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[icon] Which car should I buy? - Patti
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Subject:Which car should I buy?
Time:11:34 am
It's about time for me to buy another car and drive it until the wheels fall off. For reasons that aren't really worth going into, I'm getting a PT Cruiser convertible. I have two candidate cars in mind, both 2005 models.

(The Purple One) A Touring (mid-level) model, turbo-lite (a little sluggish, uses regular fuel). It's not terribly feature-laden, but it's in great shape and it only has 22K miles on it. The asking price is $11K. Here's a link to the car.

(The Silver One) A GT (top-level) model, full-on turbo (requires premium fuel), much peppier. It's pretty decked out-- leather, heated seats, nav system (which I'd probably wind up ripping out), ABS, etc. It has 60K miles, and is still in good shape but has more wear & tear, minor dings, etc. It's silver with a dark interior, which I'm not wild about. They were asking over $11K when I first saw it a couple of months ago. When I test drove it yesterday they were asking $8888. Today it's reduced to $7995. I think this link will work. If not, go to www.downtowntoyta.com, click on specials under pre-owned, and you'll find it.

Obviously, they're highly motivated to sell the silver one. However, the Carfax report on the purple one suggests that it's been on the lot for a couple of months, and they may also be fairly eager to get rid of it. It's winter, and what moron buys a convertible in the winter?

Having only 22K miles is a huge selling point, since I plan to keep it for a long time, low mileage seems like a huge win. Plus, it's purple, yo. Truthfully, I'd be happy driving either one. Edit: Of slight note is that I drove the purple one in pouring rain, and the top did not leak. It did piss on me when the door was open, but I'm used to that.

I think my strategy is going to be this: negotiate aggressively for the purple one. If I succeed, I'm happy. If not, I buy the silver one and I'm also happy.

Thoughts?
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ronsrants
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 07:44 pm (UTC)
Give into the light side and get a prius instead.

-R
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 07:49 pm (UTC)
That's not an option.

- It's not a convertible
- It doesn't have a trunk
- I won't buy a new car
- I don't want a used Prius
- I'm already too close to Berkeley

Seriously, a hatchback is completely unacceptable to me because of where I live and park.
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prock
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 07:48 pm (UTC)
The purple one. The purple one. The purple one.

Or a more reliable car.

But...

The purple one.
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dd_b
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 07:48 pm (UTC)
I think ABS is worth quite a lot, but that may be mostly because of this strange local custom we have called "winter".

A 40K difference in mileage is fairly small in the life of a modern automobile. Wait, only 22k miles on a 6-year-old car? That's notably low, definitely.

Paying the extra $0.10 per gallon over the life of the car won't add up to that much money, or even that much difference in any one fill.

I suppose this means the wheels fell off the old car? Glad you're okay! :-)
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 07:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, 22K is notably low. 60K is still low. I figure an extra $.20/gallon is going to be on the order of ten bucks per month.
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allannah
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 08:37 pm (UTC)
Personally I like having the peppy engine. I hate not having the engine power when I need it.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but you're a maniac. I'm a sedate, mature adult.
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clutch_c
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 08:47 pm (UTC)
This is a great choice if you like the car and plan to keep it a long time.

You can get good deals on these things because no one wants them. If resale is an issue, though, not the car to buy.
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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:09 pm (UTC)
I expect that either car will be worth $1000-1500 when I sell it.
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violet_tigress1
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 08:56 pm (UTC)
You know my weakness for purple. I'd go for purple.
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x_mass
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:01 pm (UTC)
I know someone who bought the 'limited edition' one in the UK about 10 years ago. that wasn't a convertible. She love it. I'm surprised it needs premium gas but I don't know US cars, I believe they are based on a nova? floorplan, what are they like for longevity?

My inclination would be to go for the higher mileage car since if its a modern petrol engine its functional service life will be 159K+ at least. Also the longer you keep it, the less the mileage matters to buyers since its only one aspect of the depreciation. So i would go for the already depreciating one: from the people who would probably can be bargained with to just to get any money for it and get it off their lot so they can buy a car that they can sell.

personally i buy diesels (being in the UK) and I don't look at a car unless its done a 100K, for a diesel that's nicely run in. My station wagon is 15 years old, has about another 2-3 years in it before carbon emissions legislation makes it undrivable (banned from cities, its already banned in lots of continetal cities as its not Euro 3 or better) and it's done 230K!

besides which you live in comparability southern climes, so you don't have to deal with the effect of northern climate destroying your bodywork with salt (from the roads) and water

Please note - this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it!

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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:09 pm (UTC)
Given my driving habits, the diference between 22K miles and 60K miles is three years of longevity, all other things being equal. They aren't, of course, since age plays into the equation as well as mileage, but two years of longevity is a significant difference.
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bellaballanda
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:02 pm (UTC)
I have a thing for more pep in the engine... but if that's not a thing for you.... PURPLE!!!!
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njchick
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:17 pm (UTC)
No thoughts about leasing a convertible? I had my Toyota Solara for almost 3 years after turning 40 and I was sad to trade in, but happy to go back to an SUV. Not sure I would have wanted to keep going that route because of the horrible winters in NJ. I also looked at the Audi, BMW and Volkswagen (and the Mercedes CLK wishlist) but the leases sucked.

I don't remember if you had one before. They are great fun and enjoyed mine immensely. PT Cruiser Convertibles are awesome and I actually did a tour of Stowe, VT and all the backroads in 2002 and they ride great.


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whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:28 pm (UTC)
My car-buying model is to buy something that's 5-7 years old, and drive it until the wheels fall off. Leasing is precisely the opposite of that model.

I have a Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible now. I want to keep having a convertible, but I also want to be able to haul around fairly large photographic prints. The PT Cruiser convertible is pretty much the perfect car in this respect-- it has significant trunk space plus the rear seats fold down. It drives like a truck, but I'm kind of OK with that.

My idea of a rough winter is, "Hey, it's raining... hard!"
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ts4z
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:55 pm (UTC)
Turbos are fun, but they stress the whole drivetrain. My wife's Beetle has the factory turbo option, and while the car is pretty nice to drive, as it got old the turbo has caused extra pain to an already mildly unreliable car. At 75K miles or so, they had to put a new transmission in. 18 months ago, well over 100K miles, my wife complained the car had lost pep. 6 months ago the check engine light came on and we learned the turbo hose had a hole. That's fine, but it would have been nice to know that sooner; then again, what kind of self-respecting mechanic doesn't suggest replacing the hoses every 120K miles or so? Maybe our problem is our dealer.

TLDR: I like your strategy.
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crayonbeam
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-08 09:59 pm (UTC)
Either get the purple one at a price you like or wait for a third option.

If you end up with the silver one, put some stickers on it or something.
(Reply) (Thread)

(Deleted comment)

whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-09 01:24 am (UTC)
I like that car, but it's not purple.

They're both turbo. It's just that one is highly-tuned and the other one isn't. The detail that I left out is this-- apparently it's possible to upgrade the turbo-lite to the fully-tuned turbo for a few hundred bucks.
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andrewhime
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-09 03:32 am (UTC)
Don't buy an American car.
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whitebird
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-09 04:22 am (UTC)
It's sounding like you will be happier with the purple one, and the milage difference is fairly significant. As the silver one is going down so much in price, that leads me to believe or assume that it has more problems.

On the other hand, the only time I've ever been on a drag strip was in the high end turbo PT cruiser the year they were introduced (this was at the yearly PT Cruiser event in Los Angeles, PT Cruisers have a really active drivers community) It was reasonably impressive, and made rather good time. (Then again, I also test-drove a Pacifica, and the Chrysler representative I was with said, "dang, you' drive this thing better than most people were driving the Crossfire this morning..." (curvy course laid out in cones.) So my driving style might not match yours. ;) )

But, I'd still say the purple one is the likelier choice for you.
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jcdill
Subject:negotiate in the rain
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-09 09:10 am (UTC)
It's supposed to rain hard later this week - the current forecast shows it coming in on Friday. Car lots are dead zones when it rains, and negotiating for a convertible in the rain should give you the best odds.

If you can wait another 2 months, you can really negotiate a great bargain on 12/31.

I like your strategy to negotiate on the purple one and if you don't get what you want, then take the silver. But I'd start the other way around. Negotiate on the silver first. Then hem and haw and ask about the purple one. They will think you really want the silver and be more motivated to lower the price on the purple because they think they are losing the sale since you didn't bite on their best offer on the one you really liked most.

Another sales tactic is to go to the fleet manager at another dealership, and ask them if they can trade for the vehicle you want, telling them what you want to pay for it. I don't know how well this works for used cars but it works great for new cars. Bought my Durango for ~$2000 UNDER the "invoice" (which means ~$1000 over their real cost for the vehicle) this way.
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whipartist
Subject:Re: negotiate in the rain
Link:(Link)
Time:2011-11-09 09:22 am (UTC)
Thanks. Waiting was a non-option for a variety of reasons. I wanted to get this done this week. The two vehicles were at two totally different dealers, one in Oakland one in Davis.

I basically told the sales manager, "Look, I'm buying one of these two cars in the next 24 hours. The silver car is a screaming deal, but I like yours more. I don't like it enough to pay three thousand dollars more, though. What can you do?" His bid and my bid were about $700 apart, and we basically met in the middle.
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[icon] Which car should I buy? - Patti
View:Recent Entries.
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