Car Buying Time

The word is out. It’s time to replace Helaine’s SUV.

Of all the purchase decisions in our lives, this is the one we enjoy the least. Seemingly, there’s no good way to buy a car and guarantee you’re getting something good for a good price. How can you not have buyer’s remorse?

I’ve been pouring through Consumer Reports. Most of their info is good. They seem a little heavy handed in the way they push their own service, which provides the actual price a dealer pays for vehicles. I’ll probably swallow hard and buy it anyway. Isn’t Consumer Reports supposed to be a little less self serving?

We went to two dealers today. At the first we looked around, acted sheepish, looked at a few cars and decided which might do.

We realized, after about thirty seconds, their midsize model was too small and their big model too pricey. A salesman came over as we were deciding to leave. I apologize here for costing you an ‘up’.

We’ve scouted out financing, but there’s a ‘deal’ currently underway from the manufacturer. Zero percent for 36 months. That’s a better price (duh) and there are legal advantages to dealer financing.

I have some rules at a car dealership. If you’re my salesman, we are joined at the hip. You cannot leave my side to consult with your manager. If you go, I go. They never like hearing that.

You may not treat me like a fool. If you lie to me, and believe me it’s happened, I will call you on it before I walk out. Lying infuriates me. I do not suffer fools or liars gladly.

Helaine made me promise not to make anyone at the dealership cry. I get a little nuts during the heat of battle, but it’s their fault. Decisions at the ‘car store’ are stacked in their favor. They have all the info. You have little. And, the salesmen have incentive to make you pay as much as is possible.

In the end, we’ll find the car we want and desperately try to get bids from three dealerships. I did that when we bought Helaine’s first SUV and I think it worked well.

I should probably sell Helaine’s car privately. Do I want to be in the used car business? Of course, you lose a lot when you trade a car in.

During the last shopping cycle, long after I left one dealership, the manager related to a friend of mine who just happened to be there, “Geoff Fox was here. He was shopping on price. He won’t be back.”

You’ve got that right, bucko.

3 thoughts on “Car Buying Time”

  1. Geoff,

    I just bought a new car. I found the website, invaluble! Their method of buying a car using the “fax attack” worked like a charm! I was looking at two cars, the Honda Pilot and the Nissan Murano. I had offers from dealers on the Pilot up to #3,900 UNDER INVOICE. The Murano was $1,000 UNDER INVOICE. I ended up with the Murano for various reasons. Do your homework now and wait until the end of the month. It really does make a difference.

  2. Geoff- try this tactic- leave your name, number and the price you want to pay for the car with the sales guy. Say if you can beat this, call me and we have a deal. You should get a call at the end of the month when they are trying to meet their sales quota.

    Of course, it only works if you aren’t desperate for a new car.

    What kind of SUV are you looking for?

  3. Geoff–

    Don’t waste your money on a new car…

    I’m trying to think of some smart gambling analogy, but don’t play….

    A new car loses 60% of its value in three years. I can well afford to buyt any car I want — the reason I have the money is I spend it wisely.

    Don’t throw your money away. Buy a two year old car (still has warranty and a nice shine) and fly to Vegas a few times.

    You won’t find that advice in Consumer Reports or a dealership.

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