6 car-buying mistakes to avoid

In the market for a new or used car this year? Experts reveal six rookie mistakes to avoid.

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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

99Comments
Mar 7, 2014 10:31AM
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Sir what can I do to get you into that sleek car today?
You can lower the price $2000.
Oh, I can't do that.
Then, why do you ask?
Apr 22, 2014 2:01PM
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Another idiotic article by an amateur car buyer. 
Mar 7, 2014 11:33AM
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I wish people would test drive before they buy. I find that people cannot drive the cars or SUVs they have on the road now.  If you are afraid of driving something with a powerful engine, don't buy it!  If the SUV or car is bigger than what you could handle, don't buy it!  If you find the car or SUV intimidating, don't buy it! 
Apr 22, 2014 2:31PM
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One thing I will point out after more the 40 years in auto sales is that whomever wrote t his didn't really understand negotiations.  The idea to do it over the phone in bogus.  There really is a direct relationship  between getting a good deal and being there.  When a salesperson can tell there manager they will take the vehicle right now, if we  can do what ever figure it is, that holds power.  You lose that power over the phone because we have heard that crap enough times.
Mar 9, 2014 3:57AM
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Carfax reports are unreliable. The car I had had one accident and when I had it I had two accidents and yet the carfax report only showed one accident. Then there are cars that are brought into the neighboring state and put up for sale. That's in order to do a title wash. If the used car you are looking at came in from another state then "run" don't walk away. Its certain to be a problem car that would not sell in its home state. Most people can save many thousands of dollars by not buying a new car but spending a thousand or so on what they already have. Buy four tires if you need them. Get two new front brake rotors and brake pads for the front, get two new brake drums for the rear and brake shoes and hardware kit. Then have two front brake hoses changed ,the rear brake hoses almost never need replacing. Put AMSOIL 5W-20 oil in the engine and buy a Bossch DISTANCE PLUS oil filter for $12-$13 and change it after six months but leave the AMSOIL in for a year then change it.Buy a K & N permanent air filter online and you will never need to change your air filter again. Put new spark plugs and wires in the engine. Put white LED lights in your license plate lights so it will pass inspection and buy new BEAK type wiper arms and change your upstream and downstream Oxygen sensors and buy a Actron Scan tool to check your emission sensors before you get the car inspected to nake sure it will pass. If you have not bought a battery in five years then buy one from Walmart and let them put it in for free. Then skip the monthly car payments for the next five years.
Apr 22, 2014 4:56PM
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I sell cars. Yes 14 years now. Actually am a Finance Manager now and have seen  a lot. . Are there crooks out there? Yep , in EVERYTHING . Rule 1 : Be smart, it's your money and YOUR decision .Okay,  I do recommend getting pre-approved , test driving and meeting the sales people face to face. Finance: Pre-approved at your bank or CU may or may not save you money but at-least you have something to go by for rates. Test Drive: Does it smell, smoke, rattle etc.. , Takes care of that , Hell yeah take it to your mechanic. If the dealer says no , RUN!

Negotiating:  Doing the negotiations over the phone or internet is NOT the best way to buy a car. One : you can't actually see the car completely ( Test Drive) . Two: Does it smell, rattle etc...( Test Drive again)  . Three: Look the sale person in the eye and tell them they have a set time ( be realistic) to get you YOUR deal.   Four: Is the dealership nice and friendly , would you be happy to take your car there for any work? If you don't like the dealership personnel or whatever , DON"T BUY THE CAR!. Finance: Stick to your guns. Extended Service plans ( Warranty ) is NOT required by ANY lender to buy a car but be sure you understand if the benefits offered are of value to YOU or not. Guaranteed Auto Protection ( GAP) I won't buy a car without it, Pre=paid maintenance ( Do your homework on costs of maintenance , does give you a record of things being done for any warranty issue) Other stuff? Your decision. It's a part of life . Be prepared , be firm and get on with your life.

Mar 9, 2014 3:58AM
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You can do a lot to your present car for about a thousand dollars. Then it will likely serve you for at least three years.
Apr 22, 2014 3:05PM
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America. Where everyone brags about how little they paid for their car and how much they paid for their house.

Based on the number of experts posting today, I'm surprised the poor car dealers even have a chance. Here's a clue Shadetree. The dealerships do this for a living.

Apr 22, 2014 2:23PM
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Then when you get the car, they try and beat you out of the floor mats.
Mar 7, 2014 10:28AM
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Bullet-proof windshields and windows; Kevlar and steel-reinforced door panels, and some titanium skirts for the wheel wells.  I drive through downtown Obamaville to work and back everyday.
Mar 7, 2014 2:01PM
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Carfax is only going to tell you about "reported" items. If a mechanic looks over a used car for you they are probably not going to tell you that much unless they completely dismantle the car, but it is a good idea if you don't know much about cars.
Apr 22, 2014 1:50PM
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Let's face it ,there is no such thing as a good deal . THe best possible move is to buy a 2 or three year old car with low  or average mileage  for the age of the car and don't finance it for any more then three years. PERIOD !!!!!!!!!

Apr 22, 2014 3:19PM
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For women or anyone who cannot afford a new car, don't go get a lease. Most of the time your mileage is up before you are finished paying the terms of the lease. If you go over then you have to pay extra for those miles. To keep from having to go over, you will park it and never drive it again until you pay off the lease. That is throwing you money away. For a used car have a mechanic check it out when you test drive it. The dealership salesman doesn't have to go with you, so you can do this without them knowing. It will cost you to have an independent certified mechanic to do this just make an appointment to make sure that they will be available to check out this car for you. Because you might come up on a problem with the mechanic short on time and if you are too long then the dealership will think you have stolen the car. Also something you can do yourself at the dealership is to look for tattle tale signs of water damage or salt damage on the frame (under carriage). My daddy told me to pull the driver's seat back as far as it will go. Then look under the seat to see if there are water stains. These will be brown stains. Also  look in the trunk of the vehicle. Most used dealerships will clean up the trunk, but they do not replace the carpet. The carpet there will tell you. Next you need to get on your hands and knees and look at the car's frame. do you see rust for a year that is newer than say the last five years or look for a vehicle's under carriage to have nice shiny paint. Used vehicles paint under the carriage should not be shiny.  This would tell you the vehicle was exposed to water or snow and road salt. Some cars backseat will fold down also leading to the trunk. If this vehicle you want has these type of seats, you can see if there is any water stains on the seats. Then you can always check the carpet. By pulling it up in an inconspicuous place. If the carpet underneath does not match the area at the top where there has not been much wear and tear, then someone tried to clean the water out of the carpet. Lastly, your nose knows. Does the car have a musky smell? This is another area people don't pay attention to. My friend in GA comparison shopped for a vehicle for  his wife. He bought a new vehicle in SE Alabama cheaper than he could wear he lives. So this works. Then they went and test drove several of the vehicles,
Apr 22, 2014 5:09PM
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How about finding a car salesmen that knows more about cars than you? I have never found 1 in 60 years. Very sad, they can not tell you even basic info.
Apr 22, 2014 5:06PM
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Buy a car you like, not what the gov. thinks you like.
Apr 22, 2014 6:33PM
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Let them totally screw you on the financing, and let them think they've gotten away with it. Just keep insisting on a lower purchase price and act like you don't know a thing. 
Then pay the fricking loan off the first week you have the car.
NOW who got the better deal?
Apr 22, 2014 4:57PM
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fact.  customers lie more than salespeople.  
Mar 7, 2014 12:18PM
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All of these articles, and the comments are from idtiots. Being a jerk to the salesman by insisting they drop the price even more is not a good deal. Since when is it so wrong for salesmen to make a profit (and no you don't know how much money is being made in the deal so your offer may not be making any money). If you can't afford the vehicle, look at one with fewer options, don't demand they just keep cutting the price. They are in business to make money and as long as they are fair, then why be a jerk about it? Not a single "tip" in this article makes car buying simpler. In fact, if you follow this authors advice you will end up overwhelming yourself and making it much more stressful than it has to be.
Apr 23, 2014 3:52PM
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Next time your kid needs a sponsor for his baseball team, stop over at Walmart.  All car dealers are evil until you need someone to sponsor your event, or give you a raffle prize, or make a donation, or sponsor your kids' team etc etc etc....
Apr 22, 2014 6:27PM
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I agree with redfury63: this article is crap. I've been in F&I (oh, big deal, eh), and it's amazing how many holes can be poked into this 6 bullet point piece of crap article. I wonder how much money MSN paid for this load of horse puck.
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