When to buy a used car?

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DoingHomework
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When to buy a used car?

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:33 am

Ok, the used car gurus have provided useful advice to others in the past so I'll ask for advice here.

My situation is that I need to buy an older truck or 4x4. I've got a trailer I need to tow occasionally and we are in the process of doing some work on the house that means I'll need to haul stuff. Places deliver but this will be a series of projects over a couple of years so I'd add up a few hundred in delivery fees I'm sure.

The 4x4 part is just so we can go out and have fun exploring a few places that we haven't been able to reach before.

I just sold my old truck that I've had for 20 years because it wouldn't pass emissions and it was only 4x2 anyway.

SO I am looking to buy a used, possibly beat up, pickup or suv with 4 wheel drive and decent towing capacity over the next few months. I'm not in any real hurry. It looks like I can get something less than 10 years old on Craigslist or in the newspaper ads for $3000-$5000 at most that are actually much nicer than I need. That's ironic because I sold my old one for around half the low end of that!

My question is, is there a good or bad time to buy something like this? I'm thinking I want to get something in January or February but can buy now if I find something or could wait longer. I'm in a university town so I'm wondering if I can get a good deal from a graduating student around May. I'm also wondering if people get desperate around Christmas and sell cheap.

Thoughts?

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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby Tightwad » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:25 am

My knee jerk answer is anytime is probably a good time to buy a well used 4x4 truck except for early fall just before hunting season starts. At least that's the way it is in my area...

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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:33 am

Tightwad wrote:My knee jerk answer is anytime is probably a good time to buy a well used 4x4 truck except for early fall just before hunting season starts. At least that's the way it is in my area...


Good point. Hunting season probably has an influence here as well. But that's just starting around now I think.

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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby DoingHomework » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:34 am

I see in a lot of ads that guys are selling because of a divorce. Does anyone know if there is a "divorce season"?

Tightwad
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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby Tightwad » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:39 am

DoingHomework wrote:I see in a lot of ads that guys are selling because of a divorce. Does anyone know if there is a "divorce season"?

Yeah, it runs from January to December every year. :D

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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby GilBurt » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:01 am

Thanks for sharing very good information...............

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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby bpgui » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:54 pm

Missed this the first time around.

I've no experience in buying a used pickup, but I would assume the worst time to get a good deal would be right before/during the snowy season... though IIRC you're in Arizona, so that may not be applicable.

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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby DoingHomework » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:27 pm

bpgui wrote:I've no experience in buying a used pickup, but I would assume the worst time to get a good deal would be right before/during the snowy season... though IIRC you're in Arizona, so that may not be applicable.


YRC - I'm in Arizona. We generally get snow every year in southern Arizona where I am, especially in the mountains. And it can be a big deal because no one knows how to drive in it. About 20 years ago I had a trip to Colorado planned for Christmas that I had to cancel because we had about 3 inches of snow, but that closed the roads for a few days - no plows, and the cops are paranoid/know that the sight of white makes people crazy here! There were major snows in Colorado but the roads were open. I could not get out of town here though.

So maybe it's not a major influence on 4x4 prices. But I think Tightwad was on to something with hunting season!

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Re: When to buy a used car?

Postby Capo » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:14 pm

Some people claim end of the month, end of a quarter, or end of the year can sometimes get extra special pricing... though that is heavily debated.

If you're a cash buyer, use that to your advantage. Showing-up at a dealer or with a private a seller with the cash/check in hand can be very tempting to a seller. Know your internal highest price you'll play and negotiate down until you get AT LEAST that price. Be willing to walk on the spot if they won't give you what you want or start playing games.

You'll find someone who is serious about selling soon enough.


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