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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2014
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    393

    Default Buying & Trading in a Car alone...Nervous!

    I have a truck that my parents bought me before I started college in the summer of 2008.
    No major problems, but the battery died a few weeks ago, which lead to my truck not wanting to stay 'turned on' once I put it into gear. (Start, put in reverse, shut off. Take key out, try again, success!) Battery got changed out, but it then happened again about 3 days later. Told the parents, and they did some research, turns out that this truck has a problem with shutting off WHILE MOVING

    Needless to say, the parents want me in a new car ASAP.

    SO is out of town for the next few weeks, and the parents are a 3 hour flight away. Which means, I'm going to have to buy the car on my own.

    I'm worried about a few things:
    1) The salesmen won't take me seriously because I'm a girl- already dealt with one salesman saying "Aw honey, why don't you come back with your husband or father so we can work out a deal, we'll pick out a pretty car for you" (I walked out)

    2)The negotiation/trade in- My truck has been a barn car, and caught in a hail storm. It's not in 'excellent' condition, but fair. I'm not a great negotiator, so I want to be sure to get a good price for both the new car and my trade in (my parents are being SUPER generous and letting me use/keep the trade in $ for a down payment). Any tips?

    I'm in my early 20's and every major purchase I've made to this point has been with my parents, and my Dad is a fantastic negotiator, but his only advice so far is "Walk out"... any other ideas?

    Also- if anyone has opinions on what SUV's to get/steer clear of- that would be the most helpful! (Looking at the Grand Cherokee, Q5, XC60, LR2, Santa Fe etc...)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    6,802

    Default

    Know the NADA value of it, of course, but don't hold your breath getting an excellent trade in offer on a five year old truck with cosmetic damage, mechanical troubles, and who knows how many miles. Your negotiating power will honestly depend on what vehicle you're buying....more expensive vehicles will offer you a little more lee-way.

    The prices of all those SUVs that you listed are quite dramatically different, so before you get too bogged down in reviews, narrow down the list. A Q5 is going to offer considerably different options than a Santa Fe... They're also going to drive differently.

    Other than that, do your research, know the actual market prices of the vehicles you're looking at, and put on your big girl panties. It's not as hard or as complicated as they want you to think.

    I'd also probably buy a year or two used and let someone else take the gigantic hit in resale value just from driving it off the lot, but that's just my personal opinion.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2003
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    5,385

    Default

    Go in prepared...........most dealers now have "on line" areas where you can price a vehicle ahead of time. Do it, print it out, and take it with you and USE IT!!. Also take in a print out of "the blue book value of your car". They say they "don't go by that" but trust me, they will take you more seriously with it and you've got more bargening power.

    Above all be prepared to WALK AWAY and don't let them talk you into things you do not want. Have everything written down (all options, all taxes......everything). They'll always give you the line "you're going to walk away over $300?" "yep, you bet I am....I have a print out from YOUR DEALERSHIP of what THIS vehicle cost and you're trying to tell me it will cost $300 more......see ya later" If they want the deal they will come and get you, if not, well onto the next place........
    Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    632

    Default

    You'll get far more for your truck if you sell it yourself rather than trading it in. If you're able to purchase your new car without selling or trading in the old one first, do that. If you do have to trade it in, discuss what the purchase price of the new car is WITHOUT including the trade in. Keep the negotiations separate, so you will know exactly what you will be paying for the new versus what you are earning for the sale of the prior truck. Look up your truck on the used car sites so you know what it is roughly worth- http://www.kbb.com/

    Figure out what car you want to buy, and then research the hell out of it. What model, what year, what options, and what the average price is in your area. Get it narrowed down to exactly what you want, and then start negotiating with the dealer. I would highly suggest NOT buying a new car, as they drop in value the second you drive off the lot. Look for cars being turned in off of leases. Generally they're only a year or two old, have low miles and are well-maintained. You'll get a lot more for your dollar than buying the same car new.

    Don't let a salesperson cow you with the "girl" nonsense. Walk out. If you go in there fully knowledgable about what exactly your old truck is worth, and what exactly you want your new car to cost you'll be far ahead of the game.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    6,258

    Default

    Have a price in mind ahead of time that you'll walk out if you can't get but think about, a price you'll walk away from and a price you'll take. Look up values on kbb.com and nadaguides.com because most dealers will use one or the other, and ask the dealer to use comparable prices on both your trade-in and the vehicle you're buying. Go to CarMax if you have any locally and get their in-writing offer to buy your truck before you go to the dealership to buy a new vehicle - and check out what they have online, too.

    I've bought three vehicles from dealerships and the others from private individuals. For the dealership vehicles, the first was brand new but previous year and a standard - it was almost exactly what I wanted and thought I would have to order but around $8k less because few people want a standard and it was not the current year model. I didn't even negotiate that one. My old truck was a clearance no-negotiating online price (more at the dealership) and below online pricing guides, so I didn't negotiate that either. My truck I just bought in December was one of multiple trucks on the lot which would have worked for me, and actually the one I liked best - and saying I had a set amount cash which was well below the asking price plus having the salesman look at kbb prices (since that's the site they use) for both new truck and trade-in got the price down lower than I expected it to be and it was a deal I couldn't walk away from. The original price would have been a walk away and consider price to maybe return and buy to begin with which is why I went to that specific dealer vs. some others who wanted to charge a lot more for similar.

    A salesman who is condescending to you isn't worth your time regardless. One who wants to act like he's your dad and work out the best deal for you? May be useful, if you do homework ahead of time. I would try to find out the reputations of various dealerships, if any have online sales, etc. You may find an online sale which is exactly what you want and not have to worry about negotiating, even. In the case of my truck I asked to walk out at a price $8k below its price and my salesman worked numbers and got within $500 of that - keeping in mind there were also around $2k of fees, licenses, etc., that means he got it down about $10k including the trade-in that he gave me the online research site value for. This was actually the easiest car deal I've had, and going somewhere that the sales guy can do the math on the price for you is something I strongly recommend. Going somewhere they have to run to their manager to do the math you end up in fits and spurts getting decreases of $200-$300 at a time.

    Most of all - you do NOT have to buy any vehicle you look at. Remember that as a salesperson's job is to make you think you're rude, mean, insulting, or whatever it takes to keep you from walking away.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2014
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    393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post

    The prices of all those SUVs that you listed are quite dramatically different, so before you get too bogged down in reviews, narrow down the list. A Q5 is going to offer considerably different options than a Santa Fe... They're also going to drive differently.

    I'd also probably buy a year or two used and let someone else take the gigantic hit in resale value just from driving it off the lot, but that's just my personal opinion.
    I know there is quite a range in prices, Mom wants me to look at the Santa Fe/others in that range, Dad is pushing me towards the Audi/Cherokee/Land Rover. I've already experienced the difference, and let's just say, I shouldn't have tried the Audi....

    I also think it's wise to get something 1-2 years old, but parents aren't keen on 'used' vehicles (they lease, my truck was the first car in the family ever bought, and the fact that it has more than 30k miles on it is unheard of) but since they're helping me (down payment) I'm wanting to keep them happy!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,136

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    When we bought our most recent car I did the negotiating. Here's my number one tip: don't let the salesperson control the conversation! Otherwise they will build to a final price that isn't the best price.

    I went in with an old minivan, having done my research. I told them I thought $X was a fair trade in price, and that was what I wanted, assuming I described the van accurately. Then I told them, the most important thing in the deal was price. I told them to give me their best price, and not to fool around because in this day and age it would take me 2 minutes to see if I could get a better deal.

    I got the trade in price, and the sales price I wanted in exchange for taking a car already on the lot, and paying that day.

    So -- *know* what the trade in value of your truck is, in its condition and *know* what the best price is for the model you want. And take charge, or they will steamroller you!

    And if they don't take you seriously, don't run away, ask to speak with the manager and say that the salesperson you got was ridiculous and clearly didn't want to make a deal that day, could you please get a better salesperson who knows what they are doing?

    (I know this because we went in a month earlier with my husband, and he totally let them run the show and the price/discussion was a disaster).



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
    Posts
    20,028

    Default

    We bought my daughter a car for her college graduation a month ago. It was just her and I and they put us through hell. They got caught telling lie after lie. She had taken the car on an extended test drive ie overnight and left her car there. I told her to take the car back and pick up her car so she did. When she told them what she was doing obviously they tried to talk her out of it so she said I want to pay this amount or I am out of here and they accepted. I had mixed emotions over doing business with liars but liked that she stood her ground and won.

    If you have a Costco membership, they have agreements with dealerships all over the country. No negotiation, just pay the Costco price. That is what we were going to do until the accepted my daughter's lowball offer.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    6,258

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgonzola View Post
    I know there is quite a range in prices, Mom wants me to look at the Santa Fe/others in that range, Dad is pushing me towards the Audi/Cherokee/Land Rover. I've already experienced the difference, and let's just say, I shouldn't have tried the Audi....

    I also think it's wise to get something 1-2 years old, but parents aren't keen on 'used' vehicles (they lease, my truck was the first car in the family ever bought, and the fact that it has more than 30k miles on it is unheard of) but since they're helping me (down payment) I'm wanting to keep them happy!
    That only matters if they're paying enough to cover the price difference.... Because if you're getting a vehicle regardless but will pay $15k less used and they're giving you $5k, that's no help!

    Also for Audi - check on the mechanics in your area. Some Audi dealers are great, some places you have Porsche dealers who were made to also work on Audis who don't like them and deliver poor service because that's not the car they wanted to work on at their lot. I really like Audis, just don't necessarily like the mechanics approved for warranty repairs!
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2009
    Location
    Up north
    Posts
    1,304

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    DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Know how much your present truck is worth. Know how much the dealership can negotiate on the new car. There are great sites on line with that info. Edmunds.com is one.
    Be prepared to walk out of that door if the salesman is a jerk but ask to speak to his manager first and tell him why you are walking.
    Stand up on your own 2feet. How would you handle a 1000lb horse that was being a jerk? Not that much different. There are good dealerships and crappy ones. Ask around among friends and acquaintances about their experiences. Angie's list can give interesting reviews. Online car forums can provide info about trucks.
    YOU CAN DOIT!!!!!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2013
    Posts
    144

    Default

    I bought my second car from the dealership by myself when I was 24. I was prepared for them to be jerks like you said and try to show me cup holders. I was blown away by the salesmen at Kia and they helped me look for deals that I could apply to the asking price so I could finance as little as possible. This coming from a girl who had $2k for a down payment, a trade-in with over 252k miles on it with a headlight missing, and very cash poor but with good credit. I couldn't have had a nicer experience, and I still have my great little car.

    Just go in with a plan, explain what you want, and if they can't do it - leave.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2003
    Posts
    925

    Default

    This will be a great opportunity for you to see what you can do by yourself. There is good advice posted above, so I'll come at it from a different angle.

    Know what you want, and will take. Stay emotionless; don't transmit your nervousness by your mannerisms. Slow every thing down. Talk slower. Listen longer. Think for a while before you respond. Silence is your friend.

    Most importantly, in most cases buying and selling vehicles is not a matter of life or death. Treat the process as if it were a chess match -- but if you don't like where things are going, take your pieces and your board and walk away. There are others to play with out there.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,534

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    Decide what vehicle or vehicles you like. You may go to different dealers to see the cars you like and decide what you want and what extra options you want. I have an S60 which I love, so I vote for a Volvo. My daughter likes her xc70 but loves my s60 and the xc60. My husband's Grand cherokee is good but a bit unstable at high speeds.

    Go to Carmax to get a price on your truck. They will buy it from you if you don't get a better price from the dealer where you buy the new car. Get prices from AutoNation on the vehicle that you want to buy. Any salesman who won't give you a price by email including all fees and taxes is not one you want to deal with. Tell them you want their best price, as well as a price on your trade in in case you want to trade it in with them. The two transactions are separate.

    After you have your price, go to the dealer and buy your car. If they try to charge you for any extras, look at your emailed price and walk out! Don't let them sell you warranties or any extras. Call your father from the dealership if you have any problems or questions.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,534

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    Where do you live? I would not want an Audi or a Range Rover if I were in a rural area, 100 miles from the nearest good dealer.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2001
    Posts
    5,180

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    Some good advice above. A few more thoughts that have helped me in buying cars on my own. Start by figuring out which car/options you want. Test drive a bunch - and on every test drive, tell the salesmen that you're not interested in buying today, and that you just want to see what you like. Stick to that, no matter how much they tell you that a deal is going to disappear. A good salesperson will let you have the time to figure it out (and if someone's a jerk, they just got dropped from the list of folks you'll buy from).

    Once you decide on a car, you need to figure out what's a "fair" price. AAA has a pretty good calculator that will show you what folks in your area paid for the same car you're looking for; bluebook (kbb) will also give you some pricing guidelines. And, particularly if it's a new car, google for a couple of "Internet-only" prices from dealers - these are no-haggle pricing that many dealers will offer and gives you one more datapoint. Subtract from that any data you can find about available dealer incentives and holdbacks. Now, write down that number as your "worst" price, walk-away price. Why do I say write it down? Because you want that in front of you as the "highest" price you could pay - you'll negotiate below that. Next, see if you can find the dealer "cost" information - it's often available online. Write that down as well as a price you could "live-with" - much below that is going to take some work and be less likely to get. Now you're ready to go into the dealership.

    I like going in toward the end of the month, if possible. At the dealership, to start the negotiation, you're going to walk in and tell them that you want to buy X car, with Y options, and you're prepared to do so today. The only thing you're going to negotiate rat this point is the purchase price of the car. Don't let the conversation go to financing, monthly payment amounts, or the price of your trade-in. I find it useful to make them go first: I start by asking them what they're prepared to sell the car at to get the deal done today. Don't budge when they ask you to go first - you want them to make the first move and you can size how much off of sticker they're starting with. They should give you a price that's reasonably off of sticker, but still probably 2-4K above your "worst" price. If they start at sticker price, I find it effective to roll my eyes, tell them they're obviously not interested in selling a car today, and starting to walk out. Once they give you a price, you can start playing ball. I like to start at a number below dealer cost (if I have that data).

    They'll come back with a number slightly below what they started at, but well above your numbers. This is when a good eye-roll and a start to walk out can be useful if you've not used that yet. If they have to go see their manager, I often explain that since I have negotiating ability for my end, it'd be nice if they did as well. I'm often prepared to walk out again if they don't give me a grown-up. A good sales person will only go back/forth with you a few times. Don't dicker over 500$, and don't agree to split-the-difference when you're close. You've got your numbers written down - you can go up to those numbers, but don't agree to anything above your walk-away/worst number.

    Once you settle on the purchase price for your car, you can talk about your trade-in. Again, keep this separate - you don't want them to be factoring in the price of your used car against the new one. If they aren't interested, you tell them that you'll be back to finalize the new car once your old car is sold. They'll get interested pretty fast. Expect that you will not get bluebook on your old car - dealers usually will only pay a lower price than a private party.

    With both parts done, you've got yourself a car. If you have to figure out financing, doing it separately is usually preferred, but at the very least, don't agree to any post-closing things like window-etching or better floor mats.

    Good luck! You'll be great!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,854

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    My father LOVES to buy and sell used cars so he had always provided me with cars until 2008 when I needed something urgently and he was being a PITA, wanting me to only get a certain type of car and just being a pain as dads can do. So at age 39, I was in the car dealer with my 6 yr old twins for the first time. I will say I got an AMAZING deal, not sure how, just was a lease deal at the time that was outstanding. Did not have to negotiate, a super low monthly payment and an extremely high residual value and low buyout. Course I ended up having to buy it outright because I put a ton of mileage on it but it was still an amazing deal even at the lease end buy out price.

    Shop around, pay attention, read the Sunday paper with the ads from the car dealers etc. Also, don't expect to get much from your trade in, it's a bonus but don't count on it taking a lot off your purchase. Only way to do that is to sell privately.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,879

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    A friend got a wonderful deal on one of the previous year's leftovers. It was a huge dealership, it was when the 2012 models came out, and there were still four or five 2010's, with less than 100 miles each. She bought it for half what the new 2012s costs, and she didn't even trade her car in there. There were probably reasons that the few leftover cars didn't sell, but they were pristine, and still had full warranties. I think the major factor was that they were colors that weren't popular right then, or in one case, had every possible accessory, and people didn't want to pay for that.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
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    3,109

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    If you have a big CarMax type place nearby go there first. This way you can try a number of Brands and models at one place. No fun going to 5 different dealers and fendign off 5 different salesman. You also get an idea of what that new car will feel like with a few thousand miles on it. Make it clear that you are not buying today.

    DH and I tend to get our financing from our credit union. I normally touch base with them first about what there current rates are for new and for "new used" (only 1-3 years old). Having outside financing is one less thing to wrangle over with the salesman.

    Make sure you are comfortable with the bottom line price. It is easy for them to say "Well what do you want to pay per month" and next thing you know you are paying for that vehicle for 5 or 6 years. That just about guarantees that you will always owe more than it is worth until you pay it off. It also is easy for them to hide what the actual selling price of the vehicle was.

    I personally prefer to buy used. DH is very good mechanically. I don't like the amount of depreciation to just drive off the lot. The only reason we bought my truck new is that it was during the employee pricing discount wars in 2005 and I had very specific requirements. Try to find a 4WD crew cab with leather as a 2500 that isn't beat to death as a work vehicle. We saved $8000 so not as much depreciation.

    First order of business for you is to figure out what vehicle you want to drive.

    I would also call the manager of the jerk that treated you like the "little helpless lady" and tell him/her why you walked out.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr. 25, 2000
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    8,978

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    I'd recommend having pre-approved financing through your bank or credit union. For every car I've purchased - I walked in with financing in hand and the dealer bent over backwards to beat the deal I had so I would finance through them.

    Be prepared for it to take much longer than you expect and for the fun to be totally sucked out of it because you're dealing with people for hours upon hours.

    I've always purchased new but just bought a CPO (certified pre-owned) in December - it is a 2014 model and had less than 2,000 miles on it. By going CPO instead of brand new, I got the CPO warranty and a huuuuuuuuge discount on price.

    I did a TON of research online - Consumer Reports, car forums, etc. Some of the cars I was interested in were too expensive to maintain or had other issues that I hadn't thought of but that articles online made me aware of.

    Once I picked a car I was interested in, I did a ton of comparison shopping online with websites like cars.com, autotrader.com, kbb.com, etc. to see what comparable vehicles were going for in my area. Sometimes looking at low mileage used can save you a ton of money.

    I'm now helping a friend shop and I'm perfectly blunt with salesmen - "we are interested in x, x, and x and we are looking to purchase within the month but are not prepared to purchase tonight." It's pretty easy to tell when one of them stalks you in the parking lot like a shark if they're sleazy or not. If I get a bad vibe, I come back another time or wander around until someone new comes out to help. I have also used the "little ol' me can't purchase a car without my husband!" if I get into a desperate situation and need to escape!

    Also - car calculators online are awesome. You can experiment with different interest rates, purchase prices, down payments, and trade ins. I did this repeatedly until I had a pretty exact idea of what I would be paying monthly before I walked in to purchase my car. One salesguy told me to figure $20 per every $1000 financed, which was close enough to give me a ball park, but 1% point in interest or an extra $1k down makes a big difference in a monthly payment. This is why it also helps to have pre-approval and an interest rate already figured when you go to purchase!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Just walk into the dealership, roar as loud as you can for a minute while beating your chest, and then shout "I AM THE GREAT GORGONZOLA AND YOU WILL GIVE ME A GOOD DEAL ON A VEHICLE TODAY!". If that doesn't work, just tell them you stayed in a Holiday Inn last night.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    5 members found this post helpful.

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