car shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11980/all en-US Should You Hire a Broker to Buy a Car? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_60741810_XLARGE.jpg" alt="she hired a broker to find her car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After four years living car-free, a job change recently pushed my family to buy a vehicle. I dreaded going head-to-head with a car salesman and possibly failing to negotiate a good price.</p> <p>While researching how to get a good deal on a used car, I happened upon this quote in an Edmunds article: &quot;You're not a professional car buyer, so why go up against a professional car seller alone?&quot; The piece was about hiring an auto broker to locate a car and negotiate a good deal. It was a practice that I had scarcely heard of, but the one person I know who used a broker raved that it saved her both time and money. And a little online searching had showed me that the specific used car I wanted was going to be hard to track down at a good price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off?ref=seealso">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</a>)</p> <p>So I decided to give it a whirl.</p> <h2>How to Hire a Broker</h2> <p>Car brokers tend to be solo or small-group operators, and each brokerage may operate slightly differently, but this is what the process was like for me.</p> <p>First, I emailed a local broker who had positive reviews on Yelp, and told him exactly what we were looking for: make, model, acceptable years and mileage range, colors, and trim level. He replied, explaining how his service works and the fee, which for used cars is $800. He would search online through publicly available sites, dealer-only wholesale sites &mdash; a good source for finding former rental cars, he said &mdash; and possibly through his network of other brokers. He'd check vehicle history reports, eliminating cars that had been in accidents or driven in rust-prone regions. Then he'd call sellers to verify availability and nail down the lowest price they'd be willing to sell it for. Finally, he'd send me a list of matching cars, so I could pick the one I wanted to buy.</p> <p>The process went pretty much as he said it would. When he sent the list, he also showed me how to judge how good a deal each car was, and gave his recommendations for the best bets.</p> <h3>Be Sure to Confirm Broker Services</h3> <p>One thing that I did not realize going into the experience was that my broker's work ended when I selected a vehicle. I had hoped that I would simply tell him which car I wanted, and he'd have the necessary documents sent to me, tell me where to wire the money, and the car would be delivered to my door without me ever having to speak to a dealership. Some services &mdash; more likely those that market themselves as car concierge services &mdash; do some of this for their clients, but in my case, the broker simply gave me the phone number of the dealership and the price they'd agreed to, and got a shipping quote for me from his preferred shipping service. I had to talk to the dealership, in a series of back-and-forth calls that ended up stretching over several days, sign the paperwork they FedExed me, and then call the shipper to schedule the delivery.</p> <p>In the end, I got the car I wanted at a good price, with less hassle than I would have gone through if I'd tried to do it all on my own. Because the car I wanted, a late-model Toyota Highlander Hybrid, is in high demand, my broker wasn't able to get the dealership to budge from its advertised price. But it was still a good deal &mdash; in fact, when I contacted a local dealer to see if they could match the price, they congratulated me on getting a steal. But the main advantages of the broker, for me, were saving time and peace of mind. If I'd done it on my own, I'd have felt uncertain as to whether I'd gotten a good deal or a bad one &mdash; and I also wouldn't have had the nerve to attempt an out-of-state transaction without someone to explain how it works.</p> <h2>Is It the Right Move for You?</h2> <p>Car brokers also help people buy new vehicles, but because my purchase was used, the tips here mostly pertain to pre-owned car purchases.</p> <p>You may want to work with a dealer if:</p> <h3>You Hate Negotiating</h3> <p>Even though I would have loved to save more, I liked knowing that when I contacted the dealer, we had already agreed on a price. I had considered avoiding negotiation by visiting a fixed-price outlet like CarMax, but I'm glad I didn't, because CarMax is selling an identical vehicle to the one I bought &mdash; for $3,000 more than I paid.</p> <h3>You Are Really Busy</h3> <p>In the past, I have bought cars through ads posted on Craigslist or even the classified section of the newspaper. It takes a lot of time to contact individual sellers and dealerships this way, not to mention checking Carfax reports. My broker made all these searches, phone calls, and background checks for me, earning his fee in the hours he saved me, alone.</p> <h3>You Want to Find a Vehicle Quickly</h3> <p>My broker located a car with everything on my wish list in under a week. If I were searching myself, I'm pretty sure I would have spent all summer searching Craigslist and other sites before I found a vehicle that matched my list so well.</p> <h3>You Don't Know Much About the Car-Buying Business</h3> <p>If I had been well-versed in how to compare prices based on the <a href="http://www.nadaguides.com/">NADAguides</a> trade-in price, and knew what to look for in a car's history, I might not have needed my broker's help. As it was, I learned so much from my broker that I would feel comfortable searching and negotiating on my own next time around.</p> <h3>You're on a Tight Budget</h3> <p>It may seem counterintuitive to be willing to shell out hundreds of dollars up front in order to get a good deal, but think of it this way: If you're not price sensitive, you don't need a broker, because you can save time and hassle by walking into a dealership and buying a new car at the advertised price.</p> <h2>Downsides of Working With a Broker</h2> <p>Although I'm glad I did it, the experience wasn't perfect.</p> <h3>Pressure to Work on the Broker's Timeline</h3> <p>My natural inclination would have been to only spend an hour or two a week working on my car search, and spread it out over a longer period. Understandably, my broker wanted to get the job over with and get paid. Because of that, I ended up fielding multiple phone calls and emails from him during that week, often at times when I was busy with work.</p> <h3>The Broker May Have Other Incentives</h3> <p>Some brokers are also compensated by dealers &mdash; which is something you should ask about in advance. My broker sold extended warranties, and while his warranties were less expensive than those sold by dealerships, I felt like he expected me to buy one. It would have been awkward for me to say no after working together all week. (In the end, I bought a car that came with a warranty, so the point was moot.)</p> <h3>It's Not Ideal for Introverts</h3> <p>On one hand, it was great to have someone available to answer my questions at every step of the car search process. On the other, I'm not much for talking on the phone, and it felt awkward to have to work on a team every day for a week. Sometimes we had communication issues that caused me stress, especially when my broker would sound irritated, because I didn't understand what he was talking about.</p> <p><em>Have you worked with a broker before? What was your experience like? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-spend-on-a-new-car">How Much Should You Spend on a New Car?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy">How to Save Money Buying a New Car and Be Happy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns">Here&#039;s What I Learned About Money After Using Acorns</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-ways-to-sell-your-car">The 6 Best Ways to Sell Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Cars and Transportation broker buying a car car financing car salesman car salesperson car shopping new car saving money selling a car Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:00:04 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1735466 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Car Can You Afford? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-car-can-you-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-car-can-you-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4988691467_a9fcc3a980_b.jpg" alt="new car" title="new car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are interested in buying a car and you are set on leasing, it is very important that you maintain a good balance between the type of ride you desire and your ability to finance it. Remember that even though you may qualify for a car loan, burdening yourself with one that is beyond your payment ability can easily destabilize your financial status. To rightly determine what you can afford, it is important to create a budget. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating said budget. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy">Guide to Buying a Used Car Without Going Crazy</a>)</p> <h2>The 20% Rule of Thumb</h2> <p>The general rule on car payments is that they should not exceed 20% of your take-home or net monthly income. This value is inclusive of car insurance, repairs, and monthly payments. The value should also include every vehicle you own. Even if you do not take care of other major monthly expenses such as rent, you should still stick to the rule. Obviously, if you will be making a full cash payment for your new car, you will not need to apply the 20% rule. But the rest of you, take note.</p> <h2>Your Interest Rate Matters</h2> <p>Your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score">credit rating</a> will help determine the interest rate you will be required to pay. If you have a poor credit rating, you will most likely end up paying a higher interest rate than someone with a good credit rating. It is important that you factor your loan's interest rate into your budget, so that you can choose a car that truly matches with what you can afford. Different times of the year also have different market interest rates. If rates are lower, your monthly payment will be reduced, and you might be able to afford a car with a higher value than you initially thought (as long as it is still within your budget). This is also one reason why so many people talk about trying to achieve a perfect credit score.</p> <h2>You&nbsp;Should Make a Down Payment</h2> <p>Not so long ago, customers were required to make a down payment before getting a car. Today, however, many car dealers are willing to offer cars even with no down payment. In spite of this change, it will work out best for you if you make a substantial down payment, since you will be able to afford a car with a better value and still stick to the 20% limit.</p> <p>Once you have determined how much car you can comfortably afford, it is important that you stick to your budget when you step into the show room. This is because you will most likely find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-your-new-car-send-mom-not-dad-to-the-dealer">persuasive salespeople</a>, most of whom work on commission and are therefore only interested in getting the highest pay. Most of these salesmen are least concerned about whether or not you can afford a particular car. It is therefore important that you remain adamant in the midst of all the persuasion to avoid spending money that you do not have.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-car-can-you-afford">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-a-car-with-a-credit-card">Should You Buy a Car With a Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-leasing-a-car">What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car shopping down payment financing interest rates Mon, 25 Jun 2012 09:48:13 +0000 David Ning 935332 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 10 Car Shopping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-car-shopping-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-10-car-shopping-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/626426584_1bcf0a4722_z-1_0.jpg" alt="10 Car Shopping Mistakes And How To Avoid Them" title="10 Car Shopping Mistakes And How To Avoid Them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on car shopping mistakes and how to avoid them, saving for retirement, and steps to great finances.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cleverdude.com/content/10-car-shopping-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them/">10 Car Shopping Mistakes And How To Avoid Them</a> &mdash; When buying a car, don't make the mistake of not differentiating between needs and wants. Doing so will cause you to buy unnecessary extras.[Clever Dude]</p> <p><a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2012/04/30/8-ways-to-motivate-yourself-to-save-for-retirement">8 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Save for Retirement</a> &mdash; Considering the consequences of failing to save for retirement can help motivate you to start saving. [US News and World Report]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/04/30-steps-to-great-finances-steps-1-and-2.html">30 Steps to Great Finances: Steps 1 and 2</a> &mdash; Start having great finances by tracking your spending for 30 days. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/save-money-on-your-electric-bill-this-summer/">Ten Ways To Save Money On Your Electric Bill This Summer</a> &mdash; To save money on your electric bill this summer, purchase a programmable thermostat. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.creditkarma.com/credit-scores/3-more-things-you-might-not-know-about-credit-scores/">3 More Things You Might Not Know About Credit Scores</a> &mdash; Did you know that checking your own credit score won't hurt you? [Credit Karma Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.budgetinginthefunstuff.com/saving-money-in-the-summer/">Saving Money in the Summer</a> &mdash; To save money this summer, consider taking short road trips so you don't break the bank on gas. [Budgeting in the Fun Stuff]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/preventing-job-burnout/">What is Causing Burnout on Your Job?</a> &mdash; If you are experiencing job burnout, it may be because of office politics. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/real-estate/renting/protect-yourself-renter">Protect Yourself as a Renter</a> &mdash; Before you rent, make sure you understand the landlord/tenant laws in your state. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-ways-to-avoid-the-summer-brain-drain">5 Ways to Avoid the Summer Brain Drain</a> &mdash; Avoid the summer brain drain by getting serious about monitoring the use of electronics. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Peter-Walsh-Organization-Tips-Clutter-Closet-22889201">Expert Shares 2 Easy Strategies To Declutter Your Home</a> &mdash; To declutter your home, use the trash bag technique and spend ten minutes each day filling up one trash bag with trash and the other with items to donate. [SavvySugar]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-car-shopping-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">How To Cut Car Ownership Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-reasons-why-i-love-public-transportation">Five Reasons Why I Love Public Transportation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation best money tips car shopping Cars Mistakes Wed, 02 May 2012 10:00:11 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 926617 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Expenses Worth Haggling Over http://www.wisebread.com/6-expenses-worth-haggling-over <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-expenses-worth-haggling-over" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_car_haggling.jpg" alt="Woman in new car" title="Woman in new car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Perhaps more than ever, consumers are trying to squeeze the most out of their dollars.</p> <p>You have to pick and choose your spots, but there's an insider art to truly wringing out every last dime &mdash; haggling.</p> <p>Such an ugly name. But &quot;situational negotiation,&quot; let's call it, can save savvy consumers a bundle in some retail spaces.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not something that&rsquo;s often encouraged anymore, but haggling can make a world of difference. Figuring out what expenses are worth quibbling over may not be an easy task, however. Some of the costs below do not need to be accepted at face value. (See Also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-got-over-my-haggling-hatred">How I Got Over My&nbsp;Haggling Hatred</a>)</p> <h2>1. Medical Expenses</h2> <p>Medical expenses are not fixed. The prices for tests and procedures can sometimes change if you push and prod. Start by checking the <a href="http://healthcarebluebook.com/">Healthcare Blue Book</a> for average prices on particular tests or procedures. Negotiate the initial cost with the billing department by asking for a cash discount. Simply ask if they can lower the cost of a financially burdensome bill. If you can&rsquo;t lower the cost, find out if there&rsquo;s an interest-free payment plan.</p> <h2>2. Mortgage Rates</h2> <p>It's critical to get multiple rate quotes, especially if you have sterling credit. Negotiate mortgage rates with brokers, who are looking to make as many deals as possible. The higher your credit score, the more leverage you have in the negotiation. Any score above 750 will definitely help. Do some legwork and get estimates in writing from several brokers, then present the best one to the others and ask them to match or beat that estimate. Ask for lower closing, application, and origination fees. Smaller mortgage brokers are hurting in all corners of the country, and their compensation model is about to change. Now is the time to pounce.</p> <h2>3. Credit Cards</h2> <p>Recent competition among credit card companies as result of industry reform caused rates for plastic money to be somewhat flexible. When you get an offer, call the credit card company and tell them you received better rates from others. Much like mortgage rate haggling, ask if that deal can be outdone. If the first person you talk to can&rsquo;t help you, ask for a supervisor. Same goes for credit limits, although expect some push back given the overall economic landscape.</p> <h2>4. Home Improvement</h2> <p>Contractors are willing to lower the price tag on your home improvement projects. A combination of a slow industry and cheaper building materials means you don&rsquo;t have to settle for the first quote. Talk with your contractor about building materials and reduced labor costs. Contractors are often willing to lower their price if it means getting the gig.</p> <h2>5. Automobiles</h2> <p>This is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-game-of-haggling-how-to-get-a-great-deal-on-a-used-car">standard haggling example</a>, but it's worth repeating given the current fiscal climate. Rather than try to shrink the sticker price, ask the salesman what the dealership paid for the car. Then work the price up. Invoices for dealers are available for free online from <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/">Edmunds</a>, <a href="http://www.intellichoice.com/">IntelliChoice</a>, and <a href="http://www.kbb.com/">KBB</a>. It never hurts to say that a competing dealership offered a better price.</p> <h2>6. Electronics</h2> <p>To land lower prices on home electronics and appliances, talk to managers when there are no customers around. It worries managers if they think they&rsquo;ll have to make the same deal several times, but they&rsquo;d rather close a deal at a lower price than not make a sale at all. Make it clear that you&rsquo;ll buy the product immediately if they offer a discount or free delivery.</p> <p>This list is by no means exhaustive. Please feel free to share your haggling experiences below.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-expenses-worth-haggling-over">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time">10 Little Words That Will Get You the Best Price, Every Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-negotiation-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-deal">10 Negotiation Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-become-a-better-negotiator">5 Ways to Become a Better Negotiator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-become-one-of-those-lucky-people-who-scores-great-deals">How to Become One of Those &quot;Lucky&quot; People Who Scores Great Deals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living car shopping electronics haggling medical expenses price negotiating Fri, 22 Apr 2011 09:48:31 +0000 Chris Birk 528192 at http://www.wisebread.com Save on Your New Car: Send Mom, Not Dad, to the Dealer http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-your-new-car-send-mom-not-dad-to-the-dealer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-your-new-car-send-mom-not-dad-to-the-dealer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3229989135_6cd9b922f0.jpg" alt="car dealership" title="car dealership" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people just shouldn't go car shopping on their own &mdash; like Chris, who drove home to his horrified family in the garish chartreuse coupe on which he got &quot;a great deal.&quot; Chris should have never walked alone through the auto dealer's doors, not only because he is colorblind &mdash; but because he is a man.</p> <p>In generations past, buying the family car was considered Dad's job, but women now account for just over half of all automotive buys and play a big role when the family chooses a car. And that's a darn good thing for the household budget. Ahead of your next trip to the new car showroom or used car lot, you'll want to know what the automakers and dealers know about gender differences in car buying:</p> <ul> <li>Although on the whole more knowledgeable about cars &mdash; how they work, who makes what model, how <i>Road and Track</i> rated a new vehicle &mdash; men tend to be less rational about their purchases than are women.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While men in a recent market research survey put &quot;styling&quot; on the top of the list of attributes they found most important in a car, women ranked it 11th. Women placed practical items like &quot;visibility from the driver's seat to both the front and rear&quot; high on their list.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Men are more likely to carry into adulthood the unshakable desire to own their childhood &quot;dream car.&quot; Whether or not it is a practical or affordable purchase, they may well go ahead and snap it up. A man can overlook the difficulty of getting the kids in and out of rear car seats when he test-drives the gleaming model whose poster was on his bedroom wall as he grew up.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Unlike women, who approach salespeople with a set of questions, men are more likely to display their knowledge at the dealership rather than test or build on what they think they know.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Women are more focused on cost, using dealer incentives like rebates to reduce the overall amount they will pay while men generally use them to buy a more expensive car.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Men fall out of love with vehicles at mach speed. Research shows that it takes only four months for the average man to grow bored with his car and become susceptible to advertising and sales pitches to buy a new one. Women bask in the pleasure of their new purchases more than three times longer (though still not terribly long).</li> </ul> <p>Knowing all of this, you may decide it's sensible to send Mom, not Dad, to the dealer next time. Of course, these are generalizations. There are men who buy cars pragmatically and women who buy them impulsively. (Unsurprisingly, it is an industry goal to turn women into more emotional purchasers.)</p> <p>Nevertheless, car shoppers of both genders would benefit from following a dispassionate process that involves these steps:</p> <ol> <li>Ask yourself whether you really <i>need</i> a new car or just <i>want</i> one. Owning your current car a year or two longer could save you thousands.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make a checklist of realistic, everyday needs before researching models that fit those criteria. Avoid buying for peak cargo, passenger, or terrain needs; instead plan on renting a vehicle for these occasions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Conduct research online and view vehicles at an auto show before entering the high-pressure setting of the showroom. Try to avoid the pitfall of using research to justify an emotional decision rather than to help make a reasoned one.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rely on trusted sources for comparative information that don't accept advertising from the car companies, such as <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm">Consumer Reports</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bring your most frugal friend or family member with you to the dealer to help you stick to your needs checklist.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Know how much a car will cost you to <i>own,</i> not just to <i>buy</i>. A car with a higher sticker price can cost you less to own over the first five years based on, among other things, its depreciation rate, repair costs, miles per gallon, and cost to insure. A good site for this data is <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/59897/article.html">Edmunds True Cost to Own</a>&trade;.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you cannot save up before buying, secure financing before going to the dealer. Understand how much you need in total (roughly two times the monthly loan payment) to own your car. Dealers know how easily payment shoppers can be convinced to buy more car once in the showroom.</li> </ol> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez. Catherine is an anthropologist at Brown University&rsquo;s Watson Institute, and Anne is a former marketer and banker. They are the authors of <i><a href="http://www.carjacked.org/">Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and its Effect on Our Lives</a> </i>(Palgrave Macmillan). Read more by Catherine and Anne:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/content/view/2427/40/">Car Wreck</a></li> <li><a href="http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/01/29/cash-for-clunkers-the-gift-that-keeps-on-taking/">Cash for Clunkers: The gift that keeps on taking</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/05/06/car_crash_the_death_of_the_american_auto/">Car crash: The death of the America auto</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/catherine-lutz-and-anne-lutz-fernandez">Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-your-new-car-send-mom-not-dad-to-the-dealer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-buying-part-2-into-the-devils-domain">Car Buying Part 2 – Into the Devil&#039;s domain.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-winter-tires">The 5 Best Winter Tires</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping auto budget car dealerships car shopping mom and dad Fri, 06 Aug 2010 12:00:07 +0000 Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez 196264 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Money Buying a New Car and Be Happy http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2211628758_f3aa8c95a3_z.jpg" alt="new car" title="new car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Though a car could be one of the most enjoyable purchases, many of us are simply fed up with the whole shopping process. It's not that we don't like picking and choosing our favorite color and options, but those sales people...arrgggghhh. In the old days, I would deliberately let the salesperson make a little bit of money by not negotiating as hard as I could because that's the only way I could buy a car and keep my sanity. With the Internet though, things changed. You can actually get the best price available anywhere and still be happy. Talk about having the cake and eating it too. Here's how...</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-game-of-haggling-how-to-get-a-great-deal-on-a-used-car">The game of Haggling: How to Get a Great Deal on a Used Car</a>.)</p> <h3>Forget Edmunds.com...</h3> <p>Edmunds.com is probably the leading website that people tend to reference in articles like these, but I'm telling you that you don't need to go there at all. Sure, the site's got a wealth of information about the car that you want to buy, invoice pricing as well as what others are paying in your area, but that's not nearly good enough. Think about it for a second. What others are paying is just the average of everyone who bought a car in your area. If the buying pool consisted of ten people with five paying invoice and five paying full sticker, the site would show a number between sticker and invoice. Now, did you get a good deal by going with that price? And don't believe that no one pays sticker either. There are tons of people who pay full retail (or close to it) on cars. Another problem with these websites is that they don't keep track of the miscellaneous fees that all car manufacturers tack on, which ultimately means that dealerships can mark them up and make money off you. Unless...</p> <h3>The Real Solution</h3> <p>Next time you buy a car and you want to get a VERY good price, all you have to do is visit the forums. Go to your favorite <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-the-best-search-engine-ever-for-new-used-cars">search engine</a> and type in your car and the word forum (or message board), and a bunch of sites where enthusiasts meet and chat will pop up in the results. Click through and start reading. You can find all the issues people are having, look at pictures of your favorite car with every option imaginable and also find out all the fees and ways dealers can rip you off. But that's not all. There's a 100% chance that you will not only find invoice pricing for your car and all the options available but the deals other people are getting as well. Quite often, you will even be able to locate a few dealers who can offer you a price that is better than 99% of the ones you can get anywhere else. Armed with this information, you basically have two options: go with the dealer if he's close enough, or print the email and just <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-your-new-car-send-mom-not-dad-to-the-dealer">go to a dealership</a> that you like and ask them to match the price. Since you already have a solid offer with the exact options you like, all the normal sales tactic like up selling shouldn't work anymore. Either they can match the price, or they cannot. Most of the time, they will go to the manager's office and just match the price you give them, and you are done.</p> <h3>This Takes Work</h3> <p>The process I just described is by no means instantaneous. After all, it takes time to read the message boards and to figure out all the fees and deals that people are getting. But I love it. I actually find that the more I read about people's passion for a car I plan to get, the more I know whether the car is right for me. The more I read, the more I actually understand the options for the car and what is best for my own circumstances, and the more I read, the more I know whether now is the right time to buy the car. No more regrets. No more &quot;Oh I wish I knew about that rim option&quot; and no more &quot;I didn't know you can get a great deal like that!&quot;</p> <h3>It REALLY Saves Me Money</h3> <p>This saves me money in three ways.</p> <ul> <li><strong>The negotiated price.</strong> If no one is getting invoice on that particular model, then there's no point to be upset about not being offered that price. While there's always someone who will get the best price, it won't be just ONE person.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>The fees.</strong> If you don't check, you will never know that the price of your car can contain system training fees, bank lease fees, and a money factor that the dealership can mark up. Since some are justified and some needs to be eliminated, how can you make an informed decision if you don't even hear about them until the very end?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Options.</strong> Like everything else, not buying it saves you the most money. Knowing other people's experiences can only help you decide whether, for example, that compass in the rear view mirror is that useful. For some, it might be a &quot;must have&quot;. For others, it might not be worth the $500 it may cost. You decide.</li> </ul> <h3>The Best Part...</h3> <p>Money aside, the best part about spending the time to research is that it builds anticipation so the car will be that much more enjoyable when you actually start being the owner of one. If you want to get the most value, a used car is still the way to go, but if you ever buy new, this is the best way.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-hire-a-broker-to-buy-a-car">Should You Hire a Broker to Buy a Car?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-buy-a-car-with-a-credit-card">Should You Buy a Car With a Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-parents-of-teen-drivers-make">6 Mistakes Parents of Teen Drivers Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-car-payments-are-too-much-what-should-i-do">My car payments are too much! What should I do?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation bargains car shopping frugal tips new car save money Wed, 07 Jul 2010 13:00:06 +0000 David Ning 166686 at http://www.wisebread.com How To Cut Car Ownership Costs http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4173667148_02075de882_z.jpg" alt="cars" title="cars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people I know are car fanatics who love the idea of owning a trendy new car. I've seen family and friends beam with pride when they show off a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">new car purchase</a>, eager to have me join them in that celebratory spin around the block.</p> <p>But whenever I find myself inhaling that new car smell as I sit in the passenger's seat, I often remind myself (secretly, of course) of what it costs to buy a new car. It is during occasions like this that I weigh the costs of a car purchase with the benefits of keeping and maintaining a vehicle over time. After all, it's always a good idea to work out ways to keep those costs low, as a vehicle usually turns out to be one of the largest expenses you'll make in your lifetime. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-cut-your-car-expenses">5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses</a>)</p> <p>So how does one go about shopping for a car?</p> <p>Financial savvy folks will recommend that you first budget for it (this YNAB review describes a great budgeting system you can try). Then shop for and find a used (1-2 year old) car that you could either pay cash for completely, or for at least a portion of the purchase price. Since new vehicles depreciate approximately 15 to 20 percent per year, that&rsquo;s a huge chunk of change that you can clip off the selling price right off the bat. That saves you an average of $3,000-4,000 that you would otherwise finance or pay for upfront for a spanking new 2010 vehicle. Is it worth it? Here are a few things to consider to keep the costs of car ownership low.</p> <h3>1. Keep your car as long as you can.</h3> <p>According to polls, most Americans plan to keep their new vehicles for approximately <a href="http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=146894">5.5 years after purchasing</a> it. This means that essentially, a new $20,000 car will cost you an amortized $3,636 per year over a span of 5.5 years if you pay for it in full upon purchase (the cost excludes maintenance and gas costs). Now if you finance the vehicle for 100% of the purchase price on a 4 year note, say at a 6% interest rate, you would pay $22,543.63 for a $20,000 vehicle. That means that it would cost you $4,099.20 per year if you finance the vehicle. That&rsquo;s actually not a huge difference when comparing a cash purchase to financing your vehicle. What actually makes the biggest financial difference? It's the price of the car you purchase and the length of time that you end up keeping it.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s use some more math to illustrate this point, albeit with a simplistic example. Suppose you decide to apply a strict budget as you bargain shop for a slightly used vehicle. You could very well acquire a new set of wheels for around $15,000, down from the $20,000 on a new car. And if you decide to hold on to it for around 8 years (an additional 2.5 years above the average length of time that households keep their vehicles) then you would be paying just $1,875 per year to own that car (again, minus the maintenance and gas costs). Not bad!</p> <p>Note that the annual cost of owning a vehicle goes down based on a car's initial purchase price and the length of time you decide to keep the car. That is, it becomes cheaper to own a car the longer you own it. It seems obvious but anyone can save money when car shopping by simply going for the more affordable option (forget upgrades). And you'll save even more by simply holding on to your car for longer.</p> <h3>2. Pay off your car loan faster.</h3> <p>Everyone knows that the greatest savings are made by avoiding any form of financing on a purchase, especially a large one. But if you can't afford a car unless you finance or get a personal loan, then keep in mind that you'll save the most by paying off your loan sooner.</p> <p>I touched on this matter earlier, but it's worth repeating: by skipping on financing, you'll save on having to pay off the interest on your loan. As an example, a $20,000 car with a 4 year loan at a 6% interest rate will require a $469.70 a month payment over a span of 4 years. The interest you'll pay here is $2,545.63 which you wouldn't need to pay if you just set aside enough in your high yield savings account to afford the vehicle in full.</p> <h3>3. Consider the maintenance costs of your vehicle.</h3> <p>Some car sites <a href="http://www.automobilemag.com/used_car_costs/index.html">have numbers</a> that will give you an idea about the financial cost of owning popular vehicles. For instance, there is a huge difference in the 5-year ownership cost between a Hyundai Elantra and a Toyota Sequoia. A $29,784 difference to be exact. That&rsquo;s a lot of money that could be invested in an online broker account or used elsewhere. How much is your vehicle worth to you? This may be an opportune time to rethink that question.</p> <h3>4. Maintain your vehicle well.</h3> <p>How do we <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-tips-to-keep-your-car-running-longer">keep our cars running well</a> and ready for the long haul? The life of your car depends on its maintenance record and general upkeep. But if you want to extend that life, it may be as simple as just treating your vehicle as though you plan to use it for 8 to 10 years. Keeping the interior and exterior clean keeps it free from rust and deterioration. Keeping the oil/oil filter, transmission fluid, tires, brake fluid, air filter, and other essentials changed in accordance with the maintenance manual ensures that the engine and key parts are in good working order. When in doubt, do these things more often than required, rather than later than required. The more you baby your vehicle, the better off you will be.</p> <p>Think about what you could buy with the financial savings you get from just keeping your vehicle an extra 3 years. Could it all add up to be the equivalent of your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-saving-for-your-childs-college-education">child&rsquo;s college education</a>? Or a more padded 401k? How about all those vacations that you&rsquo;ve always dreamed of? Or a nice home addition?</p> <p>By being a savvy car shopper and owner, you can very well free up your money to do a lot more for you!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silicon-valley-blogger">Silicon Valley Blogger</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cars-that-thieves-dont-touch-and-5-simple-anti-theft-tricks">5 Cars That Thieves Don&#039;t Touch (and 5 Simple Anti-Theft Tricks)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car maintenance car ownership car shopping Cars Sun, 04 Apr 2010 17:00:05 +0000 Silicon Valley Blogger 6178 at http://www.wisebread.com