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Selecting and Buying My First Car



  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,715
    If you're going to go used, you might want to check out a web site I posted; address is in my profile.

    You should wander over to Real-World Trade-In Values and ask what this sled is worth; Galants are ok cars, but have the resale value of beer, to quote Bill of blessed memory.

    "[...] have the dealership calculate our monthly payment and it's something we can live with"

    Oooh, a Payment Buyer. Why is the hair on the back of my neck standing up?

    Don't buy based on payment. It's a 4-year-old car with a ton of miles, do you want to owe money on it when it's seven years old? Nine years old? "Low Down Low Payment" my foot.

    You'll own this one for a while -- they're sale-proof -- so make sure you can get it serviced by someone competent. Indies are the way to go, the dealer HAS to use Mitsu parts, that can get expensive.

    Talk to your mechanic first, and have the car inspected. I'm pretty good at this myself, but I can't test compression with my thumb and forefinger... I can tell if it's a junker, but I can't tell for sure if it's good. Neither can your husband.

    You were doing so well, coming here and asking advice... now you're sitting down and talking PAYMENT? Oh dear.
    FWIW, $1k over 3 years at 7% is roughly $30/month; over 5 years its just under $20/month. You can use the Edmunds calculators for precise numbers. But negotiate PRICE not payment.

    FWIW, No Way would I pay over $6, for a 2000 Galant with those miles. $7 would be all of it if it's really nice. I think. I'm not a pro.

    East Lansing, MI
  • dbgindydbgindy Posts: 351
    Mathias is not a pro but he is a very gifted amateur. He just gave you some great advice. My advice is to heed his. :-)

  • you've already got some great information here, so i'm going to but in and try and give you some good info(at least i think it's good)... =oP

    It seems as though you folks buy cars and drive them until they poop out on you. If this is the case, I would probably be looking at 1 or 2 year old cars with 20-40k or so on it. Of course, if your husband is in love with the Galant, then so be it, but I would probably consider looking at the '01 or '02s since they should be the same design, may have less miles, and are roughly the same price range...
  • hest88hest88 Posts: 31
    Sounds like your husband loves that car? Make sure you get the TMV and see if you can get the price as close as possible to that. Also, have you run a Carfax on it yet? And checked it for any recalls?

    Personally, I'd rather aim for the lowest interest rate as possible. If you just look at monthly payments instead of overall costs you'll be losing money in the end. We used Capital One and it was very easy. They even called us to confirm on a Sunday! If you apply immediately and pay an extra $15 you'll get the check early next week. (No I'm not affliated with Cap One, but I was impressed at how simple it was.) If you aim for the lowest rate on your credit card, why wouldn't you with other financing?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No matter the outcome, you made the right choice. What price can you put on happiness?

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,082
    geez... i'm thinkin' about $20mill.... oh yeah. i'm smilin' already. :)

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You live pretty close to me, so try A no-haggle dealer is a good place for someone like you, uncomfortable with the haggling process. My family has bought several cars there and they offer up something very special - no surprises.

  • Hello all Sentra owners. My friend is shopping for the Spec V. Anyone knows the recent price from the dealer? Thank you for your input.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try, they sell Nissans at no-haggle prices in the DC area. You can get an idea where prices are, at least in this region.

  • New or used?

    These things depreciate like crazy, '02s are going in the 12-13 range.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I'd recommend looking for a certified used Celica on a dealer lot and then bargaining from there if you really want one.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    the certified Celicas will be inspected, cleaned almost to new car levels at a lower price.
  • She wants a Sentra. What're the odds?
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I saw the Celica thing in the subject heading and assumed someone was shopping for a Celica. Don't Sentras depreciate fast, making a year old used Sentra a better buy than a new one??
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    depreciate fast. Some (Neon, Cavalier, Focus) just depreciate ridiculously fast.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I bought a Value Package for $9,000 after a trade and negotiating in 1999. It's worth about $5,000 in a private party transaction, making 5 years of driving and 75,000 miles costing me $4,000 out of pocket for 5 years and 75,000 miles. Cost per mile is 5.3 cents per mile if I sell the car and don't run it into the ground.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I didn't really come out bad on the car if I sell now and buy a newer car.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    You left the 'plus trade' part out of your math, jchan2. The car didn't actually cost only $9000 'real money', it cost whatever the dealer put on the first line of the contract.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    so the sticker price I don't remember exactly, but was close to $11,000, which comes out to 8 cents a mile if I sell right now.
  • factoring in maintenance, and gas?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Those 2 are lower than for most other cars, at least.

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    averaging around 27 MPG pure city driving and maintenance has gone no further than oil changes at Jiffy Lube, a new set of GoodYear Allegra economy tires, a new set of spark plugs at 60K miles, and CDs for the CD player.
  • One thing that consumers who are purchasing their first new vehicle should consider is gas mileage. This is especially true today when the average cost of a gallon of gasoline has topped $2.00. Those of you who are shopping for your first vehicle should definitely check out the following new article that is available here at Top 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Non-Hybrid Cars for 2004. Please feel free to use this discussion to post your thoughts on this article or to add to the list. Thanks.

    Smart Shoppers Message Board
  • i am starting to look for my 1st new car. my current car is a 1995 chevy beretta 3.1 liter-6 cylinder automatic. she'a my baby; but her time is alost up at 165,000 miles. i'd like to buy a similar car, but i don't know what to look at. suggestions would be great. thank-you :)
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Posts: 1,828
    Since you have had good luck with the Baretta, I would consider a new Chevy Impala. You get more car for the money than the new Malibu, pretty good gas mileage (we are getting 28 mpg), and you get a lot of interior space.

    I am seeing a lot of new Impalas in the $14-15k range.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    you might want to try the Pontiac G6. Or the Chevrolet Impala. Lots of room at a low price.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Well, if you're looking for a 2-door like your Beretta, your choices in that size class are very limited:

    Chevy Cobalt
    Dodge Stratus
    Chrysler Sebring
    Toyota Solara
    Honda Accord
    Pontiac G6

    Host - Wagons
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I thought the G6 was only available with four doors. One could probably get a wonderful deal on a left over Grand Am, if there are any.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    ahhh - correct, ghulet. Forgot the G6 was going to be sedan only.

    Host - Wagons
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Look at a Malibu Maxx.

    The 3.5l is a cousin of the 3.1l you liked, and plenty peppy. The hatch is versatile and it should perform similarly.

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