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in Blog, Spending, Vehicles

We’re Back!

This is the stunning conclusion to The Used Car Hunt! If you missed part 1, you can find it here. To be honest here, we found the car we wanted the night I published that first piece. It was an amazing deal. This post won’t be very long because I honestly thought we would have taken a lot longer to find something that was a good deal and was what we were looking for. We were hardly able to find a single, decent deal anywhere around town. The cars were either used with over 100k miles and still cost at least $5 or $6k, or they were barely used with low mileage for at least $12k to $15k and up. The pickins were slim, but we were able to find the one we wanted. So, without further adieu, this is what we found!

The Runners-Up

At our local Hyundai dealership, we found a couple of Hyundai Accents, and guess what? They were 2015 models with about 36k miles on each. They still had 4 years or 24k miles on their bumper-to-bumper warranties! In addition, they had 9 years or 64k miles left on the power-train warranties, and last, but not least, they were only $9800! Talk about a steal right?

I challenge anyone out there to find a 2015 year of any car for almost half the original MSRP with all of that stuff. Go ahead. Try, I’ll wait…well, that was about enough time for a Google search. You didn’t find anything? Like I said, awesome deal (which seemed almost too good to be true). So, we did the next thing any rational person would do, we went to take one of those puppies for a test drive!

We took it about three miles from where we started. She handled fine, breaks worked great, the air conditioning was awesome. It was a pretty bland vehicle though because it was a super basic model; the thing didn’t even have cruise control! How is that not a stock feature in every car nowadays? Sorry, sorry, I’m meandering off topic (but really?!). So, we get back and inform the salesman we enjoyed the ride. It was comfortable enough, even though my head touched the ceiling when I sat in the back (for reference, I’m only six feet tall), but we tell him we can’t purchase the vehicle if there is no cruise control. Well, he surprises us by saying they will install the cruise control free of charge (awwww, yeah)! That right there is another $500 value added on for nothing. The deal was getting super interesting.

The next interesting part came when we negotiated for how much we would get for ole Monte. As I stated previously, the KBB value of the car was about $1400. I was going to be happy with getting that amount, but being the negotiating wiz I am, I knew you start high. I asked for $3k. After the salesman took it back to his manager, they offered me $1900! Hey, that was $500 more than I was expecting, so we tentatively accept their offer.

The uninteresting part? When I asked to see the Carfax. Remember two paragraphs ago when I said it seemed almost too good to be true? Well, it turned out that it was in some ways. We got the Carfax, and although there had been no major accidents reported on any of the vehicles, they were all part of a rental car fleet prior. One of them had a bum hubcap, which told me that side of the car, and specifically that wheel, had seen some damage. One still had a load of pet dander/dog hair in it…there were definitely some possible warning signs in some of those cars.

Due to this, we tell him we are going to take the next couple of days to decide (because we don’t like rushing into anything), and we do just that.

We decided that we wanted to get some more test-drives in before we committed, so we went out to another dealership. We lined up trying out a 2013 Kia Rio. The Carfax is pretty clean, but when we sit down in the car itself, it is not pretty. There are no arm rests (again, how is this not standard??) there is no middle console, the windows are manual crank, again…not cruise control. It’s just kind of unbelievable, but this car was about $9300 with approximately 80k miles. This car – although it is only two years old – is not going to cut it. The deal isn’t anywhere near as good as the Accent was.

The Surprise Result

We were feeling a little demoralized at this point, but then That Learning Gal saw something out of the corner of her eye…a white 2009 Toyota Prius! She asked if I wanted to test drive it, and actually had to talk me into it (it was the complete reverse before). So, we asked the kind saleswoman if we could test drive it.

Oh, man. It was one of the best rides of my life! She purred like a kitten, even when we merged onto a state highway. The futuristic interior with complete LED display to the spacious cabin and hatchback. That Learning Gal couldn’t agree more. It was a 2009 with about 69k miles. The Carfax was squeaky clean; the only thing that made me think for an extra second was it had two previous owners, but I didn’t pause for long. Having done all of my research previously on how great the Prius was, I couldn’t resist. That Learning Gal agreed.

Like with the Hyundai Accent, we had to negotiate for what Monte was worth. I informed them of what the last dealership offered us, and again asked for $3k. They’re counter-offer? $2100 (That Learning Guy is getting pretty good at the negotiation game)! Based on the vehicle history, the value and info of the car, and how much we both liked it, we continued to proceed. Next, the interest rate we got was 4.99% because of my credit being in the high 700s/low 800s. The interest paid on a 60 month term amounted to about $1100 over the term, and that’s if we take the full five years to pay.

2009 Toyota Prius

That Learning Gal and I and Patti the Prius!

All-in-all, I think the hunt was pretty successful. We found an extremely reliable used car, which we really like. It was a great value, and will continue to pay for itself as the years wear on and I’m getting forty-five miles to the gallon! It was a lot of fun, and I hope you guys get to have a similar experience. I know luck played a pretty decent roll in our search. How about all of you? Have you had a good experience? Bad experience? Post it below in the comments. Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a great week.

-That Learning Guy

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