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Buying a new car for the first time - seeking guidance

josh222josh222 Posts: 1
edited October 2014 in Subaru
Hello all,

I currently have a 2005 subaru outback limited XT (turbo). It's in great condition and doesn't have many miles (77,000). I'm very happy with it.

However, the wife and I are expecting baby #2 in about 6-7 month and are worried about the car seats. It's pretty tight in the backseat right now with 1 car seat and adding a second will be quite the pain. Plus the trunk will struggle with a double stroller.

So we have accepted that its time to get a new car.

I took a look at the new outback and forester (like them both but prefer for the outback) and would be happy with either.

But as someone who has never purchased a car, I'm not really sure the best way to go out and buy a new car and sell the old. I am hoping for some guidance from a knowledgeable community. My questions:

1. If I want to buy a new outback, when should I buy it? The latest I would want to buy is February/March as we want to have the new car ready for baby 2. Would we get a better price if we wait a few more months, or should I just buy now? Is there a sales promotion holiday like I see in ads on TV for other cars?

2. My old car is great. But when I called a few dealers around here, the trade-in value is about $6,500. This is significantly less than what I see at bluebook or For Sale by Owner. The dealers claim that is the price they can get my car at bulk auction - so not much room to negotiate as they wouldn't spend more than they can get at auction. I'm not really keen on selling it myself, but is this really the best I can do for trading in? What would you advise?

3. The new model outbacks sure look like a lot more room, but can anyone verify that two car seats will fit easily back there? Is this the right car for a family with two little kids?

4. I did go to one dealer to review everything and it was a really bad experience. Very rude, not helpful, and wasted my time. It worries me that I will be talked into a bad deal when pulling the trigger. Any advice on dealerships?

Any other advice is appreciated. I know very little about cars and nothing about the buying process. I don't wish to be a fool about this.

Thanks so much.

Comments

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 130,988
    josh222 said:

    Hello all,

    I currently have a 2005 subaru outback limited XT (turbo). It's in great condition and doesn't have many miles (77,000). I'm very happy with it.

    However, the wife and I are expecting baby #2 in about 6-7 month and are worried about the car seats. It's pretty tight in the backseat right now with 1 car seat and adding a second will be quite the pain. Plus the trunk will struggle with a double stroller.

    So we have accepted that its time to get a new car.

    I took a look at the new outback and forester (like them both but prefer for the outback) and would be happy with either.

    But as someone who has never purchased a car, I'm not really sure the best way to go out and buy a new car and sell the old. I am hoping for some guidance from a knowledgeable community. My questions:

    1. If I want to buy a new outback, when should I buy it? The latest I would want to buy is February/March as we want to have the new car ready for baby 2. Would we get a better price if we wait a few more months, or should I just buy now? Is there a sales promotion holiday like I see in ads on TV for other cars?

    2. My old car is great. But when I called a few dealers around here, the trade-in value is about $6,500. This is significantly less than what I see at bluebook or For Sale by Owner. The dealers claim that is the price they can get my car at bulk auction - so not much room to negotiate as they wouldn't spend more than they can get at auction. I'm not really keen on selling it myself, but is this really the best I can do for trading in? What would you advise?

    3. The new model outbacks sure look like a lot more room, but can anyone verify that two car seats will fit easily back there? Is this the right car for a family with two little kids?

    4. I did go to one dealer to review everything and it was a really bad experience. Very rude, not helpful, and wasted my time. It worries me that I will be talked into a bad deal when pulling the trigger. Any advice on dealerships?

    Any other advice is appreciated. I know very little about cars and nothing about the buying process. I don't wish to be a fool about this.

    Thanks so much.


    1) If you have a flexible time frame, the week between Christmas and New Years has always been a good time for discounts.

    2) Subarus are very popular, especially turbo models. I would "get keen" on selling it myself. I'd guess that it's worth closer to $10K than $6500. There is no point in listening to a dealer's "reason" why your car is worth what they are offering. The offer is the offer.

    3) If this is the main reason you are buying a new car, you'll likely be disappointed. Two car seats don't fit comfortably in many CUVs. A minivan would be a better choice.

    4) Don't go to the dealership with the intention on buying a car. Go to check out the car, to see if it's what you want. Go back and discuss numbers, once you've done your research and know what you want to spend.

    Since you are flexible on time, don't let a dealer rush you, or talk you into anything.. if you have a bad experience at one dealership, just move on to the next.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • jfljfl Posts: 1,392
    edited October 2014
    As difficult as it may be, go to a dealer put your stroller and carseat into a car to determine how much roomer the new OB/Forester/etc really is. You're in looking mode, NOT ready to buy. Compare other makes and models.

    When you're ready to buy:
    -Get pricing from Edmunds for the specific make/model/trim (you can also cross check with other car pricing websites)
    -Check inventory at specific dealers on Subaru.com (or other makes)
    -Email several dealers asking for quotes on your specific make/model/trim/color(s)
    -Hopefully, one of the dealers will come back with a price close to Edmunds'
    -Make your deal w/the internet sales person online, don't bother haggling with the other sales ppl

    I bought my Subaru, a year ago, roughly this way and was pleasantly surprised when the quote came in at ~$1000 below Edmunds price. YMMV

    Hope it goes well for you!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    If you are under 35 and recently bought a car to accommodate your growing family, please email [email protected] before Monday, March 30. 2015 to be interviewed.
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