One of our community members, Chris, recently asked about purchasing automobiles.
My philosophy has always been to purchase used cars, not new, that have been owned by only one person who has all books and maintenance records, and has never been in an accident.
I also take a hard, objective look at the owner of the vehicle. Does he (or she) look like the kind of person who takes care of his possessions? Is he suggesting or open to the idea of having a mechanic look over the car before purchasing? Is he pointing out minor things that don’t work or work well on the car, honestly presenting the vehicle as it really is?
I do recommend having a reputable mechanic do a thorough check up of the car prior to purchase. If there are a few minor issues, those can be pointed out to the seller, and negotiated. If there are major issues (like the engine, transmission, or frame), don’t by the car.
When the repair bills for a car are going to equal its Blue Book value, I think it’s time to sell it or give it to charity.
These suggestions are pretty basic, and I’ve lived here in Paris sans la voiture for the past 3 years. So color me Out of the Loop.
I want to open up a discussion about what other strategies and insights the tribe might have when it comes to make a smart decision on purchasing a car. Do you buy used? New? SUV’s? Economy cars? What online resources are available? What are things to always avoid? Any scams worth mentioning?
Feel free to name name’s when it comes to makes and models that you’ve had personal experiences with, whether it’s been positive or less than great.
Remember: this is about value, efficiency, and reliability.
Thanks. Looking forward to the contributions.