How To Buy A New Car and Not Get Screwed

There’s some excellent advice in this 6 minute presentation by Rob Gruhl. Basically its a summary of the best approach to take when on the hunt for a vehicle. I especially like the part about getting your own finance – not relying on the dealer – it just makes sense and should save a bunch of headaches and admin fees.

Rob Gruhl – How to Buy a New Car – Ignite Seattle 2007

Here’s a short summary if you don’t want to watch the whole 5 minutes:

  • Take your time and use two full weekends – they’re under more pressure to make the sale than you are to buy.
  • Get financing from your own choice of bank – A dealer may be colluding with their own banking partners.
  • Don’t sell your old car to the same dealer – You’ll always get screwed on a trade-in.
  • Pick at least three different cars as options – It gives you the flexibility to toy around and compare.
  • Test drive! Test drive! Test drive! Then go home. Don’t buy.
  • Always try to play dealers off against each other on the final price.
  • Get the “drive it off the lot” price – That’s the final number with all the fees added in.
  • Confirm availability – Make sure the car is in stock, i.e. get the VIN number
  • Don’t sign until everything is absolutely clear and the vehicle is ready.
  • The visit to the office – Do NOT but any of the add-on insurances, top-ups or extras they try to milk you for. They’re all overinflated in price.
  • In general, just be a pain in the ass. Don’t let them walk over you.

finance Rants

It Takes A Whole Recession To Stop that Ugly Bastard.

Chrysler PT Cruiser in Bangkok
Image by Ian Fuller via Flickr

News of the week is that Chrysler are *at last* going to stop making that most awful and ridiculous of cars –  the PT Cruiser. I can’t believe the world economy had to go into a harrowing downward spiral before they stopped making this ghastly thing. Then again, the car did have a large following in the “impractical-zero-common-sense-hood-gangsta-almost-bling” department. Personally, I wouldn’t call it bling. Bling is a Ferrari F340. Bling is a black 1967 Chevy Impala. The PT Cruiser, is, well, take a look at the picture, puke-a-rific.

Thank goodness the world came to its senses and forced a recession on itself just to stop Chrysler from making this abomination.

Asides Humor

Buy Griff’s car

Golf TDI

It’s a sad sign of the times when poor ou Gibbons has to trade in his sexy car for a new underpowered, embarrasment of a little tjorrie. (a VW citigolf) Check the sales pitch here. Somebody please buy that car.


Offline Car Googling

Due to the untimely demise of my Polo Playa, I have now unexpectedly found myself in the market for a new vehicle. As far as my research goes, the following are options at the top end of my price range (in no particular order):

Volkswagen Polo 1.6 Comfortline – R136 350

Problem here is that a new Polo is being launched in July

Citroen C2 VTS – R145 000

Renault Clio 1.4 Expression A/T 5-dr – R137 995
or Renault Clio 1.6 Dynamique 3-dr – R 139 995

Toyota RunX 140 RT – R137 879

Honda Jazz 1.4 i-DSI Manual – R132 500

As for Opel Corsa, well their website is useless. Minus one point for them.

So here’s my question: which one? Or should a aim for something cheaper and quicker to pay off? The comments section awaits your input…

I needed a stolen car like I need Windows on my PC.


NGB 776 GP, Charcoal VW Polo Playa 1.4

My car was stolen in Rynfield, Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa on Saturday at around 13:30. Strictly speaking the colour is “Anthracite Blue”, but it looks more like Charcoal (dark grey to black).

If you do happen to see it, phone the cops, please.

Let’s hope the inevitable insurance chronicle is not a pain in the ass. I’m lost without my wheels – I feel compelled to return to varsity and do the lift scheme/lazing on the grass/partying thing.

Alternatively I could go and drive around the townships and informal settlements in the slim hope of some success.