By on March 4, 2013

When you have 120 dealers looking at the same exact car on a Monday morning, you have three options if you plan on buying a car.

1) Bid

2) Watch

3) Leave

After I saw a 2003 Infiniti FX35 with 220,558 miles sell for $9100 plus the auction fee, I left for good.

Right now we are in the midst of tax season. A time when millions of consumers get their tax refunds from Uncle Sam and, on average, spend it all within a 72 hour period. A few pay off their debts. A few more buy top of the line televisions, cell phones, and electronics. The rest put a thick down payment on an older used car that is now being financed for anywhere between three to six years.

A luxury SUV like the Infiniti can be sold for stupid money at the moment. We’re talking a $1500 down payment and about $85 a week for 36 months. On the miracle that the buyer makes a full payoff on the loan, you’re looking at about $15 grand in total once you calculate all the tax, tag, title, finance charges and assorted other bogus fees that are usually levied onto that number.

Is it a terrible buy for the consumer? Of course! But in the end, an affordable monthly payment in exchange for the impersonation of wealth is the only thing that will truly matter to them.

You may think this is a suckers bet par excellence, and you would be right.

But there are plenty of other suckers that were down the line last week. Consider these prices…

1999 Lincoln Town Car, Cartier Edition: $3200, 206,789 miles.

2002 Lexus ES300, scraped on one side: $3300, 274,166 miles.

2007 Chevy Tahoe LT, Rough interior: $11,000, 248,804 miles.

Who would finance any vehicle that is already well north of 200k?

A lot of companies will if the potential level of return is attractive enough. Dealerships will keep the riskier deals on their books for a few months, and then sell many of the potential dogs for a pre-determined price to a finance company. That company will, in turn, sell it to a Wall Street firm that will package it into a conglomeration of ‘asset backed securities’, where it will be given a credit rating. Then it will be marketed to a variety of buyers in the finance world far and wide.

Overheating? Why yes it does get hot here in Atlanta! How does $7995 sound?

Does this sound familiar to you? It should. Yes, these are the type of seeds that sprouted the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the near ruin of our economy. But the same mechanism of buying and selling these automotive assets also serves a vital purpose for every automaker that finances or leases their vehicles. 

Every automotive manufacturer has one thing in common. They want to sell their ‘paper’ so that they have the financial resources needed to keep building their business. Toyota, GM, Honda, VW, Nissan… even the smaller automakers such as BMW and Mazda require plenty of liquid cash to survive.

They can’t pay their people in IOU’s any more than the consumers who are currently financing their vehicles. So they will sell the paper to those buyers who are willing to accept the risks.

2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara – Built In The USA / Now Financed In China

There is no shortage of takers. This article offers plenty of the basics of the ‘prime’ world of automotive remarketing which historically involves selling far lower risk deals at reasonable returns.

But if you are to get one thing out of an obscure part of the automotive industry, read and dwell on this quote…

“For the most part we have seen a reversion back to the kinds of underwriting standards we saw five years ago, before the crisis, and for that we are not unduly concerned,” says Glenn Costello, senior managing director at Kroll.”

Mr. Costello may know a lot about the fundamentals of this business from a pure numbers perspective. But if I were a buyer of those securities, I would be real careful of buying anything that carries the same type of risk as the vehicles I saw go through the block.

The number of sub-prime deals for automotive asset backed securities has more than doubled in little over a year. The quality of those vehicles has not followed the same path. From what I see at the auctions, they are getting far worse in condition and mileage.

Are you underwater in your car? How about your trunk? $6995! Buy now!

I am not one to recommend shorting specific companies. But if I were to short anything in this business, it wouldn’t be an automaker. Not by a longshot.

I would be looking squarely at those companies that either retail to sub-prime customers, or finance companies that specialize in the higher risk areas of this market. When it comes to late 2014 and all the delinquencies begin to be removed from the credit reports of those who got hit during the last financial storm, you are likely going to see a swarm of new car buyers abandoning the crappy old sleds for new metal that may even cost less on a monthly basis.

Of course the loans will likely run in the six to eight year range by then. But hey! New wheels! And the cycle will begin anew.

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50 Comments on “Auction Monday: All! Hail! Mary!...”


  • avatar
    Tick

    Excellent and fascinating article! As someone who does business in real estate I haven’t yet seen a reversion back to the old way of doing things yet. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  • avatar

    #1 The used car market is a MESS because new cars are expensive and the credit market is still a mess.

    “Who would finance a car well north of 200k???” You would if you had to.

    #2 Never underestimate the unpredictability of stupidity crossed with badgewhoring.

  • avatar
    jjklongisland

    Great article. I am one of those stereotypical tax return junkies. I just gave my father-in-law my 97 ram 2500 with 89k original miles with a V10 so he can tow his boat and trailer. Truck was totally overkill for me but looked sick and got alot of compliments. I needed a replacement pickup since I am always doing home improvements around the house and will never not own a pick up even if its a beater. I would up going against all my inner hate for ford vehicles and bought an 08 F150 supercrew lariat. It has 101,000 miles, loaded with every available option, doesnt have one scratch on her, looks and drives brand like it has 15k miles on it. I bought it at a local ford dealer in which I drove to on a whim and saw this truck and couldnt believe it had such high miles. I am the opposite purchaser, older vehicle, super low miles and now I bought a newer vehicle with super high miles (in my opinion) and its a brand I swore I would never own. I only paid 17,000 out the door with fees etc. It even has every service record and oil change etc dealer serviced since new. My research was showing this truck was selling for in the low 20′s. I love my new Ford (so far). For a weekend vehicle it should be a good investment. I only plan on putting 4 to 5k a year on her. I little customizing here and there just to give it an individual look. Your all welcome for me stimulating the economy…

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      08 Supercrew? With the 5.4L 3V? If so, your hate for Ford will likely be getting stronger.

      Do you have any records that shows if it’s had a motor installed already?

      • 0 avatar
        StaysCrunchy

        Assuming that every 5.4 3V truck of that era should have had a new engine by now is a little hyperbolic, but they do indeed have their issues.

        Even if it needs cam phasers (which it either does, did, or will) and even if all 8 spark plugs break off in the heads, you’re still not looking at an engine replacement. Expensive repairs? Oh my yes, but not a new engine.

        • 0 avatar
          jjklongisland

          Your killing me… lol The only thing I am worried about is the spark plugs breaking off… Heard thats pretty common. Surprisingly my job only buys Fords and when maintained properly I must say they all drive great even with high mileage. My bosses 2010 expedition has 200k and drives like new. My company 08 Sable has 115k and has never been in the shop for anything other than brakes, tires, and oil changes… I am crossing my fingers it was a good investment for someone only planning to drive it on the weekends…

  • avatar
    redav

    This article mentions the risk of financing an old, short-for-this-life car, but the financee obviously is just as big a factor. While I have no data, I would have to assume that those financing an older high-mileage car (and thus a cheaper car) are exactly those who will have trouble making payments. But on the plus side, the less financed, the less risk.

    I would be very curious to see what the actual risks are when it comes to auto loans. How tightly do repayment rates correlate to credit rating? Car price to income ratio? Length of loan? Just how much money do auto lenders make/lose, and are their earnings in line with their real risk?

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      Subprime auto lenders make a great deal of money from their holds or ‘discounts’ on each loan. If I finance a car for $12,000, I may only get $9800 from the finance company. The higher the assumed risk, the higher the discount. I’ve seen ‘acquisition costs’ as low as $395 (my local lenders) to as high as $4000 (Roadloans, Credit Acceptance).

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I always appreciate these articles. It sheds light on how my local “5th hand” auto row, with about 8 dealers in two miles, stay in business. Lots of folks in the immediate vicinity that probably have money issues, yet would finance that Infiniti for the badge. The heart wants what it wants if the pocketbook will let it, if only for a while.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    The problem with the housing market credit bust wasn’t the securitization of high-risk loans, it was the concealment of the risk embedded in those securities by the rating agencies, which failed to rate them accurately, causing them to be mispriced.

    As far as the securitization of used car loans, let me take you back to the bad old days, say 1987, when I bought a 9-month old Mustang GT off a school teacher who had gotten married and had decided she needed to shed the monthly payment to qualify for a home mortgage (the second time I had done that by the way). In those days, even for an almost new car, it was impossible to get a used car loan for more than 3 years’ duration and the interest rates were several hundred basis points above those charged for new cars. In other words, on a monthly payment basis, you could get a nicer new car than the equivalent used car. This had the natural effect of depressing the value of used cars. In my case, I had an unsecured bank line of credit with a floating interest rate, which was a cheaper way to finance the car . . . and I ended up just paying it off in a year.

    So, I would say the risk-spreading effect of securitizing new and used car loans has been a boon to everyone. And as far as fears of a repeat of what happened to residential real estate loans in 2007, no one thinks a car appreciates in value . . . which is the other false assumption that supported the home mortgage mess.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Within the niche of taxtime buyers there are two levels. The first is the buyer who uses a mid-four-figure tax refund to buy a reasonably reliable, if older, car with cash. The second buyer is one who gets $1000 or less and that’s the most money that he or she will have at one time to put down on a vehicle. The latter is the high risk (very high risk) finance customer.

    What we are seeing right now is a lot of people who are in pretty significant financial trouble, they are upside down on their house, behind in payments or already foreclosed, have credit card debt, medical bills and an upside down car/truck or a junker car/truck. For these people, using a tax refund to buy pay cash for a vehicle that will not exceed the bankruptcy exemptions is the best financial move they can make before a bankruptcy. Having a paid-for, serviceable car coming out of a bankruptcy really improves your chances of getting a fresh start.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “The first is the buyer who uses a mid-four-figure tax refund”

      That makes me wonder who these people are that are willing to loan the government that much money for an extended period of time. You’re an adult. Learn to do your withholding properly!

      • 0 avatar
        cgjeep

        I know its a stupid thing to do but I’m one of those people and I’ll tell you why. I’d rather loan the Government money than have my wife piss it all away. At least this way I’ll see it again. She does the bills but I do the taxes. Out of sight out of mind.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Last week, I saw an ’08 Focus S with crank windows and a STICK with 84k miles go for $7800 – almost extra clean black book. Also saw an ’09 Focus SE with 75k go for clean book with frame damage…and a FORD DEALER bought it.

    Its getting fun out there…

    On the other hand, we also do wholesale (dealer to dealer), so we buy cars from off-circuit auctions and run them at two big metro sales, so the high water benefits us, too. Its just a LOT harder to get cars. You have to pound the lanes or work the computer for an ENTIRE sale and MAYBE get one or two cars. If you do that, you’ve done well. We’ve even been buying cars from NY/NJ (NOT Sandy flood cars; FoMo Credit off-lease cars), shipping them here, and turning them at the sale.

    Its good to diversify…

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Who are these people who drive all these miles, and where the heck are they going?? My early-build (2004) 2005 Scion xB is not quite to 65k, and I feel like I drive around more than most folks I know.

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      Company cars. I have a 2010 Fusion Hybrid with 77k. Belonged to Emkay who leased it out to Simplex-Grimmel. Emkay cars are typically 2-3 years old with 60-110k miles. I saw a 2012 Flex SE with 77k miles on it, so this is not abnormal.

      Also, people in sprawlandia tend to drive more in general. I used to rack up an 80-mile daily commute; now I’m down to 40, and that doesn’t include at-work trips to Tampa, Sarasota, etc. which are often an additional 40 miles apiece.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      “My early-build (2004) 2005 Scion xB is not quite to 65k, and I feel like I drive around more than most folks I know.”

      I hope you’re joking. Even a standard lease is 12K/year these days, and it used to be 15K. I consider 15K/year to be about average, so you’re only about halfway to average. Even if you consider the 12K/year mark, you’re only 2/3 of the way to average.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      I’ve been told by folks in the BHPH biz it’s very common for their customers to really rack up the miles. One reason is lower income and blue collar people often have longer commutes, at least in small and medium cities. Big distribution warehouses, port facilities, shopping malls, airports are all places with a concentration of those kind of jobs and they are often on the outskirts of cities away from poorer residential areas. The other reason is it is the only car in the family. So, Mom gets up early to drive Dad to his job, then comes home in time to drive the kids to school, then go to her part time job, then get the kids, then go pick up Dad from work, and of course all the usual errands, take Grandma to the doctor, etc., etc., and all that round-tripping adds up.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I’d rather find a 36 month lease for 159 a month + downpayment than make payments on a car with 200k+, both are going to cost about the same and last about the same amount of time. I”m in the market for a car right now and after examining the ridiculous prices for used cars with ridiculously high milage, I’m still not sure if I want to buy a 20 year old beater, wait it out, (assuming this isn’t the new normal) or bite the bullet and buy new. I hate the idea of wasting money on a new car, but 10-12 grand for a car with 125k is insanity.

  • avatar
    mbaruth

    The number one search on any third-party site is for late-model, high mileage vehicles under $10K. Franchise dealers typically have little trouble turning a car like this, so even if they overpay for it upfront, they’ll turn it faster than an early model car that costs a similar amount of money. Most “Velocity” dealers nowadays subscribe to a hard 60-day turn policy, so they’re more concerned about turning inventory than they are in gross per copy.

  • avatar
    turbobrick

    So, in essence, the best deal out there still is a leftover / ex-fleet 2012 Impala.

    • 0 avatar
      StaysCrunchy

      I’ve never been a Chevy guy. Growing up, my family was all-Ford all the time, and when I got older I ended up liking Dodge for whatever reason. A couple of months ago, the wife and I rented what was either a 2012 or 2013 Impala to drive about 800 miles. I was kinda bummed they didn’t have a Charger or Taurus, but what the heck, it’s just a rental so I sucked it up and took it.

      After dropping the Impala off when we got back home, I looked at my wife and muttered “Goddammit.” She asked what was wrong, and I said “I really liked that stupid Impala!”

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Old, beat, 200K/mile luxury cars and they want anything more than $1500? Evidently Atlanta is a little crazy…

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I was always wondering what kind of an idiot one must be to buy a used vehicle with over 200K miles for a daily driver. Personally, I wouldn’t touch a car with over 150K much less 200K. And no car with that many miles short of an exotic is worth more than $2500 imho.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      There are a lot of cars that will keep on going after 200k without too much hassle. Some, like the Ininiti, I’m not sure I’d want to because of the aprts cost, but the Town Car will still have years of service due to the cheapness of service and parts.

      Still, those prices are ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Agreed on both points. I dare to wonder what the market will look like in ten years, between the CVTs and strange AWD transmission/differential setups… will there be many 200K+ cars besides today’s W bodys, Panthers, and Camcords?

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I think there wil because quality is generally improving. The oddities you mentioned however aren’t likely to last as long.

          Somewhere there has to be a formula for this. I suspect it’s something like:

          The total amount of years the powertrain combination/vehicle platform has been in production – the amount of added equipment and feature groups – the number of technological/mechanical oddities x (multiplier for given brand/manufacturer group, maybe a range of .01 to 3) x 100,000
          = The mileage potential of said car.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            When Steve completes his used car database, we could run those sort of metrics on it (database geek here).

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Personally, I’d find it hard to buy a used daily driver car with more than, maybe, 80K miles, depending on type — probably for certain cars, more like 60-65K, depending on intended use. If you’re confident in the car, have a good mechanic or do your own work, know that model/brand well, and know your expected driving habits, you can roughly figure out what the lifetime of the car is for you and price it out that way. Some cars will make more sense than others.

      As an example, I know some people who will never drive more than 4-5K/year because they either have another car that is the mileage horse or because they don’t drive much. For them, an 80K used car can make a lot of sense. 10 years later, the car still only has 120-130K miles and still has reasonable costs.

      If you drive a lot of highway miles, your cars will usually age well too. A lot of cars will do well driving 24K/year even with 80K on them. Sure, in 5 years, you’re at 200K, but that’s fine — the highway miles aren’t nearly as stressful on the car. It’s far easier on the car than 120K miles in 8 years with typical low-speed stop-and-go.

      This doesn’t work if you forget to get your oil changed or otherwise don’t follow maintenance schedules well. Either lease, or commit to buying another car when your car chokes and dies.

      All this changes if you’re looking for a beater. For example, if I wanted a pickup truck for in-town things, I wouldn’t care if it had 150K or 200K, but I’d also pay cash for it, not finance it at 24% at a BHPH.

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    A lot of you I notice are speaking from the perspective of someone who has the ability to make that choice to opt for a lease, a lower-mileage car, or aggressive single-digit financing. There are many people out there who – for a variety of reasons – don’t have a choice but to accept what seems like ridiculous loan terms on vehicles that shouldn’t bring a fraction of their financed amount in a ‘normal’ world.

    For these buyers, getting a 28% loan for 48 months with $1500 down on a mile-y older car isn’t a decision as much as it is a given; its just a matter of what kind of car you’re going to end up getting.

    For those in that position, I would suggest going through a dealer who offers secondary lending via an outside lender. This ensures some basic level of expectations like A) the car won’t have a title brand like salvage/rebuilt, flood, or total loss. Subprime lenders simply do not finance these cars. B) Most likely the car won’t have frame damage because lenders know a frame/unibody car will bring less at the auction when they eventually have to repo it and remarket it (their assumption) C) the car will likely be somewhat mechanically sound as dealers know that complaints about problems on the mandatory phone interview lenders conduct before the deal is funded will ENSURE that deal is NOT funded until such problems are rectified.

    My ex-GM now works at a lot in Tampa located on their ne’r-do-well dealer row (Florida Ave) and they really slam people. Never disclosing discounts, never pulling a price for a vehicle; selling payments instead, ripping trades, and powerbooking vehicles they send out for approval along with making tons off points from the lender. Helps fuel his coke/scrip habit, his $550/mo payment on his 300C that ironically I financed him in, and his son’s habitual love for binge drinking and taking his skank girlfriend to Cheesecake Factory like its an event.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do subprime as well, but with my inventory, I usually sell cash or prime finance/preapprovals. I know if I average about $1000-1500 on a subprime deal, I’m happy. No need to rip someone’s head off every time.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Script habit in Florida? You don’t say ;-)
      Does the guy wear; sunglasses indoor, silky shirts and silver/gold chains as well? Please say yes.

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        Sunglasses indoors? Yes

        Silky shirts? Occasionally. Also TAPOUT t-shirts, Ed Hardy gear, whatever was available for $5.99 at Bealls Outlet, and on the occasional Saturday a South Park shirt that featured Cartman saying RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAY! ED: This man is 55 years old.

        Gold chains? No. Refer to aforementioned coke/script habit, delinquent son/car payment, and attempts to buy the love of middle-aged women.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Like I’ve said before, you need to be writing articles for TTAC. Someone hire this man.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “his son’s habitual love for binge drinking and taking his skank girlfriend to Cheesecake Factory like its an event.”

    +1

  • avatar
    jkross22

    “an affordable monthly payment in exchange for the impersonation of wealth is the only thing that will truly matter to them.”

    Ah yes, the $30k/year millionaires. These folks happily exchange fiscal prudence for a morally relaxed attitude.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m going to throw this out there… I keep hearing from my brother the cop about how well some of the more privileged ne’r-do-wells live on his beat. Many of the ones who don’t “sling dope” actually do work he tells me, but these are your folks in minimum wage gigs. However when you’re in section 8 your entire life and get SSI, EBT cards, free utilities etc, your actual living expenses are almost nil. You typically don’t have the credit for fancy new car leases, but you can badge whore it up in a beat [insert brand here] and I suspect a good chunk of these otherwise dubious purchases are made because the customers literally have nothing to lose.

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        I can validate the accuracy of your assessment. So many of my applications from my South St. Pete days consisted of…

        Primary Income: CNA – 6 months – $1750/mo
        Secondary Income: Child Support – 3 years – court ordered – $1500/mo
        Other Income: SSI/D for children – $2900/mo

        Rent: $88/mo.

        Yeah. This person actually CAN afford an ’04 Escalade ESV w/122k miles AND pay to feed it AND pay to fix it AND make every payment on time.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    and the bubble begins anew…

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    Did THAT old toyota sell for 7 grand!?! Tell me more! It has to be 15 years old, come on spill the beans.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Nope, $3300.

    As wore out as an old mop… with twice the smell.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I have excellent credit and had trouble financing a 10 year old vehicle with stupid low miles (only 18k: weekend toy / garage queen). The dealer claimed nobody would take a note on a 10 year old car. I could have paid cash but didn’t want to tie up $17K (after trade) on a car that might get wrecked tomorrow and have the insurance company claim its only worth half what I paid due its age (which has nothing to its condition). I can assume what kind of mess financing a 12 year old car with 220K miles is like. Talk about a shady situation, what are the chances that the vehicle will even survive the duration of loan?

    On a some what related note: all my tax money goes to straight to Bass Pro Shops ;)

    • 0 avatar

      I would go to my CU and try to take out a loan with gap insurance. In effect I’d be paying way more, but it may be doable.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Not all will do it. Right now, one of my credit unions is saying on their website that they will do up to a 7-year loan on a 2006 or later, and up to a 5-year loan on 2003-2005 MY.

        So they would have done this deal theoretically, but, just as a guess, I bet they wouldn’t have given you a 5-year loan unless you put a good percentage down or paid a higher interest rate. They probably would say, we can give you 2.5 years low/no down if you want the best rate. We will do 3 years if you want low/no down at the lowest interest rate + 0.5%, 4 years at best rate +1%, and 5 years at best rate + 2.5%, or something like that.

        At one credit union I’ve seen, on a 4-year old car, usually it’s best rate only for a 4-year loan. If you wanted a 5-year, it’s probably half a point more. I believe on a 5-year old car, it was best rate only for a 3.5-year loan. No idea what it was for older cars than that.

        It’s highly dependent on the credit union, the car, the term of the loan, and how much you’re putting down. They each have their own risk models.

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      Try and get a signature loan.

      Edit: Wait. What the hell are you trying to get that’s circa 2003 for $17k? If its a Porsche/Corvette/Shelby etc, try JJ Best – you can apply online. They finance exotics/sports cars/high end/etc and offer extremely generous rates and terms if you credit is near-squeaky.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    From reading these articles, I can see how my broker (from whom I’ve now purchased four cars, out of a total of about 15 in my immediate family over a 15-year period) and I got screwed on my trade on my old 2006 Accord EXL-V6 NAVI.

    I was trying to sell it privately throughout the fall and winter, and had knocked my asking price down to $12,200, and would have accepted ~$11,350 as a hard floor. Car was damn near spotless inside and out, and I threw in a couple other things–WeatherTech floor mats and the like. Mostly dealer-serviced with all receipts, and a couple of Blackstone oil analyses showing an engine in great shape mechanically. Newer brakes, tires and battery. Low miles for its age: ** 57,800. **

    Well, I couldn’t gin up any private sales, so when my new car arrived at the dealer, my broker starts to work a couple angles; he asked me what I was hoping to get, and gave him what I thought was a realistic $10,500, though $10,000 would have worked!

    First two bids come in–$8,000 and $8,500, respectively. I go with him to the dealer where my new 2013 Accord Touring is waiting for an “acceptance” test and inspection, in order to get paperwork going (the new car stayed at the dealer until I had XPel paint film installed later in the week, after which time I took delivery); we get back to my place, and he states that he’ll give a couple more dealers a try, but that I’ll need to sign the title over, and that he’ll get me a loaner through the dealer. I watch him drive my old car away, hoping for the best. (Hastiest car clean-out ever, such that my OCD didn’t kick in, and I forgot to mark a couple radio presets and the final mileage down!)

    Two hours later, he calls and states that the best I could hope for is *** $8,600! *** So dejectedly, I agree to that amount, and take a good $1,500 more out of my own savings than I would have hoped for a down-payment of $11,000 total; I wanted to put down $13K.

    A couple days after taking delivery of my new car, I look up my old car on the Web site of the dealer to whom my previous vehicle had been sold. Their asking price: *** $12,900! ***

    Needless to say, I just about fell out of my chair!!!

    Obviously, Steve, the high used-car prices aren’t reflected in the initial trade-ins; I thought that those of us looking to trade would enjoy a nice surprise, since it seems the entire market is inflated, particularly with low miles and minimal reconditioning needed (according to my broker) on my vehicle. Steve (and the rest of the B&B), what are your thoughts?


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