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AAY – Car Buying Part 2: The Financial Buggaloo January 19, 2013

Posted by Mitchell in Yorling.
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After much punching and crunching of numbers I’ve got my general total cost ballpark range. Happily this range extends to brand new 2012 or 2013 model RAV 4. And not the base unit mind you, but the upper end Limited edition. Sweet. This also extends to late model used luxury brand cars. Like…oh I don’t know…a Mercedes-Benz perhaps? “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? All my friends drive Porches and I must make amends.” MB makes a very RAV4-ish small to midsize SUVs such as the GLK-350 which is exactly what my Mom’s car is. They’re very nice. Or even the M-Class which is even nicer. Some searching shows that yep, there are some around with 40-50 K miles in my price range. Welllll now. Isn’t that interesting?

First things first – financing. Money is cheap right now so this is actually a good time to finance a car anyway. I dropped by my bank and set in motion the pre-approval process. I have a good job, pay my bills on time so I have a great credit rating. I easily qualify for the lowest rate of 2.99 % on $25,000 loan. Time to find me a car.

I will admit, I do not have a lot of experience buying cars. In my life I’ve owned: Chevy Citation II, Ford Probe, Buick Regal (less than a month with this one – stolen), Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and my current RAV 4. I rode a motorcycle for a few months somewhere in there. I’ve owned more bicycles than cars (most of which got stolen). Two of these cars were private purchases, so not a lot of dealer haggling. This is also the first time I’ve even considered going with brand new. Yeah, yeah I know – IT DROPS $10,000 THE INSTANT YOU DRIVE OFF THE LOT!!!! ELEVENTY” or whatever it is. I eat the big depreciation crap sandwich going new, but…I get to be the one to put the important first few thousand miles on it and reap the low maintenance costs later on. I get to be the one who puts the weird smells into the car by knocking over the bong and getting stinky bong water into the upholstery. And so on.

But now we have the glorious INTERNET. The great All Thing that is the repository of all human knowledge. Well, a hefty chunk of it anyway. Surely there must be a site out there to help a fellow figure out what the scoop is on this car buying process isn’t there? Why yes – yes there is. Check it out: carbuyingtips.com. There’s a LOT of information there and the dude keeps it updated too. I start reading, and then I start putting together The Folder.