Car Buying

Hey guys,

I’m planning on buying a car and trying to find all the information possible. I don’t want to get screwed with a bad deal and/or a bad car. What are some tips that I should know when I go car buying. Is CARMAX any a good? Are the prices they list on their website legit or do they start to add all the bullshit fees at the end? Thanks guys!

I actually use to sell cars for a major import dealer, and there are few things to consider. Wwhat kind of car are you looking to buy? What are you prepared to spend? What are you trading in, etc.?

New or used?

Well, I’m willing to pay a down payment of about $3000 to $4000. I a car thats new or used but no older than 3 years.

I am a sales manager at a used car dealer (76 stores across the U.S.).
First off DO NOT tell the dealer how much DP you have to put down on the car.
IMO CarMax will cut your ass to the bone and leave you hemorraging (SP?).
Definately buy used and go for 2-3 yrs old so some other dumbass takes the depreciation. Shop some dealers and ask them their bottom line price. DO NOT fill out any credit apps before making a decision on where you are going to buy. Don’t want a million inquiries on your credit making that Beacon score drop like a bomb.
When shopping make sure you know what their processing fee is and expect to pay it. Some are reasonable and some are not so take that into account when making a decision based on price.
Any other ?'s feel free to PM me.
Good luck.

i was looking to buy a car, but didnt get one. but from my research, it seems that carmax prices tend to be higher.

What i did was find a friend who is real good with cars. fixing, rebuilding all that, and I would search on autotrader or yahoo autos and find some used cars. And then id take my friend with me and look at the car and drive it. And he gives me the thumbs up or down.

from my situation a used car is alot better than used, especially something 3 years old which is probably alot lot less than if new. Because in my mind a new car you pay a “premium” for new. whereas the “old” cars arent the latest, but are still good and reliable. but thats just me.

I’m also looking at buying a used car, although I really can’t afford anything within 3 years of age or anything like that. I’m looking at buying perhaps a 96-98 Toyota Celica (or something similar in that price range). Also have been looking at Mitsubishi Lancer or Galant, or Honda Accord, but I like the Celica for it’s sporty feel without being too powerful (don’t plan to race around in it). I should add that I know next to nothing about cars. (apparently Mitsubishi cars tend to have a lot of electrical problems??)

Those of you who know their stuff about cars, help us out with some good online resources or any helpful info, please!

Buy a Honda.You can’t go wrong.

#1 Honda, #2 Toyota, #3 Nissan. Don’t buy a Mitsu. Just asking for mechanical problems.
Not sure where you live but where I live the dealers use Black Book to price cars. See if you can get your hands on one. They are updated weekly. Don’t get the consumer version as it is not what reflects the market in the real world. You are probably going to have to get one through a dealer friend. Price your car at “average” money and add some for dealer profit. Dealers aren’t in business to be a non-profit organization but they shouldn’t be knocking your legs off either. Make sure you adjust your figures for mileage.

I just bought a Honda S2000.

I’ve purchased and/or sold 7 cars in the past 2 to 2 1/2 years. They are as follows:

2000 Acura Integra Type R (sold April 02’). This was my baby that I wish I never had sold. If I had kept this, I would not have bought five of the following cars:

2002 Subaru WRX (replaced my Type R. Sold five months later!)
1998 Acura Integra LS (Second car, sold Sept 03’)
1996 Honda Civic CX (Replaced WRX. Sold several months later)
1989 Honda CRX Si (Replaced Civic. Sold six months later)
1999 Isuzu Rodea (Replaced 1998 Integra. I still have this one!)
2001 Honda S2000 (Replaced CRX. Recent purchase)

I’ve found good deals on cars by doing some research first. I paid below invoice on my Type R and $250 over invoice on the WRX. I got very good deals on all the other used cars, especially the Isuzu Rodeo and the Honda S2000.

Do your research. Find out the invoice and the MSRP of the car you are thinking about buying. Then, email a variety of dealers that have that car within 100-150 miles. See who will give you the best price.

Before buying the Honda S2000, I considered getting a new RSX Type S or a Nissan Spec V. I did some internet research and then emailed a bunch of dealers in Florida. I could have gotten the RSX Type S for $200 over invoice and the Nissan Spec V for $17 out the door.

I use carsdirect as a starting point when looking for pricing and current rebates. Try that!

Oh yeah, for used-car purchases, I have always looked through autotrader dot com. Most of the cars I purchased used were from private owners who were willing to give me a good deal.

I’ll be looking for a car for my brother soon, as he doesn’t know how to find good deals, and I have found some very good ones.

My dad will be buying a new car later this year, and he asked me to find him a good deal as well. I have established relationships with a few local dealers, and I always do my research before buying. I know what I’ll pay, and I always work out a damn good deal.

The only car that wasn’t a great deal was the 1998 Acura Integra. I purchased that from the Acura dealer (used but with certified warranty). It wasn’t the best deal because I paid a little more than I wanted. But it was about right with similar cars for sale at the time.

Selling my Type R sucked, but I actually made money on that deal. Normally, cars are not investments, and you don’t get back what you paid or make more…I did in that case. But if I had done it all over again, I would have kept it. I loved that car and nothing has come close to besting it, unless you consider the new cars in the $30K price range.

Oh yeah, before I bought the S2000, I did also test drive and consider the Mitsu EVO, Nissan 350z, RX-8, and a few others. But there are reasons why I didn’t go with any of those cars. Ask me if you want more info. I have given them all throrough test drives and have researched them well.

I just finished buying an 02’ Mercedes C240. I found a bunch of great deals on and checked out all potential purchases on (small fee, worth the price.) Good luck…

Hey muslhed1171,

check the pm I sent ya!

It has not come through yet?

Nate What didn’t you like about the 350z? I am assuming it was the new model. And what was your dislikes about the RX8?


What are the advantages of “getting approved by a credit union.” I always tend to hear this from someone who says he/she knows something but I never understand what they are trying to say.

Also, I know that kia and hyundai are not exactly top of the line but could they at least last 4 years? All I need is 4 years until I get my Masters Degree and I’ll be cool.


The 350z had great handling and performance. The low-end torque is great. But to me, the car felt very heavy and thick. Not to mention that for a hatchback, it has absolutely no room in the car or in the hatch. They say you can put a golfbag or small suitcase in the rear, and I think they are lying. There is no way! Also, they are stil having problems with the alignment and people are going through tires in 3-5K miles.

I did like the car, but it did feel very heavy and thick inside. For me, it wasn’t the best car.

The RX-8 is beautiful. But after much research I’ve found two serious problems. 1) They are getting very bad gas mileage (read the mazda forums). 2) They are still having flooding issues. After the test drive, I felt like I was driving a sedan. It handles fairly well, and has a nice torque band (although low torque), and a nice high rev limiter, but it wasn’t as sporty, quick or as well-handling as the 350z or the S2000. The extra room (rear seats) is great! I liked that you can seat four, and it is comfortable for all. The style of the car is great too. But because of the two main problems and do to the less “sporty” nature of the car, I had to pass.

The EVO is by far the best car I have ever driven, and I was tempted to get one. It kept a smile on my face the entire time. It was just awesome. But, I decided against the EVO due to Mitsu’s poor quality and reliability record. Too bad, because the EVO is an awesome car.

Donk, DO NOT BUY A HYUNDAI OR KIA!!! Even if you want something for 3-4 years, this is a bad buy. They all suck! My friend works at Toyota/Kia and he is always having to fix BRAND NEW KIA’s! Sure, the long warranty may sound great (you sure as hell will use it), but what’s so great about having so many problems with the car that it’s always in the shop? Not to mention that these cars do not hold their value. So you will not get anything when you are ready to sell.

Stick to Honda, Toyota or a few other cars out there. You’d be better off with a civic, integra, RSX, celica or even a corolla than a Hyundai or Kia. You can buy them new or 1-2 years. They will last you a long time, and they hold their value well.


Oh yeah, credit unions are cool because they tend to have lower interest rates. I’ve been with a credit union for years, and I always get awesome rates. That’s the main advantage, not to mention that most don’t charge you for your checking and savings account.

If I’m banking with a financial institution, I don’t want them charging me monthly fees for doing business with them. And I don’t want someone telling me what my minimum balance can be or how many checks I can use. Screw that! I’m letting them use my money, and they are going to charge me? Go screw some other schmuck! I’m not down with that kind of bull!

Nate is on point with the Kia/Hyundai deal. These cars are not worth the asphalt they drive on. Daewoo’s too.
Credit Unions are the best way to go for financing. Get pre-approved for a dollar amount and go shopping! They always have the lowest rates and instead of the dealer charging you a few points on the rate they give you the “buy” rate. Just a tip. The rate a dealer quotes you is not always the rate the bank is charging you. Banks and finance companies give the dealer a “buy rate” and let the dealer charge more points to the rate and take the profit on the difference of the finance charge. Usually the bank gets a piece of it but I have seen people get charged more than 3% over the original rate quoted by the bank to the dealer.
It’s always easier to deal when you tell the dealer you will be giving them a check for the car.

Thanks for the tips. I came so close to getting a 99 Galant for real cheap too - probably would’ve had a lot of problems.

Right now I’m looking at:
Toyota Celica VS Honda Integra

I could probably afford 2nd hand in the 1996-1999 range (I won’t buy older than this and can’t afford newer than 1999 really).

I found a pretty useful review source for cars on the net (use the search feature) for those of you who are also looking at buying, although that resource didn’t have many reviews on the Honda Integra.

Any comments for/against these two cars I’ve mentioned?

I wish I had taken the time to learn a bit more about cars when I was younger instead of just playing sports. :slight_smile: