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Friday, January 27, 2012

Money, How You Get The Free Car

      My last blog was on how to get a free car.  Here are some more details on the best and cheapest way to get it. First of all the catch is that you have to wait five years.  However it is a worthwhile wait.  Also it will happen quicker if you are one of the people who "was" driving a 15 to 20 MPG vehicle.  It is not really free, but it technically is.  Because if you keep driving the gas sucking hogs you will keep spending tons of money you do not need to spend.  The trick is saving the money by not spending it.
      First thing to do is pick out your car and find it.  There are several ways to go about it.   First thing is if you want a loaded, all the bells and whistles car you are wasting a lot of money.  Unless you drive around 50,000 miles per year you can probably do without most of that stuff.  From my experience I do recommend air conditioning and a radio.  That is it.  I prefer manual window cranks and locks.  They do not usually quit working after a year or two like the power ones.  If you have ever been trapped in a powered car one time it will cure your love for electric.  Especially if it is sinking in water or on fire.  Just something to think about that most people do not worry about, but that can happen.
     Now how do I get my absolute best deal.  Try to buy a model you like but last years model.  Dealers discount new cars when the new models come out. Especially if it is a discontinued model.  If it gets into the model year that the car actually is the price does not go down anymore till the next one comes out.  I am going to explain how I did it when I wanted one.  Several members of my family had Dodge Colts.  The manual 5 speeds got right at 40 MPG and that impressed me and this was when gas was around a dollar a gallon. I live twenty miles from anything so it costs me to go anywhere.  Well in March 1995 I went to the Dodge dealer looking for a Colt.  They tried to sell me a Neon.  I did not want a Neon and made it clear if they could not find me a Colt they were not going to sell me a car. I had my own money and financing and if they could not meet my needs they were not going to sell me a car.  Dealers hate to see money walk out the door.  Well 1994 was the last year for the Colt and the dealer had a hard time finding one.  Finally he found one two hundred miles away in St. Louis.  In the fall of 1993 that car was just over $12,000 dollars.  Then in 1994 it went down to $11,000 dollars.  When the 1995's came out in September 1994 it went down to about $10,300.  When I went to buy it in March of 1995 the price had fallen to just $8900.  Patience and waiting and demanding to get what I wanted saved me $3100 dollars up front.  Well they drove the car from St. Louis with my permission and it had about 250 miles on the odometer but I could live with that.  They had a couple of dealer used cars that had been used for customers who had there car in the shop and they had less than 4000 miles but I took the no bells and whistles car.  The dealer cars were automatics and I did not want an automatic.  It had no radio, no air and manual windows.   That was okay for me.  I was interested in the MPG and that was my only reason for buying the car.   Did have to settle for a manual 4 speed.  I wanted the manual 5 speed.  Kept the car for ten years and it was right at the 200,000 mile mark when we gave it to my niece who needed a car so she could get a job.  She drove it for three or four years and then she sold it.  I still see it occasionally when I go to my home town.  The only thing I spent on that car beside gas and oil which I changed regularly is a couple sets of tires and some windshield wipers.
     So I had my "new" car to drive.  I was blessed enough and shared the blessing.  Over the years I have given away over ten cars.  Mostly to family, but it was always to someone who really needed a car and a break.  Not bragging, but that has come back to many times over.  Hopefully this will help some other people understand how to get the best possible deal on a car.  So in conclusion here are the tips.  1. buy last years model.  2. If you can live with it take one with a few miles on it, if it is a dealers car. 3. Make sure it gets at least 30 MPG and try to find a 40MPG model.  4. As gas prices go up your savings will be magnified. 5. Try and not pay for a lot of bells and whistles you do not need.  Hopefully this will help someone who has learned how to be debt free to live a lifestyle that will help keep them that way.
      Spending top dollar for the newest model when it first comes out with the big muscle car motor is one way to keep yourself in the debt cycle.  You have to decide if you like your financial freedom more than your ego.  Enjoy the ride.  If you put your gas savings in the bank and save them.   The next time you walk into a dealer you will have done your homework and you will pay for that car with money you saved by breaking your addiction to the gas sucking hogs America is famous for.

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