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 Post subject: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Location: WV
I'm going to be car shopping in the next week or so, because my car died. I've never done such a thing, so I'm interested in hearing your experiences in car shopping. Tell me what to look out for or what to avoid. Talk to me about financing. Tell me what kind of car you have and what you love and hate about it!

Here are things I need in a vehicle:

Must not be too expensive to fix when it breaks down.
Decent gas mileage.
Does ok in the snow.
Hatchback preferred, since I lug a lot of art supplies around and don't want them in my back seat.
$6000 or less.
Can be older, but preferably not older than 2000.
Uh...gets me where I need to go.

I'm really not a car person, and I'm not overly concerned with what it looks like, although if I think something is hideous, I won't want to drive it. I'm mostly motivated by price, ease of fixing broken things, and the hatchback thing. I'm going to look at some tomorrow, and won't be around the internet too much over the next couple of days, but I look forward to coming back and reading your wise responses, PPK!

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Do you have any used car dealerships near you? If so, I'd try to look at their website to see their inventory. Don't discount certain dealerships because they may not seem to have the used car you want but because they do trade ins, they may be selling a car that is a different brand.

You can also try searching various places for sell by owner deals but you'd want to be able to get a mechanic to verify anything you buy. Another option is ask your friends if they know anyone selling a car and maybe you'll luck out. I sold my car really cheaply to a friend because the dealer offered me a crepe trade-in amount so I figured I'd rather sell to a friend than a dealer.

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:32 pm 
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Oh and I'm not sure you were but I figured I'd search for used cars on autotrader.com within a 25 mile radius of huntington and found a few options, including this:
http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale ... ex=4&Log=0

That dealer has a number of cars in your price range, although they are in kentucky.

And I'd also be wary if something is a really good deal like that same car dealership has a few cars that originally retailed at about 50-60k. If you are selling a 10 year old car for $4k that originally sold for $60k, I'd be pretty cautious. A car that retailed at under $20k is probably a safer bet.

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Chip Strong
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Location: RI
toyota yaris or corolla, honda civic or fit, hyundai elantra or accent are all reliable little cars.

i have a toyota yaris hatchback 4 door and i LOVE it. it's only downside is that it's a bit slippy in the snow because it's pretty light.

tips:
-don't trade in your old car if possible - they will pay you next to nothing for it. selling it yourself will get you way more money
-dont talk "payments" with the salesman, only the price of the car
-make an offer below what you want to end up paying. if you are being reasonable they will usually meet you somewhere around halfway.
-don't buy ANYTHING in the finance office. i used to work in the finance office. say no thank you firmly to anything they offer - warranties, service plans, etc
-if you can, financing through AAA or a credit union will likely get you a better % rate than the dealer offers.


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:27 pm 
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I don't know if this is an option for you but I bought my jeep as a salvage and it was the best car decision I've ever made. It was half as much as a regular title and I still got a 4wd, low mileage, newer vehicle. I've seen a lot of hail damage salvage titles which are perfect if you don't care about appearance. I know a lot of people don't like salvages, but I drive cars until they die so I don't really care about resale value.

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:30 pm 
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Chip Strong
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salvage titles are usually pretty iffy! does it say on the salvage title the reason? i suppose hail is pretty safe, but stay away from flooding and stuff - you could have electrical issues, even in the future


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:32 pm 
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Toyotas and Hondas tend to be cheap to fix. I loved my corolla, and had it for 11 years. It was still pretty reliable when I got rid of it, but with 2 kids, I needed more trunk space. DH still drives his civic, which now has 180K miles on it, and it still runs great.

Look at your bank or a credit union for financing. They may have better rates than what you get through the dealership.

I have had several friends have good experiences through carmax. They have no haggle pricing, which is nice for people like me who suck at haggling. They also have a decent return policy. My BIL had to avail himself of it and it was as easy as promised.


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:27 pm 
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I had a 2000 hyundai accent and it was a great little car (not amazing in the snow, but decent for such a light car). 2000 was the first model year that hyundai started taking quality seriously and it blew away all of the other cars in its price range (I bought it new and sold it 5 years later after I moved to NYC). I'd definitely recommend looking at hyundais - they have great warranties.

I have a couple of friends who have honda fits and love them, so that's probably a good option too. I'm not a big fan of the cheaper toyotas (tercels, not that they make those any more, and rav 4s) - they feel like driving toy cars to me.

Seconding (thirding) the credit union recommendation for financing. Auto dealers got themselves exempted from a lot of the new consumer protection laws, so you'll almost certainly be better off with credit union financing.


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:25 am 
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I'd check out Nissans. The versa is a hatch back and is pretty cheap so you may find a fairly new one for $6k. My husband bought a new Nissan sentra last year and it's been great (we were looking at used but the new ones were a better deal overall). The used ones we saw were selling for very reasonable prices though. We wanted certified pre-owned as extra security, and that will cost you more but there were lots of other non certified ones that were a good price. The biggest selling point was that Nissan was also approved by my mechanic father, alongside Toyotas and Hondas.

We've always been Toyota owners and they're great cars but you're going to be hard pressed to find one under $6k that isn't really old or doesnt have tons of mileage. They really hold their value and I know because we looked! A used 2007 yaris (I bought one new for 13k and love it, which is why we were looking for a second one) was still selling for almost $10k!

My other piece of advice is to shop online. You can look at a lot of dealerships' inventory. Sometimes sales people will lie about their inventory but if you look online you won't get tricked plus you can view recently acquired vehicles that haven't made it onto the lot yet. Also, some dealerships have salespeople that only do online sales which is nice because it's harder for them to mess with you online compared to in person, and you can also look stuff up as you talk to them. We did that and got our car at cost plus a $5k discount at very low interest financing (and it was better financing than our CU offered) with almost no haggling, though this experience may be more true buying new vs used.

http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/autos/b ... ess-17102/

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:31 am 
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erynne936 wrote:
salvage titles are usually pretty iffy! does it say on the salvage title the reason? i suppose hail is pretty safe, but stay away from flooding and stuff - you could have electrical issues, even in the future

They can be iffy, but there are salvage dealers that list what they were salvaged for. Things are salvaged for seemingly minor things because cars have such expensive components now. I got my car from a shop that has done lots of work for us in the past and there was a really nice salvage place in the city I used to live by, but I know there isn't a decent salvage place where I live now. So it definitely depends where you live.

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:11 pm 
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+1 yummy for a Fit or a Yaris.

I drive a Mini, so I am not afraid of little cars in the snow and have a decent amount of experience with them... I had a Yaris a few months ago as a rental, and driving from New Hampshire to western New York in some really heavy snow, the Yaris behaved like a champ!

If you're worried about snow and have somewhere to store an extra set of wheels and tires, you can usually find a set of snows on steelies or wheels on Craigslist - at least around here...

Regarding financing - I think that credit unions usually have better interest rates than big banks, also you can call the bank and get approved or pre-approved before going to the dealer, which I think gives you some bargaining power.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:40 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Wow, thanks, everyone! I am going to my bank tomorrow to see about a loan. I use a small bank with only, like, 4 branches so I think it will be better than a big bank. I wish I belonged to a credit union, but alas. I'm hoping that since I've banked with them for 8 or so years and have never overdrawn my account, they will be good to me. We shall see. I'm incredibly nervous about it. Like nervous sweat/poops/nausea nervous. Ugh.

My guy (who is a big car person, knows a lot about them, has bought many of them) and I went looking Saturday. I found a 2001 Ford Focus hatchback with 133,000 miles that seemed like a good fit, but they're putting a new transmission in it this week (my dad says it shouldn't need one this soon, so to watch out). My guy knows the dude who owns the dealership (one of those ones that specializes in used cars for under $10K), and trusts him, and also then can get in to check it out before I test drive it. He's going to look it over bit by bit to see what's really going on with it, plus I'm going to take it to my regular mechanic to have them check it out as well. I'll do that with whatever I end up being interested in. This car is great because it's just the right size for me and is in my budget ($4300), but I definitely don't want to buy something that I'm going to have to fix a bunch of stuff while I'm still paying it off.

Once I go to the bank and see what kind of financing I can get, I will feel more confident about looking. We've looked at a lot of online stuff, and are going to make a trip out to a dealership that seems to have a lot of what I'm interested in once I get my money squared away (it's an hour away, so not worth the trip without knowing what I can afford). I like the idea of getting it through a dealership so that I have a 30 day warranty, at the very least. I really want a Subaru or Toyota, but like couroupita said in regard to the Nissans (also a great option), they're hard to find used (in my budget) without a million miles on them because people drive them forever. I'd definitely do a Hyundai, but haven't found anything yet around here. I'd rather not buy online, because it just makes me nervous. It's such a huge purchase, I really want to be sure it's a good fit, which for me means test driving the car and letting my mechanic look at it.

So many things to think about.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:23 am 
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Good luck! A ford focus sounds like a good choice.

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:11 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Thanks! I like the idea that it would be less expensive to fix than my volvos were and I like that it's a hatchback, because it leaves me plenty of trunk room for carting art supplies and groceries. I mentioned it to my mechanic, though, and he kind of made a face and said that sometimes there is a lot that goes wrong with them. We looked up the year though, and it sounded like 2001 was a good year for them. We'll see what they say after they actually look at it.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


Awesome. Vegan. Rad.


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:15 am 
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Banned from Vegan Freaks.

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oh the volume dial on the ford focus is the worst ever. that's such a trivial thing, but it drove me nuts when I had one as a rental car. I liked it other than that, so it's great you've found one at a price that works for you!


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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I got pre-approved for up to $6k, so now I can start to seriously look!

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


Awesome. Vegan. Rad.


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:56 am 
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Hey! I have a 2001 focus hatchback! I got it new and plan to run it into the ground. The volume dial is screwy, it's true. Only issues I've had with it that actually bother me though are that I've had to replace the brake rotors a lot, and the turn signal broke several years ago and it now never turns off in its own. I have a manual, so no experience with an automatic transmission though.

I've been really happy with it, and you really can fit a lot of stuff in the back with the seats folded down.


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:59 am 
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helbury wrote:
Only issues I've had with it that actually bother me though are that I've had to replace the brake rotors a lot


Funny, I had a '98 Ford Taurus and the same issue but I thought it was how I drove, I don't have that problem in my current car.

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:29 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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helbury wrote:
Hey! I have a 2001 focus hatchback! I got it new and plan to run it into the ground. The volume dial is screwy, it's true. Only issues I've had with it that actually bother me though are that I've had to replace the brake rotors a lot, and the turn signal broke several years ago and it now never turns off in its own. I have a manual, so no experience with an automatic transmission though.

I've been really happy with it, and you really can fit a lot of stuff in the back with the seats folded down.


Thanks for the feedback! I found a 2001 Hyundai Elantra hatchback with only 77,000 miles on it for $5875. Top end of my budget, but I'm excited to see it. I like Hyundais and my brother has owned a couple that he has loved. I want it to be mine!

See it here!

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:45 pm 
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The kelley blue book value for that car (in excellent condition) is $6100. If there are dents or any flaws, I'd mark it down from that. I'd be tempted to offer them $5k and see what they say.

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Glad to hear you got financing! Happy shopping!

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:19 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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linanil, thanks for looking that up for me! I'm so clueless. I will probably offer them 5, but I don't know if they'll take it, since it says on autotrader that it's already been reduced.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:34 pm 
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I bought a car today! It was a whirlwind...I test drove a Subaru Outback on Tuesday and it drove great, except for this crazy shaking thing that happened when I was at a stop with the brakes on, so obviously I didn't buy that. Then, last night my dude tells me about this car he found online, I went to test drive it today, and it is a DREAM. Drove beautifully, well taken care of, only one owner, and has obviously spent most of its life in a garage. I was worried because it's a little old, 2001, but it's perfect. 137,000 miles, Subaru Forrester wagon and it's a lovely jewel-y green and the hatch works and the interior is spotless and the seats are CLOTH (thank goodness!) and it's just perfect and I love it and I bought it on the spot. I haven't even had time to really process it all. I called my dad before I paid for it and he said it sounded great, but how did I feel about it (after knowing me for awhile, people tend to value my intuition) and I said it felt right and he said go for it and T said go for it and my guts said go for it, so I went for it! So pumped right now! Also, I paid $5200 for it, which was exactly its blue book value, but $500 less than the sticker price. Sweet sweet sweet. Here's hoping that when I take it to get inspected that my mechanic isn't like, 'You made a huge mistake', but I don't think he will be. I think it's perfect and I luff it. The end.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


Awesome. Vegan. Rad.


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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:27 pm 
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I drive a Subaru, they're amazingly reliable and my car saved me in what could have been a bad accident. But be prepared for high price of parts! I thinks you said you drove a Volvo before and I think their parts are pretty pricey. Unless the brakes were just done you'll probably need to do them, and invest in good windshield wipers. Mr Moon is a mechanic so I always end up with $500 fixer upper specials, and we always end up putting brakes and wipers on new/used cars.

Enjoy!

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 Post subject: Re: Car shopping!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:41 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Thanks for the heads up! Yeah, not looking forward to pricey parts...but from what I've heard they're really reliable, at least.

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But if one were to tickle Pluto, I suspect that it might very quietly laugh. - pandacookie

55k usd is like 4 cad or whatever equivalent in beavers you use on the island - joshua


Awesome. Vegan. Rad.


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