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Thread: Help!!!!!!!!! Car Shopping

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    #1

    Confused Help!!!!!!!!! Car Shopping

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    I need a car. I have been riding on public transportation for the past 5 years, because I've been too scared of car salesmen ripping me off.
    It hasn't been too bad because I live in Chicago. I absolutely need to get one now though, because I am going to have clinicals for nursing school and the start times for those are too early in the morning for most buses to be running.

    I can't afford a new one because I am a poor college student (my favorite and least favorite excuse to use, at the same time ). I'm just so worried because I don't want them to rip me off).

    Should I settle for the crappy used car, or go for something nicer? How much should I put down? How many miles on a car should I be shooting for? What kind of a car is the most reliable? I am super unknowledgeable when it comes to this stuff and DB is too far away to help.
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    #2
    I love my honda civic. It's reliable and gets pretty good gas mileage. I got mine new, but the "pre-owned" ones are good too. Is there someone who can go with you? Your father? SO?

    I would go in knowing what you want. Do your research online. See what kind of price you can get and bring a print out with you to a dealership to see if they can match it. Down payment should be what you are comfortable with. We bought new and put $4000 down. You definitely don't need to spend that much though.
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    You can get reliable used cars. The best thing is to have a male friend or relative go with you. Know exactly what your budget can afford and don't let them push you into something more.
    If you don't have someone like that ask your friends and people you know who they go to for maintenance and repair on their cars. You want to find an independent auto repair shop that is reputable. Go in there and ask for the owner or manager. Tell them you are looking for a car and you want to know which cars are pretty reliable. They may ask you for your price range, stick or automatic, size of car etc to get an idea what you are looking for. They may even give you the name of a place to go that is reputable to buy from or tell you who to stay away from.

    You may want to look in places outside Chicago to bring the costs down.
    http://militarysos.com/forum/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=8121&dateline=1213248817 TAKEN AT NISQUALLY WILDLIFE PRESERVE
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kaaau View Post
    You can get reliable used cars. The best thing is to have a male friend or relative go with you. Know exactly what your budget can afford and don't let them push you into something more.
    If you don't have someone like that ask your friends and people you know who they go to for maintenance and repair on their cars. You want to find an independent auto repair shop that is reputable. Go in there and ask for the owner or manager. Tell them you are looking for a car and you want to know which cars are pretty reliable. They may ask you for your price range, stick or automatic, size of car etc to get an idea what you are looking for. They may even give you the name of a place to go that is reputable to buy from or tell you who to stay away from.

    You may want to look in places outside Chicago to bring the costs down.
    ditto...we got two that was in great shape, and we put a lot of miles on them.
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    #5
    how much driving do you plan to do with it? Any long distance drives?

    I would look for a car with less than 100K miles on it. Civic, acura's, accord all all good cars that get good mileage.

    You can also go to your bank and get a Pre-Approval this will allow you to know what you are walking in being able to finance and some banks will even give you a check so you can treat it like it is a cash purchase and try to talk them down.

    Don't make an impulse buy, if you find a car you like, go home and check online what the car is worth and what the same car is going for at other places.
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    #6
    I love my 2011 Nissan Sentra it has awesome trunk space, rides smoothly, and best part it it gets 34-40miles to the gallon

    I love my car and they where so nice to me, They even worked WITH me to get it down where I could afford the payments, and I have the top coverage on the car but only paid/am paying the lowest coverage price.

    I personally would not buy a FORD unless it's a trunk. That's from nothing but bad experiences riding in those things.

    Nissans, Toyotas, and Mitsubishi cars/trucks are my top three picks for cars and costumer service. I loved the costumer service I got with Nissan, and they even bought out my old junker car for more then it's red book value was.
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    #7
    If you are looking outside of the city I would definitely recommend Rockenbach Chevrolet in Grayslake (it's about an hour Metra ride from the city). We just bought a new car through them and they were so negotiable on everything and wanted us to feel comfortable with our decision.
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    #8
    I come from a car family, so hopefully some of the knowledge I've picked up will help out. (dad works on all of our cars and rebuilt a '74 DeTomaso Pantera that was in the junkyard, and my brother is a mechanic for BMW/Mini)

    Whether you buy new or used, kelley blue book (kbb.com) will help you gauge how much a car is worth.

    Buying new is nice if you plan on having a car for a long time. But once you drive it off the lot, it's gonna depreciate in value (usually considerably the first year, though it depends on the brand). So personally my family always buys used. As long as you ask the right questions about the car, then buying used is a good deal -- to note: get a CARFAX, but also be aware that they don't show everything. Our current BMW clearly had it's hood repainted, but shows no signs of being in any sort of accident.

    If it's just for yourself, try and get something compact. And since you're in the city, be prepared for all the dings and dents to come out of nowhere. Try to get a four-door if you can, because it's convenient (I just went from my four-door honda to a two-door, and I do miss being able to open the back door as opposed to having to tip-forward the front seat and crawl in and out).

    High mileage cars aren't necessarily something to shy away from. I had a 120k honda that got me 3 years and almost 30k miles. Just sold it the other day and it's never let me down once (only sold it because I inherited my grandmother's honda!). It just really depends on how well the car was taken care of, how many owners it's had, etc.

    look on autotrader.com, cars.com, and even craigslist.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to message. Hope I was some help
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    #9
    Too bad you're not closer...... I'd sell you DH's car that we want to get rid of!!
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    #10
    See if there is a carmax near you. No haggling. Price is marked on every car. They can not negotiate. It is neither the best possible price, nor the worst. It is the fair market price.
    The salesmen work on straight per car commission, so they don't care whether you buy the 10k car or the 40.
    They do make a commission on the extended warranty (never buy the extended warranty for ANY product, with limited exceptions.)
    Also, if you get a loan through them, and then find a cheaper loan through your bank, you have a certain amount of time to pay off the loan with the new loan with no fees or penalties.
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