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Old 03-05-2010, 09:27 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,203 posts, read 9,275,921 times
Reputation: 4763

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OK....want to buy a used car.

Looking at a 2003 Grand AM, 63Kmiles, V6, clear car fax (was a rental car though).

Everything on the car is in good shape, but there is a quarter sized spot on the trunk devoid of any paint, down to the primer. I figured we can touch that up with some white car paint ourselves to keep it from rusting.

Sticker Price (at a dealership) is $6999. Blue book retail value is $6355, and blue book is clear that this should be a STARTING PRICE for negotiations, and that the selling price is always lower. NADA values it at $7K.

Blue book trade in value is under $3K.

I want to offer $5500, with tax, title and license, it will equal the KBB retail value of $6300- allowing me to drive off the lot at the retail price without being upside down. Private sale KBB Value is only $4380.

I have priced other Grand Ams in the area. The closest priced one I can find is a 2003 with 83K miles for $4995, and a 2005 Grand AM with 71K miles for $5995 that has a salvage title from flood damage (thus the low price).

I am going to negotiate with the dealer tomorrow.

What is the highest I should pay? Am I making an unreasonably low offer?
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:51 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,227,998 times
Reputation: 17979
In average shape with that mileage the dealer retial for that vehicles is about 5300. I make a offer and then walk if they don't take it' I alos be leary if its not a new car dealer but a used car dealer;as he proably got it at acution for much less. Rental car are driven hard by renters normally.If you not prepared to walk they have you.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
8,957 posts, read 17,052,982 times
Reputation: 7193
PASS on this car. It is one of those that the primer was defective causing the finish coat to never stick right. I kid you not!

Also remember that the Pontiac brand is now an orphan brand that is worth less and less as time passes.

So between being an orphan and the unfixable paint job Plus the fact that rental cars are fleet cars that often have special parts not common to the regular cars sold at dealers.

This car has three known strikes so it's......out of the game!!!
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:48 PM
 
4,101 posts, read 5,913,183 times
Reputation: 5637
I'm going to tell you a little trick I have used for years, and it works. In our area a magazine is published called Car Trader. It has photos and advertisements for cars, a section for Ford, GM, MoPar, and Foriegn cars. It lists facts about each car under it's picture, odometer reading, accessories, engine size, power options, etc., also listed is a price and phone number. I get one of these magazine and go through it looking at the kind of car I'm interested in. I might find twenty different cars in the NorthWest. I get a small spiral bound note book that will fit in my back pocket and list each car separated by a line, I make notes for each car and list the phone number but not where it is located. I also list the price and put an X or any comments by any car I'm interested in. I make the little notebook look well used. Now it is time to visit a car lot. Look at the car you have been looking at for the last few day after work when the lot is closed. When the salesman walks up, pull your little notebook out of your back pocket and begin to write down facts about the car as he aswers your questions. He will see you have looked at quite a few cars before visiting his lot. If you really like the car you are looking at on his lot you might want to take it for a drive. Find as many problems with his car as you can, if you see none, don't ever tell him what a great car it is. If you take your wife with you make sure she will not say anything to screw up the sale, unless she hates the car. Don't find anything good about the car or the price. Tell the salesman that you want to buy a car today that after looking for weeks you are tired of looking. Make a halfway reasonable offer, below what they are asking. Let him think about your offer for a while. Haggle a bit with him, then say "OK, I'm going to make you a one time offer, and if you don't accept it, it won't hurt my feelings, and I want you to know I'm not trying to hurt your feelings either, but you should know if you go to the boss and come back with a counter offer, I'm leaving", tell your wife to go get in the car that you are about ready to leave. If he comes back with a counter offer, give him a dirty look, turn around and walk toward your car. Keep your mouth shut, get in your car and start leaving. At this point you have either bought the car, because he will stop you, or you'll have to leave and come back the next day. I've had salesman chase me out into the road as I was driving away. Practice this a bit before you go to the car lot if talking like this isn't you. Don't back down. Sometimes you'll be leaving the car lot without a car, but you would be surprised how many times this little trick with the notebook works.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:49 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,203 posts, read 9,275,921 times
Reputation: 4763
Thanks for all of the advice. I have looked at about 50 cars. I have a very strict low budget- I don't want a car payment. I will be buying a new car in two or three years. I don't need it to last forever.

Beggars can't be choosers.

All of the cars I have looked at in the price range have issues. Either they are squeaking as you drive them down the road, have unclear car reports (salvages, bent frames, ect), or are high mileage. I've seen some with nearly 200K miles on them.

It is so hard trying to figure out what matters most when looking at cars in the low budget arena.

I am willing to walk away from the car. I totaled my car last week, and insurance is keeping me in a rental until mid next week. I have time. However, I don't want to walk away and end up in a car I like even less, or with bigger problems then a paint chip.

I wish cars just had fixed prices and things were more clear cut. LOL.

So everyone agrees I shouldn't pay over $5500 for it definitely??

I know some of you think I should walk away, but can I expect to find something that is a lot better for that price?

Thanks for the advice!
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:52 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,203 posts, read 9,275,921 times
Reputation: 4763
BTW, my last car was a rental Alero when I bought it. I drove it for over 110K miles and it was 7 years old. It was going strong when I wrecked it. Alero's and Grand Ams are practically the same car, and I think I'm gravitating toward it because I LOVED my Alero and the Grand Am feels like home. But, I don't want to make an emotional buy.

If it lasts to 110K miles, I'll be good.

The Grand Am would cost $1000 more than I got from the insurance for the Alero. It would be like paying $1000 to get my odometer rolled back 40K miles.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:48 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,203 posts, read 9,275,921 times
Reputation: 4763
OK. I passed on the car. The dealer wouldn't go below $6700 and then add TTL to that. Nope. They told us they did a lot of maintenance and then told us it had to have gaskets repaired (which they did already) ect....signs it probably means it wasn't maintained very well.

Back to square one!
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,751,603 times
Reputation: 35904
Determine a realistic, fair price. Write down two numbers on a piece of paper: The price you are willing to pay, and your phone numbers. Hand the paper to the seller and say "If you decide to sell the car for this price, phone me at this number." Walk away, and wait for your phone to ring.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Indiana
1,306 posts, read 2,578,697 times
Reputation: 888
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
OK. I passed on the car. The dealer wouldn't go below $6700 and then add TTL to that. Nope. They told us they did a lot of maintenance and then told us it had to have gaskets repaired (which they did already) ect....signs it probably means it wasn't maintained very well.

Back to square one!
Don't feel too bad, it was a rental after all.

lol, Rentals usually don't have the most gentle lives.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,715 posts, read 22,391,248 times
Reputation: 5137
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadro77 View Post
Don't feel too bad, it was a rental after all.

lol, Rentals usually don't have the most gentle lives.
yeah I think it worked out good for the OP rentals tend to have the bees wax beat out of them and are not well looked after by the rental company.
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