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Old 17th November 2015, 19:18   #61
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

Its a cake walk for experienced drivers. Dont let it appear more daunting than it really is.
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Old 18th November 2015, 03:08   #62
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Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
Team, any tips/guide to pass the driver written and road test? I mugged up the Texas drivers guide, took a few online sample tests and scored close to 90%.

I am getting confused with the yellow and white lines, broken...solid..Grrrr
Its not that complicated. I'm sure you've figured it out by now but here it goes:

White lines are for lanes/shoulder that separate traffic travelling in the same direction.

White solid: stay in lane / NOT ok to change lane, you can get a ticket (I have, once)

White broken: OK to change lane.

Yellow lines separate oncoming traffic. Most local roads are divided by two solid yellow lines. Below rules apply for yellow line on your side.

Yellow solid: do not cross
Yellow broken: Ok to cross to pass/overtake, but get back to your side after that ASAP.
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Old 18th November 2015, 09:46   #63
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

A very nice thread.

I have few questions in my mind as I am doing my research for a used car in the range of up to $15k.

1. How much should one focus on rebuilt and salvage title vs clean title? Is one better than the other? How?

2. Is buying a manual car like Honda Civic LX or Honda Accord Coupe LX okay if one desires to sell in 3 years time? Is it difficult to sell or do I have to sell at a lower value than the market price ( both are available near my place from single owners under 20k miles run)?

Thanks

Himanshu
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Old 18th November 2015, 12:28   #64
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

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A very nice thread.

I have few questions in my mind as I am doing my research for a used car in the range of up to $15k.

1. How much should one focus on rebuilt and salvage title vs clean title? Is one better than the other? How?

2. Is buying a manual car like Honda Civic LX or Honda Accord Coupe LX okay if one desires to sell in 3 years time? Is it difficult to sell or do I have to sell at a lower value than the market price ( both are available near my place from single owners under 20k miles run)?

Thanks

Himanshu
1. Always go for clean title to save on headaches later.

2. Don't by a stick shift car if you plan on quick resell. The market for stick shift cars are small in US.
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Old 18th November 2015, 12:37   #65
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

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1. Always go for clean title to save on headaches later.

2. Don't by a stick shift car if you plan on quick resell. The market for stick shift cars are small in US.
Fully agree. You are in the USA where cars are a plenty. Dont get involved in rebuilt or slavaged title. There is a reason they are cheap! there are hundreds of thousand second hand cars out there, with clean titles, in just about every imaginable condition and price range.

USA is still the country where nearly everybody drives automatics. So it will take longer to shift (pardon the pun) a manual car. So you really need to balance out your personal preference and enjoyment about potentially a slow and tedious resale proces, once you want to sell the car. On the upside, a manual car, certainly second hand, is likely to be cheaper than the autom version. But there will be fewer around.

Good luck.

Jeroen
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Old 18th November 2015, 13:54   #66
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

A naive question: The final purchase price of a car in USA, should consider what all points? While asking this, I am thinking of the On-road price of a car in India, which includes the ex-showroom price advertised by the manufacturer, road tax, first year insurance, and mostly the dealers add basic accessories & handling charges.
After looking at the blue book for the fair price quote - what else should be paid for additionally to arrive at the final figure? Assume insurance is one of them. What else?
Examples with real numbers would be great!
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Old 19th November 2015, 00:03   #67
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

I believe there will be a similar tool for your home state DMV.
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculator...VehicleForm.do

Add $80 dealer document preparation fee if buying from them else the final Out of the Door (OTD) price is the Car Price + the value calculated (includes registration, tax etc)
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Old 26th November 2015, 20:01   #68
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Looking to pickup a used car from Hertz. Going through the motion now. Will post a detailed update later. Finding a 2014 Sonata with 30 k miles interesting at about 12500
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Old 26th November 2015, 20:14   #69
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Looking to pickup a used car from Hertz. Going through the motion now. Will post a detailed update later. Finding a 2014 Sonata with 30 k miles interesting at about 12500

Never, and I mean, absolutley never ever buy a car that has been a rental. You know what they say, Topgear even did a special about it:

What is the fastest car in the world? A rental. Nobody gives a shit about a rental. Tomorrow I'm flying to San Francisco. I have rented a car with Hertz. I don't need to stop at their office, I just walk to the parking lot, get in my car, start and I will absolutely floor it, immediately. I need to get to my hotel asap and I have no patience with a rental.

Rental cars get thrashed within an inch of their life and I'm probably one of the more considerate renters. Your are in the USA, there are hundreds of thousands of second hand car to be had. Dont buy an ex rental!

There is a reason they are selling them cheap at low mileage!

Jeroen
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Old 28th November 2015, 06:49   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasoo View Post
Looking to pickup a used car from Hertz. Going through the motion now. Will post a detailed update later. Finding a 2014 Sonata with 30 k miles interesting at about 12500
Donít do that. Rentals are the most abused cars in the market. Look for privately owned cars. Leased cars are also somewhat OK but renal/ fleet vehicles are an absolute No No...

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Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
A naive question: The final purchase price of a car in USA, should consider what all points? While asking this, I am thinking of the On-road price of a car in India, which includes the ex-showroom price advertised by the manufacturer, road tax, first year insurance, and mostly the dealers add basic accessories & handling charges.
After looking at the blue book for the fair price quote - what else should be paid for additionally to arrive at the final figure? Assume insurance is one of them. What else?
Examples with real numbers would be great!
New car market in the US open to a lot of haggling/bargaining and things can get very confusing. Here are a few terms that will help...

Invoice Price - This is the price for which the dealer supposedly gets the car
MSRP - This is like our MRP. The price suggested by the manufacturer.

Your dealer will typically sell you the car for a price in-between the Invoice and MSRP. Look up KBB for a fair price. You pretty much want to get KBBs Fair Price or lower.

It is NOT uncommon to get your car for a price LOWER than the invoice. Typical happens for not very popular cars or unpopular trim levels of moderately popular cars or cars that are going to soon get replaced by newer model year versions.

Why sell below Invoice? Dealers get something called Holdback from the manufacturer which can be ~3% of Invoice after the car is sold. Dealers also make money from a variety of other items that they will up-sell you on - more on than later.

In addition to the cost of the car, which we said should be close to KBB fair price, there will also be a destination fee and a documentation fee. Destination is typically in the $800 range and documentation fee is upto $100 depending on the dealer. You may get away with the documentation fee but you will almost always get the destination fee added to the price of the car.

Then there are taxes. So final Out of the Door price will be = Car Price + Destination Fee + Documentation fee + Taxes + Registration Fee.

So dealers may include registration fee in the documentation fee, some charge it explicitly and may even ask you to write checks in name of DMV.

The only price that is variable in the above equation is the actual price of the Car. So bargain hard. But please be courteous and once you agree on a price, do not ask for more discounts. Dealers know you will bargain but will cringe if you ask for more discounts after they have accepted your offer. No freebies are included with the car e.g. Mats, Perfume etc. If you are looking for things like Mats, Splash Guards, Lock Nuts etc. make sure you ask for it to be included when you negotiate the price of the car and not after you settle on a price. You can of course ask the dealer to install those items and choose to pay full price after you settle on the price of the car. Note that this is one of the dealers biggest profit centre.

My take on a very good deal for a car is to drive out of the dealership at a price close to the MSRP of the car.

In India, Insurance is typically included in the price of the Car. Here it is a totally separate transaction. The dealer can buy the insurance for you but it will be billed as a separate transaction. If you finance, insurance will NOT be added to the amount financed. But you can get your insurance company to bill you monthly for insurance as against the typical 6 month price. It is almost always a good bet to shop for insurance on your own than get it from your dealer.

One last tip - dealers are more flexible with pricing at the end of a month and even more at the end of a quarter. So negotiating with the dealer on say 27/28 and finalising purchase before 30th will always get you a good deal.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 28th November 2015 at 09:16. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 28th November 2015, 09:12   #71
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I see that some folks here feel that buying a rental car is a bad idea. However my experience with 3 of my friends picking up used cars from Hertz has been excellent. The reason that rental cars are abused does not really make sense to me. More than how cars are driven, it is it's periodic maintenance that will have impact in a cars condition. Most cars are built to handle a good amount of abuse provided it is sufficiently maintained. In countries like US where rule of law prevails in most driving scenarios, I don't expect drivers to really "floor" the car all the time. It will be a different situation in countries like India. In any case, I am going ahead with my decision as that is best option to get a relatively brand new car at a great price. They are sold cheap not because they are abused, it is mainly because their need to get rid of relatively "older" inventory and the price point at which they get these cars from manufacturers. For example hertz get a discount of about 10-15% when they buy cars directly from manufacturers. Naturally they can price it better when they sell it. I have a good amount of inside knowledge about car/fleet rental industry and also a frequent renter of cars during all my trips abroad.
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Old 19th January 2016, 05:36   #72
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

I see a lot of low mileage cars on Toyota certified are rentals based on their carfax reports. Are they safe to buy considering Toyota is offering a 120 point check & warranty? Will resale be an issue?

Also can someone say what will be the highest APR you can expect for someone who has no credit history? What are the other alternatives apart from dealer based finance?
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Old 19th January 2016, 05:41   #73
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

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I see a lot of low mileage cars on Toyota certified are rentals based on their carfax reports. Are they safe to buy considering Toyota is offering a 120 point check & warranty? Will resale be an issue?

Also can someone say what will be the highest APR you can expect for someone who has no credit history? What are the other alternatives apart from dealer based finance?
I would go for it . I know a lot of people avoid rentals because there is no telling how the cars were treated by customers, who ate/smoked/puked in it, "drive it like a rental" they say etc. Still. If its a good deal and certified, I would definitely consider one of those cars especially a Toyota.
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Old 19th January 2016, 07:29   #74
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

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I see a lot of low mileage cars on Toyota certified are rentals based on their carfax reports. Are they safe to buy considering Toyota is offering a 120 point check & warranty? Will resale be an issue?
?
As I said before I would never buy a rental. You just donít know how it got treated. I would not attach to much importance to the 120 point check and warranty. Its mostly a visual inspection. Donít know about the warranty.

It will affect resale value for the same reason it has a relatively low price now; its an ex-rental car. That will always show up on the carfax report.

You get what you pay for. But then again, you are in the USA, There are more second hand cars out there than you can shake a stick at! Why risk it?

Jeroen
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Old 19th January 2016, 15:40   #75
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Default Re: Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA

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I see that some folks here feel that buying a rental car is a bad idea. However my experience with 3 of my friends picking up used cars from Hertz has been excellent. The reason that rental cars are abused does not really make sense to me. More than how cars are driven, it is it's periodic maintenance that will have impact in a cars condition. Most cars are built to handle a good amount of abuse provided it is sufficiently maintained. In countries like US where rule of law prevails in most driving scenarios, I don't expect drivers to really "floor" the car all the time. It will be a different situation in countries like India. In any case, I am going ahead with my decision as that is best option to get a relatively brand new car at a great price.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
I see a lot of low mileage cars on Toyota certified are rentals based on their carfax reports. Are they safe to buy considering Toyota is offering a 120 point check & warranty? Will resale be an issue?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
I would go for it . I know a lot of people avoid rentals because there is no telling how the cars were treated by customers, who ate/smoked/puked in it, "drive it like a rental" they say etc. Still. If its a good deal and certified, I would definitely consider one of those cars especially a Toyota.
Although my experience is not from the US, but rather in Australia, i believe the experience would be similar. I have walked the talk and actually bought and owned a Toyota Corolla 2012, which is an ex-rental from Avis. I bought it with just 40,000kms on the odo, and still had manufacturer warranty.

Guide: First-time car ownership in the USA-img_0760-copy.jpg

I used it for a year and 6 months and then sold it back to a dealer at 80% of the price i paid when i bought it, despite the 25,000+ kms i had added to it. I then went on to buy my dream vehicle. Ofcourse, even when buying i knew this was not going to be a long termer for me. I didn't have to spend a single extra dollar in unscheduled maintenance on it.

As mentioned earlier, cars are built to handle copious amounts of abuse, and a test drive before buying can usually tell you if something is amiss. There is also the provision to get the car evaluated before you buy.

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As I said before I would never buy a rental. You just donít know how it got treated. I would not attach to much importance to the 120 point check and warranty. Its mostly a visual inspection. Donít know about the warranty.

It will affect resale value for the same reason it has a relatively low price now; its an ex-rental car. That will always show up on the carfax report.
Resale is dependent on the value you bought it at. For a lower priced buy, the selling price too will be lower as compared to other similar options.
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