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Share Your Past Experiences and Advice with Buying a Car

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    Share Your Past Experiences and Advice with Buying a Car

    While i don't think i've come across such a thread (if so, sorry ) and it may also be useful for people here to gather everyone's experiences and put two and two together, why not share our past experiences with buying a car for better or worse!

    And also i'm in the market to find a used car soon (looking for that deal to come along) and i've heard several different negotiation tactics, i'd figure that any advice or past experiences we could throw at buying a car could help anyone, and i bet some would make for good stories too

    Will be writing about my purchasing experience when that time comes!

    PSN ID: Timl93 - HTC One M8 - Android KitKat 5.0.1

    #2
    Buy cars sight unseen off eBay from sellers with little feedback for obscenely small amounts of money.

    Wait, whut?
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      #3
      Find a Romanian Pikey and buy a Jag XJF from him for 2,000 GBP - that will end well.

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        #4
        It depends on what type of used car you're looking for. Is it an old beater, a classic, a work vehicle or just your standard late model daily driver?

        If I remember correctly, you would fall into the last category. In that case I would narrow down the list of cars you're looking at, go out and test drive all the models with no intention of buying and then decide on the exact make and model you want. Once you know that there will probably be at least a dozen places with that model in the area, call them all, see what the lowest price they will go and play the dealers against each other. Once you find a price you're happy with, tell them that price will work, as long as it is with all taxes and fees included and you will hopefully get a bit more off. Then go and drive the particular car, get it looked at, and as long as everythings good then the price is set. If there is issues with the car, that just means further discounts or you go somewhere else.

        In your situation I would say just choose a model and start looking in Washington/Oregon/US in general. Our market is so overpriced that even with the fees and paperwork you should be able to get a hell of a deal bringing a car up from the states.


        I'm sure other people will have lots of other tips and advice, but this has always worked for me and my family.

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          #5
          Well currently i'm trying to figure out the general mark-up a dealer would put on a vehicle. Generally i would assume the mark-up is higher on a vehicle that has high demand and generally bought at auctions or as a trade-in (due to the general mark-up on a new car).

          But the vehicles i'm looking at (Mazda3 GT, Lancer GTS, Acura CSX) in our ideal budget - between ~$15K to $18K out the door (12% HST included) are going to somewhat need negotiating (some are in budget, course lower the better )

          I would assume that based on those vehicles, some have been on the lot for quite a while (at least 2 months), that the general mark-up is ~20% and that they are looking for a profit that is at least in a dollar amount from the price they paid for it (~$1,000)?

          Anyone care to add some insight?
          Last edited by Timbits93; February 9th, 2012, 4:29 PM.

          PSN ID: Timl93 - HTC One M8 - Android KitKat 5.0.1

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            #6
            Go to a nearby 2nd hand car dealer and buy the first car you test-drive without trying any others...

            In all seriousness though I couldn't get them to budge on price but I did get a fresh MOT (it only had 8 months), a service and some cosmetic issues fixed for the asking price.

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              #7
              My experience: Pick dealer with best offer, go there, buy a Skoda.
              Octavia
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              Beetle

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                #8
                My experience, if you want to just buy car without people harassing you and wasting your phone's battery. Buy from a private seller. I'm not a fan of dealers and salespeople.

                Ebay Motors is a guilty pleasure for me. So many awesome looking cars for decent money. But, buying car so far away without test driving it is a big no to me.
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                  #9
                  My strategy: pick a car that is overpriced, unpopular and rather rare, and make sure you want a particular color that has been discontinued. Pit dealers from all across the country against each other and wait it out (no one is buying them after all) until the price goes down to what you want

                  On a more serious note, new car dealers are scum and almost every single one I've dealt with through my search screwed me over in some way. Emphasis on almost, there was one that I was perfectly happy to deal with they just had the wrong color, so I only would have accepted a lower price and we couldn't agree.
                  Last edited by thevictor390; February 9th, 2012, 7:32 PM.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by thevictor390 View Post
                    On a more serious note, new car dealers are scum and almost every single one I've dealt with through my search screwed me over in some way. Emphasis on almost, there was one that I was perfectly happy to deal with they just had the wrong color, so I only would have accepted a lower price and we couldn't agree.
                    Well in the end least you ended up with what you wanted (Private sale i assume).

                    Currently there are two that i might be interested in trying to negotiate for. Different vehicles though.

                    Theres a 08 Lancer GTS with only 50,000 KM listed for $14K (Lowered already by $2K) which there happens to also be another one (different colour, similar mileage and equipment) for $16K. Both are sold by new car dealers (not necessarily Mitsubishi)

                    Would jump on it right away if it was equipped with the Sun & Sound package (Sunroof, Rockford Fosgate). But i'm wondering what should be the opening price on the table? 10% less asking? 20% less asking?

                    PSN ID: Timl93 - HTC One M8 - Android KitKat 5.0.1

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                      #11
                      To get the best deal, first research. Know what the wholesale and retail value of the vehicle your shopping. That way you have an idea of what they paid for it, and know the wholesale value of your trade if you have one. Then go in and negotiate, but don't commit to anything. When they say they've gone as low as they'll go on the price you get up and leave, tell them you have to think about it for a few days. If they really want to sell a car they'll call you in the next day or two wanting to come down on the price a little more. At that point tell them you are looking at a similar car somewhere else, they may then come down even further. The longer you hold off the lower they will go. Don't let them confuse you with a bunch of numbers or screw you into buying a lot of BS warranties and unnecessary insurance either. The last 3 cars I've had took over a week to negotiate before I actually got them where I wanted to be, but it was worth it.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Timbits93 View Post
                        Well in the end least you ended up with what you wanted (Private sale i assume).

                        Currently there are two that i might be interested in trying to negotiate for. Different vehicles though.

                        Theres a 08 Lancer GTS with only 50,000 KM listed for $14K (Lowered already by $2K) which there happens to also be another one (different colour, similar mileage and equipment) for $16K. Both are sold by new car dealers (not necessarily Mitsubishi)

                        Would jump on it right away if it was equipped with the Sun & Sound package (Sunroof, Rockford Fosgate). But i'm wondering what should be the opening price on the table? 10% less asking? 20% less asking?
                        Use VMR Canada to help you. http://www.vmrcanada.com/. They provide the retail and wholesale values, it'll give a good idea what's fair. Of course I bought my Impreza at private sale, ended up buying it at wholesale value.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by captain_70s View Post
                          Go to a nearby 2nd hand car dealer and buy the first car you test-drive without trying any others...
                          I knew I always did that for a reason!

                          On a more serious note (since I've done every stupid thing known to mankind *repeatedly* when buying a used car that will ever be possible. And finally having learned my lesson):

                          Know what you want up front.

                          Know your budget is and stick to it.

                          Know what the car is worth in the real world.

                          Know that models known little, um...foibles are. (recalls, things that historically always/will go wrong with that car)

                          Know how that car will change your insurance. (young men especially)

                          Test drive it ruthlessly. On the side streets, highway, parking lot, bumpy road, etc... (IE...scare the hell out of the salesperson)

                          If you're not mechanically inclined (or even if you are) ask a certified (and trusted) mechanic to give it a thorough check over. If the seller balks..run away.

                          Trust your gut feeling. If the car looks great, but that little voice in your head is hesitating, there might be a reason.

                          Is there any warranty offered?

                          Is there any type of service record?

                          And most importantly. If it's a private seller...why are they selling it?




                          I'm sure the guys have tons more ideas, but for me...these are the things that I didn't do in the past and have been burnt on.
                          Booooooooored

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Timbits93 View Post
                            Well in the end least you ended up with what you wanted (Private sale i assume).

                            Currently there are two that i might be interested in trying to negotiate for. Different vehicles though.

                            Theres a 08 Lancer GTS with only 50,000 KM listed for $14K (Lowered already by $2K) which there happens to also be another one (different colour, similar mileage and equipment) for $16K. Both are sold by new car dealers (not necessarily Mitsubishi)

                            Would jump on it right away if it was equipped with the Sun & Sound package (Sunroof, Rockford Fosgate). But i'm wondering what should be the opening price on the table? 10% less asking? 20% less asking?
                            It was a dealer, they didn't try to screw me but there was some minor incompetence involved, worth it for the right car

                            My problem is more with dealers telling you they don't have a car for you to test drive, neither does the dealer in the next town, but we'll let you when it comes in. So I call the other dealer, they do have one. I go down there, drive it, like the car but not the color, and put my name in for when some new ones come in. Next day, I get a call from the first dealer saying suddenly they have a car for me to drive, he describes it to me, it's the exact same fucking car I drove the previous day. Rather than telling me the other dealer has a car for me, they try to play games to keep me from shopping around....

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                              #15
                              I bought my 155 2.0 TV 16v from the UK.
                              Costed me 2000 pounds.

                              Came back to Hong Kong after a month, putted it on a Jack, and found out the bottom is made out of rust XD
                              Now I never buy any cars without seeing the pics of the bottom XD

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                                #16
                                Another option is to check out the local auctions. Adesa auctions in Richmond usually have quite a few late model cars every week. Stay away from the former rentals and out of province vehicles and look at lease returns and trade ins. You can pop down in the days before the auction to get a closer, longer look at what's available. And if you find something you really like you can try the surrey used car dealers trick and disconnect a spark plug and try and buy it for a steal because "its running really rough".

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                                  #17
                                  Well an update.

                                  While i'm still looking (not QUITE ready), i've came across a 2010 Mazda3 sedan with very low mileage. Given that it's been on the lot for at least 3 months, they've lowered the price at least twice within this period (just recently lowered again). Haven't had the chance to actually look at the report for this car, but it seems as its been in a collision before based on the price (compared to the rest of the market).

                                  I'm thinking about checking it out, if the report shows that the vehicle has been in a minor accident (lets say $3K or less), i'll think about putting down an offer just to get it off the lot (15-20% off asking perhaps).

                                  Any thoughts on it?
                                  Last edited by Timbits93; February 19th, 2012, 8:24 AM.

                                  PSN ID: Timl93 - HTC One M8 - Android KitKat 5.0.1

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Timbits93 View Post
                                    Well an update.

                                    While i'm still looking (not QUITE ready), i've came across a 2010 Mazda3 sedan with very low mileage. Given that it's been on the lot for at least 3 months, they've lowered the price at least twice within this period (just recently lowered again). Haven't had the chance to actually look at the report for this car, but it seems as its been in a collision before based on the price (compared to the rest of the market).

                                    I'm thinking about checking it out, if the report shows that the vehicle has been in a minor accident (lets say $3K or less), i'll think about putting down an offer just to get it off the lot (15-20% off asking perhaps).

                                    Any thoughts on it?
                                    Do you really want an accident car though? You'll pretty much have to drive it into the ground because only a select few people would be willing to buy such a car, even if the damage was minor.

                                    Save up more/wait it out until you find something you can be 100 percent happy with, not just something you settle for.

                                    Their job is to "get it off the lot" not yours. Let them be the suckers for choosing to try and sell a accident car.
                                    Last edited by rickhamilton620; February 19th, 2012, 8:59 AM.
                                    "The way I see it a car enthusiast is somebody who is enthusiastic and interested about the motor car in all its various shapes and forms from supercars to East German 2-strokes made of cardboard. Everyone else is merely a car elitist IMO." ~ Captain 70's

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                                      #19
                                      When trading in, you will always get low balled.
                                      This is your best place for wiggle room. Reject every offer until they will simply not go any higher. Then reject that one too
                                      When I picked up my GTI in 07, the dealer offered me 1,000 trade in on my old 306. I ended up getting 4,000 for it.
                                      (best part is the fact that I only paid 2 grand for it two years earlier)
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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Timbits93 View Post
                                        Well an update.

                                        While i'm still looking (not QUITE ready), i've came across a 2010 Mazda3 sedan with very low mileage. Given that it's been on the lot for at least 3 months, they've lowered the price at least twice within this period (just recently lowered again). Haven't had the chance to actually look at the report for this car, but it seems as its been in a collision before based on the price (compared to the rest of the market).

                                        I'm thinking about checking it out, if the report shows that the vehicle has been in a minor accident (lets say $3K or less), i'll think about putting down an offer just to get it off the lot (15-20% off asking perhaps).

                                        Any thoughts on it?
                                        You have to be careful about vehicles in accidents. A proper inspection of the car is definitely necessary to ensure it wasn't a insurance write-off or a salvage car, sadly Canadian used car dealers will outright lie and attempt to provide old carproofs or carfaxes to say their cars are fine. This is what frightens me from used dealers, consistently CTV W-Five and the APA do a yearly report and as usual Toronto and Vancouver used car dealers frequently fail on full disclosure. A competent mechanic can easily see whether the car was poorly repaired, the government safety certification checks aren't thorough enough to prevent you from getting a potentially unsafe car.

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