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 Car buying tips/advice needed

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OxygenDeprived
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm looking at buying a new car soon with gas prices soaring here in the states. I'm looking at a 2008 Toyota Yaris (4 door) to be specific. To be honest, I suck at buying cars and usually end up paying full price. What tips can you guys offer for getting the best price?

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

tommo will help, if he's not selling it to ya and if he is not making love at the moment. Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Ima Baeder
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I always recommend Hondas, I've had two, my husband has one and we've been really pleased.

Regardless of the make of car you buy, my recommendation is to do research online on the car including the base price, manufacturer's suggested retail, costs for packages/options, etc.
That way, when the salesperson shows you a particular make with certain options, you'll know if it's a fair price or not.
You can also always ask them to throw in extras, or try to get them to lower the price, or to give you more money for the junk you're trading in, and the worst that they can do is to say no.

Good Luck!

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Saint Arnold
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Here's what works best for me. Write down EXACTLY you want. Take it to a dealer. Tell him that there are x dealers in town selling this product and you are going to buy it from the lowest cost supplier. You do not care about service because you aren't getting it serviced there. You don't want to talk about trade in, or financing, or anything else they use to confuse the issue - all you want is his best price on the car.

If he has the best price, you'll come back and buy it from him, if he doesn't, you won't. You will not give him a chance to beat someone else's price. (This is what you tell him, but it's not quite true. Tell each dealer you visit that your lowest quote so far is $100 less than it really is, then go back to the first one with the same story.) You want his rock bottom price, and that's it. Several sales people won't play this game, ask to speak to their manager. Stick to your guns. Pretend you are talking to one of your lads. You have to be a bit of an a$$ for this to really sink in, but don't worry about that, you are never going to be friends with your salesman anyway.

Dealers use all sorts of tricks to confuse the hell out of you - don't let them do this. Focus on your drive-out price also, they'll get you hooked on the car price then try to convince you that you need them to put a $250 coat of Scotchguard on the seats.

The Internet helps you - you can do a lot of this via email now.

Hopefully there are multiple Toyota dealers in your general area!

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'll echo what Krona and Ima wrote. Some online stuff you may find helpful, I hope. Smile

Top Gear reviews are reliable, I have found when I've used them in the past, and the Yaris one is here:
http://www.topgear.com/drives/E6/C7/
I know someone who has owned a Yaris for a few years and is very happy with it.
It also came third in the JD Power customer survey 2007:
http://www.whatcar.co.uk/news-special-report.aspx?NA=225557&EL=3196974#

I like Mazda for reliability and reasonable service costs. If I were going to replace my car, I'd probably check out the kind of price one can expect to pay here: http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/used-prices/Valuation.aspx?deriv=25670&plate=73 or here:
http://www.whatcar.com/newautotrader/valuations_search.asp

Glass' Guide (http://www.glass.co.uk/) is widely used here, and is probably the most reliable source of info on fair prices, but you have to buy a copy or pay to use the online service (3.50 per valuation)

For safety, check out the results of your preferred choice's NCAP (new car assessment programme) test:
http://www.euroncap.com

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Old No. 7
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^
What they said. I would just add always be prepared to walk away.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Check your credit score before you go. I had a very high credit score and was able to get the car well under invoice, with zero percent financing, and zero finance charge, etc. A "scam" that is very common is that a dealer will qualify a buyer and let them drive the car off the lot, only to have that buyer's credit application denied a few days later. Then, the buyer has to return the car, and pay a fairly large usage fee for the time the car was in their care. Crazy, I know, but I hear it all the time on a consumer advocate program that I listen to.

If you're buying new, you may want to consider getting "gap insurance". If you live in the middle of North Dakota and don't anticipate getting in a wreck that will total the car, don't bother. However, if you buy a new car and it gets totalled right away, the gap insurance will cover the difference between what your insurance company will pay and what your loan amount is. Remember, you lose a LOT of value on the car the moment you drive it off the lot.

Talk to the dealer about what type of incentives the manufacturer offers the dealership for the volume of sales. Sometimes, a dealer will take a loss on a single vehicle, so that they can meet a target number of sales. It's best to find out when their month-end is, and shop at that time as well.

If you're buying a used car, make sure to take it to YOUR mechanic, and have it checked. Some dealers will do some very shady things with the cars, and you'll buy a piece of junk. In those cases, you're pretty much screwed. The one rule of buying used is "miles, miles, miles". It doesn't matter if the car's interior is nice. If it has 200,000 miles on it, it's junk. Buy low miles, and get a Carfax report on it!

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OxygenDeprived
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the tips. Talking w/ a car guy here at work pretty much said much of what you guys said too. In the past I've been a salesman's dream, never haggling. This time I did the test drive on Sat and brought family (had to make sure kids would all fit) and was able to go at dinner time so I had an out to make sure I didn't do anything stupid. I really want to get rid of my truck (poor MPG) but am not letting into them how badly so they don't think I'm ready to cave in. Sadly the Yaris sells quick, and they only have 1 of the color I love, so I don't want to play too hard ball, but I don't want to pay more than I have to.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I had good luck with carsdirect.com

You can get quotes from several dealers and then take the lowest one to your local dealer and ask him to beat it.

Keep discussions about your trade-in separate from discussions about the price of the new car. I usually tell them that I'm undecided about trading my car in until I've settled on the price of the car I'm buying, then I ask for a trade in valuation.

Also, don't buy a new car. The $3000 that you save by buying a 2 year old car buys alot of gas even at $4/gallon.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 4:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I repeat, always be prepared to walk away.

To my knowledge, Toyota have yet to have a colour run of 1 - there will always be another car.

What you have to ask yourself is "Am I prepared to pay top dollar for a colour I love, or would I rather take another car, maybe not in my first choice of colour?".

1. If you want a car and the salesman is one of many you can buy from - you have the upper hand.

2. If the salesman has the one car that you think you want above all other - the salesman has the upper hand.

Moving between state (1) and state (2) is purely in your hands.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 5:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@William, checking out Carsdirect now, thanks. The only problem with buying a car a year or two old is that they are most likely from rental companies. I used to work for one and talked to the people that sold them as well, and they told me almost everything you see that is 1 or 2 years old are from rental companies that get new inventory, and you know how people handle rental cars Laughing

@#7, I have intention of telling him I want a certain color, as I want that upper hand.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 5:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Just wanted to add one more thought. Don't discount the idea of getting a car from out of state. I've done this several times. Prices can vary greatly, and if you find a dealer looking to unload a car that's been sitting you can often save more than enough to offset the shipping charges.
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 5:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ been doing that originally with my searches since I am 5 minutes from another state Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If you finance the car, the finance manager at the dealership will try to tack all kinds of things on to your loan. Credit life insurance, extended warranty, undercoating, scotch guard on the interior, it goes on and on. Don't let him - look at the final paperwork very carefully before you sign it.

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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 11:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ima wrote:
I always recommend Hondas


I bought a Honda Accord in 1995. I told a friend of mine about it and he said "Hondas are boring." I asked what he meant by that and he replied "They just run for ever and nothing ever goes wrong. They're boring." Of course he was kidding on the square. I've had this for over 13 years now, close to 200,000 miles, and I've had exactly zero problems. None. Nada. The paint is starting to fade, it has a few minor scuffs and bruises, and it's looking tatty. I want to replace it with a zippy new car but how can I justify it when this is long since paid for, drives flawlessly, has cheap insurance, is boringly reliable, and gets great mileage? Wink

Getting back on topic, lots of good advice here but I'm siding with Old No. 7: walk-away power is the most important tool in your arsenal.

EDIT: One other thing I have found is a key: negociate for an out-the-door price. Set your figure and stick to it. Don't let them add anything on. The price has to be keys-in-hand, tax, license and doc fees included, all for one nice round figure. As soon as they try to tack another $100 for undercoating or whatever, start for the door.

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OxygenDeprived
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 12:22 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Tomorrow I'm stopping in at the dealer to see what their best price after work to is they can do for me. Thanks for reminding me Sheboppe about the crap they add at the end, but I always do decline that stuff. Um, any of you expert buyers wanna come with me? Laughing

Juan, ok, I'll go for the out the door price. I will make sure I'm mentally prepared to walk out of there and let them call me if they want a sale at my price.

I would consider Honda, but the Honda Fit is kind of "fugly" Shocked and the Civic is a bit more than I want to stretch the budget. Just too bad the US automakers can't build cars that are all that reliable (quality is job one anybody Rolling Eyes ).

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 12:43 am Reply with quoteBack to top

One last comment, you may want to consider Hyundai. When we replaced our VW POS last year I bought a Hyundai Elantra. I'm hoping this gives the Honda a run for the money -- certainly the reviews are good, and their warranty is the best around: 10 years, 100,000 miles. We got a great deal and we love the car (almost a year now). Fast, comfortable, highly maneuverable, and incredible mileage -- we average 32-35 every fillup. And the price was fantastic.

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 1:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Whatever you decide to buy, new/used, Toyota, Ford etc ALWAYS go shopping at the end of the month or even better at the end of the financial or tax year. Dealers have sales targets and the nearer the deadline the more they will haggle.

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 1:10 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Juan's advice on the Honda and Hyundai are spot on. As far as cost effectiveness the Hyundai will offer much more for your dollar. The old jokes about Hyundais are just that, old. The Toyota is an excellent car but... due to its great gas mileage you will be paying a premium for it. You may consider last years Corolla. They just came out with a new body style and are willing to take a loss on remaining Corollas. Drive the two, the Corolla is a better car and with a 0-60mph, of 8 sec, not slow.

There are two options.-
Go to the dealer and drive the cars and write down all the option codes on the window sticker. Go online to Edmunds.com and figure what they all cost. Email a script of your requirements to 12 new car dealers. Once the responses come in, forward the lowest price to all the others with a note to ask them to beat the price. Call the lowest, get a name and ask "Is this a low ball bid? What is my out the door on this? Do you have the car?". Use your cell phone to call them from the parking lot just before you go in.
The second option is to wait for the Friday paper to come in and immediately go to the dealer with the ad. Buy the "ad car". Forget the color, forget the options you want, just buy the car. The ad car is the lowest possible price on that car. You cannot negotiate a lower price.

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

~ OxygenDeprived,

Can't you find out who the previous owner was? Over here (UK) you'll see who the previous owner was and how many previous owners there have been. I haven't bought a car in the U.S. for ten years so my memory lets me down.
Also, I have this vague memory of there being those 'car supermarkets' out in CA where the price on the car is the price you'll actually pay with no margin for haggling. Any of those around? They may mostly have the former rentals though.
We bought ours here from one of those and it was two years old, 10,000 miles, one previous owner (private party), close to 4,000 (approx. $8,000) cheaper than at the VW dealer and it came with one year of free VW warranty (car supermarket place said it didn't so we called local VW dealer and they said it did. They honored it when some funky sensor thingy broke a few months later and it was impossible to get it into gear [is an automatic as I can't drive UK stick shifts, grabbing the door handle doesn't work well to shift gears!]). Play hardball with the dealer, they'll cave in eventually! Especially now with the credit crunch and everything as it's really the buyers market these days. Good luck!

Edited car warranty info.


Last edited by MyMyselfAndI on Tue May 06, 2008 1:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:39 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
The only problem with buying a car a year or two old is that they are most likely from rental companies.


I heard a call to Car Talk some time back where someone was asking Click and Clack which was better - buying a used rental car or buying a used lease car. They recommended a used rental. It surprised me, but their logic was good - a reputable rental company takes good care of their cars. Sure, when you rent one you generally don't care much about how you drive, but sudden acceleration doesn't damage the car as much as, say, running out of oil will. You have no idea how well someone has kept up a lease car - the owner knows he's getting rid of it in two years, so he's less likely to maintain it well. A reputable rental company will maintain their cars well.

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Ok, I'll keep my options open a bit on used cars.

Wow, Click & Clack, I used to love reading those two in the Saturday insert of my paper years ago. I was sad when they dropped them from the paper (must have been due to cost savings). I'll have to check out their website.

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Connie L. Gus
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Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 6452
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow


PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 4:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Normally this would be a threadjack, but the OP brought up the subject.
Clik and Clack, the Tappet Brothers are on NPR on Saturday mornings. Consult your local listings. You can also pick up their program on their website.
http://www.cartalk.com/

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Closed lad accounts-a few, United Nations
LISTEN I CAN NOT TAKE YOUR SHIT ANY LONGER WE HAVE WHROTE A PETITION AGAINST YOU TO THE FBI WITH ALL OUR EVIDENCE YOU ARE INTO PROSTITUTION,DRUG DEALING, FORGERY, CREDIT CARDS FORGRY WESTEN UNION FALSIFICATION,DRUGING MEN,COMMETING MURDER, STEALING, DRUNCARD, ALL THIS WE HAVE THE EVIDENCE TO PROOF OUR CASE AGAINST YOU.-Johnson Hill
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Klaasvaak
Baiting Guru


Joined: 11 May 2004
Posts: 2150


PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 4:42 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

pay cash (if possible) you should be able to get a nice discount for cash payment

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Stepan Fetchit
Elite Baiter


Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 1977
Location: Anywhere but squaresville, man


PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 8:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Line your financing up before you go to the dealer!

Are you member of a credit union? Can you join one?

Check your bank rates if you have established accounts.

Get somewhat 'pre-approved' for an amount before you walk in the door.

Tell the salesman you are paying cash and/or don't need his financing.

Get the best price possible.

THEN, ask them what sort of deals/financing they have.

The 6% financing from the credit union or your bank is your fallback position....and almost always, I've financed with my credit union, and taken whatever rebate they offer.

They may offer you sex with the secretary, a birthday cake, free lawn service, $3000 rebate, and a trip to mars...but magically....after you are half way through the paperwork, you don't qualify because you only have two eyes or something.

THEN they steer you to higher rate financing!
'Just hang on! I want to see you in this car! ' Smarmy man says....
'Let me try another financing option...you're driving this baby home today!'

Here comes the 60 months at 12% financing that will mean you are upside down on the car payments until the last few months.....


Never forget where the door is.

Only finance for 3 years, 4 max. You won't need Gap insurance.

If you need to finance for more than 4 years, you can't afford the car.

I can't tell how many times I walked out on a salesman who wouldn't meet my price, and the phone was ringing at home by the time I got there....or the next day....or later in the week.

'COme in, the sales manager says your deal is OK'


Usually by then I'd bought a car, already, at MY price.

Watch the crap they add on.

YOU DON"T HAVE TO PAY ANY THING, except state, or local taxes, fees....government stuff.

You don't have to pay dealer prep.......hubcap rotation and environmental fee, etc.

Your vulnerable when you are sitting at the desk, and he is filling out the papers. You picture yourself driving the car.
They know that.
They slip crap in...... 'well, this is a $99.37 Dealership Donut fund fee we have to add to all the sales. I'm really sorry, but we have to....'

'That car already has the anti fart repellant applied to the seat covers...it's a $29.99 fee. Sorry it's already been applied. Can't take it off.'

Do your homework. If you think $11,000 is good price for the econobox you want, and have researched it, stick to it.
They'll add all kind of crap and act like you are stealing food from his disabled children, but WALK.

Don't sign anything until you see the actual total.

You don't need extended warranties.

The Hyundai/Kia have 100,000/10 year warranties, and the quality is comparable to the Jap stuff. Worth a look.

Don't overlook a wierd color, or maybe a car that's been sitting there for a while. Sometimes the dealership has an incentive to the salesman to move that turkey off the lot.

The salesman is not going to sell you a car he is not making money on.
Don't feel guilty. It's his job to try to ream you...it goes in his pocket.

It's your job to not get reamed!

Wink

Almost every new car is good, now. No clunkers.

You may also want to check insurance rates for the various models you are looking at....

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Last edited by Stepan Fetchit on Tue May 06, 2008 8:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
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