Advice needed... buying a car private sale first time ever!

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by descovy, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. descovy

    descovy DIS Veteran

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    I hope you don’t mind... I started a thread about buying a used car for $6k earlier. Now I think I’m ready to buy, but I’ve got zero knowledge in car buying.

    We have decided on the Pontiac Vibe. It’s actually a 2007 and he’s selling for $5k.

    The seller is the neighbor of a friend of mine. It’s his personal car, but he also owns a small dealership.

    In the time of negotiations, his sister in law passed away last night and he’s preparing to fly to CA for funeral, etc... We are pretty sure we want this car and had already made plans to take it to a mechanic tomorrow.

    He called tonight to say he was leaving the keys with our mutual friend. Go ahead and take it to the mechanic tomorrow.

    And this is where it gets tricky...
    If I like it, put down a $2000 deposit and keep the car. When he comes back home he will handle the TTL at his dealership and I pay the rest. There is a lien holder shown on the vehicle, but it’s his own dealership (so basically clear title?)

    He made several motions these past few days about needing the money for funeral and travel. So I’m thinking that’s why he “offered” I put $2000 in his bank to buy the car now rather than wait for him to come back. Am I just over thinking this???
     
  2. supersnoop

    supersnoop What time is the three o'clock parade?

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    $2k seems high to me. I handed over $500 to hold a car for a week while the seller cleared the title, and that was for a $5000 purchase.

    But, it is normal to put money out to hold the car from being sold to someone else.
     
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  4. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    No advice - but just wanted to say that I have a 2006 Vibe that has been great. I have less than 60000 miles on it, but it's never had anything go wrong.
     
  5. descovy

    descovy DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! Can you tell me... how bad are the blind spots? Were you able to overcome them easily? Did you get a special mirror?

    This is really my only complaint. Even for me, I had a hard time checking when merging left.
     
  6. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    Honestly it really hasn't been a problem. I have more of an issue in my Honda Odyssey.

    It's a very reliable car.
     
  7. LYSE

    LYSE Mouseketeer

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    Its probably fine but a little odd, why put a deposit down if he won't sell it while his gone?

    Unless it's his dealerships and they can sell while his out..but if that's the case why not just buy it while his gone if everything checks out?
     
  8. piccolopat

    piccolopat DIS Veteran

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    Please make sure any deposit you leave is contingent on obtaining a clear title. I'm not sure why there is a lien on a 10 year old car or why he is asking for a 40% deposit. I agree with PP that you should only offer a $500 deposit. Something just doesn't seem right to me.
     
  9. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Don't overthink it. I can't even count how many cars I've bought/sold. I'd agree $2000 is a bit higher than most would ask for a deposit, but not overly alarming. You could ask for a quick bill of sale or some type of paperwork to confirm the terms of the sale. He shouldn't have any problem with it.

    Great choice with the Vibe. Don't overthink the blind spot thing. The Vibe/Matrix really doesn't have blind spots. Very few cars actually have true "blind spots" if the mirrors are properly pointed. Like I said before, if you want to get a little convex mirror, go for it. Just make sure the driver gets used to them, because while they show things, they give distortion and it can be very misleading.
     
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  10. kymom99

    kymom99 DIS Veteran

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    The thing is, he's letting you take it. Not just holding it for you. If you total the car before the sale is complete, he loses. So look at it that way.
     
  11. Monorail_Man_NJ

    Monorail_Man_NJ Mouseketeer

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    Couple thoughts having worked in automotive sales before at Ford, Toyota and Nissan.

    1) A 2007 Pontiac Vibe is 10 years old. Mileage on a vehicle has a lot to do with its value. Dealerships use a book called GALVES to price out a car for its wholesale value. Since you won't have access to that try KBB to make sure the numbers are right or atleast close. Remember no cars that are 10 yrs old will be considered "GOOD" condition. Look under FAIR condition price.

    2) Pontiac is out of business. Yes it was owned by GM but its still a defunct brand. So value can go down due to that. Same thing happened with Oldsmobile when they also disappeared. There was actually a time when you couldnt sell a Daewoo because the company was bankrupt. (It was a crappy Korean brand)

    3) I wouldn't touch a car unless the title is clear. If your in dire need of a car rent one until he gets back. Don't take it off lot until TITLE CLEAR. Also $2000 is HIGH for a used vehicle deposit. $500 TOPS imho.
     
  12. emlu218

    emlu218 Earning My Ears

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    First of all, most all vehicles that are purchased brand new are not owned by the dealership. They are floorplanned and the dealer has to pay them off when you purchase the vehicle. Is the car titled in his name or the dealership's name? I'm not sure how a dealership can hold a lien on a vehicle, that part is a bit confusing. First thing I would do is make sure you have a signed sales agreement before making a deposit. Once you have that I would put your $2,000 down. If you are purchasing the car through the dealership, then you will be paying your deposit to them and not to him.
     
  13. Eastern

    Eastern DIS Veteran

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    I never make rush decisions involving money. I don't like that he is saying that he 'needs' the money, it's unprofessional. I would just wait until he gets back to finish this deal.
     
  14. SharonZ

    SharonZ DIS Veteran

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    I would wait until he gets back, it's just a weird situation. Technically you don't own the car, can't insure it, and what happens if you are in an accident if you decide to take possession of the car while he is away?
     
  15. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Yes, most dealers use what is called a floor plan financing. So the fact that the title isn't "clear" isn't a big deal at all. When you buy from a dealer, you sign paperwork, pay them (or they arrange financing), and it all goes from there.

    Pontiac is gone, but it really doesn't have a huge effect on value. Parts are still available, especially mechanical since it was a Toyota anyway. Daewoo was an entirely different matter...in fact they're still heavily involved in cars sold here...see the Chevy Spark and Cruze.

    You actually should be able to insure it even if you haven't completed the sale yet.
     
  16. Monorail_Man_NJ

    Monorail_Man_NJ Mouseketeer

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    Pontiac is General Motors not Toyota.
     
  17. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Yes, but remember the Vibe was NOT a GM product. It was a Toyota Matrix (Corolla wagon) with a Pontiac grille and badge on it. So everything mechanical for that car will come from the Toyota Corolla/Matrix parts bin.

    Most of Pontiac's inventory at the end of it's life was rebadged vehicles. The G3 was a Daewoo, the G8 was a Holden (which GM owns).
     
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  18. APiratesLifeForMe2

    APiratesLifeForMe2 DIS Veteran

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    Will you be able to call your insurance company and add on a new car? Yes. Will it be valid if you have an accident? No.

    I agree with others. Wait until he is back and finalize the deal then. I would personally wait for a clear title before putting down a deposit.
     
  19. Albort

    Albort ODV Crew

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    this is what i dont get, if he owns a small dealership, why isnt another "sale guy" handling the transaction?

    it sounds fishy to me. idk whats up.
     
  20. smokeyblue

    smokeyblue DIS Veteran

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    $5k for a 2007 Vibe seems high, especially for a private sale. I wouldn't put any money down and try to negotiate a lower price. If you can't get it below 4k I would walk.
     
  21. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    Actually, yes, it will be valid. It's what I do for a living...
     

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