buyingHow I Was Scammed When I Bought My First Car
Why Do Car Listing Websites Let Dealers Post Deceptive Prices?
As Jalopnik’s resident car buying expert and professional car shopper, I get emails. Lots of emails. I’ve decided to pick a few questions and try to help out. This week we’re talking about deceptive online pricing, finding a cheap car for a young driver, and also: What happens when you buy a car but it was sold to someone else? First up, why do the major listing sites allow dealers to advertise prices that aren’t legit? “I’ve come across a new thing in shady dealer prices for used cars. They advertise one price on the listing but then in the description it says “*The Internet Price is reflective after $1,995 down.
Do you remember the excitement you had when ? When I got mine, I remember feeling like I was “#adulting” and finally getting to a place where I was becoming independent.
Because I was 16 with or legal ability to purchase a car, my mom agreed to sign for the car. I would make the monthly car and insurance payments. (Side note: I would caution people from pursuing this route. It’s very financially risky.)
Related Video: 5 Tips You Need to Know When Buying a Car
Is The Imperial Crown Convertible The Greatest Luxury Car Of 1966?
A 1966 Imperial Crown by Chrysler joins Hoovies Garage as an alternative to the costly Lincolns of the era The 1960s were a golden age for American luxury cars. Nothing said success like a huge opulent vehicle in your driveway, and it’s this demand for ever more prestigious models that resulted in some very special cars. The Imperial Crown Convertible by Chrysler is one such car, however, it has almost been forgotten. Today, Lincoln and Cadillac’s flagship models are true collectors items that command top dollar prices, however, that’s not the case for Chrysler’s Imperial Crown.
Together, my mom and I shopped around, looked through newspaper and Craigslist ads and came across a super cute white Pontiac Sunfire convertible with graphics on the side. The was two hours away from where we lived.
When we got there, my mom test drove the car, inspected it to the best of her ability and reported back to me that it seemed like a pretty good deal. Based on the loan options, I would be responsible for $120 a month for the car payment and $120 per month for . We went home to think it over.
After some time had passed, we decided to go for it and reached out to the car dealership. However, they reported that because the car didn’t sell on their lot, it was going to auction. Bummer, right? But they then told us that if we met the car transporter in our city, we could take it home before it went to auction and we sent in our financing paperwork for processing at the dealership.
The Very Last Saab Is Heading To Auction
This 2013 Saab 9-3 Aero was the last to be built at the Trollhattän factory in Sweden. The death of the Swedish Saab marque wasn’t particularly dignified. When General Motors grew tired of the brand it was sold, only to go bankrupt in quick succession, then bought by another company, and now faces a curious future as a Chinese electric car that’s not allowed to use the Saab logo. For true Saab fans it was a heartbreaking struggle that in some ways still doesn’t have a definitive closing chapter. Or does it? This Saab 9-3 is technically the last new Saab ever made.
That’s when mistakes were made.
It Happens to Everyone:
The car had an odd knocking noise. We were told the noise was “normal” and attributed it to the overhead cam. We trusted the dealership when they reminded us of their 20-point inspection and on-site mechanic who approved cars before they were sold.
One month later, however, my cute convertible was sitting in my driveway with a completely useless engine. The knocking sound we had heard turned out to be an engine rod and resulted in a car that wouldn’t even start. Now, the engine to the tune of $2,500.
This meant I had to make payments of $240 per month on a car that didn’t even run, while I also tried to save up money for a new engine. It soon became obvious: I had been scammed.
More on Buying a Vehicle:
Turns out, I’m not alone. After sharing my story, I began finding that getting scammed on a car is certainly not unheard of. I wanted to help others who might be considering buying a car and who could face the same situation I did. So, here are three tips to help you avoid making monthly payments on a car that doesn’t even run.
Mazda RX-4 And Broncos Unearthed In Barn Find
It’s amazing what can be unearthed in tiny North Pole, Alaska. Barn Find Hunter is a fascinating show to watch, especially when Tom Cotter unearths a trove of rare cars which have essentially been all but forgotten. This certainly is true in this episode of the show, where a Mazda RX-4 and some pretty cool Broncos are discovered in America’s last frontier, Alaska. Tom makes friends with Robbie, who says he’s been collecting old cars and restoring them since he was young.
Have a Reliable Third-Party Mechanic Inspect the Car
Had I taken the car to a mechanic for inspection, they would have immediately known the engine noises were a big red flag. The $200 I would have spent on a mechanic would have saved me $2,500 and the inconvenience of trying to get around without a car.
A third-party mechanic is important. Yes, dealerships have their own mechanics on site, but you shouldn’t always trust that. They’re looking out for the dealership, not necessarily for you.
Look Closely at the CarFax or AutoCheck Reports
Each vehicle has a VIN (vehicle identification number). Think of the VIN like a car’s social security number. Any accidents, theft or damage from floods, fires or hail will likely show up on the car’s , as long as it was reported to an insurance company. Sometimes, regular maintenance on the car will also show up on these reports.
When I purchased my car, I wasn’t aware of options like CarFax or AutoCheck. Each report you pull on a car costs between $25-$40 but can save you plenty of pain and suffering. Just make sure you are set on that car before pulling the report because $40 for every car you want to check adds up quickly.
Video: Granddad Sold Ferrari 250 GTO For $9,500, Now It’s $70M
A man tells the story of his grandfather’s Ferrari 250 GTO. The Ferrari 250 GTO needs little to no introduction to most car enthusiasts. There are entire books written about the GTO and its racing achievements. Today, it is not unusual to see these vehicles with eight-figure asking prices. That just goes to show how much the value of a Ferrari 250 GTO has skyrocketed. Nevertheless, there is still some uncertainty about how many GTOs were actually built. The number falls between 36 and 39, depending on if you count the four-liter versions.
Be Careful About Deals That Seem Too Good to Be True
You know that old saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? I find this to be especially true when buying cars. Websites like let you put the car’s information into their calculator and learn what the market value range for the car is. If a car’s selling price is thousands of dollars below the market value, it probably has something wrong with it.
This is not only helpful for research purposes, but it’s also very helpful for negotiating. If a car is listed for $5,000 over the Blue Book value, you can use that as leverage to negotiate a better sales price.
Also, try to be aware of environmental factors that affect the number of cars on the market. After the Houston flooding, for instance, we experienced a huge influx of almost-new cars being resold as salvaged titles or posed as brand-new cars that were severely damaged by the flooding. These cars were steeply discounted, but if you don’t do your homework, you can be stuck with a car that doesn’t function properly.
These were the tips I wish I had known when I purchased my first car. If you are in the market for a new-to-you car, use these to help you get a great deal and not to get scammed as I did.
Watch BMW Restore Elvis Presley’s BMW 507
After changing hands in America for years, the King of Rock’s prized Bimmer goes home to Germany. © Motorious Watch BMW Restore Elvis Presley’s BMW 507 People are always fascinated with cars celebrities drive. The King of Rock, Mr. Elvis Presley might have been famous for driving and giving away Cadillacs, but at one point he owned a 1957 BMW 507. It’s a rare car with only 254 made and so is worth quite a bit, but the fact this one was owned by Elvis makes it all the more valuable.
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