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What Car is Right For Me? Help Me Choose!



  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Backy's Sentra sells for about $9,700 at the Manheim auctions nationwide every day. If you turn your leased car back in to the dealer at lease end under or at miles, they in turn give them back to the lease holder, who normally puts them in the auction. They are betting they can get the residual balance out of them at auction. Roll of the dice, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. They can set a floor price of what the minimum is they'll take for the car, but also with that, risk not selling it and being stuck with it. But they will always get that residual back from the owner if he/she is willing to buy it at the end of the lease for the carefully projected residual value. However, that's not usually a good investment.

    Understanding that there is value in you being the only prior owner, you have to decide if that's worth $3000 to you (in this particular example). If you know a wholesaler (as I do), they can buy the same car back for you at the auction for that $3,000 less (minus their fee, if they're not your friend). I do that fairly often for friends - buy their car back from the auction for them. They just lose possession for about a month while the car cycles through the snake.

    With this access, I never buy my car out of my lease - I let the lease holder take that loss. And that's what the dealers do as well, when they buy your car for their lot. No smart dealer every buys a lease return directly from the lease holder - they buy it later from the auction if they want it. The 2 primary sources for a used car lot are trade ins they like and keep, or auction cars, ie; rental returns, lease returns, repos & other dealer cars they can't sell, and put through to "blow them out", as the vernacular is.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    edited June 2013
    I don't know a wholesaler. I would have no idea how to go about arranging to have a wholesaler locate my car at an auction, buy it, and sell it back to me, and ensure I'm the one who ends up with it.

    The way I look at it, there's nothing out there in a comparable used car for this kind of money... except at auctions of course. I don't shop at auctions. Good for you that you have that insider info. So if I don't buy this car for $11k, what will I get? Something with a lot more more miles, or older? No way to tell how it was driven? No, thanks.

    P.S. In this example, we are talking a max of $1,300, assuming my car would go for $9,700 at an auction. Not $3,000 difference. Also, if I don't buy the car at end of lease, I owe a termination fee. So it's really less than a $1,300 difference. Plus there's that auction fee you mentioned--how much is that? Also, when a car is purchased at an auction, is sales tax paid on it? How would this transaction work? Would there actually be two transfers of ownership here--auction to my agent, then agent to me? If so, there would be two rounds of sales tax paid.

    By going to the dealer, I keep the car in my family all the time, I ensure I get to own it (slip ups can happen at an auction, no?) at a certain price.

    And I am not so sure the dealer wouldn't keep a car that is 13,000 miles under the normal mileage for this term lease and in pristine condition to sell themselves.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Also, when a car is purchased at an auction, is sales tax paid on it? How would this transaction work? Would there actually be two transfers of ownership here--auction to my agent, then agent to me? If so, there would be two rounds of sales tax paid.

    No. The end buyer pays the tax, only once.

    By going to the dealer, I keep the car in my family all the time, I ensure I get to own it (slip ups can happen at an auction, no?) at a certain price.

    "slip ups" can happen anywhere, anytime.

    And I am not so sure the dealer wouldn't keep a car that is 13,000 miles under the normal mileage for this term lease and in pristine condition to sell themselves.

    They won't, if they can get it for much less at the auction and then sell it for more profit. Be sure, I am one. Well, there are idiot dealers I suppose. But doing as you suggest, they won't be in business for long.
  • seven_upsseven_ups Posts: 10
    Ah, the color palettes of the Seventies.

    My first chariot was a '73 Mercury Cougar 351, in "Ginger Brown" with a tan interior. Bought it in my senior year in high school in 1983 for the staggering sum of $500.

    Those were the days indeed.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    So when a dealer advertises a used car as "we took this in as a trade on a new car" (I see that a lot in ads), they're lying? And when I saw a 2007 Rabbit I traded in on another car for sale by the same dealership a couple of days later... they were able to turn that around through the auction process that fast? Or maybe this was just one of those "idiot" dealers, who's been in business for only... a couple of decades, in this case.

    I learn something new every day!

    "slip ups" can happen anywhere, anytime.

    Thanks for validating my strategy to buy the car from the dealer, to ensure I end up with it.
  • gene103gene103 Posts: 47
    I think you may be confusing a trade-in with a lease turn-in. When you traded in your Rabbit, the dealer would either put it on his lot (as he did in your case) or send it to auction if it didn't fit his dealership, such as if you traded in the Rabbit to buy a Mercedes. A lease turn-in is different. nybanker is saying that rather than pay the residual to the leasing company to buy the car, chances are he could acquire the same model at auctiion for a lower price should he want that model of car on his lot. A perfect example is my 98 A6. It had a 63% residual but although I turned it in with over 10K miles remaining, the dealer sent it back to the leasing company because they were selling for only about 55% of original MSRP. He had plenty of 98's on his lot, but he acquired them at auction or thru trade-ins.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,924
    edited June 2013
    Those luxury cars don't hold their value very well, do they.

    OK, I love a good deal. Give me the name and contact info for someone in the Twin Cities who will guarantee in writing they can buy my 2010 Sentra from auction for no more than $9,700 and get it back in my hands within a month, also guarantee my car will actually go to auction, and I'll gladly turn it in next month vs. buying it from NMAC.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A reporter would like to speak to a recent buyer of a car from a manufacturer that is widely considered "American"--e.g. Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Chrysler, Cadillac-- who has not previously owned an "American" car. If this is you, please send your daytime contact info to [email protected] no later than Monday, July 1, 2013 no later than noon Pacific.
  • wxguy23wxguy23 Posts: 3
    I've been offered a fleet 2010 Equinox LS from a major well respected company with 74,000 miles for 11,500. No problems, well maintained by strict maintenance guidelines. They have their own shop as well.

    This was driven by sales guys. Right now they have around 20 for sale as they just bought 2013s.

    Currently I have a 2009 Camry SE loaded with radio, sunroof, wheels, tint....etc with 69,000 miles. I've had it for 8 months, and its just okay. More stuff than I need and I'm tired of the ground effects.

    I'll sell the Camry for $13,000...I hope, and the equinox prices at $16,00, but I'm getting it at $11,500 as part of employee plan.

    Camry is the best car ever I'm always told...I could use the extra space, but am I an idiot for considering this "trade"?
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,799
    >Camry is the best car ever I'm always told...I could use the extra space, but am I an idiot for considering this "trade"?>

    Only you can tell. Does fuel economy matter to you? What have the reliability stats been for the Equinox? A 09 for a 10 doesn't sound like much of a bargain repair wise. But for you comfort may trump all these considerations.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • riabovbriabovb Posts: 2
    Hello All,

    I've saved up about 2,500 for my first car, and I've been researching and browsing used car possibilities over the last few weeks.
    I'm twenty-four, licensed, from NYC.

    I wanted to ask for any recommendations and/or feedback for the list of cars I've come up with for possible purchase. I am concerned, for better or for worse with the following order: mpg, number of total miles, safety ratings, handling, storage space, etc.
    (I've seen some of the models below in my price range).
    I am also looking to criss-cross the country with this car.


    - 1984 Civic 1500S HB
    - 1986-1987 CRX HF
    - 1992 Civic Hatchback VX
    - 1993 Civic Hatchback VX
    - 1994 Civic Hatchback VX
    - 1995 Civic Hatchback VX
    - 1987 Honda: Coupe HF 4 Cyl 52/57
    - 1995 VX Hatchback
    Geo Metro
    - 1994 XFI
    - 1980s RAbbit
    - SA310
    - 1989 Swift
    - Forsa
    - 2000 Metro
    - 1988 Sprint Metro
    - Spring ER
    - 1990 Ford Festiva
    - 1983 Nissa Sentra (Datsun)

    I'd love to hear from people who own or have owned these cars, and could tell me from personal experience what they think of the model they drove.

    Many, Many Thanks!
  • smalltownsmalltown Posts: 75
    Got an email from my Nissan dealer on June 19 (Wed.) that they just received a 2014 metallic blue Nissan Versa Note with the Convenience package. Drove 50 miles to the dealer on Thur., test drove & decided to sign the papers to trade in my 2007 Mini Cooper. I picked up the new car the following Monday. After a week, it has been very nice. Admittedly, it does not handle as well as the Mini, but it is more comfortable in town and on back roads that have seen the ravages of winter weather. As a small person with shorter legs, the seat bottom is just right. One reviewer complained about the seat not supporting his thighs. But he is 6'1'. So this aspect rules out all the full-size and most intermediates for me.

    Lots of rear legroom. With the seats folded, I can put in my bicycle or our big dogs. There is enough room for us to take a trip. Acceleration is quite adequate. The CVT is smooth. Visibility is as good as any car I've had. The rear view monitor works well while backing. The controls are intuitive and easy to use, meaning I can reach the dials while keeping my eyes on the road and adjust by feel. It is quiet and acts predictably. The only complaint that my wife has is the lack of an armrest on the passenger side.

    It came with low rolling resistance tires. I wonder if getting better tires will improve handling, but at the expense of mileage. So I am no longer waiting for the 2014 Kia Soul & Forte 5-door.

    For my retirement next year, now I have a new car, a new horse and a new saddle. I gave one bicycle away. So now I only have five. What else?
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,674
    Sounds nice...this is the replacement for the Versa HB, right? My kid had an '09 and I really like it as i can slide right over in the seat and with my spinal issues, this is wonderful. Your new vehicle sounds perfect for you guys and good luck with it and it is the perfect retirement vehicle! Retired here also and plan to replace my current Civic by the 2016 or 2017 model year since it's an '06 model. The newer one will probably be my last vehicle but I keep going back and forth between staying with an economy one or spending a bit more and going for an entry level lux one. I have no problem with a cpo unit as I know a new one would be out of my price comfort level and these days, cpo units can be the perfect alternative for someone in this situation. Finding what I want within the parameters I will have set up will be the issue but I'm quite confident that there is the perfect vehicle out there when the time comes. I want to reward myself for all my hard work over my career with something nice that will give me years of enjoyment...and I do deserve it!

    Starting sometime in latter 2016, my quest will begin!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    I would exclude anything before the early 90s due to lack of airbags. You might be able to get a 90s Mazda Protoge (3 predecessor) for that much money. The issue you will have with all of them is that they will need some fixes - you will have to budget for that. For availability of parts and reliability I'd lean toward the Hondas. The family had a 90 Civic and was very reliable in terms of drive-train - but it went through 2 mufflers and one paint job in 15 years.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,799
    I agree, exclude anything before front airbag era. Best suggestions:
    Buick LeSabre or Century (Le Sabre is big but is very reliable and cheap to repair). My son still has his '98 Le Sabre with over 160,000 miles now.
    Mazda Protege

    These will all have a lot of miles. Be sure to get any vehicle checked out by a mechanic before you buy.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • smalltownsmalltown Posts: 75
    I am very satisfied with the Nissan Versa Note I bought a couple of weeks ago. Here are a few things that car manufacturers and dealers need to keep in mind with short people with small feet. And for short drivers to notice.

    1) Gas pedal placement. Some cars are easier to drive for me because the gas pedal seems to be closer to the floor and is easier to reach. On some cars, especially larger cars, in order to better control the gas pedal, I have to essentially drive with my heel in the air. I cannot pivot my foot with my heel on the floor. This is tiring on longer drives in heavy traffic when using cruise-control is not practical.

    2) Controls are too spread out so that I cannot reach them unless I take my eyes off the road and look at the dash.

    3) Seat bottom size. Especially in larger cars, the seat bottom is too long so I essentially have to put a cushion behind my back so I can bend my leg at the knee to reach the pedals.

    4) Driver seat too low. This is especially true of larger Fords and Chevrolets. It is hard to see the road over the hood.

    5) Tailgate height. On larger SUVs, the tailgate opens too high that I cannot reach the edge to close them.

    So the manufacturers essentially shunted me toward their compacts and subcompacts.
  • tamtlytamtly Posts: 10
    edited July 2013
    Trying to decide between 2012 EXL and 2013 LX/EX. Any suggestions ?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Any suggestions ?

    Start by telling us the make/model of the car?
  • tamtlytamtly Posts: 10
    It is Honda Accord.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 4,013
    Definitely get the 2013. I own a 2013 Accord EXL navi and it's by far the best car I've ever owned. I also own the previous generation. It was a good car for its day, but it's slower, doesn't get as many miles per gallon, has much more road noise, etc.

    In terms of the model, the LX for 2013 has a lot of things that used to be on only the higher end models—like alloy wheels, bluetooth, advanced direct injected engine, etc. This model is a great deal. My parents have one and they love it.

    EX adds smart entry among other features, which is really cool. You don't get your key out of your pocket. You just approach your car, it knows it's you, and it unlocks the door. You press a red ignition button to start the car. The EX features are worth it in my opinion. But if you want to save $3000, the LX is still a great car.

    I'd take a 2013 LX over a 2012 EXL.

    The new model gets about 3-5 more mpg, and gets to 60 about a second faster.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Agree with Benjimin on all counts. The '08-'12 Accord wasn't the greatest and the '13 seems to really move the bar up to Honda level IMHO. I too would take a '13 over '12 regardless of model comparison.
  • tamtlytamtly Posts: 10
    Thanks Benjamin and Sebring.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 4,013
    Consider trying the site

    You put in the exact model and color you want, and get offers from dealers within 50 mi or so. You can negotiate. You should be able to get at least $2500 off any model of 2013 Accord. They are making a lot of them, and so if you closest dealer doesn't want to deal, move to one that really wants your biz.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 4,013
    edited July 2013
    EX adds: 17" Alloy wheels, V-rated tires, Power Moonroof, Smart Entry/Push button start, Lane Watch, deluxe fabric seats, fog lights, heated side mirrors with turn signal indicators, 2 more speakers for the stereo, driver and passenger auto up/down windows, lockable glove box, etc.

    EX CVT lists for $25,405+790 destination
    LX CVT lists for $22,480+790

    I'd say the Moonroof is worth about a thousand, the upgraded wheels and tires are worth maybe 600, the smart entry/push button start is worth maybe 800, the lane-watch 800, and the other stuff maybe a 600 more. So it seems worth the $3000 difference, but none of this stuff is absolutely essential if you want or need to save some money.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • tamtlytamtly Posts: 10
    edited July 2013
    Anyone know if the rear vent in Accord EX is of any good, especially in TX summer ? That's one feature that I find interesting in EX. I can live without the other features.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 4,013
    Yes, the rear vents work. My kids report that the rear vent helps in hot weather. We live in KY, which is pretty hot sometimes.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm going to add nothing to your list, but I will recommend based upon sad experience - stay away from the following:

    The Geo Metro, ANY Volkswagens, and the Chevrolets.
  • e1314e1314 Posts: 1
    hi, there, congrets and welcome to this torum, i got a car but not the same as you, i have been longing for a new car like yours,have a good day and good luck! :)
  • Do not buy the Hyundai Elantra. I bought the 2013 I fill up every three days with 22MPG. Hyundai lied. There is a lawsuit going on.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    We averaged 40mpg in our road trip to NYC from Birmingham, AL last year (in a 2012 GLS with four people on board). Best tank was 41, worst was 38.3.

    What are your driving conditions to get 22?
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