Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brand new vs CPO: The Path To My First Car, Part 6

My gratitude to everyone who participated in the poll, specially those who left comments bringing enlightenment to my dilemma. Others, perhaps finding the poll questions rather limited and limiting, chose to send me personal email to share their advice and expound on their opinion.

All in all, the exchange of ideas has been and still is very insightful. Thank you all for helping me in this major path I’m traversing.

I’m already on the last lap. It took this long because I do not have the luxury of physically present company to pick brains with during research and when eventually in the car lot. Except for emails, phone calls, the blog poll, and small talk at work, I am basically on my own.

To compensate, I collated print-outs of every Internet article I found significant about car- buying and filed them according to topics with subcategories. I will carry these along as I turn the bend from internet research to car lot search.

At the beginning of this path, I was pretty sold on the idea of getting a CPO vehicle, but further research - poll opinions included - is now prompting me to buy new instead.

There’s a lot to check on a used car, and if you’re not careful you might end up with a lemon. Though I consider myself fairly thorough, if not overly, the task seems daunting for someone like me who is truly new to car buying.

There are a lot of points to cover from outside the car, to inside the car, to under the car. Someone who has gone through buying and owning a car many times is in a much better position to make a used car purchase. It’s a familiar terrain for them they can probably do it in a breeze.

If I cannot even begin to synthesize the complexities of buying a new car, how much more buying a used one?

One advice about used car-buying is to choose a unit that’s at least 3 years old because it would have saved you the first leg of depreciation which is estimated at 45%. Unfortunately, I did not find any 2004 to 2005 Toyota certified Priuses within a 1000-mile radius.

CPO 2007s cost almost the same, about 87%, as new ones. They are priced high in auctions so sellers mark up the price as well. The shift to small cars a few months ago was not foreseen, so production then does not meet demand now.

A point to consider: older models come with less warranty, if there is any left.

Another advice about used car-buying is to have it inspected by a trusted mechanic. I don’t know anyone since I have not owned a vehicle here in the U.S.

Yes, I could bring it to a friend’s trusted mechanic or even an independent mechanic, but the burden of certainty that lies in the used car’s history which is quite impossible to lift rests in me - the consumer end of the car buying process.

In addition, I do not have the luxury of resources and company to go to a mechanic for an independent inspection so there will most likely be no second pair of eyes to inspect my certified prospect.

Car experts advise to stay away from CPOs if price is priority because the price to pay for a CPO label is not worth it compared to a used one. They attest the CPO market is not for bargain hunters.

Peace of mind is non-negotiable and I know I will find it in a brand new 2008 Toyota Prius. The only thing left to do now is find a good deal.

No comments:

Post a Comment