Buying a Car

buying a car

Buying a Car

Just purchased a new car for my wife. I know it is a bad idea financially to buy a car that is new, but she needs something reliable with decent gas mileage for her business. Buying a car takes some time.

We had been looking at a Toyota Matrix and a Honda Fit Sport.

The Toyota Matrix gets 25 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

The Honda Fit gets gets 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, although the window sticker says it is higher. These numbers are from Kelly Blue Book.

The Toyota Matrix didn’t feel as zippy(quick) as the Honda Fit even though the Toyota Matrix has more horsepower, 126 for the Toyota versus 105 for the Honda.

The Toyota Matrix cost $21,000 dollars and the Honda Fit cost $18000.

They both have good cargo storage and they both have 4 doors. These are 2 of the requirements my wife had for buying a car.

It was a tough 4 hour ordeal, but we finally got a great deal. The dealer started at 19,500 plus payoff difference on the old vehicle (Ford Escape). I managed to get them up to middle book on the old vehicle and to get them down on their price. The Kelly Blue Book trade in value on the Ford Escape was $4555 and we were able to get them to $4675 less our payoff of $4150.

The dealer really wanted the Ford Escape for resale, at least that is what they told me. So we ended up getting the Honda Fit for $18,000 out the door. Car selling can take some time also.

The Ford did have a couple of problems with the sensors on the dash. We had it evaluated by a garage and they said it would cost $800 to fix. The sunroof was also broke which would have cost another $800 to fix.  I will never own another car with a sliding sunroof as this is the 2nd one I have had problems with.

We ended up getting a good deal and we used our AMEX Blue Card to get some cash back on the deal. Dealers will let you use your card for some of the payment, but not all. I was able to use my cash back card for $3000 of the payment which netted me another $30 off the price effectively. It cost the dealer money so they don’t like taking credit cards for payments or down payments.

Be careful to play the dealer game carefully. They try to get you to your magic payment and to commit. This didn’t matter to us. We could have paid cash for the car. We wanted the best deal possible. We checked out 3 dealers in our state and found the best deal then played the dealers against each other to get the best deal. Make sure you know the book on the car before making any kind of deal. You can research the pricing through Kelly Blue Book

Dealer Salesmen are trained to size you up, ask you questions, and squeeze all the information they can in order to get you to say “Yes”. (If I can get you this deal will you buy it today?) So be careful. If you’re the loose lipped type, then practice being the one to ask the questions. Be patient because it usually takes a while to get the best deal. The salesman usually has to talk to the manager to make a deal. Buying a car should be fun, but it is a negotiation that takes time.

Just because they ask a question doesn’t mean you are obligated to answer. Remember that no matter how charming and friendly the dealer may appear to be, it’s more important to save money than make a friend of the dealer. Walk away to get a better deal if you need to. The dealer has your name and number and they will probably call you to finalize the deal if they can. They will usually come down a bit or offer you something like maintenance for life. 

What do you think of the deal or of the Honda Fit? Please comment.

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