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Peter Lombardo

I need your opinions....there is no right or wrong answer

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I've worked at new car dealerships for over 30 yrs. ……. Porsche/Audi & Infiniti have been the most "professional", and I use that term loosely. Where as the 2 Nissan stores I worked with were the stereo-type shady thieves that everyone knows & loathes. I don't like dealing with the sales staff at MY dealership.

The last new car we bought was in `04, as it was my Wife's GTI was her first new car. We dealt with a co-workers friend whom was the sales manger at the dealership. We managed to get it for less than we were expecting, never danced with the F&E guy, and VW had 1.5% financing. We dropped the deposit, signed the papers, and drove it home.

Today I'd probably buy a year-old from Enterprise or a similar nationalally-known rental outlet. Most used rentals are no worst for wear than lease cars, if not better. THEY take the depreciation hit, and you get a good deal. Especially since the rental agency will definitely service them & keep them safe. Used popular performance rental cars the buyer-be-aware policy is in effect here. Used lease cars are bad investments most times as the leaser rarely maintains them as their own. We just replaced an engine under warranty because the oil was never changed in 25K miles…..

But I agree about arming yourself with facts and financing before even walking in. It's a shark tank.

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I've been in dealerships that literally won't sell a new car for cash, you have to finance, yes they will let you walk away empty handed. What's that tell ya ?

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I've been in dealerships that literally won't sell a new car for cash, you have to finance, yes they will let you walk away empty handed. What's that tell ya ?

Common sense overruled by cents.

Jim Krmaer, a financial commentator I like, says it all. "Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered."

Take three guesses which category a dealership of this nature falls into...

Charlie Larkin

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What I don't get is how much financing goes around with buying cars in The States, it is so normal to buy a car one can't afford, put a finance on it and 'buy' it.

Over here in Europe, they have financing too, but I think less than 5% of the car buyers actually use that.

Personally I never loaned money for a car, I think it is simple; if you need to finance, you can't afford. And next to that; no matter how good the rates are, with financing you always loose money.

Why not save money till you can buy a car? I know the banks over there suck big time, but still....

Most of the new cars sold in the USA are financed, an alarming number of those are leased, or in my words 'rented'. Any breathing human can get approved for a new car, so there is no status in having one. I know of one guy who leases new cars he cannot afford, they get repossessed for non-payment and easily gets a new one. As I posted above, when a cash buyer shows up, the salesmen don't believe them.

Personally I've paid cash for my cars, only financing my Geo Tracker for 3 years in 1992. When those payments were done, my credit union gave me the option of continuing to pay the $300 a month payment into a savings account. I did so, reasoning that when it was time for a new car I'd have the money available. I continued in that job and made those payments into savings for 9 years. I've never touched that money and that account is worth a bunch of cash today! Funny thing, I still have that Tracker.

My own formula is to buy older low mile cars for cash. Of the cars we own today, I had bought the 1996 Grand Caravan for trade in and cash. That was my last new car. Since then we've owned:

1993 Geo Storm - $2000 cash, bought as my older daughter's first car, became younger daughter's first car then a spare. Kept it something like 12 years and donated the still good running car to charity two years ago.

1998 Plymouth Breeze - $4200 cash, with 29,000 miles on it. I drove it as my commuter car for years. Engine blew at 198,000 miles about 2 years ago

1999 Plymouth Breeze - $4300 cash, with 31,000 miles on it. My older daughter drove as her car for many years, currently my wife's daily driver with 145,000 on it.

1995 Toyota Celica Convertible - $4000 was younger daughter's car for years, still have it.

2000 Jaguar S Type - Bought 3 years ago for $10,000 cash with 23,000 miles on it. Currently has 30,000 on it.

So overall I haven't bought anything that wasn't a good value, nor financed a vehicle.

Edited by Tom Geiger

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The dealers around here have no problem selling a car for cash. The bottom line is that they're in business to sell cars period.

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The dealers around here have no problem selling a car for cash. The bottom line is that they're in business to sell cars period.

Same, I know no dealer who would refuse a cash deal. Some will even knock more off the price to help get the deal done.

Charlie Larkin

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I helped a friend buy a ford a couple of years ago. We did everything online except the walk around and test drive of course. I even negotiated the price through email. Pretty much a painless experience. The only issue was actually paying for the car. Despite having a cashiers check, and an appointment, it still took 3 hours. I'm sold on this online thing and dealers who will do it.

Edited by Draggon

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You've got to be kidding me?!

I would've called the manufacturer and complained, as well as your state's attorney general, immediately after walking out and putting a stop-pay on any cheques issued and demanding return of any keys turned over- or call the police to report false imprisonment.

Absolutely unacceptable.

I've gotten to the point where there are about six or eight dealers- in total, I will even consider doing business with, at least as far as new car dealers go. Two Chevy dealers, two Ford dealers (one of which handles Lincolns,) two Buick-GMC dealers, one Cadillac dealer I'll even consider doing business with (most of the ones in this area are horrible,) and a couple of Mopar dealers, and then maybe one or two I'd keep as reserves (e.g., my first choices didn't have what I wanted, didn't get a good-enough deal, or something like that.) There are also about a dozen used car dealers I'd trade with- interesting that it's easier to find a good Class B dealer around here than a Class A dealer.

All the foreign dealers around here have reputations that would make the examples in Tom and Ken's posts blush with embarrassment; they tend to be the scuzziest of the lot. No big loss, I don't like foreign cars anyway.

My list is sufficiently fixed now that even if I move to WMass or up to New Hampshire or Maine, I'd drive back if I were looking for a new car.

Charlie Larkin

Charlie, you would be surprised at how many loans are like this. And it's not just car loans, it's home loans too. Most people don't really listen when the dealer is going over the terms and, if you don't catch it in their words or the fine print, you're pretty much stuck unless you want to pay a lawyer an arm and a leg to try and dispute it. Not much the agencies around here will do. The cops would probably have a good laugh and go to Speedway (convenience store) and hang out like they do every night.

But yeah, many dealers start talking about financing the car at full price and THEN factoring in trade in and down payment. It's basically a way to shaft you out of any savings possible.

BTW, you were talking about car dealers as second choice above. If your preferred dealer does not have something in stock, ask them if they have access to Dealer World or a similar site. If they do, they can most likely get what you want. That's how I got my Cavalier.

Edited by Skydime

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Same, I know no dealer who would refuse a cash deal. Some will even knock more off the price to help get the deal done.

Charlie Larkin

We have purchased the last five vehicles for cash, three were new. In all cases the dealer knocked a significant amount of money off of the purchase price for cash in hand. You have to go in armed to the teeth with as much information if not more than the salesperson. We normally tag team them to death, we've walked out and had them call us at home agreeing to our terms more than once. One time we did this and went to another dealer the same day, getting a better price, the first dealer called and hung up rather disappointed. We've also sold what would be our trade in on our own a couple of times getting even better deals, when you take the trade in out of the picture you take away a lot of the dealer's power over the deal. They can't underpay you for what's not on sale which is one of their favorite tricks. Another thing to consider is the cheapest car is the one you already own, maybe fixing up the car already in your driveway might make a whole lot more sense than going into hock for a new one.

Anyone can get themselves into the pay cash mode of buying vehicles. The way we have done it is first you hang onto your paid for car. Next set a dollar amount you are willing to part with for your next car. Get yourself an interest payment book and pay your car savings account that payment every month as you would the bank or finance company. Once you purchase your vehicle start replenishing the fund again. It's not easy, and it takes dedication to not paying someone else interest on your hard earned cash. Once you start doing deals this way you will never want to go back. We've started doing all our bigger purchases this way

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We've also sold what would be our trade in on our own a couple of times getting even better deals, when you take the trade in out of the picture you take away a lot of the dealer's power over the deal.

My bro-in-law briefly sold cars. He invited some of the salesmen to a barbeque we attended. After they had a few beers they started telling stories about the things they did to people. One guy said that they can confuse a customer and in some cases actually get the trade in for free, There is little markup on new cars these days with everyone knowing the bottom line. But they can make thousands on used cars. There's simply no way a consumer knows what a dealer paid for a used car. I know I've bought cars, shaving thousands off the asking price, and I'm sure they still made money on me!

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