Hail Damage

NickD

wrench
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I do have faith in God, and with questions about a vehicle I am really interested in, pay far less for a title search and contact the previous owners with very good results. On the other stuff, not so much a question of faith, but experience and learning from mistakes. Ha, with Santa Clause, finally have a home with a nice fireplace and a large chimney, still waiting, and have gotten my best used vehicles and prices from my local dealers, no complaints there.
 

wap

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Santa knows who's naughty or nice. LOL.
 

TalkingDreams

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Hey Nick, you mean there is a way I can find the original owner and ASK about the car? Can you tell me how to do that? Thanks!
 

NickD

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With a new car dealer, I just ask the name and the phone number of the previous owner, happy to provide that, ha, even ask them what they got for a tradein. In my state, takes awhile for a title transfer with a long form to fill out with a stiff fee, so when a vehicle is bounced around even from an auction sell, the original title stays with the vehicle, transfered from dealer to dealer. So I would think the seller of that vehicle you are interested still has the original title with the previous owners name on it, so ask the seller for that information. If he hee-haws around, good indication to look elsewhere.

Ebay has over 43,000 vehicles listed and autotrader has over 3 million vehicles listed plus many local sites showing all the local dealers stock, a lot easier to buy a vehicle rather than to try to sell one, it's a buyers market.

Ha, Wap, you mean I have to be good all year long just to get a present? Isn't it more fun to be naughty?
 

wap

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nickd, you haven't been good or naughty. just indifferent. it's a toss up whether Santa thinks you are good or bad. as for me, I think you may have worked for GreenPeace or something. lol. keep up the posts...you do offer good recommendations. Hell, just the other day on the way home, I stopped at the dealership, and had some coffee and cookies. Caught the last 5 mins of Ophra on their new plasma TV.
 

Colt Hero

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QUOTE: NickD: Ha, when the car market is low was able to buy a brand new car off the lot at 62% of the retail value, actually 42% with my GM card earnings. But anyone could buy it at that 62% level.

NickD,

You sure about those numbers? They look awfully low. Too low, I think. I bought my '02 Impala (sticker $22,040) for $17,800 (negotiated), then $12,200 after GM earnings. So that's a 23% discount that "anyone could buy at", and a 46% discount with the GM earnings. Even if I bought my Impala as a leftover, it would've gone for (at very best) about $16,500 - still only a 25% discount. You're just not going to get 38% off the sticker right off the street - unless we're talking about some grossly-inflated, artificial sticker price that simply isn't real to begin with...
 

NickD

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No mistake, car had a sticker price of $16,300 and I paid $7,000.00 for it before title and sales tax, that teed me off, state charged sales tax on $16,300.00! Chevy was offering a $4,000.00 rebate and gave me another $2,000.00, a thousand each for two other GM cars I owned, the rest was on my old GMCard, that GM is trying their best to get me to upgrade with a lower interest rate and much lower earnings. But I haven't paid a dime in interest yet, if I don't have the money, won't use the card.

Perhaps a once in a lifetime deal, still getting offers from GM, but nothing like that and nothing that I like, test drove a Cobalt and got a backache before I left the parking lot and felt I was driving a Goodyear blimp.

Regarding being a rebel, Wap, the American way, our forefathers were rebels against King George, somehow I got the feeling that George is back again.
 

Colt Hero

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So - OK, the only unusual number you mention is the $4000 rebate. You NEVER see a rebate that high on a car with a sticker price that low. Maybe inventories had risen to very high levels at that time on the model you bought and GM had to resort to desperate measures to unload the cars. $4000 rebates are pretty much reserved for the SUVs in the $40k price range. In '02, my Impala came with a $2500 rebate. Right now I'm looking at possibly buying an Uplander. It's rebate is $2000. I'm pretty sure when I was looking into buying a Venture or Montana back in the '97-'98 timeframe (before I found out they were deathtraps and changed my mind), the rebate hit $3000 for a while before dropping back down to either $2000 or $2500. Of course, those sticker prices were grossly inflated back then. Today, it seems that GM has cut a lot of the fat out of their sticker prices. Maybe they're trying to help the more negotiation-challenged customer so that two people who buy the same vehicle (possibly neighbors) don't end up paying two grossly different prices.

Whatever you do, don't switch to that other GM card. It has unlimited earnings, but GM fixes the number of "dollars" you can apply to your purchase on a model-by-model basis. I remember back in the '99 timeframe when they rolled that offer out. I didn't fall for it, but my brother did - and now he regrets it. Eventually, we'll probably be rolled into that plan too, but at that point it might make more sense to buy another make of automobile...
 

NickD

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For my hop around car, was going to buy another Honda Civic that carried the same $16K sticker price until I saw the deal on the Cavalier. I got the 04 Cavalier sports coupe with the big Goodyear Double Eagle tires and alloy wheels, spoiler, five speed Getrag, AC, cruise, and premium radio. Didn't want ABS nor those power windows, but did add an aftermarket remote entry and some darn good speakers. They had another fully loaded sports coupe with AT, ABS, PW for a thousand bucks more.

Is a fun car to drive, very quiet, and comfortable, even for long trips and can carry some pretty big stuff in the trunk with the fold down rear seats. The MVAC in this car is fanastic, in sub-zero weather start getting heat after just driving three blocks and on a hot summer day is cool inside with the same distance. If I can hold it to 55, get 40+ mpg and it does handle just like a sports car with the sports suspension and fun to drive a stick. I have no idea why GM gave that $4,000 rebate on this car, do have 40K on it already and see worse cars like it on the lot today for $7K special price. I did have problems with a very annoying front strut mount noise, but at my dealers recommendation, sprayed silicon up there and it went away and has been away for the last month. Intend on looking at that, but not in subzero weather.

Not interested in anything GM has today, will just let my GM card pile up.
 

wap

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don't think i've ever saw someone this proud of a cavalier. good deal or not, sorry NickD, it's still a cavalier. lol. just kidding. seriously. no i'm not.
 

Colt Hero

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NickD,

So you've got the NEW GM card, or the old plan? You say you're going to "let it pile up", but you can only do that with the NEW plan. On the old plan, it can only pile up to $3500 (originally it was $7000) over a 7 year window, then the window rolls forward with the newest points replacing the oldest points. If you're not at least accruing as many points in the new months as you are losing in the old months, your balance is actually decreasing each month! With the NEW plan, as I mentioned, you can accrue an unlimited amount of points, but it's pretty much meaningless because you can only use whatever they say you can use for a particular model. An '08 Impala is probably capped at something like $1500 under the NEW plan, so even if you have $10,000 worth of earnings, you can only use $1500 for your purchase. It's a bad deal.

I'm not that crazy about anything GM has to offer these days, either. But I'm "in the window" where my GM earnings are close to rolling around and it's about time I replace my 10-year old Taurus, so I'm going to pick something. I'd like to add a vehicle (the Taurus will remain) with a little more utility, so it'll either be a truck or a minivan. The truck would have to be a Crew-cab style, however, (Silverado or Sierra, the Canyon/Colorado are too small), but the gas mileage on these things is terrible, so I'm probably going to get a minivan. Could be this year, but might be next year. Not really sure yet. Just doing my research right now...
 

NickD

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I have the real old GM Card when they first came out with it, not suppose to have any limits and that also includes the original plan.

Yeah, Wap, the Cavalier is basic, but if it ain't got all that stuff you don't need anyway, you won't have any problems with it. After I had it for a year, got on the net, four tires costs $540.00 at Tire Rack, closest wheels came to about 600, 2 grand for a rebuilt getrag, and 5 grand for an engine, that's already about 1,200 more than I paid for it. So much for parts markup.
 

Colt Hero

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When did the 'real old' GM card start? I got in in the '94-'95 timeframe. I always thought that was the very beginning. Under that ('original') plan, you could accrue up to $7000 over a 7 year window (max of $1000 per year). Sometime around '96 or '97 ('98?) they cut back the program to a $3500 cap over a 7 year window. Then later on, as I mentioned earlier, they introduced the "NEW GM CARD" (around '99) with unlimited accrual, but capped rebates on a model-by-model basis (the bad deal). If you took the bait and made the jump to this new program, you were stuck and could never go back to the old program. But it sounds like you're saying there was a plan even before that where you could accrue ANY AMOUNT of points for ANY NUMBER of years? That doesn't sound plausible because that way you could conceivably eventually buy a car on "points" alone (no cash necessary)!
 

NickD

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I really haven't paid much attention toward GM earnings. I did pull my invoice, actually paid $7,170 for this car plus sales tax, license and title fees. Sticker price was $16,352, was only a thousand for owning another GM vehicle, $4,000 rebate, and had $4,182 earnings on my GM card. Recall the dealer calling GM card and they did approve the full $4,182 amount before I signed the contract and wrote out the check.

But was very unhappy with the state taxes, because I owned another GM vehicle that was treated as a cash allowance bringing the car price down to $15,352 for a total tax of $767.60, I argued this point, but he showed me the WI sales tax laws on this that I further verified, the rebate and earnings are treated like my own cash that help paid for the vehicle. Gosh I hate this state and the federal IRS for that matter. Why shouldn't our expense for driving kids to school that is the law plus what we spend to drive to work be tax deductible?

I did receive a letter from GM yesterday telling me my earnings toward a new GM vehicle are now $3,000.00, but nothing of interest to me, so I pitched it.
 

Colt Hero

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NickD,

Yeah - you bought in '04, two years after I bought my Impala. I had something like $5500 in GM dollars when I made my purchase. I would've had pretty close to $7000 if they hadn't changed the program rules on me. The rules probably changed midstream on you too. I remember when the rules changed they said it would only be $500 per year maximum accrual (instead of $1000) going forward, but you could keep any previously-earned points without any adjustments made. This is why I was able to use more than $3500 toward my purchase. The next time we buy, they're not going to let us use more than $3500. It sounds like you've got one more year to accrue points before you max out - then, as I said earlier, the points will just roll around - adding points on the end and lopping them off the backside...

So what year did you get into the GM car program??
 
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