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Old 12-25-2007, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default new car - is this smart?

So okay my mom has been pushing me to do this for awhile, and I'm just not sure....

I drive a 2001 Cherokee. I love it to pieces but it continually shits the bed. It's okay now but really I don't think it's going to last me that much longer.

My mom thinks I should trade it in when I get back for a new Camry. Better on the gas I agree. I will miss my SUV but I think it's possibly more economical in the long run (I fill up on gas like every other day in my Jeep, seriously). For the next 3 years I will have a steady flow of income for sure and will be more than able to swing a new car payment. (I also like the Camry hybrids...) But when I start med school I won't have time to work. So if my Jeep shits the bed royally then (which I expect it will), I won't have the money to fix it, and I can't be without a car. But if I got a car now, I'd have a good one that would last me until at LEAST mid-residency. Which is awhile from now.

Do you all think this is an economical thing? Also, I owe like 6K still on my Jeep and was planning on paying it off when I got back. But the trade-in value is less than what I owe. Should I not pay it off i I trade it in and then just put that money I would have used towards a down payment? I don't know how it works if you owe money, with trade ins, because I've only traded in one car and it was already paid off....

Advice please!
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:34 PM   #2
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You still have to pay off the full loan if you trade in...usually it's better to just sell your car yourself because the dealership will only give you what they can make back by selling it at auction, and it'll be a lot less than the final market value from using eBay or the newspaper or something.

As for a new Camry, they're reliable but not exactly cheap. Have you thought about getting one that's a few years old? Or something a bit cheaper like an Accord. It seems like it would be better to spend a bit less and have a few thousand in the bank that you treat as untouchable except for emergencies.
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Old 12-25-2007, 10:25 PM   #3
 
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I was in a similar predicament but my situation was worse because I crashed the thing during a bad hydroplane which resulted in a pushed in A-Pillar on the passenger side.

It was a 99 CRV, the car itself was only worth 8k if it was brand new and if I were to fix it, it would've cost me 5k. In the end I decided to go for a new car because either way, I'd loose money, but if I opted for a new car, I wouldn't have to worry about the upkeep of the thing and such.

I finally ended up with Subaru wagon simply because I don't want to worry about the cost associated with an older vehicle, a similar argument can be used for yourself. Any way you look at it though, cars are a god awful expense which only cuts away from your traveling funds. At least it did for me because I had the CRV paid off where as I'm slowly but painfully paying off the new wagon.

Its worth it in the end to me, Subie AWD Power!
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:06 AM   #4
 
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This is only my opinion... Buying a new car is the worst possible investment you can make, the depreciation is sickening. Getting rid of an SUV is a good idea, and a better idea to do it ASAP. Winter months are when you would think people would want an SUV the most.

Cherokee's are junk, get rid of it. My roommate has spent more in repairs than I did on my entire car. With my buddies Cherokee, we got stuck in the middle of Iowa. Luckily we knew a race car driver and he loaded it up in his multi-million dollar trailer and got it hauled back.(But thats beyond the point)

Don't be dead set on just a Camry, look around, Honda's are nice too. But just check out local used dealerships or something.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:28 AM   #5
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Get rid of the SUV but don't get a hybrid. They may be good on the gas but they cost more than a non-hybrid car and may not be worth it in the end. Look around and see what is out there.
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:35 AM   #6
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thanks guys! I don't have my heart set on a hybrid, and the place I am looking at wouldn't give me a garage anyway, so I wouldn't have anywhere to plug it in. I do like Camrys, my first and second car were both Camrys (a 91, then a 95 later). I like Hondas and Toyotas because they are great on gas and last forever...when I sold my '91 Camry it has over 200K miles on it and was still running great. I read something comparable to a Camry was a Hyundai Sonata, and it's cheaper. I don't know.

I know the depreciation factor of a new car is atrocious. Ijust don't know. I know I could make a lot of $ of my Jeep if I sell it outright, versus trading it in and I don't want to waste money by paying it off if I only get like 3500 or something for it.

Ahhh I just don't know what to do. But the Jeep as got to go, as much as it pains me.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:33 PM   #7
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Well I just got off the phone with USAA about insurance and loan rates...

Insurance (I tried for both a Camry and a Camry Solara...which I am currently in love with) is going to be slightly more than what I pay now, which isn't too bad. It will go down in September when all my tix are off my record (I have a bit of a colorful driving record LOL... no accidents though, knock on wood)

But the amazing news is, whatever I decide to do, USAA has this thing called a "career loan" that is for people doing ROTC, which is what I am doing in the fall. Basically it's a max loan of $25,000 and starting APR is 2.59% which makes me want to throw up it's so lovely. I'll only be financing around $15,000 because of trading in my Jeep and putting a decent down payment on it.

I'm shopping around right now, talking to people, and going to test drive like the day I get home.

The only thing is, if I get a new car, with Toyota, they do offer 0% APR for the first year, and then I can refinance through the USAA cadet loan.

I'm kind of in love with the Camry Solara though, mainly because it's so cute.
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:43 PM   #8
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Just so you know, you do not have to plug in a hybrid. The battery charges from normal useage of the car, through braking primarily if I remember correctly. My mom has a hybrid Ford Escape. Hybrids aren't bad but the mileage isn't nearly as good as was originally claimed and if you do a lot of highway driving, it is even less of a difference. You might want to check out the Mazda 3 series, they have some sporty cars and they are fairly reasonable. Good luck!
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Old 12-27-2007, 01:49 PM   #9
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oh I feel kind of dumb, I thought I read somewhere with the civic hybrids you had to plug them in. oh well haha. I'll check it out though, thanks.

I've been talking to a few dealerships that are offering 0% APR on the solara, so we'll see. I'm kind of excited about life. I love when I get new things! it happens rarely, but when it does, it's great!
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:10 PM   #10
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0% is only given to people with really good credit scores so you might want to see if they'll preapprove you or see if a bank or credit union will approve you for their best rate. Car dealerships make a fortune by getting people set with a deal on a car and then when they don't qualify for the financing they expected they just want the car so bad they'll take any rate they can get. Don't let them trap you! And don't ever talk to them about paying a certain amount per month, negotiate on the actual amount you're gonna pay in total.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:24 PM   #11
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thanks for the tip, my backup is my USAA loan which has already been sorted out and I can get it whenever I need. I'm just trying to see if I can get a better deal. I doubt it, because I think my credit score is only like a 650, which isn't excellent. I just want to go in there, guns blazing, because I am nervous going in there by myself, as a woman.... it's like I am a walking money bag or something. This is exactly why I am not buying a car in Fayetteville. They see a recently redeployed soldier (and believe me they know all the damn rotations, and they get new solders so bad, like very young privates, they will pretend like they can finance anyone... an analyst who works for me got rooked big by a dealership in Fayetteville and he and his wife were both paying like 21% APR or some shit and I got them squared away with USAA... fucking car dealerships... so sad).

anyway, I just don't want to get taken, you know? I am not a genius when it comes to cars, and I am always suspicious of salespeople, so I am a bit nervous. But I am going to get quotes from several places and figure out what is reasonable, and figure out what I am willing to pay, and not back down. it is hard because you spend so many hours in there that you are so tempted to just be like "oh fuck it" and take whatever they give you, but there's always a better deal out there, and I am not trying to blow all my deployment money on a car, even if I DO need it.
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:19 AM   #12
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Best thing to do is research your car online. Most car websites, like Toyota, will allow you to pick the car you want with options and then price it out. They will also usually show you the invoice price (price paid by the dealership). If the manufacturer's website doesn't show you that invoice price, other car websites will. You want to try to get the price you pay down to be very close to the invoice price. Often the dealerships get additional kickbacks from the manufacturers so they will often go very close to the invoice price if you work them enough. Just don't dick around, if you feel like they are jerking you around get up and leave (or act like you are leaving). There are lots of dealerships everywhere. You are also much better off not trading your car in, because that is another opportunity for them to screw you. They will tell you they are selling you the new car for invoice, but then give you a really bad trade in. They still took you, they just made it seem like you got a good deal because you paid 'invoice' for for the new car, not realizing they gave you $1,000 less on your trade than they should have. It's a real pain the ass to get a new car but if you arm yourself with research, you are much less likely to get taken.

The other thing is to make sure you don't buy all the insurance, extended warranties etc they try to throw into your monthly payment when they quote it at the dealership. Make sure the payment they quote is strictly the car loan with nothing else added. Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:19 AM   #13
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They will also usually show you the invoice price (price paid by the dealership).
is that the MSRP?
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:21 PM   #14
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No - MSRP is full retail price, also called sticker price - that is the price you will see on the car out on the lot, on the big window sticker.

Invoice price is the price the dealership bought the car at from the manufacturer. The goal is to try to buy the car at just a little over invoice, maybe $100 or $200. That will be the dealer's profit on the sale (even though the actually make more through dealer incentives and other things). Invoice price will likely be anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 less than MSRP/Sticker, depending on the car.

You should check out some of the car buying guides online, I think you would find them very useful.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:01 PM   #15
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As a recovering car salesman, remember we are all liars.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:08 PM   #16
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As a recovering car salesman, remember we are all liars.
I know!!! I have an entourage of folks going with me to the dealership when I get back. My boss who's a financial genius and also a self-proclaimed "asshole" and another coworker who's a mechanic, in the event I decide on a used car, so he can take a look under the hood.

Tonight at work was the big skit of "what happens when Nicole goes to the car dealership alone" and lets just say that although their impressions were funny, a car payment of 550 bucks a month and 18.4875349% APR is NOT.

I'm all about women being independent but sometimes you gotta send in a man to fight some battles, unfortunately.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:43 PM   #17
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yeah that one girl that I was kind of starting to see awhile back was car shopping and she knew exactly what she wanted and it was like 7k total. She ended up being sold a brand new nissan sentra fully loaded at a price of 18k and then she was stupid enough to brag about what a great price she got.

Understand a few things about this scenario,
1. She knew what she was going to buy and she didn't get it.
2. 18k is NOT a good price for a sentra.
3. My dad is a MANAGER at a Nissan dealership and could have saved her a ton but did she call and check with me before she signed? No... she knew all about everything and was way smarter than a former car salesman who essentially grew up on a nissan dealership....

Girls are just stupid when it comes to buying cars...




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Old 01-03-2008, 04:48 PM   #18
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You know the saying you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar? I'm sure vinegar would kill a shitload of flies, so you really have to choose a method to suit your purposes. Women are better with honey, men are better with vinegar. (You guys are demanding, obstinate babies when you want to be, but you are also hard-asses.)

Honey works great in some cases. But for car salesmen, I would use vinegar!

My dad is a genius at getting shit free or handling problems (even if it's his fault) without incident. I hate "demanding" things. But I'm much better at getting what I want from someone initially. My dad just doesn't seem like someone you want to help right away, because he's a little scary. But the scary pays off when you know you're dealing with someone who wants to screw you over.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:50 PM   #19
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No I agree to an extent. My mom is really good at that sort of thing cos my mom, I love her a lot, but she goes in there and is a real bitch. It's almost funny. I think they give her the price she asks for just to get her out of the office.

But I'm not going to play, I don't know shit about cars. Take me with you if you want someone to shoe shop with you, but not car shop. I'm useless.

Plus most girls get this "I want it now" attitude and are willing to wager a few grand to have it. It's frivolous, but hey, we all have our faults.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:54 PM   #20
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One more thing to ad...whatever you do, don't negotiate a payment, negotiate the price of the car and worry about the payment later. The salesmen love to ask you how much you can afford, and then come back with a "great" payment on the car of your dreams and never even tell you the price of the car! Forget all that and just worry about getting the lowest price possible based on your research. Good luck. Go in with your game face on!
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