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To buy, or not to buy...a new (or used?) car?
Old 12-02-2008, 05:04 PM   #1
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To buy, or not to buy...a new (or used?) car?

$1/year for Ford's CEO....does that mean prices won't be crashing for new cars in the Spring?

Our plan was to hold off on buying a small SUV until the Spring (or sooner, if my honda prelude dies before that, but I think it can still run another 50k miles without problems). Ideally, we were thinking of a used vehicle that we can keep for 2 -4 years until really cool plug-in hybrids come out (husband is in the 'green' field and really thinks we will have great options by then).

But...I think I really want a new (or used) car now.

So...do you think we should buy now (because dealers are really hurting and have slashed prices for year end) OR, wait a few months until the prices are slashed further?

Any recent experience you'd like to share? Any other advice?



Other info:
  • Considering foreign cars (CRV, Sportage, Hundai, Tiguan or Subaru --- dont like the Ford or Mercury look)
  • We can pay cash now, but would feel better if we wait until the spring to re-build our 6-month safety net (cash this time instead of funds!) -- trying to use the low financing / 0% promo to justify buying now AND still save up as planned
  • Used with decent mileage (less than 40k) are running about 1k less than 2009 CRV model -doesn't look like it's depreciated as much! Still learning about other vehicles.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:43 PM   #2
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I see you live in Virginia. Depending on where, you may or may not get snow.

Best time to negotiate is about a day or two before the end of the month/quarter when there is snow on the ground. (End of month/quarter has to do with meeting sales quotas.)
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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If you need a vehicle buy one. We purchased one a few months ago. We got a good deal. I was in the Nissan dealer today getting the servicing done. I didn't see one person out browsing the lots. In fact our salesman no longer works there. Tough times for those guys.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:44 AM   #4
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IMO - it depends on your financial situation and if you need to replace a vehicle.

Personally, I would buy a new car. We buy new and drive the thing till it begins having regular problems (usually 10 - 12 years).

We bought a new car a few months back... paid ca$h. It is a compact car with a conventional gas engine... around 25/34 mpg. I checked recently and the manufacturer incentives are the same as they were back then. We got a pretty good deal.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:53 AM   #5
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Do your shopping around and pick a few you like that are on the lot, new or used and walk in on December 31st and make your best offer and be prepaired to walk out and go to the next one on your list. I have gotten a couple of very good deals over the years using this approach. They really don't want to hold a car into the next year.

If you insist on ordering then you get the end of quarter bumps with salesmen or dealers trying to make quotes, but getting a car off the inventory list going into the new year is a big win for them.

Jeb
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:06 AM   #6
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Not enough info....
How many miles on the prelude? What year? What major work done? Was ever in a wreck? Has it been well maintained?
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:08 AM   #7
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It partially depends on the make and model. Some cars depreciate quickly, and those may be better purchased used. Some models (mainly Toyotas and Hondas) depreciate slowly, and there it might be better to buy new and get the full warranty and not have the unknowns about the vehicle's history and repair/maintenance records.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msbearkeley View Post
we were thinking of a used vehicle that we can keep for 2 -4 years until really cool plug-in hybrids come out
If I were in your situation, I would be planning on a longer time horizon than 2 - 4 years - somewhere around 8 years. For a couple of reasons -
- industry settles on a standard
- kinks get worked out
- support infrastructure in place
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
If I were in your situation, I would be planning on a longer time horizon than 2 - 4 years - somewhere around 8 years. For a couple of reasons -
- industry settles on a standard
- kinks get worked out
- support infrastructure in place
I'd agree with that. Long term I'd love to have plug-in hybrids, but I don't really want to throw ~$30,000 at Version 1.0.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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