the best method I can use to tell how much car I can afford? I've got 10k-ish to spend, about a grand and a half in ccard debt, and am putting a decent amount in to savings/retirement accounts, not bad but I feel I could do better. I don't want to finance anything.

Can I afford to drop 8~k (asking price) on a '99-01 miata with 60k~ miles on it?

I don't have a car to sell/trade, as I've been motorcycle only for the past 3-4 years and commuting to the office during rush hour is getting to test my bravery. Plus sweet sweet air con would be nice. I plan on paying off that credit card the month after I get a car.

Why do you have credit card debt?

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