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    Buying a compact car

    Fingers crossed that in October we will be set for my husband to buy a car. We will have a decent down payment. He wants a compact car since he does not drive a lot. He really doesn't like to drive. Looking online at the dealerships there are not many compact cars of any brand and when there are they sell immediately. I have even seen a used compact car selling for more than the brand new one at the same dealership. Maybe it had more options I didn't read all the details. The new one sold and then 2 days later the used one sold, and both were sold within a week of being advertised.

    I am not comfortable buying from a private person since my husband and I know nothing about vehicles, and we don't have any friends or family that can help.

    When we have the money for the down payment I will check daily to see what cars are available so we can move on it quickly.

    My question really is about Carvana because they have several cars. I guess Carvana is legit and I see where they service their cars prior to selling. They are in the old Sears Auto not far from where I work. They have a 7 day return period so you could get the car checked out and return it if there's something terribly wrong. I don't feel like Carvana would be my first choice, but it might be the only choice unless we just keep watching and waiting. I read that Carvana is generally higher than dealerships and the price is fixed.

    A question about financing as well. We usually go to the dealership and they find the loan. Our credit is post BK so we have to watch for that. The Hyundai dealership was good with our active BK financing, but they really don't have any compact cars I have only seen one there and it had near 100,000 miles and sold quickly . It was not a Hyundai brand, they sell new Hyundai and miscellaneous used cars.

    This might sound weird, but another reason we are going for the compact car is because I want to get a smaller SUV in the future and one smaller and one larger car will fit the width of our driveway so we don't have to move two cars if one of us wants to leave or move cars the night before based on our plans for the next day.

    We want to get a new car with fairly low mileage.
    I am not an expert. I just share my experiences in the Wonderful Wacky World of Chapter 13! Filed 3-30-18 Confirmed 7-11-18 Discharged 6-8-22

    #2
    My son, very much a car guy like his old man, only more so, recently took a gig as a car sales associate at a local Toyota dealership (ironically the very day the Toyota dealership I have a deposit on for a new Tacoma told me they got an allocation for me), and has some interesting perspectives from both his dealership and from Toyota corporate. Basically the current market/availability for new cars, the lack of which has driven up the price of used cars, is gradually easing; this time next year the gravy train dealerships have been on will be over. In your case I'd either recommend waiting until next spring for a new car or, shop around for a dealership now which will sell to you at MSRP for build-to-order vehicle which can take months; case in point, my dealership sells at MSRP for ordered vehicles, I put my deposit down in February, the vehicle matching my request will be built within the next week or two, and delivered in November.

    In the current market, unless you wanted something of "unicorn" status, say a 3-Series BMW with a manual transmission (which was last built in 2018), then there is no way I would recommend looking at a used vehicle. In today's market, if I was looking for a new compact car my short list for an economical, reliable, and fun to drive car would start with (in no particular order):
    • Mazda3
    • Toyota Corolla
    • Toyota Camry
    What is interesting about the above list is I have been very much a Honda guy for a long time, however, their recent line up of cars consists of ones powered by small turbocharged engines with "direct injection" (i.e. fuel injectors which inject fuel directly into the combustion chamber instead of into the intake ports), and they have had some challenges with oil dilution (basically you change your oil, and then check it 2,000 miles later and the oil level goes up due to all of the gasoline mixed with the oil); oil dilution is very-very bad for engine longevity.
    Latent car nut.

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      #3
      No Toyota dealer in my area will sell any new Toyota to you at MSRP except for one. The other ones will say yes to MSRP on the phone and tell you a different story when you get there. You will pay an adverse market fee or they will strong arm you into buying paint protection, etc. you should not purchase from the dealership including build-to-order. You're welcome to walk away because somebody else will buy at MSRP+. The one dealership that does sell at MSRP has a 3-year waiting list and that waiting list is closed. I'm a big fan of Toyotas because the have the best 5-year chapter 13 survival vehicles. What I said above only applies to Toyota. You might have much better luck if you go to Chrysler/Dodge, etc. but now you are gambling on something that's probably a lot less reliable than a Toyota or Honda.

      As far as Carvana, just say no. There are a lot of issues with that company. Go to Carmax or anywhere else instead. You should almost always purchase a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) with any used car from a mechanic not related to the seller.

      As far as financing, go to Penfed. They are extremely BK friendly. If you have access to Navy Fed, they will play ball after discharge.

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        #4
        Originally posted by flashoflight View Post
        No Toyota dealer in my area will sell any new Toyota to you at MSRP except for one. The other ones will say yes to MSRP on the phone and tell you a different story when you get there. You will pay an adverse market fee or they will strong arm you into buying paint protection, etc. you should not purchase from the dealership including build-to-order. You're welcome to walk away because somebody else will buy at MSRP+. The one dealership that does sell at MSRP has a 3-year waiting list and that waiting list is closed. I'm a big fan of Toyotas because the have the best 5-year chapter 13 survival vehicles. What I said above only applies to Toyota. You might have much better luck if you go to Chrysler/Dodge, etc. but now you are gambling on something that's probably a lot less reliable than a Toyota or Honda.

        As far as Carvana, just say no. There are a lot of issues with that company. Go to Carmax or anywhere else instead. You should almost always purchase a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) with any used car from a mechanic not related to the seller.

        As far as financing, go to Penfed. They are extremely BK friendly. If you have access to Navy Fed, they will play ball after discharge.
        My local Toyota dealership sells at MSRP for all vehicles, that said, given literally every vehicle they have in inventory is already spoken for, by definition, you need to put a deposit down for a specific vehicle and wait for an allocation. The funny thing is, the dealership I am buying my Tacoma through is ~20 miles north of me, there is another Toyota dealership 5 miles west of me and two more 20 miles away (both south and east); the dealerships east and west of me charge a market adjustment, the dealerships north and south do not. Go figure.
        Latent car nut.

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          #5
          Well, I think waiting in our case was a moot point. The condition of both cars (i.e. the 2005 Senta was almost unsafe and undrivable { no AC/heater fan, no defroster capability , an un adjustable driver's seat, no working radio/CD speakers , a sickening interior stink and exterior rust, etc.} and the possibly unreliable 2013 Sentra forced into a 2 + daily commute in some of the worst US traffic gridlock with " exploding" parts (i.e. the driver's door handle alone breaking apart as we were trading the car into the dealership, LOL!) and a weird grinding, popping sound when the car was in motion -sometimes!) gave us no time to just chill and look for a more reasonable used car market, nor the desire to waste any more money patching up these cars to just get by after spending around 15K since 2017 (the BK13 start time) to keep them on the road.
          Again, like most of the woes we have so far encountered in Washington , the root lies squarely as a natural result of the recently discharged and closed BK13 : taking on an ill-advised rental too far for a comfortable daily commute solely because our credit was almost non-existent and there was too much competition from better-funded and more credit -worthy peer adversaries (c. April 2022) and having at least one vehicle well past their trading life (you have to know that your rickety car belongs in the junkyard when the junk dealer and the salesman themselves speak of it in the past tense as, "This car had a long life" or it "served you well", LOL!)
          Driving a car until the wheels fall off may sound good in theory, but it's not a prospect I recommend in practice, per my experience.
          Last edited by Barbisi; 09-01-2022, 11:59 AM.

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            #6
            Too funny, my 16 year old car with over 180,000 miles on it is still very attractive, very comfortable and fun to drive, and very reliable. Were it not for the fact my new car will be here in another few months, I could easily keep it until it had well past 300,000 miles on it and the wheels would still be intact.
            Latent car nut.

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              #7
              Well, I think it would be funny only until we survived a deadly accident - we wouldn't be laughing then, LOL!
              I just don't think we wanted to take that chance. Like the old country song,"The Gambler says , we have learned "when to fold them and walk away" (or in our case drive away, LOL!)
              Another BK13 lesson, even it costs you more money (i.e. breaking the rental lease), get out of a bad situation and into a better one as soon as possible - before you get laid off for example, and can't find another job for a long, long stretch and end up exhausting your savings and then you can't even pay the rent on the house you shouldn't have moved into in the first place.
              We came here for a new life, not a BK13 redo.

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