I Hate Car Buying

I hate car buying. I really, really, really do. It’s like buying a new computer used to be — a potpourri of irritating options, all with a semiglaze sauce of instant depreciation over top — but more expensive and more irritating. I sometimes think that the real reason I drive cars for a decade or more is to avoid all the time-consuming nonsense associated with buying a new vehicle.

In case it’s not obvious, I’m in the middle of buying a new car, and even with the excellent service of Edmunds, CarsDirect, etc., I’m still enjoying it about as much as an all-day colonoscopy.


  1. what kind of auto are you looking at paul? SUV, convertible, sedan, coupe?

  2. Franklin Stubbs says:

    Find a used subaru or toyota with 150K plus miles on it. It’ll run great, you won’t pay jack, you’ll get a great feeling out of owning a vehicle that costs almost nothing to drive and maintain, and you’ll look like one of those eccentric billionaires who don’t care what they drive.

  3. Try buying on Ebay Motors. I just sold my Audi there last week and the buyer got an incredible deal! Find a seller with a good track record of positive feedback and you’ll have resolved a lot of the uncertainty that comes with buying through classifieds or other online listing services.

  4. Working in the automotive retail industry…car buying is a necessary evil..
    However, you are best off purchasing a 2 or 3 year old certified preowned vehicle. Almost new, still has a warranty, and has already taken the big hit from depreciation.

  5. i couldn’t agree more.
    i bought two cars this year (one for my mom, and one for me). there is just too much information out there…
    i got a headache in both cases.
    and i really don’t like dealing with car salesmen. they are horrible (usually).

  6. Paul,
    If you are a member of a credit union and know what you want, they can make it painless and cheaper than buying it yourself. We just bought a new minivan for $7000 off list. The credit union service buys 30-40 of these vans monthly from a regional dealer so the service get a great price. The dealer also matched a CarMax offer we had on the old van. The dealer came to our house, picked up the old van and dropped off the new van, even though we were 120 miles away. Since the credit union also did the financing, all we had to do was sign at pickup.
    Never having to sit in a car salesman’s office again. Priceless. :-) Good luck!

  7. fartikus says:

    whatever you do, do not buy a luxury car! of course you have the money. we all do. everyone does. luxury is now commodity. stand out from the crowd – drive a beater! there is nothing as liberating as driving a beater. wash the car? twice a year if it needs it or not, and if it rains, that counts as a washing. compact spaces? who cares? just ding the door when you open next to me, i don’t care. i leave it unlocked with the windows open.
    its just great to understand a car is just a THING and you don’t have to care about it, just use it! thats what a beater is all about. that said, it should be mechanically sound.

  8. What’s so difficult?
    I did my research online (4 hours) and then called the dealer. Told him what I’d pay, he said he’d have it ready the next morning. I dropped in the next morning, gave him the check, and drove off.
    Of course, I don’t care too much about (everyday) cars; my daily driver is just a set of wheels that needs to be reliable. OTOH, I spent months having my Kirkham Cobra built. The amount of time and mental effort tied to car buying is directly proportional to how much of your personality is invested in it.

  9. what about profiting from the misfortunes of others (my German spelling isn’t up to par!)?
    I’ve been looking at http://www.swaplease.com. Great deals on some barely used cars. Sure, no new car smell, but I don’t mind.

  10. “I’m still enjoying it about as much as an all-day colonoscopy.”
    Now in order to make this statement, I would assume you’ve actually experienced such a procedure. I don’t want to be the one to tell you but I fear I must out of repressed guilt I would experience otherwise. Forget what the doctor told you. There is no such thing as an all day colonscopy. He was ……… well ………….. let’s just say ………. I can’t even say it.
    He was getting his rocks off! And that feeling you had was not a surgical instrument. Ok, I said it! I have a good psychiatrist you might want to go see after it all sinks in.

  11. Franklin Stubbs says:

    Hey Daphne, what are you doing in this neck of the woods?

  12. Appreciate all the thoughts folks. Apparently this is a subject about which more than people than me have strong feelings …

  13. People hate buying cars because they hate to feel stupid. The dealer makes every effort to get you to bypass reason and shop with emotion. But, most people who buy on emotion end up with some buyers remorse. Just ask anybody who bought a Pontiac Aztek. Watch out for Offertrax.

  14. Ever notice how everyone who buys a new car tells you what a great deal they wrestled out of the dealer? Everyone I know has said this. And yet the dealer does this for a living and my friends do it once every 5-10 years. We are all getting fucked when we buy a car. The biggest mistake is thinking you are getting a deal.

  15. For what it’s worth, I’ve had a great experience with Fred Vang in Santa Fe, NM, a former dealer and top salesman who knows all the angles. He can find virtually any car anywhere and is worth talking to, at least. I’d be happy to provide his contact information.

  16. helloo sir,
    can you help me know the purchase motivators for cnsumers when buying a sedan cars may be of any brands… n what do they look for before buying any car