I’ve been reading with great interest the many discussions regarding: purchase of new vs used cars; the difference of certified pre-owned vs not; how Carfax reports are only mildly believable; steering clear of purchasing a previously LEASED car; AND, that extended warranties are JUST money makers for the dealers and NOT worth it!
Thus, I have decided on my “refined” car buying strategy.
My “Original” plan was:
A. Buy myself a brand new car, another Acura perhaps, or Honda, as I’m one of those that like to keep their cars FOREVER!
B. Then I’d keep my old faithful ’90 Integra running and teach the teenager how to drive it. It’s a 5 speed manual, as are most of our other cars (1985 Westfalia and 1995 Mitsubishi Mighty Max), with the exception of the Hubby’s 2011 CRV, which he does NOT want the teenager driving exclusively, as it is currently the BEST (read RELIABLE) car in our family.
My “New” plan MIGHT be:
A. Purchase a “Newer” used car (Honda, Toyota, Acura) or maybe a used Rental (and NOT a used, Leased car!) Again. I’ll want to keep a great car for a LONG time.
B. Still keep the Integra going, fixing things as needed (Finally located a recommended independent mechanic to replace former ones).
This way, our family has two reliable (read SAFE for teen) cars to drive. I bookmarked a link that @galant posted about good vehicles for teens. Here is the link for anyone interested
Then, when my beloved car finally meets her demise, Mom (that’s me!) will get a NEW CAR!
NOW, considerations and questions:
- Use my Banks TruCar program to search for vehicles, although I’ve read mixed reviews on this.
- Compile my own list of Kelley Blue Book values for the cars I’m interested in (options and all) and have these handy (but out of sight) when I go see the Vultures at the Dealership…ugh!
- Assume that anything with a CPO designation will have some kind of warranty already included in the price; If they try to “sell” me the warranty, are they just ripping me off?
- Ask to see the maintenance records. I think they would have to disclose these by law, or am I mistaken? I would want photo copies and to compare the VIN with the car I’m interested in…can you tell that I DON"T necessarily trust anyone?
- Take any contenders to my new mechanic for the once over. How does this work? Will the dealerships REALLY let you take one of their cars off the lot before you buy it?
Sorry this got long winded. I have been dreading the thought of buying a used car for some time now! The first car I ever bought was my brand-spanking-new Integra, so I did not have these worries!
As always, I appreciate all of the great wisdom and advice that everyone gives!