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Haggling Tips on 2015 Subaru Impreza

nclark8200nclark8200 Northern ColoradoPosts: 5
edited October 2020 in Subaru
I think I found a used car that I really want, but wanted to get some advice on haggling.
The car is a 2015 Subaru Impreza 2.0i hatchback, 5-speed manual, with 96k miles and has a sticker price of $10,500. Looking to buy it from a small dealer/mechanic that specilizes in Subarus. Here are all the details I know about the car:
  • Brand new tires, brakes, and general maintenance (oil, filters, etc) completed on it. I do trust this mechanic in that I believe there's nothing mechanically wrong with it (their main business is being a mechanic, not selling cars & they have a good reputation/reviews online).
  • Clutch and shifting through gears feel OK to me, but I'm no expert in predicting clutch life (only ever had 1 other manual car).
  • Unsure When the last time transmission fluid was replaced and if the spark plugs have been changed (that's a 97k maintenance item). I figured I'd make this a condition of the sale if it hasn't been done.
  • It has a pretty nice body minus one small (3" diameter) ding on the liftgate. Maybe caused by backing into something, not from a rear end collision.
  • Interier is dirty, but nothing that a detailer couldn't take care of (no rips in seats, cracks in plastic, etc)
  • Only had 1 owner, and the title is clean.
  • Been sitting on their lot since February (I assume because not many people are looking for a manual?).
  • Similar cars at other dealerships in my area are in the $11-$12k range, so the $10,500 already seems like a steal.
Trade in value according to CarMax and KBB is about $6k, and they've put in maybe $1k of work into it. So I figured I'd start my haggling at $7k (them breaking even) armed with this data as well as the fact that the car has been sitting unsold for 8 months. Do you think that's an insultingly low price to start the haggling at? What else am I not considering for buying this car?

Comments

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,587
    edited October 2020
    Any previous paintwork on the car?

    That is a lot of dough for a 100k-mile car. How many miles a year do you drive?

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • nclark8200nclark8200 Northern ColoradoPosts: 5
    It doesn't look like there's been any paintwork on the car as far as I can tell.
    It is a lot of money for a car with that many miles, but it seems like that's a pretty average price for this car when you buy from a dealer. I'm having a hard time finding a used stick shift Subaru from a reputable dealer with that many miles that's substantially lower than $10k (sticker price).

    I don't drive many miles per year, maybe 6,000. I work 3 miles away and can bike when the weather's decent. But I'm looking to move in the next couple of years, so my commute will likely increase.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 16,927
    I’d still take it to another mechanic for an inspection.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,587
    It is worth that much in the market. Doesn't mean it is good value, though. :)
    Is there a reason you are hellbent on a stick Subaru?

    Just to put this in perspective ... in my area, I can lease a new Impreza hatch for $250/mo with only first month due at signing. Over the course of 3 yrs, that's $9000. After figuring a good discount plus taxes and DMV, let's just say the used one costs you the same. Where does that leave you 3 yrs from now? You will most certainly need maintenance and repairs on the 100k-mile car, while not needing anything on the new one. Le't say you get lucky and pay $1500 over the next 3 yrs to keep the old one running. Now we're at $10.5k. At that point, the projected dealer auction value is $4k (if values hold, which is certainly not guaranteed). So $2500 extra over 3 yrs to drive a NEW car and not worry about possible big repairs on your dime.

    And that's with a $250/mo deal, which is NOT good for a $20k car. You can get, let's say, a Hyundai Venue SE for $225. That brings your difference down to just $1600 over 3 yrs.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • nclark8200nclark8200 Northern ColoradoPosts: 5
    @qbrozen I’m not hellbent on a Subaru per say, but I do want a stick. I just enjoy the way driving a stick feels. And I do want something that’s 4 wheel drive though. Even though I’ve been fine with a front wheel drive vehicle all my life, I don’t want to have to deal with that in the snow or in the mountains anymore.
    Your math does make a lot of sense and I do appreciate that kind of train of thought. I don’t think you factored in insurance which will be twice the cost on a new car than it is on an older car. Over 3 years I’d expect to pay at least $2k more in insurance and registration with a new car. So now your $1,600 number jumps to $3,600 which is more than $1k per year that I could be saving towards some other major purchase (like a house with a garage so I can do my own maintenance). to some people, $1k per year for peace of mind makes absolute sense, but for me it doesn’t.

    @oldfarmer50 yes, that’s a good idea, I don’t have any reason to trust him other than his ratings online, which may or may not tell the full story of that particular mechanic.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,587
    Fair point on insurance. May want to ask your provider to be sure. Personally, I carry full insurance even on my older cars, so the price difference is very little, and sometimes the new car is cheaper due to better safety features. I think the point I may consider dropping full insurance on a car is when its value drops below $3k.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 176,912
    edited October 2020

    @qbrozen I’m not hellbent on a Subaru per say, but I do want a stick. I just enjoy the way driving a stick feels. And I do want something that’s 4 wheel drive though. Even though I’ve been fine with a front wheel drive vehicle all my life, I don’t want to have to deal with that in the snow or in the mountains anymore.
    Your math does make a lot of sense and I do appreciate that kind of train of thought. I don’t think you factored in insurance which will be twice the cost on a new car than it is on an older car. Over 3 years I’d expect to pay at least $2k more in insurance and registration with a new car. So now your $1,600 number jumps to $3,600 which is more than $1k per year that I could be saving towards some other major purchase (like a house with a garage so I can do my own maintenance). to some people, $1k per year for peace of mind makes absolute sense, but for me it doesn’t.

    @oldfarmer50 yes, that’s a good idea, I don’t have any reason to trust him other than his ratings online, which may or may not tell the full story of that particular mechanic.

    Actually, you'll find that full coverage insurance is about the same on any car, whether new or used.

    Now, if you drop collision, then you can save a lot, but I would never go without on a $10K vehicle (my limit has always been $5K). Also, if you have a loan on the car, you have to carry collision.

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

    Edmunds Moderator

  • nclark8200nclark8200 Northern ColoradoPosts: 5
    @qbrozen I ran the actual numbers based on my current limits (with collision), and it looks like it's an insurance difference of $225/year. To @kyfdx 's point, I'd definitely want collision on this car since it's worth enough to justify the price of it.
    I also ran the numbers on the estimated registration fee in year 1 which is a $330 difference between new and a used 2015. So maybe that + insurance is not quite a $2k difference over 3 years, but it still adds up.

    @qbrozen In regards to you thinking $10k is a lot for a 100k car, I just got my settlement back from the insurance company an hour ago on my 2013 Corolla S (manual) with 92k miles on it (pretty close in MSRP compared to the 2015 Impreza). They appraised it for $10,355. Now if I tried to sell my car for that much (private or trade in value) I'd be laughed at, but it's still a good indication that a $10k car with 100k miles isn't too far off from what the car is valued from an insurance standpoint (and I buy a car with the intent to keep them until they're totaled).

    My question still stands though, if I think the dealer has sunk $7k into this car and it hasn't been selling, where do I start the haggling so that I'm taken seriously?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,587
    $8k

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

  • nclark8200nclark8200 Northern ColoradoPosts: 5
    I bought the car!
    I took it in for an inspection (believe it or not, there's a place in town that offered free pre-purchase inspections that did a pretty in-depth job). They were able to tell me that the thing was in good enough shape for the price that they were asking for it. They said that the fair price was $10,700, and the dealer had it listed for $10,500. Back at the lot, the salesman immediately offered me $10k (because I said on the first day on his lot that $10k was my limit - maybe a bad move on my part because that's the only thing the guy remembered from that day). I told him I was thinking more in the $8,500 out the door range. He came back with taking another $500 off, in which he didn't seem like he was willing to budge on that. I tried to talk him down another $500 but was only barely able to get him to change the cabin/engine filters for me (which my inspection showed was necessary). If I had more time, I could have played the "walking away game", but I needed a car (since I was in an accident) and he knew that. So maybe had I not given an upper limit on the first day and had he thought I didn't need a car immediately, I might have been able to talk him down some more.
    So my total, out the door price was $10,500 which is about the price most of the comparable cars are going for in my area BEFORE taxes and dealer fees. I'm pretty happy with getting the car for $1k less than what it should have been going for, even though I knew I could have gotten it for less under different circumstances.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 176,912
    @nclark8200

    Congrats on the new car!

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

    Edmunds Moderator

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,587
    Congrats.
    Enjoy.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 53-car history and counting!

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