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Posts Tagged ‘car shopping’

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 , ,

Who Negotiates the Best Deals on Cars?

September 2nd, 2014

BMW_E46_front_20080822

Two headlines grabbed my attention this weekend, both of which pertain to the purchasing of cars.

Yes, I know there are plenty of more exciting headlines, such as the production of the 2015 Mustang and spy shots of soon-to-be-revealed new models, but none of that matters if no one is around to buy new and used versions of those cars.

At CarGurus, we want you to get the best deal possible on a car and feel good when we hear that people are negotiating solid buys.

Who are the people getting the best deals on cars these days? Here’s a hint: If you’re a guy, it’s probably not you.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat , , ,

The Case for Extended Warranties on Used Cars

August 26th, 2014
Audi Q7 interior

Caution: Don’t use the cupholders

Buying a used Audi seemed like a great idea at the time.

I found the 2008 Q7 on a dealer’s lot and used the CarGurus price analysis tool to determine that the car was a good value. I was smitten with the Audi’s color, strong stance, room for 7 people and pre-installed roof racks. The car was everything I needed, and I was able to negotiate a price significantly lower than the asking amount.

With 88,000 miles on the clock, I figured I had some time before things started going wrong. I was correct in that now I have 98,000 miles and a repair bill that is making me second-guess my choice.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , ,

The Negotiation Tactic No One Should Ever Use

August 22nd, 2014

2014_volkswagen_jetta

I’m sitting in a car dealership listening to people buy cars.

I’m here because my car is in for service, and the normal waiting area is under construction, as is the rest of the dealership. For that reason the sales, negotiations and business sides of the car buying process are unfolding before me.

It’s fascinating, because I want to High Five some people and High Five others right in the face.

To the left of me sits an older couple, negotiating for a Volkswagen Tiguan. In front of me is what appears to be a single young woman, perhaps in her late 20s. To the right is another single woman, probably in her 50s and buying a Jetta. Guess which one I want to slap?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Can a Kia Compete with a Mercedes-Benz?

July 31st, 2014

Mercedes-Benz_E-Class_2004

I pulled up to the bank yesterday and parked nose to nose with a Mercedes-Benz.

It was kind of weird at first glance but I only looked for a moment and didn’t give it a second glance until I passed it again, on foot, on the way into the bank.

The car was an “Anniversary Edition,” at least according to the crudely applied stickers near the front fender. That’s when I paid more attention and realized the car wasn’t a Mercedes at all.

It was a Kia.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

Buick: Still an Old Man Car?

July 23rd, 2014

2015-buick-lacrosse

“You know, we should probably check out a Buick.”

I had no idea my dad was capable of speaking such nonsense. He wasn’t even kidding.

My parents were in the process of shopping for a new car, and my dad, a lifelong proponent of foreign cars and skeptic of American cars, uttered those fateful and surprising words.

At 60 years old, my dad was just doing what many 60-year-olds do. Thankfully my mom is still 59 and hasn’t crossed over into the age of Buicks just yet. She prevented the purchase and influenced a choice that conveys a considerably younger persona.

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat , , , ,

Honeymoon or Porsche?

July 7th, 2014

2002 Porsche 911

My son just wanted to look. As a young car-obsessed kid interested in a future of car design, he is desperate to own a sports car. The kid has taste, though, and knows the value of a Porsche over a Corvette.

He wants his first car to be a Boxster so he can drive to high school in style.

He wants my new bride and me to own a 911.

Wishful thinking, right?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

What Car Could You Drive for 24 Hours?

June 20th, 2014

2012 Maybach 62

From June 19–22, over 150 cars and hundreds of drivers will race the ADAC Zurich Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race on the Nordschleife (north loop) of the Nürburgring in central Germany. The Nürburgring, with a lap length of over 20 km, allows a driver to race in 150-minute intervals before being required to take a 2-hour break. A driver’s teammate then takes over and does the same. This lasts for an entire day.

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Auto Racing, Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

Buying a Car for the First Time?

June 20th, 2014

1994 Dodge Viper 2_dr_rt_10_convertible-pic-502

Remember your first time?

Mine was the culmination of a lot of searching, a lot of saving and then a long journey to find what I wanted.

The effort, time and money finally paid off when I experienced one of the greatest first times a young adult could possibly dream of: I bought my first car.

Actually, my first car was a truck and exactly what I wanted in a first vehicle. I bought it just as summer began and looked forward to many long days and warm nights of newly purchased freedom.

With a new summer dawning, plenty of teens and young adults will be considering their first vehicle purchase. What should they look for?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, Exotic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , ,

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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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat , , , ,