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Buying cars on line
Old 08-07-2010, 06:18 PM   #1
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Buying cars on line

We're coming up on the end of our lease of a 2008 Saturn Vue. I know that leasing is proably not the best way to "own" a car but it might be the cheapest way. Leasing vs purchasing varies by the season and one month might be better that the next. One of our priorities is to never drive a vehicle out of warranty. So we are thinking of leasing again. Being a GM retiree, I can buy or lease a GM vehicle at dealer cost because of our discount. The discount isn't that great anymore and I would consider driving any other make as long as it fits within our wallet paramaters. I have heard about buying or leasing cars online and don't know how this works out on the warranty issues. If I get one online from 100 miles away, how do I feel about taking it to the local dealer for warranty work? There was another thread a few weeks ago about this very issue. I prefer to buy locally if the cost difference is not great, and I don't know how it could be.

Thought I'd throw this thread out there again and see if anyone has had experience buying online, what to watch out for and how do you start this process? Another of our priorities is to not take ANY money out of our pocket as a down payment.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:53 PM   #2
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Most dealers should have an internet sales office that you can contact via information on their website. You can search for new car inventory either locally at the dealer website or via cars.com or edmunds.com. I just went through this with my son, who was moving across the country to a new job out of college. He found the car he wanted at a dealer at the new location, got a no haggle price that was better than we were offered locally with a traditional visit, and we picked it up when he arrived at his new location. No problems, everything as advertised.

My brother did something similar, buying a rather rare car all the way across the country and then shipping it back, sight unseen. Not what I would recommend, but to each his own.

Just be sure to talk to the internet sales people for the dealer to get the easiest low price.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:11 PM   #3
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I'm a MegaMotors retiree, too. I'd think that if you buy a GM car you will get the same price at any dealer. If you buy another brand, any of their dealers will honor the warranty, but you might not get the same speed of service as if they sold it to you. Cars have improved so much, it is unlikely you'll need much if any warranty work in two years.

I'm sure that you know that buying a slightly used car is a lot cheaper in the long run, but if a new car warranty is important to you, that is the cost you bear. I'll continue to drive cars made by my former employer as an act of loyalty for the pension they pay me, though I may not buy new in the future.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:10 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=travelover;965504]I'm a MegaMotors retiree, too. I'd think that if you buy a GM car you will get the same price at any dealer. If you buy another brand, any of their dealers will honor the warranty, but you might not get the same speed of service as if they sold it to you. Cars have improved so much, it is unlikely you'll need much if any warranty work in two years.

I'm sure that you know that buying a slightly used car is a lot cheaper in the long run, but if a new car warranty is important to you, that is the cost you bear. I'll continue to drive cars made by my former employer as an act of loyalty for the pension they pay me, though I may not buy new in the future.[/QUOTE

The pension they provide is a result of my money (part of salary) invested for my 34 years of service. The fact that they took away my health care benefits after I had been retired for 20 years is what iritated me. Though not in writing, it was always said that those benefits were for life. Well, my life's dedication to them ceased at that point. I owe them nothing, just as they owe me nothing. I will drive what ever is the best deal for me.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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Employee deals USED to be the super deal of all time. I remember many GM employees would buy a new car EVERY YEAR, because they could drive them, and sell them a year later for pretty much what they paid a year earlier for them......

Not so much anymore. However, the employee deal is better than any Internet special or whatnot.

GM did not have a choice in taking away your health care benefits, even though I am sure you are pissed. If they had not gotten a bailout from the taxpayers, losing your health care would have been the "tip of the iceberg" had they gone into bankruptcy with no federal loan help........
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
The pension they provide is a result of my money (part of salary) invested for my 34 years of service. The fact that they took away my health care benefits after I had been retired for 20 years is what iritated me. Though not in writing, it was always said that those benefits were for life. Well, my life's dedication to them ceased at that point. I owe them nothing, just as they owe me nothing. I will drive what ever is the best deal for me.
Sorry, I didn't mean it the way it sounded. I was concerned that I'd lose my pension and health care but my former employer chose to honor them. For that I am grateful.
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:12 AM   #7
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We bought our first car online in 1995, and have not bought any other way since. All the best deals we've made on cars have been online (best was $150 over invoice, not always possible, but should be pretty easy in today's car buyers market), although that's also due in part to having a lot more experience with the process too. Good luck...
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Old 08-08-2010, 08:13 AM   #8
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We bought our first car online in 1995, and have not bought any other way since. Started using autobytel.com, have used edmunds.com for the last several. All the best deals we've made on cars have been online, although that's also due in part to having a lot more experience with the process too. Our best deal was $150 over invoice, not always possible, but should be pretty easy in today's car buyers market.

In my experience, online is the best place to start, and then start visiting dealers to reduce the price even further. Avoids all the early haggling nonsense. IMHO, anyone who just walks into a dealer to start, is making a big mistake. At worst you will pay considerably more, at best you will waste a lot of time getting to the best price. Good luck...
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