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One week to buy a car - what to do?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey fellas, I'll keep this very short and to the point:
Quote:
  • I have one week to buy a car.
  • I am based in the New York metro area.
  • I've never purchased a car myself before.
  • Want an outstanding deal on a certified pre-owned to make the most of my budget.
  • Budget of $15,000 to $20,000 at the most. I'd prefer to fall on the lower end of the spectrum.
  • None of these "requirements" are flexible
I was told by a friend that I'll know if a car is a good deal if I appraise the car's specs using Edmunds and the "trade-in" value that Edmunds spits out is higher than the advertised price of the car. Is this a stupid way to go about doing things? You'll have to excuse my ignorance. This is also a learning experience for me.

As I mentioned, I've never purchased a car myself before. The way I've been going about searching for prospective buys is by filtering through Autotrader.com's listings, and setting up a bunch of "alerts" so that the site will notify me if a car gets listed that satisfies my stringent requirements.

Is there a better way to be searching for cars than through Autotrader?

Any other thoughts on the matter? I'd also appreciate any recommendations on CPO cars that I should be looking at within my budget constraints.

Thanks in advance for any help, gentlemen. smile.gif
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslade View Post

Hey fellas, I'll keep this very short and to the point:
I was told by a friend that I'll know if a car is a good deal if I appraise the car's specs using Edmunds and the "trade-in" value that Edmunds spits out is higher than the advertised price of the car. Is this a stupid way to go about doing things? You'll have to excuse my ignorance. This is also a learning experience for me.
It is not stupid at all. I would also recommend checking out KBB and also looking around cars advertisements to get the price range of the car you're interested in would fall in. Sometimes Edmund prices are different than market prices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslade View Post

Is there a better way to be searching for cars than through Autotrader?
Besides Autotrader, also check Cars.com, ebay, NY craigslist to find local CPO cars.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jslade View Post

Any other thoughts on the matter? I'd also appreciate any recommendations on CPO cars that I should be looking at within my budget constraints

If you can give out some specific requirements for the car ( SUV, coupe or Sedan), (German or Japanese or Korea...) I believe many gentlemen here can give you good suggestions.
post #3 of 11

Sounds like you have a good grasp of some basic requirements. You now need to decide what type of car you want. Do you want a compact? A midsize? Any options that are particularly important to you (for example A/C, cruise, automatic transmission)? Once you have these decisions made you can start to narrow down your search.
 

post #4 of 11
If you decide to buy off craiglist, bring a friend. They can point out shit that you don't notice...

You really can't go wrong with a honda accord.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaio View Post

If you decide to buy off craiglist, bring a friend. They can point out shit that you don't notice...

+1 this

 

and stay away from Audi. I dont know where exactly you live, but in EU that budget would include Audi A4

 

Audi A4 most of the times comes in a package with electrical problem

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by reinhardgs View Post

+1 this

and stay away from Audi. I dont know where exactly you live, but in EU that budget would include Audi A4

Audi A4 most of the times comes in a package with electrical problem

I don't think there is any CPO Audi in that price range tho. If there is one, it should be well cover under warranty anyway.

Volkswagen and Mini will be a good choice for European car if you don't mind the reliability.
Otherwise, you would never go wrong with a Honda or Toyota.
post #7 of 11
The Mini is especially attractive if you are a hair stylist. Or makeup artist.

You may want to check the cost of auto insurance for each of the models, too.
post #8 of 11
you probably won't get anything European and CPO for that price apart from a VW or a Mini. Neither are a bad choice, though - expect to have to get repairs done on your cars once in awhile, that is part of car ownership. They will hold up to the road conditions up there though, at least for as long you will probably own it. I don't see why you'd need a large car, unless you really just want a larger car.
post #9 of 11
These three local Jetta I think are good, though. Still have lots of life left with Volkswagen 3 years 36k miles warranty.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 SE (this have screen, I guess it is Nav)

2012 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 SE

2012 Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 SE
post #10 of 11

Do you want to drive it the next 10 years and put 200,000 miles on it? Or do you want something fun to drive for the next year or two and then trade in? Do you care about MPG? At $15,000-$20,000 there are nice preowned cars to pick from.

 

If you lease, BMW may be in your ballpark of $5000 per year for 3 years. The benefit of this is you keep most of your $20,000 in your savings account.

post #11 of 11
I don't know much about the Jetta, but I have a 2010 Golf. So far it has been super reliable and had no problems. The only problem is that the 2.5L that's in both the Golf and the Jetta is nowhere near as efficient as the new Mazda/Toyota/Honda engines.

Also, just because the Jetta has the screen doesn't mean it has the Nav package I don't think. All the 2011+ Golfs have that screen, but I don't think that all 2011 golfs have the nav package.
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