Wednesday, September 7, 2022

How To Buy A Car

Carvana coming soon to Long Island

Subtitle: We have a brand-new CarMax on Long Island, and a brand new Carvana location is under construction, so I just wanted to share these photos of various dealerships and used car sellers with you. 


Ferrari and Maserati of Long Island

The long-time model for buying a new car was that you went to a dealer and looked at what they had on the lot. Then you negotiated the price and payments, often with a very lengthy back-and-forth with some salesman who always seemed to have to go back to the manager to get things OK'd. It was a horrible model, and many people would pay way more than they had to pay just because they disliked negotiating. The other aspect of this that would benefit the dealer more is that most people would take whatever offer they got for trade-in value on their old car. Naturally the dealer needs to make money, but it always seemed to me that they'd make money on the new car, and then they'd make more money by later selling my trade-in for more than they gave me. That's business, I guess. 

Lamborghini looking closed
I'm not saying this is why they closed at this location, but in the empty parking lot I found a penny AND a dime. Whoa! Who can afford to lose 11 cents I don't know!

Anyway, today's car buying experience can actually be worse, thanks to the supply chain and car production shortages. A lot of car dealers are adding a dealer mark-up price to their cars, which is one reason the average cost of new vehicles sold has gone straight through the roof. I just read that the AVERAGE new car price sold in the US is around $46,000. OUCH! If there was a brand-new limited edition Whatever-Mobile for sale, OK, maybe you'd pay a little extra to be one of the first owners, since the Whatever-Mobile is cool/rare/luxurious etc. However, I've heard that dealers are marking up even common everyday cars now. Ouch! 

Porsche anyone?

How about a new Bentley or Rolls Royce?

Besides buying a NEW car, you can always buy a USED car, and there are a ton of ways to find used cars. You can find all kinds of cars for sale with online auction sites, on line sellers, your local newspaper (remember those?), Craigslist,, Hemmings, or you can still visit your local car dealers in person. For those of us on Long Island, we have two new options. CarMax just opened a new location here, which is very handy since the next closest store for the millions of us that live here is up in Connecticut. Carvana is also building a new location not far from that CarMax dealer, so we'll go check them out once they are open. Oh, and in case you didn't know, the CarMax and Carvana retail practice is that the price you see is what you pay, they don't really negotiate, other than you can add on a longer warranty if you want to pay for that. That eliminates that hours long process of the old model, so it seems pretty popular.

I like visiting CarMax even when I'm not buying anything, just because you can walk around a lot of vehicles, check them out, read the window sticker, and get a good feel for what the prices are and see what kind of condition these cars are in. There's even a guy who writes a blog about the rarest cars he finds at CarMax, you can check it out at his CarMax Unicorn website 


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