Gettin’ Some Wheels

Yippee!!! The one good thing about having my car totaled in a car accident last week is that I’m getting a decent settlement to buy a new car. And the weird thing is I wanted a new car, but couldn’t bear to shell out the money. Life works in mysterious ways…

Now the fun starts. I love to haggle, but somehow the thought of traipsing around to different dealerships and navigating through all the car dealers various ploys to separate me from my money makes me bone weary to even think about. The last time I went through this, my then race-car boyfriend got so annoyed with me that I ditched him. He hated that I wouldn’t budge on the dealer offer price of a car that HE wanted me to buy. The silly boy actually sided with the dealer to the tune of an extra $2500! Luckily, it was the perfect ploy to get rid of Mr. Car Racer.

So now I’m hunting around trying to figure out how to not get ‘taken’ and I found this website, which gives the top ten car dealer scams. AND tells you where and how to get the best financing. Cool.
If YOU have any good new car buying tips….feel free to share!

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12 Replies to “Gettin’ Some Wheels”

  1. I had a good experience last year with carsdirect.com, as did my mother. Depending on the car, you can get a better deal than any dealership will give you. They offered me a wonderful deal, but since I ended up choosing a Scion, I didn’t need to bother with them anyway.

  2. If you’re in a credit union (our is First Entertainment), try their buying service. I used Autoland for my last purchase. Very easy to use.

    Avoid, at all costs, Miller Honda/Toyota in Culver City. They have a lousy reputation for ripping people off on service and more (they tried it with me, but didn’t succeed).

  3. Last car I bought I used edmunds.com. They have reviews of most cars, price comparisons, and a feature where you can send an internet quote request to like 3-5 different dealers… then you get a nice competitive quote back (mine was under invoice price) and you don’t have to haggle, you just go and talk to the dealer’s internet guy and get the price they quoted.

    At least, that’s how it worked for my fourteen thousand dollar honda civic.

  4. If you’re buying new, call up the dealership and ask for the fleet manager. Officially, they don’t deal with the public, but they won’t turn down a sale either. When I bought my last new car (a 92 Miata), I was able to get the car I wanted (almost, my first choice color was scarce, and the only TWO in California were respectively at a dealership in San Francisco with a dent and 12k miles, and sitting on the docks in Long Beach waiting to clear customs) and get a price on the car given to me over the phone. I might have been able to save a few hundred bucks by haggling with a dealer, but knowing what car I wanted allowed me to go this route and save myself a great deal of effort.

    Also, don’t feel any loyalty to any dealership employee. They’re not your friends, and their primary responsibility is to make as much money as possible. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you get a better deal elsewhere.

  5. http://www.pricegrabber.com does the shopping for you.
    You pick the car you want and they submit the configuration to different dealers who bid on the prices and at the end of 2 days, you see the best price and contact information for the dealer.
    Best of all, it costs you nothing! Try it out.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I work for PriceGrabber

  6. I’d say to be very wary of #9 on that list of scams (“Previously Wrecked Used Car”). I recently bought a Certified Pre-Owned VW from Timmons VW in Long Beach, and it’s been in and out of the shop ever since. I recently found out that it’s been previously wrecked (should have been noticed in the Certified Pre-Owned inspection), and the dealership refuses to admit they knew, since “the Carfax report doesn’t show any accidents.” Never trust the Carfax, the Certified Pre-Owned program, or Timmons VW.

  7. Another vote for AutoLand/credit union. They got me the exact car I wanted, no haggling necessary, at a good price.

  8. When you decide which car is for you, walk into the dealership with a poleax and slaughter the nearest salesperson. Cut them in two. This will intimidate the other sales staff and management, guaranteeing you the best possible price. Hey, how do you think I scored my horseless carriage?

  9. It helps to know what prices other people have been getting on the same model.

    For example, when we got our car back in late 04 I had a friend who had just gotten the same model literally a week before. My mom told the sales guy “I’m tired, bitchy, want to be out of here in an hour, and I want you to beat the deal she got.” – We were out of there within an hour of finishing the test drive and they beat her price by $1000.

    Sure as hell beats the 8 hour haggling session we had when we got our truck in 99!

  10. Edmunds.com also has good advice about car shopping, like how the dealers make their money, and how much is too much to pay (I think they said not to pay more than 3% over invoice).

  11. Wow! Thanks for all the great tips! I’ve been dreading the whole experience…but since I do know exactly what I want, down to the color and add-ons, this will make it easier! I’m thinking I am going to go the internet route….but might hit some dealerships as well.

  12. Autoland actually brought the vehicle (a 2001 Ford Explorer SportTrac) to my house for a test drive, and brought the CU paperwork in case I decided to buy it. They TOTALLY rock!

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