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Looking 5 Years Back – Yeah, I Got a New Car

About 5 years ago, I posted that I most likely wouldn’t replace my crappy car, the 2005 Chevy Aveo, even if I made $20,000 more a year at the time.  I hated car payments more than I hated that car. Looking at it now, I started making $20,000 or more a year in 2011 and 2012.  I sold the Aveo for $3400 (click that link for my post on selling your car on Craigslist) about 3 1/2 years after that post (early 2014) and bought my much-loved Honda Fit. Why I Got a New-to-Me Car I ended up moving on because my mechanic let me know I was about a year away from needing a lot of major work done or my Aveo would just stop working.  Apparently the engine was simply giving out.  I asked his personal opinion on what he’d do since he had been my mechanic for the whole 9 years I had that car.  He said he would honestly start shopping for a Toyota, Honda, or Hyundai and sell the Aveo while it still had some solid life left. When I let him know that I bought a new Honda Fit, he congratulated me and said he’d see … Read more…

Car Dealership Lessons I Learned from My Last Job

This lady used to work at a car dealership and shares her insider tips! These 3 rules to follow when you're shopping for a new car or even researching for a car are going to save me a ton of money. No getting swindled by a used car salesman for me!

I spent 6 years of my early twenties, 2005-2011, working as a forms programmer for a car dealership software company.  I got to see hundreds if not thousands of car deals from the inside, so I was able to see exactly how much people were generally over-spending. Car Dealership Lessons Learned Rule #1 – Do your research before even looking at cars to buy. It’s absolutely stupid to start a deal without knowing what to expect. It gives the upper hand to the other person right off the bat. You should narrow down what cars you are interested in, research the comparable prices of those cars as new and as used, and determine your drive-out price ceiling before you ever go on a test drive. Rule #2 – Everything is negotiable. Everything. This includes the actual price of the car, the price of the upgrades, the price of the add-ons, the price of the extended warranty, and the finance rates. If it’s a cost of buying a car, it’s negotiable.  You can ask about each part individually with the finance manager when you are doing the paper work…point to a thing like “interest rate” and ask how they can do better. Or … Read more…

Filled Up My Gas Tank for $17.06

Wowza at the price of gasoline lately!  I procrastinated on filling up my Honda Fit this last time…the little warning light actually came on.  I pulled into the gas station near our home (Houston, TX), filled my baby all the way up, and the grand total was $17.06!  I am seeing prices like $1.69 a gallon flashing on several signs now.  I honestly never thought I’d see prices like this again! What Does This Mean For Us? My hubby and I drive for some of our hobbies like board gaming and for both of our side hustles – reffing and pet sitting.  So low gas prices means more money in our bank account.  No real negative for us. But we do know people in the oil industry.  Layoffs are happening right now, so there is general worry about job loss.  I am guessing that the prices will only stay this low for 6-9 months, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that the people I know will be able to wait it out.  At the same time, I cringe to think about spending $3.50 per gallon again.  It’s a odd feeling to be happy and empathetic at the same time. What Does … Read more…

Yeah, I Buy New Cars…

I saw this “buy used cars” post at Narrow Bridge, and for some reason, I had a “nuh-uh” child-like moment.  I ended up leaving a super long comment that I thought should be shared here too.  To give some context, the post in question was really well written and named off 5 reasons people use to justify buying new cars. 1.  Safety 2.  Gas mileage 3.  I’ll drive it forever 4.  Reliability 5.  Cheap payments It then pointed out why each one of those reasons is a bad idea in the long run most of the time.  Well…I apparently wanted to write a really long comment on why I buy new anyway, hahaha. I Buy New I bought a new car after college and another one this year. For reasons 3, 4, and 5. Before I bought my new Chevy Aveo in 2005, I was used to driving a 1998 Mazda Protégé that my parents “gifted” me. It was AWFUL – would stall out frequently at stop signs and lights even though it was an automatic, leaked a quart of oil per week, and didn’t have an air conditioner (we live in Houston, TX). My parents got it from the bank for $1200. I … Read more…

Sold My 2005 Chevy Aveo – How to Sell a Car

I bought my new Honda Fit last week, so the next step was to sell my 2005 Chevy Aveo.  The estimates I could find from dealerships were just around $2000, but my online research showed that I could get $3000-$4000 pretty easily.  I sold the last car we replaced, a 2003 Hyundai Sonata, on Craigslist in 2008 for double the dealer’s offer, so I decided to try again.  Here is how I sold my car in less than 72 hours. 1.  Gather the Documentation The first thing I did was to make sure that I had my car’s title ready to go.  If you can’t locate your title, order a copy as soon as you can.  In Texas, you can go to http://txdmv.gov/motorists/buying-or-selling-a-vehicle/get-a-copy-of-your-title to get the form to print, fill out, and mail in with a $2 check.  You can do a quick search of your state’s DMV site or a search engine to find your exact process. I also found our online DMV site and printed out a Texas Certificate of Title (Form 130-U) and a Bill of Sale.  I also ended up submitting the Motor Vehicle Transfer Notification form online.  That informs the DMV that I no longer own the car, so I shouldn’t … Read more…

My Honda Fit – How We Bought a Car

I posted Monday about targeting a new car since it is just time to move on from my 2005 Chevy Aveo.  Well, I was offered a deal that I didn’t want to pass up!  Here is my new 2013 Honda Fit!!! I should probably explain here that there was no “2014 Honda Fit”.  They are skipping directly from the 2013 model to the 2015 model that will be out in a couple of months.  So a 2013 Honda Fit is as new as it gets and this one had 58 miles on it and was built in December 2013. Buying a Car I’ve been researching cars since last Wednesday.  Once I was 99% sure that I wanted the Honda Fit more than any of my other options, I researched the poop out of it.  Specifically, I: Read everything they had on new and used Honda Fits on http://kelleybluebook.com and http://www.edmunds.com.  I read their info and ALL of the user reviews. Used search engines to find even more personal positive and negative reviews.  The majority of the negative reviews were about singular vehicle issues.  The ones about general stuff, like road noise, I noted down for my test drive.  I found the Fit … Read more…

Targeting a New Car

Update April 29, 2014:  I ended up buying the 2013 Honda Fit – wish me luck! My Chevy Aveo is a cheaply constructed car.  I knew it when I bought it brand new for not much in 2005.  And now I am new car shopping. My Chevy’s History I bought my new, bright blue Aveo in June 2005 for $11,200 and have discovered a lot of “cheap” about it since then: In 2008 at around 24k miles, it developed a small brake fluid leak that wasn’t worth tracking down according to my mechanic.  I just learned to add new fluid every 6 months. In November 2009 at around 38k miles, the 02 sensor busted and my serpentine belt had cracked.  That cost $540. In April 2010 at about 42k miles, my PLASTIC thermostat housing cracked in half.  That cost about $350. I then called GM’s customer service to ask why there wasn’t a recall since it was a problem with EVERY 2004-2006 Aveo model and they completely blew me off.  That was the day I decided never to buy a Chevy again.  They won’t back their crappy cars. In 2013 at about 58k miles, I needed my engine mounts replaced to keep my bottom from falling … Read more…