Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Problem With Going Away....

There is one downside to going away: you have to come home. And arriving home there seems to be no transition period to allow you to gradually resume regular living. A major inanimate object decided to commit partial suicide while we were gone--my car. Granted, at well over 100,000 miles its demise was going to come sooner than later, but why now?! So day one at home is going to be finding me a car but pronto.

I'm glad we had a really restful week before this because I have the feeling I'm going to need all the stored up energy I can summon up. Four email accounts, and over 1300 messages to go through, even if most of them are going to be deleted unread. An empty larder. Laundry up the wazoo. Work that school would like done yesterday. And no posts waiting in the scheduled file. Yup, our vacation is already settling in as a nice memory, but here comes real life, ready or not.


Lion of Zion said...

well on the "positive" side, this is a good time to buy a car. i bought one a few months ago and got a pretty good deal because of the economy. my friend just traded in his old jalopy for the clunkers program and got a very nice deal.

be careful. if you buy from a dealership, the right research will save you thousands.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the car search. I've been looking for several months and have reluctantly come to the conclusion that I'm not going to be able to find a decent used fuel efficient car (i.e. camry, accord) thats less than 6 years old. People just aren't getting rid of their decent cars anymore. The good news is that Toyota has 0% 60 month financing until Sept. 8 if that interests you.

Lion of Zion said...


what is your price range? (i'm not selling anything. just curious.)

"Toyota has 0% 60 month financing until Sept. 8 if that interests you"

my impression after buying a car recently is that few people can get the 0% deals. i have perfect credit and they did their best to screw me on the interest.

Anonymous said...

Lion: I got the 0% on my last car about 6 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Lion: Thanks for the warning. The add says you have to have a credit rating of 675. I think when I go in I will tell them to check my credit and tell me if I will get the 0% before I look at a car. I would rather have a root canal than go car shopping. I hate the haggling and the attempts to sell the extras.

Lion of Zion said...


lucky you!


when you buy a car you talk to the salesman first. he has no real power in general or when it comes to financing in specific. then when you agree on a car and price, you meet with the f/i guy to talk financing (he's the guy who'll screw you). anything the salesman promises you is irrelevant (the finance guy can override *any* deal), but you can't speak to the finance guy without going through the salesman.

even if you have the 675 score, they will find any excuse to deny it to you (e.g., not enough loan history or too much loan history or inappropriate loan history). and in the unlikely event they can't find an excuse to deny you the 0%, they will make it conditional on buying an overpriced extended warranty, lo-jack and other rip-off add-ons.

and if after all this you still get the 0%, don't jump for joy. it just means they found some other way to screw you (e.g., you probably overpaid on the car to begin with) so they are willing to part with interest profit.

it is very hard to come away from the dealership feeling triumphant.

(if you decide to look for a honda, don't even go near the queens dealerships.)

Lion of Zion said...

there are some excellent required-reading websites by former salesmen who reveal the tricks of the trade. spend an 2 hours on these sites can save you thousands.

Lion of Zion said...

also read the small print on the loan. don't take a loan unless they remove the pre-payment penalty clause. (i got up and was about to walk out on this point and he conceded.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Lion. Now I would rather have two root canals than go car shopping -- which is one of the reasons I was trying to get a used car in a private sale in the first place, in addition to price.

So Prof: Has this cheered you up?

ProfK said...

Sheesh no, but I do have someone I'm going through locally who is highly reputable, not a dealership. send me an email Anonymous and I'll pass along the info. We've spoken to people in the neighborhood who bought through him and everyone was satisfied with price, deal and car.

And yes, even given how I feel about dentists and root canals, getting another car is worse.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the offer of your contact person ProfK, but I'm not in NY.

tnspr569 said... - safety ratings - can save you money on insurance, too!

Consumer Reports has a wealth of useful information available - your local public library might even have an online subscription that you can use from their computers.

Spend as much time as you can testing potential cars in all circumstances - merging onto the highway, passing, parking, backing up, 3 point turns, etc. Sometimes there's something about a car - seats, controls, visibility, or a minor feature - that simply won't work for you. Some cars don't have folding side mirrors, for example - for some people, this is a deal-breaker.

Hopefully your new car will also serve you well for years to come!