Possible first new car...

This is a discussion on Possible first new car... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Looking to buy my first new car sometime by the end of this month/beginning of next month. I have the results down between the Ford ...

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Thread: Possible first new car...

  1. #1
    Member Array Mercalf's Avatar
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    Possible first new car...

    Looking to buy my first new car sometime by the end of this month/beginning of next month. I have the results down between the Ford Focus 2dr S, and the 2dr Chevy Cobalt (2008's). The idea is to improve my gas mileage (currently getting about 12.5 city/15 highway), and build some credit.

    Advice on what to avoid at the dealerships?

    Edit: Details left out are included in post #6
    Last edited by Mercalf; March 13th, 2008 at 04:35 AM.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array SilenceDoGood's Avatar
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    Don't pay what they are asking, and certianly don't be affraid to walk away, and CERTAINLY don't walk away the first day with a car, go home and sleep on it first. The price is always negtioable.
    "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master." -- George Washington

  4. #3
    Member Array abuttermilk's Avatar
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    Don't buy a new car. You lose thousands of dollars as soon as you drive it off the lot. Lots of car companies have waranties on used cars. Don't take the hit if you don't have to.
    You have never said what it will be used for so it is hard to answer. Country roads demand a different car than city streets. It is basically to get you from point A to point B, so keep that in mind. In certain neighborhoods, a new car will be the first one to get "keyed" and broken in to just because some types are jealous and have no respect for themselves and/or others.
    "It does not take a majority to prevail,,,,,,but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." Samuel Adams

  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Squawker's Avatar
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    There are some great tips from a former car salesman at:
    Beat The Car Salesman

    Also, you may look to see if your area has an auto broker. An auto broker doesn't work for a specific dealership or even brand, but can get you the car you want at a discounted price.

  6. #5
    Member Array Forscythe87's Avatar
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    The newer focus's tend to be a bit more reliably then the cobalts (although the cobalt is damn sexy).

    I reccomend looking into the Fusion if its in your price range. NIce power.

    Taurus is also nice and is even being imported overseas because of its quality and other things.

    The new malibu is also very nice.

  7. #6
    Member Array Mercalf's Avatar
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    To answer with the details I left out before:

    - It's to get me from point A (home) - to points B, C, and all the other letters (B for school, then just around town). I live in Central Florida, mainly Orlando - so it will be city, but it's a highway ride to school - so that's that. I looked into used cars before, and have gone with them in the past - but for this price range it's hard to beat. The Cobalt goes for 15.5, and the Focus goes for 14.5.

    Cobalt has better horsepower, but Focus has 2 more mpg. I was able to test drive the Cobalt, and LOVED it - but was unable to drive the Focus because they didn't have a standard on the lot, therefore it's hard to compare. (They will be manuals/standard) Unlike a used car, I can finance a new car through my Credit Union for up to 72 months, which really helps with the payments :)
    Some people don't deserve saving.

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  8. #7
    Senior Member Array ICTsnub's Avatar
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    You should be able to buy a Focus S coupe 5 speed around 12500 after rebates and haggle if you finance with FMCC. The base car only has about $600 markup. Sometimes there are extra military or college discounts, too. If you can handle a few more bucks a month, get one with Sync, it's really cool. Most salesmen will get paid a "mini" for selling a no trade Base Focus, whether it's at sticker, or invoice, so pull the trigger if they get about $500 off at the first trip. No need to spend a week over the last 100 bucks, your time is worth something. If you came into my store, and were polite about asking to save some money, I would have no trouble giving you the mark-up on a Focus. Sometimes being nice will get you more than reading how to be a pain in the butt online from someone who was so bad at his job he is a "former" anything.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Texas is offering up to 3500 bucks if your car is at least 10 years old and you will trade up to something that gets good mileage, like a hybrid. If you just by a good mileage car you get about 3 grand. I have some friends that did this. Neat idea.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Saint77's Avatar
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    My feeling is, if you can avoid financing for over 60 months, do so, 60 months is as long as I ever go for loan length, no more. Also, its a pain to have to do, but make them explain all thier paperwork. Dont get charged for come bogus junk amongst all the paperwork.

    Dont be afraid to shop around. go to more then 2 places too, watch out for prices online vs prices on the lot, they are often different. Emphasize that you are in charge, they are presenting options to you, and that they are in competition to bring the best deal to the table.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercalf View Post
    ...Advice on what to avoid at the dealerships?...
    Yeah - avoid the dealerships!

    I would encourage you to read Don't Get Taken Every Time, one of the scariest books I've ever read (Stephen King's monsters go away when you close the book - new car salesmen don't). Don't read this to be a PITA in the showroom; rather, use it to convince yourself not to put yourself into slavery for 72 months. Do whatever you can to avoid debt. I speak from painful experience...

    [Side comment: if you're single, quite possibly sometime in the next 72 months you may meet someone you want to marry. "Debt-free" is attractive to women of quality; the "What kind of car does he drive?" gals are less likely to be keepers.]

    If you must go into debt, check with your credit union: often they will loan on used cars as well - they just need to believe that there is an asset there that would be worth something if they need to reposess it. But, seriously - for two grand you can usually get a fine used car, and put the monthly payments you're NOT making into the bank for repairs and for the next car you'll want.

    Regardless of 'debt or not', why should you take the new-to-used hit? Most cars lose five grand in value the moment you drive off the lot. Yes, I bought a lemon once, but have also purchased a bunch of other cars which were of great value, from $500 to $4000. And if you REALLY want something shiny, consider last year's rental cars - the rental agencies want new cars on their lots, so they get rid of last year's models each year, often for good deals.

    Wishing you the best, and hoping you won't follow me down the debt-and-regret road.

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    And read the paperwork - a coworker I knew didn't, and she wound up paying 32% interest.

    You can get a degree from Hard Knocks U, or you can gain the same education from keeping your eyes open. Situational Awareness applies to salesmen and contracts, too.

    Note: ICTSnub appears to be a car salesman, and appears to have his head on straight. I do not mean to paint him with the same brush as all of the other car salesmen; buying from him might be strategic. But... my remarks about staying out of debt stand. [Can you tell I've been foolish in the past?]

  13. #12
    Member Array dhelmuth's Avatar
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    cobalt

    personally if i were to get a cobalt i wouldnt get a 5spd... simply cuz ive been putting clutches in them at anywhere from 30-50000 miles but most of them are ss models and are driven as such .
    personally the problem with the clutch is the the pressure plate isnt set up for "enthusiastic driving" . but all in all it does come with a 100000 mile warranty
    proud to be an infidel

  14. #13
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    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    I wouldnt be afraid of buying a new car as long as you understand that you will lose money unless you keep the car for the life of the loan... in other words, drive the wheels off of it.
    Being a student, it might be a little better to take the "hit" and know that you have a reliable car and if a repair is needed, its covered.
    Personally, I'd buy the Focus, but make sure you drive one and like it as well. The small Chevy's seem to loose their appeal once the get a few miles on them.

    Loans... dont use the dealers banks. Go to your credit union like you said. Dont finance more than 60 months, 48 is even better. IMO, if you cant do in in 48 (60 is pushing it) you cant afford the car.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Ghettokracker71's Avatar
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    Having been a service writer,..Stay away from the cobalt. I can't tell you how many I had come in with less than 30K that we had to fail for VA safety state inspections.(And TONS of clutch jobs on them.) I don't care for the Cobalt at all. My future parents in law have a 2007 model (automatic coupe,I think its an 'LS' model),and it rattles/clunks/clanks ALOT when your cruising(last I checked,it had 14k)

    I don't know anything about the new Focus. I do like the older focus,...Great little car for the money.

    If your THAT worried about gas mileage,why not step down to something like the Honda Fit ,Toyota Yaris, Chevy AVEO, Hyundai Accent,...etc?

    Me and the lady test drove the Fit, AVEO, Toyota YARIS, and Accent. Accent had the best ratings in all the car mags at the time (this was a year ago) got the best gas mileage, came with the highest /best safety ratings features,best warrenty and cost cheaper(others wanted extra for the airbags,hyundai gave them to me.). Where her parents cobalt have been in the shop several times, we've got almost 25k(drive it EVERYWHERE,lol.) on the hyundai,and NEVER once had it in the shop.

    To me,a cobalt or focus isn't going to be fun to drive anyway might as well pay less for better gas mileage for a slightly smaller car.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Check out a Toyota for gas milage.
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