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Posted on 2007.07.15 at 14:38
Current Location: 75409

I usually eschew credit, preferring to use cash as my bargaining chip. In this endeavor I'm fairly successful. I don't want to know my monthly payment - I want to know the price I'm paying, and its that I'm usually negotiating. Furthermore, the best place for this practice a car dealership. Another thing I no longer do, is buy brand-new vehicles. They're just not worth it.

Unfortunately for me, a series of events made all these things impossible. And to add insult to injury...I never even got the opportunity to experience the sweet taste of even a month with no car payment since paying off my wife's Satrun.

Last month when I had to take her car in for $1000 repair I was hoping this would be a one-time thing and that the car would run another several years. Unfortunately, after about sixty more miles on the car, it required another repair, this one the alternator, for which they wanted an additional $765. Yes, I could've picked up the part at Auto Zone for $215, but once again, the engineering of this car would have required I pull the engine to replace, something I just wasn't up to the task of doing. Furthermore, I'm convinced this would have been the second of many replacement parts for this car at only 63,000 miles.

I drove the car to the Hyundai dealership and parked it. I've been eyeballing the Tiburon for several reasons. First and foremost, it comes with a 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty. The best on the market. Secondly, its a coupe. I like coupes. I'm hard pressed to find a coupe these days, as America is pushing 'Euro sedans' again. If I wanted a Euro sedan, I'd buy a European car. Thirdly, and possibly most importantly, the GT comes with a V6. I am so very sick and tired of my inline-four I want to scream every time I sit behind the wheel. Of course I was looking for a one to two year old car. Alas, they are few and far between. I read some time ago that in order to maximize your wealth, you should buy the best house you can afford, and the cheapest car you can live with. I'm a simple man with simple needs. This particular car fits me well. It embodies me. Of course I owe all of this to Avis, from whom I rented a Hyundai when I was in DC several months ago. I hadn't driven a Hyundai since the Excel came out in 1988!

Screaming against everything I know to be true about car dealerships, and the way they manipulate data and use their voodoo triad of interest rate, sales price, and trade-in, I presented them with my newly paid-off vehicle, and told them I wanted a Tiburon GT for no more than $300 a month. Poor drax0r was with me during the entire 3-hour ordeal, and this is my story:

They took $500 off the price of the $20,080 car, offered me $2500 for my defunct $27,000 top-of-the-line wagon, and happily presented me with a working estimate of $349. I explained that the trade-in offer was embarrassing the both of us, thanked him profusely for his patience, apologized for wasting his time, and walked out. drax0r and I got as far as my car, which wouldn't start. "No wonder they only offered me $2500 for the car - it won't even start!" The second, more senior salesman overheard me. "Is this whats stopping you from buying a car today? The price they offered you on trade-in?" Well, that and I was very clear about $300/month payments, I explained. We got the car started, the Used Car guy comes out and re-inspects it, explaining that he will not go over $4300. What an ass. The more senior sales guy asks if I would buy the Tiburon today, if I could get $300 a month, with the $4300 trade-in. Only because I was desperate I agreed. Oh - and in case you're wondering - they didn't know I was desperate. When I purchase new cars, I put on different persona's so to speak. When I purchased my Sebring LXi, I was the asshole professional. I told them what they would give me for my trade-in, what they would do to the new car prior to my purchasing it, and how much I would pay them for their car. I was a quiet, professional asshole during the entire transaction, once getting up and walking out of the finance department without a word when I saw the 10% interest rate they were going to give me. It was one of the most beautiful performances of my life. This time, I was the well-paid IT professional who was looking for a fun car. I was laughing, standing, moving, never sitting still, full of energy and very, very polite.

The sales guy comes out with a piece of paper (which he didn't show me) and said, "I need you to go $320."
"Sorry, no can do. Thanks for everything." I said as I gave drax0r the sign that we were leaving again.
"Can you give me anything between $320 and $310 a month?"
He finally revealved the paper. This is why I hate salesmen. I said, "Zero down, $300 a month, buy today," replete with a line for my signature. Asshole. I signed it. Later, he came out again, and this my friends, was my only mistake. I agreed to give him $500 down to make my payment under $300. I thought the wife would be pleased. I found out later from the overly candid finance guy, the son-of-a-bitch put my monthly payment at $299. No worries, I was only out $500, and a learned a new lesson. In all honesty, because that was reported as "down payment" its still equity in the car. Let's move on. Finance time. The finance guy unintentionally ratted-out the sales guy with the $299 information, then asked if I was interested in extending America's Best Warranty to include 10-year, 100,000 bumper-to-bumper (over just powertrain) for a mere $14 more a month. Of course I was interested! All the shit which has plagued my wife's car since 60,000 miles I would be free from! I explained that I would love to take advantage of this opportunity, but that my wife was very clear on what I could, and could not do, and I could not go over $300 a month. He asked, "If I could get you that extended warranty and your car payment still be only $300 a month would you want it?"

This sounded like a trick question. Absolutely I would want it! What was he playing at, and more importantly, how was I about to get screwed? I said, "Well of course." A couple of key-clicks later, its done. "How did you do that?" I asked. He explained that I had perfect credit, and that they rarely see someone in here who has meticulously paid off a $27,000 car, then traded it in the month it was paid off. I kept my mouth shut and shrugged. He 'simply' paid down my interest rate (in essence, paying himself instead of the bank with the same money). So I feel for once, that the voodoo worked for me, instead of against me. And how they managed to sell me a $20,080 car for only $500 down with a $4300 trade-in, plus tax, title & license for only $300 a month, is PFM to me. I'm sure I'm taking it up the ass somewhere, but for now, I'm happy.

I like the stick coupled with the V6. Its been seven years since my last manual transmission. There's plenty of torque and the dual exhaust makes a nice throaty sound without sounding like some teenagers Civic with aftermarket exhaust. I've had leather seats, and I've had cloth seats - these are, in a word, perfect. They're mesh seats with leather bolsters, and I finally made the move back to a leather steering wheel - something I've missed greatly since my LXi. The stereo plays MP3's natively, and it corners better than my Sebring - the 17" wheels matched with how very low this car sits. The rear-disc brakes are a nice touch too.

The only thing I'll miss on my Cav is the lifetime tint job I had put on it...but that's coming as soon as I close on the house.


galinda822 at 2007-07-15 22:43 (UTC) (Link)
Very nice and sporty! I love the color.

I guess the wife gets the Cav now or is she getting this one?
ehowton at 2007-07-15 22:52 (UTC) (Link)
I forgot to mention her selfless act of driving the Cav for the next 18-months until she gets her new car - she has her eye on the Hyundai Veracruz!
codekitten at 2007-07-16 00:24 (UTC) (Link)
i subscribe to the same financial philosophy. the best house, the cheapest car. go you for being a hardass!
ehowton at 2007-07-16 02:17 (UTC) (Link)
Solid plan. May you have wealth which transcends the material realm.
photogoot at 2007-07-16 00:59 (UTC) (Link)
Great story inside the dealership! You dun good!

That is a very nice looking vehicle. Excellent lines and the wheels are magnificent! The thing just looks great from every angle.

I want you to play careful in it though. A V6 manual shift coupe mixed with your sense of invincibility on the highway makes me nervous.
drax0r at 2007-07-16 02:07 (UTC) (Link)
I was nervous too until I rode with him in it. I'm much more comfortable riding with him in a car that was made to handle the way he drives than him driving that way anyway in a Cav.
photogoot at 2007-07-16 02:30 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and BTW dude in case you did not check the fine print on your manufactured in documentation... You just bought a foreign car!?!?

That is something now isn't it? I mean to do so in Europe thats one thing, but your a frigg'in Texan. wow. Its just starting to sink in for me. Detroit is in serious trouble.
ehowton at 2007-07-16 02:44 (UTC) (Link)
95% Korean. I know. Outside the Jaguar as referenced in my 'Cars' post (which I purchased while living in the UK thus enforcing driving only indigenously made vehicles), this is indeed the first. Here's the thing about the Koreans, I respect them. They drive only cars they make - and they makes some cars which would rival anything over here or in Europe that they don't sell anywhere but in-country.

I'd like to mention that it was you buying a Japanese car which eventually led me down this path. You made some good points.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2007-07-16 05:33 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you got a great deal yet said you did not get a BMW!!!
ehowton at 2007-07-16 13:17 (UTC) (Link)
I was entertaining the Ferrari, but the Hyundai had more cup holders.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-07-16 05:53 (UTC) (Link)
now I know why you took my call today...
ehowton at 2007-07-16 13:19 (UTC) (Link)
I know why I took your call, but I'm very curious what in this post you've fixated on which gives you super monkey powers in thinking you know why I took your call. Do tell.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-07-16 13:12 (UTC) (Link)
ehowton at 2007-07-16 13:55 (UTC) (Link)
I went to Wikipedia and searched on 'PFM' wondering how you could have missed it, as it was the first hit - but giving you the benefit of the doubt, I assumed you thought my lack of understanding of the dealership's voodoo triad might possibly have been Printer Font Metrics or even Pulse Frequency Modulation.

That being said, I find it overwhelmingly humorous that the entry in wikipedia describes it as an 'internet abbreviation' considering we used it in the military way back before there was an internet.
wardlejew at 2007-07-16 16:57 (UTC) (Link)
Very nice work. I hate car dealerships.
I recently purchased a Town & Country. No not an exciting purchase like yours, but the process of buying one is the same load of crap.

First the ridiculous amount they offer you for your trade in. My wife wasn't with me, so I said she will take no less than 2,000. They got there. I knew they were just lowering the sticker price of the van, but I also knew the trade-in wasn't worth 2,000, but i could now tell the Mrs. she got what she wanted for the car she bought 10 years ago. So I got the sticker price down, and the Mrs. got her trade in value. ;)

Then the rate thing starts at 10%. What is that crap for someone who has an 800+ credit score, and there only source of debt is their mortgage. Let's just say I let them know that was unacceptable.

At this point I wasn't too pleased with the offer, and told them I need to go home, think, talk to the Mrs., and run some errands. IOW, I'm leaving your dealership wihout making a deal. Amazing what happens when you start to leav. "Oh take the vehicle with you, test it out. We will see what we can do." Sure why not. Nobody else can get it and they can have some time to figure out what they can do.

When we got back the numbers where coming more in to line.

Finally, here is the kicker. We told them so much a month for so many years. Never tell them how munch a month without the year part. The sales man gets us below that mark and sends us back to the finance guy. My wife is with me this time, and we are excited. No major stumbling blocks yet. So the finance guy starts printing out things and having us sign them without reading them of course. Heck, I'm not a lawyer, so I'm signing most stuff. Then the paper with the numbers comes out and he says, for 14 dollars more a month you can get the extended coverage, and oil changes for life. We go Wow! only 14 dollars a month!!!. I look down the thing, thinking something isn't right here. I'm studying the numbers going how? I pull out my financial calculator and crunch the numbers. I can't get a match. What is going on? Too good to turn down, I sign very hesitantly. My wife saves the day. She sees my concern and is not willing to sign. So, I ask the question I should have asked before signing. What are the numbers without the extended warranty. Almost $60 less a month. So much for only $14 dollars. So he lied to me straight faced. Still I can't figure out how we are getting the van for $50 less a month.
We do the rest of the signing, and drive away. I'm setting up my loan file on the computer in my finance program. It still doesn't match. hmmm. I finally see the years. The finance tried to pull a fast one on us to get the extended warranty sale for himself. He marked it up to 6 years without saying a word. However, I felt like we got the better end of the deal. We can still pay as if we want to pay off in five years, but if we have a lean month. Baby bills coming(the need for the van in the first place), we can pay the lower amount. BTW I paid off my last 3 year autoloan in less than a year. I hate paying interest.

Moral of the long story. Always walk away at least once, watch the years, and never believe a car dealership is honest.

BTW: What do you think of the new Pirates SDTK? I'm listening to it know and I've always enjoyed your Movie sdtk reviews. And sorry for the long comment
ehowton at 2007-07-16 23:35 (UTC) (Link)
Great to hear from you, jw! TSS has been on my mind the last couple of weeks - things seem to be slowing down enough that I could get online during the day. What has it been, four months? Two in Saint Louis and two here?

I'm with you on dealerships - sounds like you guys made out pretty good, and don't know the T&C, if I had to buy a minivan, that's one nice ride!

What do I think about the new Pirates? Well I'll tell you: I found the first soundtrack boring as all get-out. The second one was a refreshingly awesome album, which increased my enjoyment of the first one, but only because I knew what Zimmer had done with Badelt's themes. I feel that way about the third one as well. While I don't find it as dynamic as the second, its much better than the first one not only because it plays on the same themes, but due in part to what feels to be more of an experimental gist to it. Its as if Zimmer knows he's succeeded in the second soundtrack, so he's going to have fun with the last one.

Thanks for stopping by and tell the gang I said, "Howdy!"
photogoot at 2007-07-17 03:02 (UTC) (Link)

Just A Little Somethin'-Somethin' 4 You

I imagine the third and fourth avatars will see heavy rotation...

Enjoy my friend.
ehowton at 2007-07-17 03:22 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Just A Little Somethin'-Somethin' 4 You

Wow, thanks! I'm gonna have to think on this one. That third one is hysterical - I know where we were, but I don't remember the photo.

I'll sleep on it.
snapper521 at 2007-07-17 06:29 (UTC) (Link)

New car

Pwetty!! :-D

Me likes dat car Eric... :-D

I must say, that you do enjoy your fine things... Good thing you get paid real good. ;-)
ehowton at 2007-07-17 06:56 (UTC) (Link)

Re: New car

I must say, that you do enjoy your fine things... Good thing you get paid real good. ;-)
Perhaps you missed the part where its likely the least expensive V6 coupe on the entire planet?

But yes, it does have a certain panache to it, doesn't it?
irulan_amy at 2007-07-17 17:20 (UTC) (Link)
When I need to buy a car again, will you please accompany me? ;)

I drove a Tiburon once. It was nice, and besides they are sharp looking!! Yay for getting a new car (though it sucks that you had to).
ehowton at 2007-07-17 17:29 (UTC) (Link)
As long as I don't have to do it in Ohio. But I'll go with you in California!
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