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Have to buy a new car. Help?!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Okay, so my old reliable just bit the big one (after 24 years of faithful service), so I have to buy a new car and I have to buy one soon. I've been doing the research and my head is swimming.

Right now I'm leaning toward a 2010 Ford Fusion. Either that or maybe a Camry.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these cars, or other cars in the same class (mid size sedan I guess it is)? Also any advice on dealing with the sales people, and what kind of "tricks" to look out for? I haven't shopped for a car in 24 years and I'm so not looking forward to it.
post #2 of 20
My advice is to buy a car that is a year or two old. You will get a good, reliable car and avoid the instant multiple thousand dollar depreciation that results from rolling driving one foot on a brand new car

If you are insistent on buying a brand new one, go at the end of the month when sales people are pushing to get their monthly quota in. You're likely to get a better deal on a car then.

Remember, when you are dealing with a sales person and they have to go off and "talk to their manager", that that is a ploy to make it look like you are really working them.

My cousin is a sales manager of a Honda Dealership. He told me that the sales guy has a whole lot of leeway when it comes to knocking down the price of a car.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
My advice is to buy a car that is a year or two old. You will get a good, reliable car and avoid the instant multiple thousand dollar depreciation that results from rolling driving one foot on a brand new car

If you are insistent on buying a brand new one, go at the end of the month when sales people are pushing to get their monthly quota in. You're likely to get a better deal on a car then.

Remember, when you are dealing with a sales person and they have to go off and "talk to their manager", that that is a ploy to make it look like you are really working them.

My cousin is a sales manager of a Honda Dealership. He told me that the sales guy has a whole lot of leeway when it comes to knocking down the price of a car.
Thanks for the good advice, Natalie_ca.

I should point out that my first thought was to get a late model used car. I've ruled that out because (1) they're almost as expensive as the new ones and (2) the warranty is only 30 days. I figure if I'm going to fork over that much money, I might as well get a new one and a better warranty.

I should also point out that I'm leaning toward the Ford Focus because of it's rating on Consumer Reports and other sites for reliability.

Honestly, there's only 2 things I want in a car beyond the usual reliability and safety, and that's air conditioning and FM radio. And I can live without FM radio. My current arrangement in my now dead car (which had AM only) was a radio on the seat next to me - works just fine.
post #4 of 20
Well, we got my current car - a Toyota 4Runner, at quite a steal. It was two months used, with 2000 miles on it, and the starting price was something like 26,000 for it - base price for a 4Runner is that, and with all the features mine had on it (leather seats, power everything, basically all the bells and whistles but power seats and a moon roof), it was probably more like 32,000+.

The price drops fast on a car as soon as it is driven off the lot - take a look around, and you might find yourself a steal of a deal as well.

I have to say, I am personally a big fan of Toyotas. Everyone in my family except my dad drives one, and I have never had a day's trouble with my car, which is going on 10 years now and still drives great.
post #5 of 20
Do your research before you go in there. Know what the option packages are. Know what the MSRP is. Know what features you want and what you can live without, and what the price points are on all of those. Don't let them try to sell you something more than you want or can afford. If you give them a price point that you can buy at, give them a number that's a couple grand lower than what you can actually afford. They will manage to push it up with fees and taxes and such.

I will never forget when we bought our PT Cruiser a few years ago, we knew more than the sales guys. We were out looking at their inventory (it was factory year end), and saw that they got one of the new model years in. The salesmen didn't even know that. They asked us to show them the differences so they could tell their buyers. Early on in the process, our guy was heading out and was giving us to another salesman, the thing he told the newer guy (with us) was "They know what they want." We ended up getting a smokin' deal because they knew that we couldn't be bamboozled and they worked for us to get the deal, because they also knew that we knew how to shop around. Now when we go in, our salesman knows us and just tells us to go look around the lot, let him know if we have questions or if we want to test drive anything.
post #6 of 20
Check out this link for what to look for when you go car shopping

Link

Here are a couple other links:

http://autos.aol.com/article/car-new...30150009990001

http://autos.aol.com/article/car-new...08135409990001
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone, I love all the good advice.

I checked out all those links, Natalie_ca, they were great. Also found a few other things on the site from one of them.

I've sent for internet quotes, and I'm already negotiating on a Toyota. This could actually turn out to be fun if I do most of it on the internet.
post #8 of 20
Well I worked for Ford for 20 years and that's all I drive. We have the sister car to the Fusion-the Mercury Milan. Its a very sporty fun car to drive. One can get some good deals too.

If you want to consider a used vehicle-make sure its a vehicle in the Certified Pre-owned category. These vehicles go through a much more rigourous inspection process and will have a better warranty along with the factory warranty that remains.
post #9 of 20
I have no advice other than to say that I love my Mazda 3. (I'm probably no help. I'm spoiled as my uncle sells cars & I got about $3500 off my car in a family discount)
post #10 of 20
You can't go wrong with a Toyota!
post #11 of 20
Another place to look for recent used cars is rental agencies. My parents bought a 2007 Ford Taurus for several thousand under book value from Enterprise, and I think Hertz and Avis have similar services. A Ford Fusion or Mercury Milan should be easy to come by this way as that's a typical rental car.
post #12 of 20
We bought a 2007 Ford Fusion brand new and I really like it. At the time, with all of the safety options it was the only American car with the same safety ratings as a Camry/Accord/Civic. It was also a Consumer Reports "Best Buy", which I looked at the latest CR picks this spring and it still is. Ours is a 4 cylinder automatic SE with "Appearance Package".

DH likes it, but wants an F-150.
post #13 of 20
I always lean to Hondas or Toyotas since I drive my cars into the ground.
Mazda has recently been added to that list.

If you are financing - get your financing BEFORE you sent foot onto a lot. Never finance thru the dealer. FInaning or paying cash, make it clear once you all are looking that you have X available. Sales ppl will push that you can afford more and finance more based on monthly PAYMENT not TOTAL (w/interest). Stay firm.

In three years, new cars are worth 50% what you paid new (per a recent CLark Howard show). I'm a big supporter of buying cars at least 1 year old based on that kind of depreciation.

I assume after 24 years you aren't financing but I always stress those points.

Take a non-involved party with you who can steer if needed. Feel free to request 24 hrs to contemplate your huge decision. If they claim then the price will go up, call their bluff and say "fine - I'm headed to the X dealer then down the street". Then do it.
post #14 of 20
Personally I would go for a Toyota every time. I've owned three and they were all great. The first new car I ever bought was a 1982 Toyota Corolla. I sold it to my parents when I went overseas, and they wouldn't sell it back to me when I came home. I had a Toyota pickup for several years. It was a great vehicle, but I ended up trading it in because I really needed a passenger car instead. I'm currently driving a Prius (hybrid) which I bought as a "certified pre-owned" vehicle. I love it.

As others have said, do your research. Know what you want and what you're willing to accept. Don't let them push you. Once when I was car shopping the salesman was pushing really hard to get me to buy the car that day. His reason was that he could give me a really good deal to get the car off the lot so they wouldn't have to pay the insurance for keeping it over the weekend. My question was, what would it cost me if I thought about it and came back on Monday? Oh. Well, it would be the same.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
If you are financing - get your financing BEFORE you sent foot onto a lot. Never finance thru the dealer.
I have to disagree with that. We got a great deal, and EXCELLENT financing terms through Ford. 0% interest on our loan plus money off the car due to some promo they were running, in addition to the negotiating we did & our trade-in. So I think it really depends on the dealership & specials going on.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
Okay, so my old reliable just bit the big one (after 24 years of faithful service), so I have to buy a new car and I have to buy one soon. I've been doing the research and my head is swimming.

Right now I'm leaning toward a 2010 Ford Fusion. Either that or maybe a Camry.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these cars, or other cars in the same class (mid size sedan I guess it is)? Also any advice on dealing with the sales people, and what kind of "tricks" to look out for? I haven't shopped for a car in 24 years and I'm so not looking forward to it.
I have a camry. It is GREAT! It went for 10 or 11 years with no tune ups or anything as it belonged to my late Mom and she died and I had no money. I finally got it fixed (it is a 91) and was told to keep it as it is an excellent car.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ordinarily, I would agree with what everyone has said about Toyota. We are still driving our 1985 Corolla (well over 100k miles). It has some problems, but is still chugging along. We will replace that eventually, probably with a cheapy used (if there is such a thing). However, I've been hearing that the quality of Toyota has declined in recent years and other manufactures have caught up and surpassed. I've been looking at the Corolla (at DH's request), and supposedly Hyundai, Mazda, and Honda (in that class) have surpassed Toyota. So I guess I'll take a look at those. The Corolla doesn't seem to be that much cheaper than the quote I got for the Camry, although I haven't tried for a Corolla quote yet.

For those who mentioned financing we contemplated paying cash, but both Ford and Toyota have special 0% financing this month. If we go with either of those, we will most probably put a huge down payment and finance the rest at the 0% (assuming we qualify, which we should).

Rang_27, I wish I had a relative who sold cars - I would love to get that kind of deal on a Mazda. I've driven the Mazda 6 as a rental, and loved it.

Bob'smom - I have heard that rental car agencies never service their cars at all, no oil changes, no routine maintenance, etc., and that they aren't necessarily the best place to get a used car.

I have yet to hear from any of the Ford dealerships that I sent for a quote on the Ford Fusion. Maybe they are a hot item and nobody is dealing. Tonight I'll check out the Honda, Mazda, and Hyundai and see what their ratings are. I've been spending too much time here at work shopping for my car - but I figure since I'm going to use it to drive to work everyday, they shouldn't be too upset about it
post #18 of 20
I have a 2005 Hyundai Elantra and I love it! So far, it has had no problems with it. Some people will say don't buy a Hyundai because they're "cheap, throwaway cars" but I don't buy into that. I love my car. My mom had a Hyundai about 10 years ago that lasted well over 200,000 miles. Check out ratings for all the ones you're interested in, and go from there.
post #19 of 20
If you can get a great deal on interest - go for it.
I should have been more clear: Get your financing BEFORE you go to the dealer. You aren't getting financing thru the dealer anyway. You get it thru Ford Motor Credit for instance. The dealer simply sets up for you once you make a decision thru same. Secure it before you arrive. If you don't have financing before going to the dealer, you won't know if you will be approved for 0% financing.
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
If you can get a great deal on interest - go for it.
I should have been more clear: Get your financing BEFORE you go to the dealer. You aren't getting financing thru the dealer anyway. You get it thru Ford Motor Credit for instance. The dealer simply sets up for you once you make a decision thru same. Secure it before you arrive. If you don't have financing before going to the dealer, you won't know if you will be approved for 0% financing.
Oh, okay, that makes sense. I've been a bit nervous to apply for loans because I don't want to be committed to that loan. Once you apply, are you committed? I'm not even 100% sure I want to do the 0% or one of the other low rates and get a lower monthly payment.

I found out this week that I'm eligible for an employee discount on the Ford, so unless something really odd happens, I will be buying the Ford Fusion. I am going by the Toyota lot to look at the Camrys and Corollas, but unless they can match 0% financing (they aren't on the 2010), no higher than $75 doc fees, and no additional add on fees (other than tax, title, etc.), I'm going with the Ford. They get better reliability rating right now than the new Toyota's anyway.
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