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Posts Tagged ‘car buying advice’

Free Maintenance Programs: Proceed with Caution

September 11th, 2014

BMW maintenance program

“How about we throw in two years of free synthetic oil changes and call it good,” said the sales manager.

I was negotiating for a car about a year ago, and we’d reached a stalemate on price. We were close, within a few hundred bucks, but I was willing to walk if my price wasn’t met.

The sales manger claimed they were down as low as possible and couldn’t budge any further.

The free oil-change offer sealed the deal. I was thinking 3 or 4 oil changes per year, at about $70 each.

Being the type of guy who regularly dispenses auto-buying advice to friends, family and strangers, I should have thought it through. I should have asked questions. But I didn’t, and I fell for one of the newest strategies in selling cars: free maintenance.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat , ,

How to Get the Dealer’s Secret Price

June 16th, 2014

car dealership

A car dealer’s secret price sounds mysterious, right?

As I partake in my daily adventures on this vast ocean of online sensory overload known as the Internet, I see a lot of ads promising to reveal the secret to obtaining access to the “secret” price of dealers.

The idea of a “secret price” that dealers hold in a vault and disperse to only a lucky few is a complete myth. True, there’s an invoice price that usually serves as the Holy Grail of car shoppers, but even that can be deceiving due to manufacturer holdbacks and other factors.

So how do you become a savvy new-car shopper and get the best possible price?

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The Worst Enemy of a Used Car Shopper

June 3rd, 2013
Convertible pickup?

The perfect vehicle for someone. Maybe.

My friend Dan tells a lot of stories.

On Friday the topic of conversation turned to cars and, of course, Dan had a story to tell. He spun a yarn about how he once went to a dealership looking for a pickup, but left with a convertible.

Now that’s just exceptionally poor willpower combined with a complete lack of focus. The first rule about buying a car is to find one that fits your needs. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t even need saying, but if you need a truck to haul a boat or load a couple yards of bark, don’t buy a convertible.

I never thought I’d need to write those words, but Dan’s story illustrates what can happen when impulse takes control of your car shopping.

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Buying Used: Beware the Secret Recall

October 9th, 2012

Honda recall

When shopping for used cars, people often look to a certain brand and take comfort in knowing the brand’s reputation for quality and reliability will mean a trouble-free ownership experience.

Honda certainly qualifies as one of those brands.

Smart car buyers know that any used car, regardless of brand, should never be brought home without a thorough history check. That research should include a close look at recalls issued for the model getting considered.

In the last week or so, Honda has reminded us that no brand is immune from a potentially dangerous fault that could result in an accident, with two separate recalls on three of its most popular vehicles.

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