I've always thought the three-year-old car was the best deal out there. But how do you get one with no crash? Here's my secret. Though I've succeeded in this, I'm not sure my strategy would work for you. It's like this:
|Get a home equity line of credit, with enough room to buy the used|
|Figure out what kind of car you want (Volvo Wagon, Dodge Minivan)|
Keep your ears open until somebody mentions that he's reaching the
end of the lease.
|Say "can I buy it out of your lease?"|
|Negotiate a purchase with the leasing company (I typically shoot for|
the midpoint between wholesale and retail prices per online bluebooks)
|Write a check|
|Take the car|
THEN, sell your old car as follows
|Go to cars.com and find out what's directly competitive|
|Run an ad in the tribune, with the online ad, pricing yours at $10|
below the lowest price
|Tell people they can come see it saturday morning, between 10 and 1.|
Make sure that they get an appointment. Print out a rudimentary bill of
sale, and get the title ready. Don't show it at any other times - it
creates competition, and a lot of people will be no-shows
|Wash the hell out of the thing. Get any stupid little problems|
fixed. Make sure the license plate bolts are loose enough that you can get
the plates off when you sell it.
|Find the title.|
|Show it saturday morning, and don't negotiate on price. Hey, you|
were the lowest, right? If somebody wants to negotiate, say "I've got
somebody coming in half an hour. Never mind."
|Get paid in cash, take off your license plates (so they don't earn|
you a rash of tickets - and kiss the thing goodbye.
That's my technique - it gets you a great car, but not always precisely what
you want. But it means that I know my cars haven't been wrecked, which is
worth maybe $2-3000 to me. It got me the volvo, the van, the taurus, the
cutlass, and one of the merkurs. It'll probably get me the next car.