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Old 08-25-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
872 posts, read 1,640,530 times
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So I am interested in buying a 2013/2014 Chevrolet Sonic in the next 4-6 months. I qualify for Chevrolet's college grad program, so the car's price SHOULD BE the supplier price, plus a couple of dumb fees.

My question is...does anyone have any experience with Chevy's college grad program? Will they even honor it? The net price listed on the CG page is $17,100 after everything (MSRP around $18800). Do you think they will try to add $1000-1500 in fees to get the $1500 back?

First time car buyer, I am not, however, very naive or afraid to just get up and leave if I am getting screwed.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:09 PM
 
2,393 posts, read 4,862,876 times
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If you are financing the car there is a host of pitfalls to avoid.

Some added costs are inevitable (sales tax) and some can be padded (transfer fees).

You will probably get a strong sell on the extended warranty. If you don't want it (and you shouldn't) then be prepared to be very firm.

Read the final invoice carefully, and don't let the excitement of the moment carry you away.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
872 posts, read 1,640,530 times
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Thanks for advice. I will actually be living in Oregon at the time of purchase, so no sales tax required.

I have a good relationship with my credit union (who knows my credit scores and has given me loans in the past) and so I am 99.99% sure they will be able to finance me with an extremely low rate (~2.00-3.00%). so I can avoid those two pitfalls.

The extended warranty is a waste of money for sure? What about GAP insurance?

My mindset is this:

I have already driven the car and like it. I don't have to absolutely have one color or another and I am not buying the absolute top model. I figure I would call the dealer, let them know what I just stated and that I am ready and willing to get in and out in less than an hour if they have their sh*t together and dont try to screw me.
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:56 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,411 posts, read 50,625,851 times
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All of those discount programs are not going to add up to what you can get off the price on your own with great negotiating skills, even if you are a loyal customer that just graduated and got out of the service at the same time.

Normally those apply only to a few advertised special cars, which may already be sold before you get there, or not be equipped the way you want them. Looking at the ads for Chevy dealers in today's Sunday paper, even if you get everything off it's about $3,800 off sticker on a Sonic. On the last two cars I bought new I was able to get $6,000 and $4,500 off the sticker with no dealer prep or destination charges without any advertised discounts.

Gap insurance is valuable if you put little or nothing down. It covers the difference between bluebook and loan balance if it gets totaled, and the value takes a 10% hit the minute you drive it off the lot. If you put down 20% or more gap is probably not needed.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:06 PM
 
5,076 posts, read 7,972,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw2009 View Post
Thanks for advice. I will actually be living in Oregon at the time of purchase, so no sales tax required.

I have a good relationship with my credit union (who knows my credit scores and has given me loans in the past) and so I am 99.99% sure they will be able to finance me with an extremely low rate (~2.00-3.00%). so I can avoid those two pitfalls.

The extended warranty is a waste of money for sure? What about GAP insurance?
So you're leaving WA for good, eh?

Promotional financing through the auto manufacturer can sometimes be better than a credit union, so don't rule that out. GAP insurance is mostly useful with high LTV financing on fast depreciating vehicles. If you're putting 20%+ down, it's probably unnecessary on a economy car.

That said, GM has an awful track record with their economy cars. The sonic is supposed to be better but the previous version called the Aveo was truly one of the worst new cars I've ever driven. They held value poorly and weren't great in the reliability department either. The current version (sonic) is fairly untested, although its initial reception was better than the Aveo. Only time will tell if you need the extended warranty. The Sonic looks good on a specs/features comparison with the competition, but I wouldn't bet my own money that GM's re-branded Daewoo will hold up any better than its predecessors.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:12 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,311,941 times
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Get a rate from your CU, then tell the dealer to beat it. I've done that the last 2 cars I've bought and I've always gotten a lower rate.

Extended warranty depends on how long you want to keep the car and how expensive it could be to fix. The lifetime warranty on my Jeep is about $2100, covers everything but the body itself. More importantly, it includes the electronics, which add up quick. The head unit alone is probably 2-3K to replace on it's own. I'll buy the warranty sometime next year.

I don't do GAP, but I put plenty enough down that I'm never underwater too.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
872 posts, read 1,640,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarch View Post
So you're leaving WA for good, eh?

Promotional financing through the auto manufacturer can sometimes be better than a credit union, so don't rule that out. GAP insurance is mostly useful with high LTV financing on fast depreciating vehicles. If you're putting 20%+ down, it's probably unnecessary on a economy car.

That said, GM has an awful track record with their economy cars. The sonic is supposed to be better but the previous version called the Aveo was truly one of the worst new cars I've ever driven. They held value poorly and weren't great in the reliability department either. The current version (sonic) is fairly untested, although its initial reception was better than the Aveo. Only time will tell if you need the extended warranty. The Sonic looks good on a specs/features comparison with the competition, but I wouldn't bet my own money that GM's re-branded Daewoo will hold up any better than its predecessors.
For good? Nope. Doing a 6 month training program for managers in an office in Portland and will be back in the SEA by August 2014.

I've heard nothing but good things about the Sonic, though. My friend owns one (which I have had a chance to drive) and has had zero issues with it. It's peppy, extremely loaded (for the price and the class) and has great mpg. That part I'm not too worried about.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:39 PM
 
5,076 posts, read 7,972,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw2009 View Post
For good? Nope. Doing a 6 month training program for managers in an office in Portland and will be back in the SEA by August 2014.

I've heard nothing but good things about the Sonic, though. My friend owns one (which I have had a chance to drive) and has had zero issues with it. It's peppy, extremely loaded (for the price and the class) and has great mpg. That part I'm not too worried about.
The only way you can avoid sales tax is if you never plan to register the car outside of states that require a use tax. If you plan is to become an Oregon resident temporarily, buy the car, then move back to WA you will still have pay Washington state taxes on it. Changing your residency to delay paying $1600 in sales tax seems like a dumb move.

The oldest Sonic on the road is less than 2 years old, so there's no way to predict whether the new model is going to be reliable. Reviews of the car by objective sources have been mixed.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
872 posts, read 1,640,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarch View Post
The only way you can avoid sales tax is if you never plan to register the car outside of states that require a use tax. If you plan is to become an Oregon resident temporarily, buy the car, then move back to WA you will still have pay Washington state taxes on it. Changing your residency to delay paying $1600 in sales tax seems like a dumb move.

The oldest Sonic on the road is less than 2 years old, so there's no way to predict whether the new model is going to be reliable. Reviews of the car by objective sources have been mixed.
A dumb move, why? I will legally be required to pay Oregon income tax and possess and Oregon DL for those 6-7 months, so I don't see an issue. That would equal zero tax for WA state, as I will be an Oregon resident for 6 months prior to moving back to Seattle. I will own the car 90 days before I move back to Seattle.

...so, I just saved myself $1600?
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:50 PM
 
5,076 posts, read 7,972,897 times
Reputation: 4613
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlw2009 View Post
A dumb move, why? I will legally be required to pay Oregon income tax and possess and Oregon DL for those 6-7 months, so I don't see an issue. That would equal zero tax for WA state, as I will be an Oregon resident for 6 months prior to moving back to Seattle.

...so, I just saved myself $1600?
You're not planning on ever registering the car in WA then?
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