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Talk to the Press

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  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Yes, your credit beacon score must be above 700 points to be able to qualify for the 0% or special financing deals...this is what's called a "Tier 1" customer.
  • and overloaded with debt, so they don't qualify.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    GM just extended their 0% offer until next year. We'll see if other people match it. They included Saturn, too. First incentives for Saturns ever.

    -juice
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks for your comments about 0% financing. Karen Lundegaard interviewed one of your for her article on the topic which appeared in yesterday's paper...

    Some Car Buyers Should Take
    Sellers' Rebates, Not 0% Deals
    By KAREN LUNDEGAARD
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    You're thinking of buying a new car because of the great 0% financing deals on offer. When you get to the dealership, however, you find auto makers now are limiting most interest-free financing to three-year loans. But you still can get a four-year loan for just 3.9%. And for a five-year loan, it's only 5.9%.

    Which deal is right for you? Actually, it might be none of the above.

    In many instances, buyers are finding that they may be better off taking a cash rebate in lieu of subsidized financing. That's because they often can find cheap financing on their own.

    Things have changed since the Big Three car makers rolled out their original round of 0% financing deals in September, which covered a wide variety of vehicles. A five-year, interest-free loan: the decision was a no-brainer. But the latest round of 0% deals, which run through January, isn't nearly as generous. So car buyers need to work through the numbers to figure out which deal is best for them.

    Consider Albert Follin of Framingham, Mass. All the advertisements on buying a new car with a 0% loan got him excited to buy a new $23,000 Dodge Caravan minivan. But when he checked the fine print, he found the interest-free loans were limited to three years on that model. And Mr. Follin couldn't afford the $550-per-month payments on a three-year loan.

    So, he found 5.9%, five-year financing from PeopleFirst, an online lender, and marched into his local Dodge dealership ready to take the $1,500 cash rebate on the Caravan. Once there, a salesman told him he might still be eligible for discounted 4.9% financing along with the $1,500. Mr. Follin still is negotiating the purchase. "Once you get the scent of a car, it's hard to get off that track," says Mr. Follin.

    (In fact, despite all the attention that 0% loans have received, only 25% to 30% of General Motors Corp.'s loans have been for 0%. But the marketing gambit succeeded in getting buyers into the showroom. October was a record month for U.S. car buying: 1.73 million autos were sold.)

    For other car buyers who, like Mr. Follin, are similarly intoxicated by the scent of a new car, here are some tips on getting the best deal:

    Start by doing research before even stepping into the dealership. Find out if the vehicle even has a 0% deal. Such financing is no longer available on certain models that sell well on their own, such as the Chevrolet Corvette sports car or the Ford Escape sport-utility vehicle. Next, determine if there are other incentives offered on the vehicle. The manufacturer's Web site should have up-to-date information on these.

    Car-information service Edmunds.com (www.edmunds.com) has a particularly helpful Web site. First, it has information on all models for comparison shopping among brands. But Edmunds also publishes the so-called true market value for each model. This is the price that the model has been selling for in your area, and it roughly should be the price you expect to pay for it. Be sure to note the invoice price and the sticker price as well. All of that becomes handy when you're ready to negotiate a price.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Low Interest or Cash Back?
    Should you take the current zero-interest and low-interest rates from auto makers or get your loan elsewhere and take a $1,500 cash rebate, thus financing less?

    Amount financed Total price, with interest, over the life of the loan
    $20,000 3 years at 0% 4 years at 3.9% 5 years at 5.9%
    $20,000 $21,633 $23,144
    $18,500 3 years at 5.75% 4 years at 5.99% 5 years at 5.99%
    $20,186 $20,851 $21,454
    Adding it up Take the auto maker's
    financing, save $186 Take the rebate
    and save $782 Take the rebate
    and save $1,690

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Then, find out what kinds of loans are available from independent lenders. Check with bank and credit unions, as well as with online lenders, such as PeopleFirst (www.peoplefirst.com) and E-loan Inc. (www.eloan.com). Bankrate.com's Web site (www.bankrate.com) lists average loan rates by ZIP Code, so car buyers can determine if they are getting a good deal.

    With such numbers in hand, car buyers might find that the much-ballyhooed financing offers aren't all that they are cracked up to be.

    Say you're looking at a 2002 Ford Windstar, which now comes with either a $1,500 cash rebate or a no-interest three-year loan, a 3.9% four-year loan or a 5.9% five-year loan. If you are going to finance $20,000 of the minivan's roughly $22,000 price, you probably are better off taking the cash and putting it toward the down payment. (This holds true unless you are willing to take a three-year loan, and the higher monthly payments that come with it, because the loan has to be paid off faster.)

    If you take the $1,500 rebate, you would finance $18,500. Currently, a conventional lender will give you a rate as low as 5.99% on a four-year car loan, resulting in a monthly payment of $434. By contrast, if you pass up the rebate and instead take Ford's 3.9% financing on $20,000, your monthly payment will be $451. The bottom line: Taking the rebate will save roughly $800 over the life of the loan. On five-year loans, the savings from taking the cash can stretch to almost $1,700.

    Even if the low-financing deal comes out slightly ahead on paper, it is still worth considering the cash deal, says Jeremy Anwyl, president of Edmunds.com. Many consumers don't keep their cars long enough to take full advantage of a low interest rate, he says. If there is a good chance you'll be paying off the car loan early, take the rebate money.

    Of course, some discounted rates from car makers are still great deals. Thomas Capote of Orange County, Calif., was planning on buying a new Ford F-250 Crew cab truck sometime next year, but when he heard about the 0% rates, he figured, "Now is the time to buy."

    But when Mr. Capote went on Ford Motor Co.'s Web site, he found the 0% rates were available only on three-year loans for the F-250, and he wanted a five-year loan. The five-year rate he could get for the $24,667 he was financing was 2.9%. The other option was a $1,000 cash rebate from Ford and a 6.49% loan from his credit union. Mr. Capote set up his own spreadsheet and did the calculations. He chose Ford's 2.9% financing deal over the rebate, saving himself roughly $1,500 over the credit-union loan, he says.

    The watering down of the 0% financing deals also means that car shoppers need to remember the cardinal rule of car-buying: It pays to negotiate.

    Mary Butler, senior editor at cars.com (cars.com), an automotive Web site,
  • Ateixeira, Saturn actually has had special financing rates available on its cars for the past several years. As far as the other major manufacturers that are offering 0.0% financing go, like General Motors, Chrysler and Ford extended their 0.0% offers with some revisions to the longer term rates (48 & 60 mo.).

    Car_man
    Host
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Also, Chrysler just extended its warranty, which is now 7/100 on the powertrain. That's significant.

    -juice
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Juice, it's significant only if you plan on keeping the vehicle for a long time. Unlike most extended warranties, the Chrysler 7/100 is not transferrable to a new owner before the expiration. So if you sell it at the 4 year or 50,000 mile mark, the warranty is over.

    kcram
    Host
    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Most of the extended warranties (past the bumper to bumper) that near 100K miles are not transferrable.

    10/120K on the Isuzus (longest std warranty by the way)
    10/100K on the Hyundais and Kias (IIRC)
    7/100K on the Chryslers
    x/100K on the VWs(not sure if it's non-transferrable)

    Of course the items that usually put you in the poor house are not the ones covered by most of the non-bumper to bumper extended warranties. Items like A/C, Electrical, Suspension, etc. etc. are not covered.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think VW just changed it this year. It used to be transferable to family members only, now it's fully transferable. But they are the exception, so good point.

    -juice
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is the whole thing transferrable? For instance the BtoB is transferrable on the isuzus, but not the Powertrain part.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yes, at least that's what the AN article said.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    OK, correction. The warranty is indeed transferable, but it's now 4/50 bumper to bumper and 5/60 powertrain. So the B2B is much more comprehensive than before (it was 2/24), but the powertrain warranty has actually gotten shorter.

    -juice
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    i'm a reporter with the wall street journal working on a story about navigation systems and i'd like to talk to any ls430 owners about how you like the voice-control features. if you'd be willing to talk about your car, please send me an email telling me how to contact you. thks,
    greg.white@wsj.com.
  • anybody wonder what chryslers sales would have been without 0%?

    they were flat with 0%, GM and Ford were up over 30 %
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    The Hyundai 10yr/100k bump-to-bump warranty is transferable. That was one of the selling points of the extra warranty.
  • Its a 5yr/50K bumper to bumper (or is it 5yr/60K).

    That transfers, but the 10yr/100K is a powertrain warranty.. and it only transfers to immediate family members. Once you sell or trade the car it becomes 5yr 50 or 60K.

    Bill
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    Bill,
    You are correct about the 10yr/100k 'powertrain' factory warranty. The one I was talking about is the 'extra' 10yr/100k 'bumper to bumper' warranty that I purchased from the dealer.
    Nate
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Extended warranties you purchase are generally transferrable. We were talking about the std. Powertrain ones that are covering 10/100K or more.

    -mike
  • nato1nato1 Posts: 102
    Hyundai posted it's numbers for the oct.


    http://www.hyundaiusa.com/


    They doubled there numbers for oct'01 vs oct'00.

    They are up almost 100k units over last year at this time. Where are they pulling buyers from?

    What is pulling them? price and/or warranty? Someone lost sales.

  • Remember everyone, this particular discussion was created so that community members can respond to requests from the media. If you would like to get into a running conversation about a particular topic, like Korean vehicles, there are plenty of discussions out there that would be more appropriate. Thank you.

    Car_Man
    Host
    Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I was wondering if any of the press people who you guys are in contact with might be interested in an upcoming event that some of the subie owners are running. "The 48hrs of Tri-state Benefit Run" is a 1200 mile drive-a-thon to raise money for the WTC victims and families. Check out our webpage at http://isuzu-suvs.com/events/48hrsoftristate/index.html Thanks.


    -mike

  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    I'll alert some of my friends in the media to your event. Are you recruiting participants using Town Hall?
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have a few guys from the subaru crew coming from edmunds. I will probably post up in some of the other owner's areas to recruite people as well.

    -mike
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I leased a '97 rodeo, ended up on the wrong side of the odometer with about 15K extra miles and payed for that. Decided I had to buy my next truck and bought an '00 Trooper. With no downpayment $ I pay $700/mo for 48 months. Feel free to have em contact me for more details.

    -mike
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I paid cash buy way back in August 1998. That doesn't qualify as "recently".

    -juice
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,098
    When I met the woman who is now my wife, she was in the beginning months of a 4-year lease on a Gallant. About a year into our relationship, I got myself into a 3-year lease on a 626. Of course, not looking into the future, I didn't see us getting married, moving into a house, getting new jobs, etc. So we were looking at being way over on the miles on both cars which would end their leases right around the same time. This was just no good. We attempted to unload her car first as a trade-in since it was older and worth FAR less than was owed. Turned out that nobody wanted to get us out of the lease and we basically had to buy a used vehicle and keep the Gallant in the back yard in order to stop putting miles on it. Its still sitting there, by the way, and needs to go back in 2 months where we will have to come up with about $1300 to pay for the miles. Anyway, we waited a while and then decided it was time to do something about getting out from the 626 since I was getting close to my miles limit and still had a year to go. I certainly wasn't going to have another vehicle sitting in the back yard. So I managed to trade it in and bury about $4,000 into a slightly used volvo. As a result, I'm paying about $430 a month for 6 years on a $20K car with no money down. I think we'll come out ok in the end, but it was a tremendous amount of work, stress, and time to compensate for the leases. Needless to say, we will never do it again.

    footnote: yes, of course I could have bought the cars out from their lease, but what is the point in paying $12K for a car that is worth only $8K, especially when you don't want to own that car - that's why you leased it in the first place!

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • I bought a Toyota Celica, cash, last year. Monthly consumer payments annoy me, and except for my mortgage I avoid them. For the same reason I would never lease a car. I plan to drive this one for at least eight or ten years.

    Brenda
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good for you. Why pay interest, right?

    -juice
  • prlady1prlady1 Posts: 573
    Thanks to all who have responded so far - it will be fun to see who best fits the reporter's needs. I'll post the story as soon as it appears in the paper. Meanwhile, for those of you just joining us, we're looking for:
    1. someone who recently paid cash for a vehicle.
    2. someone who has been leasing for awhile and is sort of stuck
    leasing--with no trade-in or discretionary budget to buy new.
    3. someone who had been frustrated in that situaiton, but finally bit the bullet and bought a car, but is paying for it with high monthly payments.
    If you are interested in sharing your story, please post here and/or contact Jeannine Fallon at jfallon@edmunds.com. It is always helpful if you include your daytime phone number, and city and state of residence.
    Thanks as always.
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