Monday, March 23, 2009

The Mystery of Negotiation

As our 1998 car slowly disintegrates, we're starting to realize that we need a new one. But, like everyone in the U.S., we have very limited funds and a zero threshold for salesperson trickery. We want a reliable family vehicle for a really reasonable, affordable price.

So how does one go about finding that ideal car? Would I be just as likely to meet the Wizard of Oz, or is there a smart way to buy a car these days?

I ask the wisdom of any and all blog readers who happen past this post. Right now, finding the right car seems like the most unsolvable mystery.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Julia, I know how you feel. All I can say is that I love my Hyundai Elantra. I bought it about 4.5 years ago and she runs great. Not sure it would suit a family with two boys, but it is a 4-door hatch and lots of leg room.

Good luck on your car shopping.

Amy said...

Hi Julia:
This is a case where your public library can really help you. Get a few features in mind that you want and ask the reference staff to help you search for those models and makes plus what range prices should be. Then they should be able to pinpoint a few dealers in your area with those models and prices. They should direct you to websites where you can even check availability of certain features in local dealers.

Bring those printouts to the dealers and prepare to not accept anything much beyond that. We got our Mazda minivan last year with this system plus we brought the baby and the five year old, so they had to hurry along when we were there.

Julia Buckley said...

Good to know, Jwhit! All advice will be taken into consideration.

And Amy, did you buy your car new or did you find a gently used one to fit a certain price range?

Anonymous said...

Miz Kitty:

Why don't you just go out and do what a lot of my customers do: steal one. But be advised; if you do decide to go this route, they are very hard to get insurance on.

Julia Buckley said...

And then I'd end up in one of your godforsaken jails. :)

But if I do my homework, officer, the car I find will be a steal METAPHORICALLY.