Friday, November 16, 2007

Car Update

Well, the car is on it's way to a salvage yard. We were not all that excited about the idea of saving it. It was at that point where lots of things seem to be wrong with it: the new air conditioner we had put in a few years ago has sprung a leak; the rear defroster/wiper has not worked since I can't remember when; handles and door panels keep coming lose and need to be screwed back on.

Now the nice car guys say that they can't tell us how much it will cost to fix the engine until they start taking it apart, but it will be at least $800, probably more.

We just don't like it that much.

We had already started the search for a vehicle we could afford. Then we started looking to see how inexpensive we could go and still feel like we were getting a reliable vehicle. The Internet certainly makes it a lot easier to do research. I think it is bringing at least used car prices into line. I remember when I bought a used car some years ago. I had access to the Internet and to sites like ( that would give me good information about how much a certain car should cost. I couldn't search inventories though and so I had to investigate what was at the lot, come back and calculate the price and then go negotiate. It took me hours of sitting at the desk and repeating, "No, I won't sign that deal. I can only spend this much today. If you can't give me that price, then I have to go home and re-figure my budget." Seriously, I said that over and over for three friggin hours. They never brought down the price of the car, but my trade-in mysteriously went up in value. It seemed to make a difference to them, but it didn't to me.

Now I can search the inventories and the prices are all within the ranges the on-line sources tell me they should be.

So I'm getting myself all psyched up to deal with surprise non-sensical fees or unnecessary services that will get slapped on at the end.

We've found a certified used car that will do. We will test drive it and expect we will like it. The advertized price seems fair. Now I know some of you have gone bought used cars recently and I think one of you has experience selling cars.

Anyone know what sort of things they are going to try to sell me that I should resist? Any fees they may try to convince me are non-negotiable but aren't really?


  1. Back in the day, I used to sell cars. You so need to call me.

  2. When my van dies someday, I am going to get either a Honda or a Toyota.
    If I were rich, I would be so getting a hybrid. Ah well, so much for rich...

  3. I'll send you an email. Considering this is my job I can't say that I want it out here.

  4. Sounds like you're going to receive lots of good advice already.

    Good luck - sorry about the old car.


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