Simple Tips for Buying Cars

I’ve been driving for about 25 years, and I’ve owned almost as many cars, so here’s some basic stuff I’ve learned about the car acquisition process.

  1. Get all wheel drive only if you live in an area where a great deal of mud, water, or snow might regularly stand between you and your home or job OR you buy season passes for skiing or snowboarding. Otherwise rent one when you need it.
  2. Leasing cars is renting cars. Leasing cars is for companies, and rich people with ADD. Buy a reasonable car. Reduce your impact on the earth. Treat the ADD. Donate the extra money to charity.
  3. Take 24 hours to cool off and make sure your deal isn’t emotional. Visit and test drive on Monday. Revisit and do the deal on Tuesday, or Wednesday. Help yourself out with this by rolling into the dealership an hour before they close. This helps you to be really sure of your purchase and obviates any couldas and shouldas.
  4. Buy a car near the end of the month. The nearer the better. Sales reps have monthly quotas with bonuses tied to the number of cars they sell that month. You’ll work a better deal on the 28th than the 8th.
  5. Think “down the road”. If you’re 30 and going to pay for a car for five years, (and/or drive it even longer) choose a car that will reflect your needs, and self, as you imagine them five years from now. Are you going to have kids? Are you in a brief sports car phase? Are you moving to the country? Will you be commuting long distances for work?
  6. You are not your Infiniti. If you think you need a consumptive car to prop up your image you’re incredibly insecure or a corporate lemming. Be a rebel. Go to therapy. LA is full of wealthy and powerful people in Priuses. Escalades are unnecessary old skool floss. Ditch ’em.

What have you learned about buying cars???

1 Response to “Simple Tips for Buying Cars”

  1. 1 MrsWaltz
    Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 8:39 am

    Nothing mandates self-acceptance of the “I am not my car” mantra like discovering oneself behind the wheel of a minivan that is headed for soccer practice. NO.THING.

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