Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Car Buying Mistakes

A friend of mine recently bought a new car, and my husband had been helping her out by keeping an eye out for a good deal. This reminded me of my last car purchase. I bought my Mustang in 2001 and, while the car has been a real gem, I made quite a few mistakes when I bought it.

1. I took the salesman at his word. When he first showed me the Mustang, the salesman said that he thought the previous owner had added an after market upgrade. Even though my dad and brother are both grease monkeys, I didn't have them verify the upgrade until after I had bought my car. What do you know? NO after market upgrade.

2. I let the salesman talk me into a different car than what I had gone there for. I went to the dealership looking for a 1995-1997 Mustang. They didn't have any, but the salesman showed me a shiny black 2000 Mustang and let me take it home for the weekend! Smart guy, huh? Of course, I fell in love with the car. :)

3. I didn't do my research. Even though I had an entire weekend to look into how much the car was worth, I didn't do it. After buying the car, I eventually did the research and realized that I had overpaid for it by at least $1,000.

Overall, this wasn't the worst purchase I've ever made. My Mustang has been really good to me, and I've had very few mechanical problems with it. I still love driving it around, even after 7 years. And then there's the fact that I learned a few valuable lessons during it's purchase, which will come in very handy the next time I need to buy a car!

I'd love to hear about your car buying lessons learned!


ladybugblue said...

Being the friend that you and your husband helped find a new car, I'll first say THANK YOU!!

Another word of advice: try to get over your own prejudices. I have had a childhood aversion to Fords, and had only had them reaffirmed with the marked quality differences between "American-made" and foreign cars at the end of the 90s/early 2000's. However, I was talked into looking at the Ford Focus by multiple people after describing what I was looking for. And Consumer Reports confirmed that Ford had come a long way in their ratings - so I did it! I now own a Ford!

Now for advice on what to do with the old car!

Anonymous said...

Agree - Consumer Reports and any other kinds of online reviews are *invaluable* tools, especially when combined with an open mind. I, too, had a slant toward foreign cars, and learned that the Chevy Prism is basically a Toyota Corolla!

Ms. M&P said...

I've actually never bought a car of my own. I live in a city where I can walk or take public transportation, and when I need a car, I drive my husband's...But that doesn't mean I don't want to buy one! I've been thinking about it for a while and won't buy for 2-3 years, but posts like these are helpful for someone like me who is collecting info.

thanks for visiting my blog, btw! i like yours!

SavingDiva said...

I bought a Chevy Impala. It's been nothing but trouble. It is 8 years old, but has under 80,000 miles. Last year, I spent about $4k on repairs...In 2008, I've already spend about $1500....

Becky @ Family and Finances said...

Yikes! You've had some pretty bad luck. I guess I should consider myself lucky :)