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Got a Quick Question for a Car Dealer?

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  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    One thing to consider regarding selling your Maxima to a private party or trading it on a new vehicle is you won't get the sales tax break if you sell to a private party, in most states. This can be considerable

    I didn't even think of this--good idea, thanks.
  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    As for the premium concern, you absolutely can run regular fuel in your Maxima. The computer will take care of the timing so you won't feel any ill effects. It could impact your mileage, however.

    I feel funny running regular whent they recommend premium--besides, if mileage comes down, then I'm not really saving anything in the end.

    Thank you for the suggestions.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    While 1.9% is pretty cheap as far as loan interest, it is still higher than you can earn in a savings account, money market fund, short-term CD rates or anywhere else you can deposit money at low risk for 2-6 years. So, despite what the previous two posters indicated, borrowing at 1.9 percent isn't a particularly shrewd move. It's not a horrendous decision, granted, but it's certainly not "free money" in today's interest climate. Borrowing at 0% is a different story, so if you had said you took out a loan at 0%, I wouldn't have assumed you took out a 6-year loan due to affordability.

    After making 24 payments on a 72-month $30k car loan, the balance should be $20,377. So, you've made about $1,500 in extra payments, or $62 extra per month. That's good, but it only reduces the loan term to 5.25 years. I would encourage paying even more extra every month to shorten it further.

    As for selling the Maxima, you could probably buy a replacement car that has a bigger back seat and gets better fuel mileage, but both changes would be relatively modest, I would wager. It's easy enough to look up interior dimensions in Edmunds, and a 4-cylinder car would get better mileage than your Maxima. If that's what you want to do, go for it. Perhaps a different car really would satisfy your desires and needs better. From a lifestyle perspective, it might be justifiable.

    But don't pretend that it makes financial sense to sell or trade a two year old car. You've already taken the biggest depreciation hit, and there are transaction costs that are difficult to avoid. Getting modest gains in MPG or saving one cent per mile by using non-premium fuel, however, wouldn't come close to the depreciation and transaction costs involved with buying a new car.
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,979
    I have 3 children and they are only getting bigger and when the 5 of us go places in my car, someone always complains of being cramped ... I was thinking about something like a new Accord or Altima.

    Isn't the Altima smaller than the Maxima?
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,780
    My take on financial transactions such as this is very similar to yours. A move like this might be very satisfying in getting rid of a car you no longer like, but financially, it is hard to justify.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • uga91uga91 Metro AtlantaPosts: 1,065
    Well, I bought the car in January, 2011, so my first payment was in March, 2011--meaning I've made 23 payments and not 24. No big deal. Either way, I'll probably ditch this plan, anyway. The 5 of us ride in the car maybe twice a month and I really do enjoy driving it--so my thinking out loud was probably all for naught, anyway.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    The Maxima would be vastly more fun to drive than a 4-cylinder sedan, for sure. If any of your kids are still in car seats, I can see why the back seat might be tight. But if they are old enough to forego car seats, then I would think the back seat would be fine for three kids. I used to have 5 people in my Maxima quite frequently, at least for short trips. Since you have a van already, that would be the family truckster, but that depends on whether the van is available when you need it.

    I really didn't intend to lecture you or pass judgement. I was simply pointing out factors involved with depreciation, sales taxes, fees and car dealer profits all cost money for consumers. That's not to say everyone should drive their cars for 10 years or more - though that is clearly the way to minimize costs. Needs and desires change. But trading one sedan for another for modest gains in fuel costs and interior dimensions are hard to justify on a purely financial basis.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
  • I can get a 2012 Toyota Prius Three with solar roof for $24,809 + TTL, or a 2013 Prius Three with solar roof for $25,944 + TTL. I'm inclined to get the 2012, since I plan to keep my car for awhile.

    What do you think?
  • For make/model-specific questions, you're probably better off posting in the Prices Paid discussion for that model. Here's the Prius Prices Paid discussion:
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX/.f1d1fb3/1088

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 1,979
    I'm inclined to get the 2012, since I plan to keep my car for awhile.

    If you're keeping it for a long time, I'd choose the 2013.

    Say you keep it 6 years, that's less (1135/6) than $200 extra a year. And remember, when you do get rid of it, you'll get a bit more for the 2013.

    I'm not familiar with the Prius, but are there any changes/upgrades between the 2012 and 2013?
  • There are no changes in the 2013.

    I'm planning on keeping it more than 6 years, and I'd think that the re-sale value difference will be less than $1100 in, say, 10 years...
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,780
    For what it is worth, in your position, I would buy the 2012, assuming you can get a fairly substantial discount over the 2013.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,362
    timadams didn't give you a "lecture". He gave you solid advice and answers to the questions YOU asked!
  • Oh, I think we can let this go and just call it even. I can see why uga91 was offended by the suggestion that he took out a 72-month loan because he bought more car than he could afford. I probably would be too.

    However, I can also see why the assumption was made, since most cases we see posted around here involving a longer-term loan are, indeed, cases in which the buyer couldn't otherwise afford the payment. Everyone seems to be at peace now, in any case.

    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • wsb2wsb2 Posts: 2
    Nalley Audi North Atlanta in Roswell GA is requiring all sales people to make 700 individual phone calls per month. If they do not make the required number of calls they will not receive all of their bonus money. This is written in to their pay plans which I have received a copy of from an employee. The dealership has 10 sales people. That is 7000 calls a month! They are harassing people who do not wish to be disturbed about a car purchase. In a world of Privacy Laws and Do Not Call lists I am sure that this policy is in violation of the existing laws. It is also highly unethical. I also have been informed that this type of harassment has been going on at all dealerships owned by the Asbury Automotive Group based in Duluth GA. They have about 90 dealers in the country with a dozen situated here in the Atlanta area. Please help stop this abuse.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,100
    edited February 2013
    If you're a client of a dealership, whether in service or by purchasing a car, you would automatically get added onto a database and a call list.

    It's a privacy violation only if they actually sold your personal info to another company.

    Otherwise when sales and service transactions are done most customers ok the dealer to contact them with special deals and offers.

    Yes it can be annoying and from working in the car business for nearly 10 years I know it's like that everywhere.

    The only thing you can do is write a letter asking them not to contact you or speak with management directly and say that if they continue to harass you that you will not do business with them anymore.

    I worked at a Honda dealer where every 3 months the owner decided to do an "invite only private sale". Everybody who ever bought something or serviced something at that dealership was called, every 3 months. Ultimately the management eased up but it did tend ot tick off a small percentage of customers.

    Unfortunately these days, especially at this time of the year when walk ins are few and far in between and competition is fierce, management finds it more cost effective to get sales guys who are just hanging out to call existing clients rather than spend money to send out 10000 mailouts to the neighbourhood with little or no results.

    I would talk to the management and ask that they don't contact you. On our client followup system we had a few clients whose numbers were marked in red stating not to contact them. Good luck.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,780
    Sounds like excellent advice from someone who was in the biz for many years.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • Also sounds like fairly clunky management. If a person works 25 days a week, that's 28 phone calls a DAY--at 10 minutes per, average, that's over 4.5 hours a day sitting on your butt rather than addressing people who come into the showroom, learning product, and enjoying your work well enough to want to come back next week.

    This is my idea of "micro-managing", which, in my opinion, builds an unimaginative, paranoid and dispirited sales force.
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,100
    Usually phone calls last 1-2 minutes as people don't pick up or tell you they're not interested, or 5 minutes tops just to set an appointment and get the customer to come in.

    There is a lot of downtime at this time of the year in the showrooms. The last place I was at, you'd be lucky if in a 6 hour shift you talked to more than one customer. :sick:

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg, 1993 Honda Accord EXR (my 33rd car).

  • wsb2wsb2 Posts: 2
    I have a 2008 A4. I service there. Four people called me in two weeks!
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