buying car with cash

My Painstakingly Slow Journey to Buying a Car with Cash (Continued)!

Buying car with cash is hard! Here’s my painstakingly slow journey to buying a car with cash. This is part two of my journey to buy a car with cash. Here’s part one if you missed it!

You’d think the hardest part about buying a car with cash is saving up for it. Instead, I had a hard time finding a car!

Oh, the rejection: the used car salesman did not accept my cash offer. A few more used car dealerships later and I found the unfortunate truth that cash isn’t necessarily king with car dealerships. It pains me to write those words. Like, my heart is breaking acknowledging it. Car dealerships want to finance, finance, finance!

Even with a low-interest deal, you end up spending thousands in interest over the next 60 plus months. These salesmen get a kick back and extra commission when you finance through the dealership.

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My car hunt continued as follows:

Me: “Hi, do you still have the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe available?”

Car Salesman: “Yes we do, would you like to schedule a time for a test drive?”

Me: “Yes sure, I can come in around 11.”

Car Salesman: “I’ll see you at 11 then.”

Me: “Great.”

… 11 AM at the car dealership and a 45-minutes Uber drive later…

Car Salesman: “I could not find the car on the lot ANYWHERE! I searched and searched and searched, and I just have NO IDEA where the car went, but I have this other car that you can test drive”

Me: I stood there with my jaw practically on the floor in complete shock that I wasted 45-minutes of my life going to the dealership (not to mention an expensive Uber drive). Again, it seriously took every ounce of self-control to not bust out my Krav Maga moves on this car salesperson.

Ugh.

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The next car dealership was just as bad.

I saw online they had about ten used SUVs that were marked as, “Great Deals,” meaning they were priced low. I thought, surely at least one will be on the lot and work for me.

The car salesperson asked what I was looking for and I replied with the make and models of the cars I saw online and said, “I want a used SUV that is for sure 2013 or newer, has low miles, and towing capacity.”

More on why I needed towing capacity later… well ok, it’s so darn exciting. I’m doing the RV thing! I needed an SUV that has the capability to tow an RV travel trailer!!

Here’s how I decided to live full-time in a RV.

The salesperson pulled up a 2009 SUV that had off-the-chart high miles with the one item that I deemed
not necessary, but nice. It had a sunroof.

It was like I was speaking a foreign language.

What part about test driving a SUV 2013 or newer did he not understand? This isn’t rocket science or complex calculus. I wanted a 2013 or NEWER. NOT OLDER! What about the TEN SUV’s that fit that criteria?

After telling him AGAIN that I wanted an SUV 2013 or NEWER he pulled up an SUV that did fit my criteria and said, “Now the online price is XYZ, but I’m not sure we can get you that price.”

Oh homeboy, if there’s a discounted online price, you damn well are gonna get me that price.

I quickly told him, “No, we’re not playing that game. I will not be paying MORE than the listed price.”

He proceeded to print out a paper with the discounted price and added an ambiguous $889 fee.

“No.”

That one word is my go-to and catch all phrase: “No.”

Calling all fellow people-pleasers, just say no!

He said as if he were doing me a ginormous favor that he’d, “waive the $889 fee.”

I don’t know why I wasted another minute at that dealership, except for the fact that I had no car and I was determined that if I saw online TEN “Great Value,” SUVs that surely one would work.

I quickly looked at all the SUVs and found out why they were all great values: they were all damaged. One had hail damage, one had a rusted fender bender, another had a cracked windshield, and my favorite: one had tape holding together tubes under the engine.

Somehow ALL the online descriptions and pictures were taken in a way to hide these obvious deal breakers for me.

I just wanted to scream, “What the F**K!?”

Instead of going ballistic I walked out of the umpteenth dealership. For my sanity, I decided that the car buying process would go on a pause.

It was like the universe was telling me: don’t buy a car yet.

I’m still not exactly sure why I had such a hard time buying a freakin’ car, except for the fact that I know now ALL the tricks in the books that car sales people try to pull and I can teach you all lovely folks how to steer clear from all the b.s.

I continued my car-free journey of walking, ride sharing, and taking buses. I did not look at cars for a couple weeks to regroup from what was shaking out to be one horrible experience after the next at each dealership.

It seemed like ultimately buying a used car on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace was the route to go. The problem was that there were simply not that many SUV’s that had the towing capacity that I needed (for an RV!!) posted online from a private buyer.

Then on one magical day as I was walking (because I had no car!), I passed by a car dealership that was closed! That meant I could wander on the lot with no pressure.

Why did I not think of this before?

To my pleasant surprise I passed by an SUV that seemed like a miracle at this point: it did not have hail damage, a cracked windshield, or a rusting bumper.

Amazing!

The price was not listed on the car, but then I found the price listed online. It was more than I wanted to pay.

Wamp, wamp, wamp.

Another disappointment. I never imagined buying a car with cash would be this difficult!

Fast forward to the following week, I was looking online and found the exact same car, but the price just dropped by $1675!

SWEET!

I knew it! Everything is negotiable. Like I teach when I do money coaching, if something isn’t negotiable then you aren’t talking to the right person (the person who can lower the price) or you aren’t waiting long enough.

Time was in my favor for this car. The dealership was eager to sell!

This was now rated as a “Great Price” car that I already personally seen and loved (with no hail damage!).

First thing in the morning I gave the car a test drive. I negotiated the price down a bit more and got all the dealership fees waived.

I bought the car with cash!

Well, technically this time around I didn’t physically have cash wrapped around my waist secretly in a fanny pack. I wired the money.

I now have my new-to-me (used) car, payment-free! YAAS.

It feels great to be car payment-free. Onward to my next journey! RV life! Next week find out how I decided to buy an RV and live in it FULL TIME! It’s a little cra-cra, I know!

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Carly Michelle Best Money Class Ever

Hi! I'm Carly

Welcome! Let’s be friends:). I’m a Finance grad, creator of Best Money Class Ever and money coach. Here you’ll learn how to say bye, bye, bye to debt, build savings, and stress less about money.