Tag: Car Buying

By on November 25, 2015


“Rolls-Royce sold 4,000 cars last year.”

Carlos, a handsome, Cuban gentleman sitting across from me wanted to make sure that I understood this fact. He said it so intensely that I never even thought to question his number (which was accurate). “Four thousand. That’s it. Do you know how many of them were sold to people on my street?”

I shook my head.

“Six.” He leaned back in his chair for dramatic effect, puffing on a cigar that had been handcrafted by one of Castro’s own private cigar maker’s proteges. “Six. That’s why I have to have the latest one. That’s why I have my friend, Manuel, looking for a very specific car for me.”

(Read More…)

By on November 12, 2015


Babies are tough. Bosses can be tougher. But the indisputable boot camp of bare knuckled stress inducers has to be a young dog that hasn’t been given the care, love, and discipline it needs and deserves.

Not even the Volkswagen Passat W8 I bought last year can compare to the ball busting doled out by an 8-month-old female boxer named Luna, a hyper-cute animal that ruthlessly channeled all of my inner Cesar Millan this past weekend, and defecated it right on the carpet.

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2015


The Ford Focus ST and Subaru WRX were the two finalists in my new car search and the Focus ST seemed to be winning out due the extra incentives that were being advertised. I emailed a few Ford dealers in my area to negotiate an ST2 and a few Subaru dealers to see if they were offering any discounts that were not advertised.

The 2015 Focus ST might appear to be the best deal if you go by the advertised prices, but the 2016 WRX ended up being a great deal after talking to a few dealers. I was interested in the ST2 model of the Focus and got quotes of about $24,800 on a 2015 and around $26,700 on a 2016 based on all the discounts for which I qualified.

(Read More…)

By on October 28, 2015


The time has come to replace my Cadillac STS with a newer ride, so I have spent the last couple of weeks narrowing down the potential replacements. I have bought and sold enough vehicles that my evaluation process for resale vehicles is somewhat cut-and-dry, but buying a new personal vehicle seems to bring more questions and answers.

The Cadillac STS came from an auction like many of my previous daily drivers. It was a purchase of opportunity, due to low cost at the time. Profitability trumps emotion for many of my car-buying decisions; I care more about how much it costs to buy and recondition a car — and its subsequent profitability when I sell it — than I care about how it feels.  (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2015


There was a time when the word ‘cockroach’ was the best way to describe any old Chevy compact.

(Read More…)

By on October 8, 2015


A quarter of a century can yield an amazing level of improvements to a modern day car — but this isn’t always the case.

Take for example a 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air and compare it with the 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. Even back in 1983, a 1958 Bel Air could offer the keepers among us the enduring joy of a long-term relationship. That big block Chevy V8, even in the early Reagan era, could give you a fiendish ear-to-ear grin behind the wheel. The Cutlass Ciera on the other hand was a rental car from birth with the vapid empty soul of a parts bin beater. It would take a special masochist of an owner to make that a long-term keeper.

Modern day cars have similar parallels.

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By on September 18, 2015

Monte Carlo SS

One of my good friends and long-time TTAC commenters asked me this question.

Hey Steve,

If you have a moment, what are the high and low values right now at auction for the following:

2000 Chevy Monte Carlo SS 40K miles gold/tan

2006 Mustang GT premium 27K maroon/tan

2006 G6 GTP folding hardtop 53k black/black

I could only give him one response and it wasn’t, “Go play darts and put some numbers together!”

The answer came in three simple words.

Condition, condition, condition.

(Read More…)

By on September 13, 2015

20 - 2001 Pontiac Aztek Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Millennials. Who knows what they’re thinking? Well, maybe GM and Dodge did … in the early and mid-2000s.

According to Edmunds, the 18-34 age group of used car buyers are flocking to some discontinued metal including the Dodge Magnum, Chrysler Pacifica, Pontiac Aztek, Chevrolet Trailblazer and Saturn Outlook.

But, why would they be buying models that were so derided or unpopular when new?

(Read More…)

By on September 10, 2015


Monday morning. Auction time. I have 116 vehicles in front of me and a 21-year-old supercar that’s making me think back to the days when truck engines in car bodies were still all the rage.

(Read More…)

By on September 4, 2015

2012_Toyota_Prius. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Steve (not Lang) writes:

My wife has a 2013 Prius with a total of 36,000 allowable miles over the 36 month lease through June 2016. The problem is she now drives more and is already at 37,500+ miles! At 0.25 cents per mile, it will add up quickly.

Should we just plan on buying the Prius from Toyota for 16,400 at the end of the lease term? Or should we take a negative equity hit today, cash out and buy a 2015/2016 Honda Accord Sport/EX? We could be looking at $4,000 in lease payment to roll into a new deal to get out of Prius. We kind of learned our lesson to not do a lease since now she drives a lot. (Read More…)

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  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Doug DeMuro, United States
  • Steven Lang, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, United States
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States