Saturday, April 28, 2012

Depreciating Asset: a vehicle by any other name

My wife and I are looking to purchase a new vehicle one that is practical and economically ethical. That means that I will have to wait yet again on my fully-loaded BMW X3. We have in fact narrowed it down to a couple of vehicle choices:

First, the new 2012 GMC Terrain with two tone leather interior and onyx black exterior. Thankfully, we were both smart consumers to have bought our vehicles and paid them off completely. In other words, great trade--in value. We received a low trade-in value at the GMC dealership but more on that in a moment.

Second, the new 2012 Volkswagen (VW) Tiguan with champagne cream leather interior and white exterior; the color scheme goes by the phrase: the Key West model. And since my wife and I are travelers and we have been only once to Key West we agree! The trade--in value from this dealership was significantly higher than that of GMC.

The marked difference plus the excellent safety features, navigation and sun-roof feature all tip the scale to the VW Tiguan rather than the GMC Terrain easily. Plus, I admit that VW consumers are smarter and well informed about their purchase stance(s). We have done our homework that's for sure and with our new baby girl it makes all the difference!

Winner: 2012 VW Tiguan SE.

Nota Bene: When purchasing a new vehicle some tips to keep in mind:
  • Purchase with the mindset to own the vehicle for a decade.
  • Once the vehicle leaves the lot it depreciates about 20% (on any vehicle); heck, in 3 months it will depreciate yet again and so on.
  • Do NOT lease a vehicle as this suggests a monthly expenditure including when you give the car back (leaving thousands still left to be paid by you AND you have no car to shoe for it).
  • What features are you NEED haves and what features are your WANT haves (yes, write these down).
  • If you have trade(s) in mind do NOT present this upfront; instead, find out what the walk-out-the-door-final price of the vehicle happens to be; then, offer your trade(s) accordingly.
  • Ask for a loaner vehicle; specifically, ask for it on a Saturday so that you can bring it back on Monday mid-afternoon. If you cannot get a feel for the vehicle within such a concentrated window then that is NOT the car for you.
  • If you opt for a certified pre-owned vehicle make sure it is certified by the manufacturer NOT the dealership. And yes, used but certifiably so is always better than a new vehicle.
  • Lastly, if you go in there to haggle, to deal, to negotiate BE ON THE SAME PAGE FROM JUMP or else, you may get pinned against one another. Remember, purchasing a vehicle in any economy, is the single-most worst investment you will make.

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