Thursday, March 29, 2007

Car shopping

Early last week Shawn's mode of transportation took a nose dive. It is actually my car. I bought it back in 98. It was the first car I ever owned....a 97 Ford Escort. It is not the best car, but it worked for me. He has been a doll, and let me drive the nicer car. Unfortunately the AC went out, and in Arizona...that just won't cut it. When he went to have it checked on they said the whole thing would need to be replaced, and that the transmission was bad, etc. etc. etc. Then to make matters worse on the way home yesterday the brakes went out!!! Talk about bad luck!

Needless to say, it is not worth paying to get it fixed so we are now in the market for a new vehicle. We will eventually need a larger vehicle because we plan on having more we are looking to get a van. I have been on the computer alot of the day researching and trying to figure out how we can get the best deal on a car.

The vehicle I have my heart set on is the Toyota Sienna. Isn't it beautiful! I love Toyota's (I currently drive a Camry). The Sienna just seems like a great car. It is somewhat affordable, and I know it is reliable. Who would have thought that my dream car would be a mini-van! We have been searching Craigslist, and the Auto Trader trying to see if there is anything out there. I just want to get the best deal possible because we are not made of money!

We are also debating on whether or not to buy new or used. There are just so many different options! I kinda like the idea of getting a new car just because I can get exactly what I want. The only problem is that it will cost more, of course. I have gone to different websites to see what I can do so that if we do decide to buy from a dealer...we won't get ripped off. One of the most insightful sites I found was Consumer Guide Automotive. Their site is great! They have reviews on all the vehicles. Plus they have a comparison chart of what the Retail MSRP versus the invoice price is for each car. They also list any rebates or incentives that are currently being offered for either the customer or the dealer. It was very interesting to see.

My sister also pointed me to Car which gave some more pointers on things that can help you when you are buying a new car. Within that website they had a link to a website called Fighting Chance. This service actually costs money, and I am not ready to pay it yet, but it looks like it can provide alot of good information. If we do decide to purchase new, I may seriously consider investing in their services.

Do you have any hints, helps, suggestions on what you or someone you know has done when they are shopping for cars? Help me out! I don't know how much longer the Escort will last!

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An Ordinary Mom said...

If you are interested, I just sent you a NOVEL of an email detailing everything we went through when we bought our new used van. I researched things for almost 2 years and then finally a great deal fell in our lap. We love our Honda, but the Toyota's are great cars, too.

Good luck!

Overwhelmed! said...

Crissy, it's been a while since I shopped for a car (we bought new cars in 2002) but one thing I'd like to suggest is to not be afraid to try to negotiate the price, whether you buy new or used.

I did a lot of research and, once I found the car that I liked best, I went to several dealerships to wheel and deal until I got the price that I wanted!

Best of luck! I do like the looks of htat Toyota Sienna!

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