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Spur08

Buying a Car

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As you probably already saw, I'm selling a car and, practically, need to buy another.  I'm using the strategy of trying to contact them online and negotiate a price.  Holy hell is that even a beating.  So far, I've run across a half dozen or more of the dealers "fluffing up" the trim level to make it look like a great price and only when you try to do your due diligence do you find out it's at a lower trim level, but for the same price.  What are your go-to methods in dealing with these fuckheads?  How else do you perform your due diligence on the car other than KBB, Edmunds, CarFax, etc?

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Are you buying new or used?  For new, just go in to the dealership of the car maker you want, tell them exactly what you want regarding trim level and color and tell them not to upsell you on anything.  If they try to get smart and play a car salesman trick like "but sit in this one! this one has a button you can press for a towel to come down and wipe your forehead" - just act like you're going to leave. 

When negotiating price, stand firm but reasonable.  Don't give them your phone number.  Get their business card and call them if you leave.  Bottom line, if you act like an asshole, you won't get taken advantage of.  Odds are, there are 10 other ford/chevy/toyota/nissan dealerships you can go to.  What they are offering isn't special.

I've done this twice (for both my vehicle and my wife's vehicle) and I found it not too bad in terms of BS from the dealers.  I will never contact a car dealership online.  The end result will them asking you to come in for a test drive.  It's a waste of your time.  You should have a good idea of what you want to spend when you walk in and the prices are always negotiated.  Go to 2 dealerships and do this tactic, compare the two (as they may not be the same color wise or whatever) and go to that dealer of the vehicle you ultimately want and say -> match this price from the other dealer and you got a deal.  Done.

 

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Preowned but the only problem is that I haven't found a good private option online for a 2016-18 Toyota Avalon sub 20K miles (what we're looking at).   I did consider the Carvana option but there hasn't been a spectacular deal there either.  My problem is, what is "reasonable"?  Asking for 5%, 10, 15?  Also, is asking for an "invoice" only for brand new vehicles?

Edited by Spur08

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I finally broke down and just bought a used truck.  2015 Silverado 1500 Texas Edition crew cab with under 60k miles.

I used a buyer's check from UFCU.  I went to a few dealerships before finding the truck I liked.  Their sticker price was below the NADA price by a decent amount.  I didn't haggle too much.

I did get them to let me drive it off the lot and take it to a pre-purchase inspector 30 minutes away who is ASE certified in all 8 categories.  He performed a 600pt inspection in about an hour.  Took it for a test drive.  He was a former mechanic now in his 50s and doing this mobile inspection gig.  Truck passed with flying colors.  Clean title. No water damage. No structural damage. Only a couple of minor things: front bumper had been replaced, but radiator is original, grille and valance are original; and 1 rim has the clear coat peeling off.

I'm getting the rear windows re-tinted (PO had limo tint) and a spray-on bedliner with lifetime warranty before I pick it up from the dealership tomorrow.

I kept my old 2002 Silverado.  The dealer said I had kept it in very good condition considering the mileage and age, but they couldn't offer me what it's worth to me.  I'll use it from time to time for projects that could get rough on a pickup.

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2 hours ago, Spur08 said:

Preowned but the only problem is that I haven't found a good private option online for a 2016-18 Toyota Avalon sub 20K miles (what we're looking at).   I did consider the Carvana option but there hasn't been a spectacular deal there either.  My problem is, what is "reasonable"?  Asking for 5%, 10, 15?  Also, is asking for an "invoice" only for brand new vehicles?

How wide is your geographic net?  

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3 minutes ago, Spur08 said:
8 minutes ago, pops said:
How wide is your geographic net?  

150 miles

That makes it tough. Can't imagine too many people are dumping Avalons that early. And I would always go private party over dealer. Just keep checking Craigslist and FB market place.  

I'd also watch the Scottsdale and San Diego areas.  As mentioned you can pay one of these mobile inspection guys to go check it out. Decent enough deal and there is a great road trip to get to learn all about your new car. 

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I bought a lightly used car a few years ago. I first figured out exactly what I wanted and did my homework on what a good price was. Then I widened my net to anywhere I was willing to drive back from. I ended up finding exactly what I wanted (except the color, but I got my second choice) at a luxury reseller in Miami via EBay, negotiated price over email, paid a local guy to inspect it, bought a one way plane ticket to Miami and then drove it home to Atlanta. Stopped in Orlando to see a friend and crash for a few hours.

So if you’re looking for something specific don’t be afraid to get creative.

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Preowned but the only problem is that I haven't found a good private option online for a 2016-18 Toyota Avalon sub 20K miles (what we're looking at).   I did consider the Carvana option but there hasn't been a spectacular deal there either.  My problem is, what is "reasonable"?  Asking for 5%, 10, 15?  Also, is asking for an "invoice" only for brand new vehicles?
I'm in a similar situation but looking at an MDX or 4Runner. Does anyone have experience with places like Carvana or Vroom? The latter is interesting as they will deliver the vehicle to you and you have 7 days to try it and return if you don't like it.
I really hate the dealership experience.

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I'm in a similar situation but looking at an MDX or 4Runner. Does anyone have experience with places like Carvana or Vroom? The latter is interesting as they will deliver the vehicle to you and you have 7 days to try it and return if you don't like it.
I really hate the dealership experience.
The former has the same guarantee

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The former has the same guarantee
Good to know. I have a friend that purchased an Infiniti from Carvana. Said it was easy and no hassle but I don't know that he got a very good deal.

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Use Auto Tempest to search. Dealer should provide CarFax. Toyota dealer should be able to provide service history, if it was performed at any Toyota dealer. Have it inspected by an independent mechanic, or take it to a Toyota dealer if seller is not a Toyota dealer. Use a paint meter to test paint thickness on each body panel. Uneven thickness between panels is a sure fire sign of damage repair. Do not accept anything but factory paint on a car that new. Used car price flexibility varies widely from dealer to dealer. Some won’t give a penny. Others will deal. Do your best, but at the end of the day, when you find the car in the color and trim you want, buy it. 

https://www.autotempest.com/results?make=toyota&model=avalon&model_kw=&radius=any&zip=77479&keywords=&minyear=2016&maxyear=2019&domesticonly=1&minprice=&maxprice=&minmiles=&maxmiles=&transmission=any&bodystyle=any&saleby=any

Bernard

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4 hours ago, Spur08 said:

As you probably already saw, I'm selling a car and, practically, need to buy another.  I'm using the strategy of trying to contact them online and negotiate a price.  Holy hell is that even a beating.  So far, I've run across a half dozen or more of the dealers "fluffing up" the trim level to make it look like a great price and only when you try to do your due diligence do you find out it's at a lower trim level, but for the same price.  What are your go-to methods in dealing with these fuckheads?  How else do you perform your due diligence on the car other than KBB, Edmunds, CarFax, etc?

You are going to have to go in the store as they get ass fucks every day wanting the best deal online to use it for leverage elsewhere. 

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18 hours ago, Spur08 said:

Preowned but the only problem is that I haven't found a good private option online for a 2016-18 Toyota Avalon sub 20K miles (what we're looking at).   I did consider the Carvana option but there hasn't been a spectacular deal there either.  My problem is, what is "reasonable"?  Asking for 5%, 10, 15?  Also, is asking for an "invoice" only for brand new vehicles?

We hunted Avalons for my wife for the better part of a year.  She had one already she had driven for years and loved it. 

What you're looking for exists, but its not as easy to come by I thought it would be at that price point.  Be prepared to travel, but have an out the door price in writing before you go and if you are bringing a check, let them know so you don't get some bullshit about how that price was only good if you finance through Toyota (a lot of that going around). 

Long story short, we walked away from a lot of dealers who wanted to play games ended up with a preowned Pathfinder at a good price with a very good experience at the dealer without having to drive too far for it.  Went from two cars and a boat hauler to my car and her boat hauler.  Win-win.

Edited by dcbc

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If you're buying a certified pre-owned vehicle, would you pay to have a separate mechanic inspect it?  How can I find out what fees/add-ons are required at closing?

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Here's what you should do. 

Bring your current vehicle in. Understand that if they're willing to give you any money for it at all, you're lucky. 

Figure out what you want to pay per month. Don't worry about anything else, just try to figure out a payment that works with your budget. 

If they are able to work out a 4 square arrangement that gets you the new vehicle for the payment you want - Go for it!! Take their financing, too. It's probably better than what you can procure on your own. 

Once that happens and you agree in principle to the price, listen carefully to everything they offer you as you're signing the papers. Most extras are a bargain as opposed to how much they will cost you further down the road. Rustproofing? Fuck man. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to get rid of rust after oxidation occurs. It's definitely worth the extra funds. See if they can roll it into your financing. Also, used cars, even from dealers, are notoriously disguised s being in good shape when they are not. Find out the max warranty you can get and jump at it. 

GL man. You can't beat a minivan for convenience. 

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I’ve negotiated the last two online and much prefer that to negotiating on the spot in person. It allows you to force multiple dealerships to compete against each other. On the Honda we bought last year, I played the best two offers back and forth until I got them to invoice price +$25, quite a bit below the average reported sales price on Edmunds for that model. They doinked me a little bit on my tradein but that car had issues and was happy to unload it. 

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On 4/14/2018 at 9:47 PM, Spur08 said:

If you're buying a certified pre-owned vehicle, would you pay to have a separate mechanic inspect it?  

I still have the above question.  Also, is it worth buying CPO vs. a non-CPO vehicle?  I.e. do you put any stock in the certified pre-owned process?

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1 hour ago, Spur08 said:

I still have the above question.  Also, is it worth buying CPO vs. a non-CPO vehicle?  I.e. do you put any stock in the certified pre-owned process?

CPO is literally nothing more than an inspection plus a warranty included in the price. Not worth the premium price IMO. Almost any car you buy that’s still under factory warranty is eligible for an extended warranty if you want to pay for it. Also, you can drop by any dealer and pay a few bucks for an inspection. Last car I bought was a Lexus LX470 with 158,000 miles from random Dallas area  used car dealer. Didn’t come with any records. I figured an oil change was in order before driving it back to Houston. Brought it to Dallas area Lexus dealer. Told them to change the oil an let me know if there’s anything else needed. Tech gave it a clean bill of health. Service writer pulled the entire service history (just the work done at Lexus dealers of course) and handed me a printout. Free inspection. Profit. I had already bought the car though. Get your inspected before buying. 

Bernard

Edited by Bernard

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I bought a 2 year old Infiniti from Carvana a few months ago. It was a really good experience. No, they're not going to have the absolute lowest price, but it's typically still reasonable. I spent a couple months on the usual sites like AutoTrader and Cars.com price hunting, and Carvana was within range of what I was seeing. What's nice is that they're up front with everything, point out every little flaw in detail with pics on the website, so you know they're not hiding something. The price is non-negotiable, but to me that's a good thing because you don't have to play the haggle game or deal with some shady finance department that's trying to upsell you crap you don't need. Everything is done online without ever having to deal with a salesperson. They deliver it wherever you want (house or work), and you have 7 days to drive and return it. They also offer a free 100 day warranty on top of that. So to me, it was worth paying a little extra to have a painless experience.

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Last year, I found three used avalons that were two years old at the toyota in south austin.  Close to 40k miles.  They were lease trade ins, all in great shape for a really good price.  The salesman was trying to work in all the usual questions.  I kept being vague.   I ended up buying a honda so I didn't have to do the full wheel and deal thing with them.  

So I'll give my used honda experience.  

At the time I was considering nissan, honda and toyota.  Carmax allowed me to test all the models I was interested in. and narrowed to a honda accord. 

I did the background and learned the different trim levels for the years you are willing to buy.  Identify which ones you are okay with and which ones are non starters.  For me it was a 2-4 year old car with under 40k miles.  I crossed off the two base models.  I then used the sites available and got an idea of prices.  That gave me a range of prices based on the trim and year. 

I went to the howdy honda place in south austin (I live in pflugerville and work off lamar in austin) and asked what they had and their prices.   I was fully prepared to leave if nothing was in range.  I was going to have to drive by at least one other dealer on my way home so I wasn't going to be going out of my way.   I already had a caravana listing that would work if they didn't have anything.  I fully anticipated not buying a car.  Then it happed.  They had a model with less than 20k miles and their price was less than what I would have expected on KBB, they bought my truck for more than KBB.  No haggling.  

If I was going to leave a number with anyone, I wouldn't do it on the first visit.  Tell them you'll be back when you have a better idea of what is available around town.  If they push, flatly tell them no.  The last time you shopped for a car, salesman pestered you long after you were done shopping and that's not okay.  Get their card.  Use their number/email to negotiate from home.  If you get to negotiating, use a burner number via google voice and/or email that you can delete when you are done dealing. 

As for the buying side, their salesman, err Finance Manager, tried to sell me a warranty "We do so many loans with your credit union, we have a warranty for cheaper than anyone else..."I told him "I was just sold on a car because it was reliable, are you telling me I am not buying a reliable car" and he started to respond and I cut him off.  "No warranty. I want to leave"

Anyway, I have given up on getting the best deal of all time.  But I have also given up on trying to get the perfect car/truck.  

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On 4/26/2018 at 8:00 PM, Spur08 said:

I still have the above question.  Also, is it worth buying CPO vs. a non-CPO vehicle?  I.e. do you put any stock in the certified pre-owned process?

Since i know you live near me, i have a place that will do a pre-purchase inspection (mandatory for used imho).  let me know if you want the info.

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I just bought a CPO 2018 Acura TLX with the technology package. It had 7400 miles on it and shaved $10,000 off of the sticker price. The car is pristine and the warranty is excellent. I get the remainder of the base bumper to bumper warranty, 4/50,000 and they add an additional 1 year and 12,000 miles. The powertrain warranty is extended from 6/70,000 to 7/100,000. Really glad I bought the CPO from John Eagle Acura.

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Damn.  Why the hell is everyone looking for an Avalon? 

My wife totaled hers a couple weeks ago and we are looking for a pre-owned replacement ~ 2014-16.  There are so few available in the Austin area.  Toyota of Cedar Park had three on their website, two of which fit her criteria (sunroof, heated seats, and not black).  Did a drive by last night and those two were gone.  Toyota of Round Rock doesn't have any.  

If seen a few Avalon Hybrids around, but I have to think buying a hybrid with 30-50k already isn't a great idea.

ETA:  I really hate buying used so close to the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.

Edited by Jerry Callo

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3 hours ago, chesthair said:

Since i know you live near me, i have a place that will do a pre-purchase inspection (mandatory for used imho).  let me know if you want the info.

That'd be great

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Anyone use this service/strategy before?

http://fightingchance.com/

Basically, it preaches that vehicles are commodities, dealerships should bid for your business, "dealer invoice pricing" and services like TrueCar and Consumer Reports are shams, and buying/leasing a new vehicle should be a 3 day, low stress process that results in a purchase at the lowest market price.

A friend of mine used this guy's info and tactics for the last two trucks he bought, and he says he was able to secure screaming deals.  I'm in the market for a new truck, so I purchased the new customer packet and it has some pretty good info, including market conditions, comprehensive invoice pricing (for reference in the bidding process), and the exact timing of purchases (in my case, for April and May 2018).  I plan to use his tactic of a "phone/email attack" to pit dealerships against each other in a bidding war.  It should work without me ever having to go to a dealership until I take receipt of the truck (except for a test drive, and the packet contains strategies for that so that you don't get caught up in a sales pitch).

It sounds good in theory, especially for common makes/models/configurations.

 

Edited by solamente73

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4 hours ago, T’Boo Ted Marshall said:

I've had the hardest time finding a '16 or newer QX80 with under 30K miles. Most are previous rentals and leases.  Leases I can deal with if the Carfax is good but no chance on rentals.

 

 

That is why we ended up buying new ~18 months ago.  Didn't want to buy a rental and that's all that was out there for sale for the 1-2 year old  ones.  

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23 hours ago, T’Boo Ted Marshall said:

I've had the hardest time finding a '16 or newer QX80 with under 30K miles. Most are previous rentals and leases.  Leases I can deal with if the Carfax is good but no chance on rentals.

 

 

Just curious, but what's the take on the QX80, they look like absolute shit to me (appearance).  Front half sports car back half box.

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4 hours ago, Bigpoppapump said:

Just curious, but what's the take on the QX80, they look like absolute shit to me (appearance).  Front half sports car back half box.

They drive great,  have plenty of power,  and are very nice on the inside.   And reliability should be much better than the Tahoe ours replaced.    Exterior is a bit polarizing,  I'll give you that.

 

We get 16-17 mpg, which is also better than the Tahoe,  and the Infiniti has quite a bit more power. 

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The last car I bought was a new Jeep Grand Cherokee for 1% over invoice.  I did my homework on the internet and knew the options/packages and the dealer invoice amount.  They got their holdback + 1%.  Deal was made within a few minutes once they knew I was going to buy a car off of the lot that day and had approved financing in hand.  The post sales bullshit still took several hours but the main deal was done under 10 minutes. 

Edited by BottleRocket
did you see the size of that rabbit?

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2 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

They drive great,  have plenty of power,  and are very nice on the inside.   And reliability should be much better than the Tahoe ours replaced.    Exterior is a bit polarizing,  I'll give you that.

 

We get 16-17 mpg, which is also better than the Tahoe,  and the Infiniti has quite a bit more power. 

This is where we are.  I like they way it look as opposed to the Tahoes that look like a box on dubs.  

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Any recommendations on selling our current car (or getting the best price)?  I already went to Carmax and when I told the Momentum dealer that he said "yeah, they're going to do better than we are."  Any other places we should check to make sure we get the best trade-in price?

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Any recommendations on selling our current car (or getting the best price)?  I already went to Carmax and when I told the Momentum dealer that he said "yeah, they're going to do better than we are."  Any other places we should check to make sure we get the best trade-in price?


Check the blue book and sell on Craigslist / any use car site. Your price will be less than any dealer listing. It’ll sell in two weeks if it’s worth buying.

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On 5/2/2018 at 6:48 PM, solamente73 said:

Anyone use this service/strategy before?

http://fightingchance.com/

Basically, it preaches that vehicles are commodities, dealerships should bid for your business, "dealer invoice pricing" and services like TrueCar and Consumer Reports are shams, and buying/leasing a new vehicle should be a 3 day, low stress process that results in a purchase at the lowest market price.

A friend of mine used this guy's info and tactics for the last two trucks he bought, and he says he was able to secure screaming deals.  I'm in the market for a new truck, so I purchased the new customer packet and it has some pretty good info, including market conditions, comprehensive invoice pricing (for reference in the bidding process), and the exact timing of purchases (in my case, for April and May 2018).  I plan to use his tactic of a "phone/email attack" to pit dealerships against each other in a bidding war.  It should work without me ever having to go to a dealership until I take receipt of the truck (except for a test drive, and the packet contains strategies for that so that you don't get caught up in a sales pitch).

It sounds good in theory, especially for common makes/models/configurations.

 

Of course.  That's common sense.  However like you say, it only works if you want a bog standard car - like an F150 or Camry.

If you have any preferences on colors, specs, or low-volume vehicles... no dice

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I'm in the market for a 4Runner for my wife. I'm open to brand new or slightly used (less than 2 years old, less than 20,000 miles). She wants the Limited model because it's more expensive it has nicer exterior trim, nicer wheels, cooled seats, nicer audio, etc. Unfortunately a lot of them are built with black leather interior which I think is a horrible idea in the Texas heat, but maybe I'm wrong. Either way, leaning towards the beige leather interior. All the Limited models come with leather, so it's just a matter of color.

Anyways, went to one dealership and the sales guy was nice, not pushy at all. He showed us the different models and helped narrow preferences. He said buying a slightly used car won't save that much money and don't expect to see any manufacturer's rebates or special pricing because Toyota just doesn't do that on their 4Runners. Obviously we're gonna look around and compare different options, but is there any truth to this? Would it be beneficial to wait until the 2019 models start rolling out and then try to get a clearance 2018 model?

Edited by wild_turkey

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disclaimer:  ive actually never owned a 4runner but currently shopping for one for my folks:

 

* price/depreciation - you can see the used price right there on texasdirectauto.com they have tons of stock and barely negotiate any

* limited - IMO it loses the masculinity of the the sr5 and trd and looks too faux-urban.  like a linebacker in a suit.  

* larger wheels - 20" is too large for an SUV, which already rides poor as its designed truck style with body-on-frame... and more expensive to replace

* the current generation is fucking OLD - going on its 8th year, so there should be a replacement soon.  although its still growing in sales YoY so who knows....

* if it matters, the thing doesnt have any safety tech at all besides rear camera and parking sensors.  no lane-keep assist, blind spot detection, etc etc etc, which surely will be in next-gen.

 

 

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Go to carprousa.com and get a VIP certificate from a certified dealer in your area. 

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7 hours ago, 52-80 said:

disclaimer:  ive actually never owned a 4runner but currently shopping for one for my folks:

 

* price/depreciation - you can see the used price right there on texasdirectauto.com they have tons of stock and barely negotiate any

* limited - IMO it loses the masculinity of the the sr5 and trd and looks too faux-urban.  like a linebacker in a suit.  

* larger wheels - 20" is too large for an SUV, which already rides poor as its designed truck style with body-on-frame... and more expensive to replace

* the current generation is fucking OLD - going on its 8th year, so there should be a replacement soon.  although its still growing in sales YoY so who knows....

* if it matters, the thing doesnt have any safety tech at all besides rear camera and parking sensors.  no lane-keep assist, blind spot detection, etc etc etc, which surely will be in next-gen.

 

 

fwiw I went from 18" wheels to 22 in my Tahoe and I don't notice even the slightest difference and I'd be shocked if we don't have the worst roads in the entire nation up here. And I drive in snow, too. I was worried about this when I bought new tires and switched to the 22s but it's been a total non factor. 

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20 hours ago, 52-80 said:

* price/depreciation - you can see the used price right there on texasdirectauto.com they have tons of stock and barely negotiate any

* limited - IMO it loses the masculinity of the the sr5 and trd and looks too faux-urban.  like a linebacker in a suit.  

* larger wheels - 20" is too large for an SUV, which already rides poor as its designed truck style with body-on-frame... and more expensive to replace

* the current generation is fucking OLD - going on its 8th year, so there should be a replacement soon.  although its still growing in sales YoY so who knows....

* if it matters, the thing doesnt have any safety tech at all besides rear camera and parking sensors.  no lane-keep assist, blind spot detection, etc etc etc, which surely will be in next-gen.

 

 

 

All good points and thanks for the feedback.

Regarding tire size and cost, a quick search on the Discount Tire website shows prices to be fairly similar between the 17" or 20" wheels. It wouldn't surprise me for the 20" wheels to be slightly more expensive, but I'm not seeing a huge disparity.

As for the safety features, that's not something I really thought about until you mentioned it. Perhaps that would be worth holding out for.

We actually both drive 4Runners currently, although the older generation. We had been waiting on the 6th gen to come out, but for the last couple years, there have been nothing more than vague internet rumors about when this may happen. Their sales keep climbing despite making no major updates. Regardless, we like 4Runners for their size, reliability, and appearance. 

Maybe we'll at least hold off until the 2019 models start rolling out in case there are some minor upgrades on things like safety tech.

 

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We found a used vehicle that we are interested in.  We don't NEED to trade are car in to get it and will pay cash.  

The current vehicle, a 2013 Rouge with only 34,000 miles has a few cosmetic things (thank you wife) that can be fixed by a body shop friend of ours.  Is it better to fix the issues and sell our own?    I just know if I trade in they will point to the scrapes and knock a shit load down. 

I've also heard you can just go sell your vehicle at CarMax and get a better deal than you would for a trade in.  Thoughts on that? 

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Carmax will offer just above auction if you are lucky. The dealer will offer less. Always sell on your own if you want to maximize profit if you have the time.

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