How do you pay for a car?

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FOGU
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How do you pay for a car?

Post by FOGU »

So I'll be moving back to the USA in a month or two. I'll need a car.
In my visits, I have borrowed a car during my stay. Now I need my own. I haven't bought a car in 20 years.
This is going to sound simpleton, but how do I pay for the car I buy? I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
I would put it all on a credit card, but I've read in other threads how the sellers don't want to do that. So, I have to have write a check? Link my bank account?
Thanks.
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anon_investor
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by anon_investor »

FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm So I'll be moving back to the USA in a month or two. I'll need a car.
In my visits, I have borrowed a car during my stay. Now I need my own. I haven't bought a car in 20 years.
This is going to sound simpleton, but how do I pay for the car I buy? I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
I would put it all on a credit card, but I've read in other threads how the sellers don't want to do that. So, I have to have write a check? Link my bank account?
Thanks.
Last time I bought a car from a dealer (less than 5 yesrs ago), I put $5k on a credit card and got a certified check from my bank to pay for the rest of it.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by FOGU »

anon_investor wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:25 pm
FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm So I'll be moving back to the USA in a month or two. I'll need a car.
In my visits, I have borrowed a car during my stay. Now I need my own. I haven't bought a car in 20 years.
This is going to sound simpleton, but how do I pay for the car I buy? I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
I would put it all on a credit card, but I've read in other threads how the sellers don't want to do that. So, I have to have write a check? Link my bank account?
Thanks.
Last time I bought a car from a dealer (less than 5 yesrs ago), I put $5k on a credit card and got a certified check from my bank to pay for the rest of it.
Helpful. Thank you.
atomicrc11
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by atomicrc11 »

I generally try to pay cash with a bank check. If you need to finance, just go to a credit union and get pre-approved. Many will give you a check to fill in the amount once you have made the deal and you pay with that. Then the amount shows up in your loan account.

Once I find the car I want I put down the minimum on a credit card.

Generally dealer financing is horrible unless the manufacturer is pushing a fixed rate, ie. 0%, 0.9%, 1.9%.
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anon_investor
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by anon_investor »

FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:31 pm
anon_investor wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:25 pm
FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm So I'll be moving back to the USA in a month or two. I'll need a car.
In my visits, I have borrowed a car during my stay. Now I need my own. I haven't bought a car in 20 years.
This is going to sound simpleton, but how do I pay for the car I buy? I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
I would put it all on a credit card, but I've read in other threads how the sellers don't want to do that. So, I have to have write a check? Link my bank account?
Thanks.
Last time I bought a car from a dealer (less than 5 yesrs ago), I put $5k on a credit card and got a certified check from my bank to pay for the rest of it.
Helpful. Thank you.
To add, $5k was the max that dealer would allow me to charge.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by FOGU »

anon_investor wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:36 pm
FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:31 pm
anon_investor wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:25 pm
FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm So I'll be moving back to the USA in a month or two. I'll need a car.
In my visits, I have borrowed a car during my stay. Now I need my own. I haven't bought a car in 20 years.
This is going to sound simpleton, but how do I pay for the car I buy? I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
I would put it all on a credit card, but I've read in other threads how the sellers don't want to do that. So, I have to have write a check? Link my bank account?
Thanks.
Last time I bought a car from a dealer (less than 5 yesrs ago), I put $5k on a credit card and got a certified check from my bank to pay for the rest of it.
Helpful. Thank you.
To add, $5k was the max that dealer would allow me to charge.
Yes, I saw that in other threads. I guess they don't want to pay the bank fee.
Thank you.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by jebmke »

When we returned from an ex-pat life in 2006 I bought a car with American Express; we didn't have the cash in a US bank. I'm not sure it is that easy now. Normally we pay cash for cars (last car I bought - in late 2007 -- the dealer took a personal check); my wife bought a new car in 2018 and they gave us 0% financing.

If you can get cash moved back to the US ahead of your return, that gives you the most flexibility.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by FOGU »

atomicrc11 wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:32 pm I generally try to pay cash with a bank check. If you need to finance, just go to a credit union and get pre-approved. Many will give you a check to fill in the amount once you have made the deal and you pay with that. Then the amount shows up in your loan account.

Once I find the car I want I put down the minimum on a credit card.

Generally dealer financing is horrible unless the manufacturer is pushing a fixed rate, ie. 0%, 0.9%, 1.9%.
Thank you.
I'll be a bit rushed to get some wheels once I get back to the USA. So pre-approval, etc., will be complicating, but I will look into that.
newyorker
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by newyorker »

I always paid cash. They wont let you put everything on CC due to interchange fee.
squirm
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by squirm »

When we're at the dealer, I just tell my wife, "get out the checkbook and write a check for blah blah blah". Never had an issue.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

The last time I bought a car was 6 years ago and I put $5k on credit card and paid the rest by personal check. I had to negotiate the max they’d allow on the card. They said I could do $3k but I asked for $5k on the card and they agreed (I did this over the phone before going into the dealership). The purchase price was in the range you’re thinking of.

I’m not sure that you have the time to do it, but if you can first open a credit card that is offering a bonus for spending a minimum amount (such as $4k or $5k within 90 days of opening the account), you can effectively lower the cost of the car by maybe a $1000 or so.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Nate79 »

Every dealer I've purchased thru the years (many cars) have accepted a plain old check. The last car we bought thru Vroom required a wire.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by jabberwockOG »

When buying from a dealer I generally put as much as the dealer will allow on a credit card that has cash back or reward points and write a check for any remaining amount.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by TxFrog »

We’ve purchased two new cars in the last three years. After settling on an OTD price, I tell the dealership I’m paying with cash and need the exact amount we owe down to the penny. We then drove to our bank (10 mins drive) and got a cashiers check.

We considered a mix of credit card and physical cash (used to buy used cars with hard cash), but the cashiers check was easy for us.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by JoMoney »

The most recent car I purchased was also when I was moving back to the U.S.
I bought a prior rental car from HertzCarSales.com , the way it worked for me was at the time they offered the car I selected online as a 3 day rental (which I used a credit card for), then if I decided to keep the car there was no 'rental' fee and it was all just a matter of paying for the car.
They offered me to either finance it through them, pay by cashiers check FedEx'ed to them, or wire transfer.
I chose to pay by cashiers check.

I don't know if they're still offering the 3 day rental option, apparently it's a bit of a hassle coordinating getting the car to rental location at the agreed upon pick up date/time. It looks like they have other options now though, like "home delivery" (at an additional fee).

The cost buying directly from the rental car company was a good bit cheaper then buying a newer used car from a dealer, most of which are also prior rental cars/fleet vehicles. I tried shopping around while I had the car on the 'rental' period, none of the dealers could get close to no-haggle Hertz price.
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Woodshark
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Woodshark »

If you buy from a dealer, you can use a check. They will probably want to call the bank and verify funds before handing you the keys. If they take a credit card then even better. If you are buying from a private seller they might take a personal check, but more than likely they would like cash or something equivalent. I've had success by having the local branch of my bank write a cashiers check in amount of the purchase price. I meet the seller at their bank and arrange a meeting with the branch manager or someone higher than a teller. Their bank calls my bank and verifies funds. I sign the back of the check and we both sign a bill of sale. The seller signs over the title and gives me the title and keys. The bank rep witnesses and/or notarizes the sale and deposits the funds in the sellers account.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by wunderkind »

Personal check has always worked for me with new cars from dealers. Private parties selling used cars generally expect a cashier’s check.

From the dealer’s perspective it’s the same process as if you are financing the car. Dealer runs a credit check and draws up a contract that is effectively a car financing deal with an exceptionally bad APR. If your personal check clears, the loan is paid off and the deal is done. If the check doesn’t clear, you’re sitting on a very expensive car loan.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by FOGU »

Ron Ronnerson wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 8:25 pm The last time I bought a car was 6 years ago and I put $5k on credit card and paid the rest by personal check. I had to negotiate the max they’d allow on the card. They said I could do $3k but I asked for $5k on the card and they agreed (I did this over the phone before going into the dealership). The purchase price was in the range you’re thinking of.

I’m not sure that you have the time to do it, but if you can first open a credit card that is offering a bonus for spending a minimum amount (such as $4k or $5k within 90 days of opening the account), you can effectively lower the cost of the car by maybe a $1000 or so.
Thanks to everyone for all the great responses.

For a thousand bucks, I can certainly make the effort to look into the credit card bonus before landing in the USA. Good tip.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Nicolas »

I write a personal check for the whole amount. I never finance it.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by FOGU »

JoMoney wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 8:40 pm The most recent car I purchased was also when I was moving back to the U.S.
I bought a prior rental car from HertzCarSales.com , the way it worked for me was at the time they offered the car I selected online as a 3 day rental (which I used a credit card for), then if I decided to keep the car there was no 'rental' fee and it was all just a matter of paying for the car.
They offered me to either finance it through them, pay by cashiers check FedEx'ed to them, or wire transfer.
I chose to pay by cashiers check.

I don't know if they're still offering the 3 day rental option, apparently it's a bit of a hassle coordinating getting the car to rental location at the agreed upon pick up date/time. It looks like they have other options now though, like "home delivery" (at an additional fee).

The cost buying directly from the rental car company was a good bit cheaper then buying a newer used car from a dealer, most of which are also prior rental cars/fleet vehicles. I tried shopping around while I had the car on the 'rental' period, none of the dealers could get close to no-haggle Hertz price.
I did not know of this Hertz option. I am browsing there. If others have experience I would like to know. Thank you!
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Watty »

Be sure to get your car insurance set up before you are ready to buy a car, they may require you to have that to drive the car off the lot. As I recall other some other poster ran into very high car insurance rates when they returned to the US after a long absence because they did not have any driving history in the US. This is because the car insurance companies have no way of knowing if you have a history of having a lot of traffic tickets and accidents when you were living overseas.

If you do not have one it might be good to get a US driver's license before you go car shopping since car dealers may want to see one before you take a car for a test drive or buy one.

There was a thread not long ago about car dealers taking personal checks and once thing they often want to do before taking a personal check is to run your credit and get you to sign a statement saying they can set up a car loan for you if your check bounces. Some people would not let them run a credit check so they would need to have a bank issue a cashier's check. If you do not have a US credit history and credit score they may not take your personal check since you would not qualify for a normal car loan.

During a move I have also had a car dealer refuse to take any out of state personal check no matter what because that was their policy. They would have taken an instate check just fine.
FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
One thing to be prepared for is that the US used car market has gone crazy and used cars are selling for absurdly high prices. There is a worldwide computer chip shortage which has shut down some car factories so some new car models are in short supply and selling for a high price if you can find one. Some new car models do not seem to be as impacted by the chip shortage, at least not yet.

A couple of weeks ago I had an offer from CarMax to buy my three year Corolla for more than I paid for it when it was new, excluding taxes and registration. The used car market is that crazy right now. I ended up buying a new Subaru Forester for a decent but not fantastic price so at least that model does not seem to be impacted much by the chip shortage yet.
JoMoney wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 8:40 pm The most recent car I purchased was also when I was moving back to the U.S.
I bought a prior rental car from HertzCarSales.com
It was a cross country move but I also bought a used Hertz rental car when I did a corporate relocation. That worked well for me but Hertz is in bankruptcy now and most rental cars are real short of rental cars now because they sold lots of them off when the pandemic was at its worst. Now that people are starting to travel and rent cars again they are short of rental cars so they may not be selling many of them off, at least not at a great price.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

I have an account at Fidelity where I can write checks. I would move money to that checking account. The dealers where I buy cars seem to be happy to take my checks.
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Calli114
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Calli114 »

When I bought a new car in March with a personal check, the dealership wanted to check my credit score despite the fact that I was not financing any of it.
My credit is frozen for security reasons, so I had to call one of the credit agencies to get it unlocked while there.
I don’t know if this is a common practice, but I was somewhat surprised.
Marseille07
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Marseille07 »

I put 5000 on CC and paid the rest via a personal check. Just check with the dealer which payment methods they accept and plan accordingly.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Sandtrap »

At a dealer last week.
2k on a credit card balance on a brokerage check.
At a dealer 2 months ago.
Same

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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by FOGU »

Watty wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 9:48 pm Be sure to get your car insurance set up before you are ready to buy a car, they may require you to have that to drive the car off the lot. As I recall other some other poster ran into very high car insurance rates when they returned to the US after a long absence because they did not have any driving history in the US. This is because the car insurance companies have no way of knowing if you have a history of having a lot of traffic tickets and accidents when you were living overseas.

If you do not have one it might be good to get a US driver's license before you go car shopping since car dealers may want to see one before you take a car for a test drive or buy one.

There was a thread not long ago about car dealers taking personal checks and once thing they often want to do before taking a personal check is to run your credit and get you to sign a statement saying they can set up a car loan for you if your check bounces. Some people would not let them run a credit check so they would need to have a bank issue a cashier's check. If you do not have a US credit history and credit score they may not take your personal check since you would not qualify for a normal car loan.

During a move I have also had a car dealer refuse to take any out of state personal check no matter what because that was their policy. They would have taken an instate check just fine.
FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
One thing to be prepared for is that the US used car market has gone crazy and used cars are selling for absurdly high prices. There is a worldwide computer chip shortage which has shut down some car factories so some new car models are in short supply and selling for a high price if you can find one. Some new car models do not seem to be as impacted by the chip shortage, at least not yet.

A couple of weeks ago I had an offer from CarMax to buy my three year Corolla for more than I paid for it when it was new, excluding taxes and registration. The used car market is that crazy right now. I ended up buying a new Subaru Forester for a decent but not fantastic price so at least that model does not seem to be impacted much by the chip shortage yet.
JoMoney wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 8:40 pm The most recent car I purchased was also when I was moving back to the U.S.
I bought a prior rental car from HertzCarSales.com
It was a cross country move but I also bought a used Hertz rental car when I did a corporate relocation. That worked well for me but Hertz is in bankruptcy now and most rental cars are real short of rental cars now because they sold lots of them off when the pandemic was at its worst. Now that people are starting to travel and rent cars again they are short of rental cars so they may not be selling many of them off, at least not at a great price.
Thanks for the tip on insurance. Won't the insurer want to know what kind of car I have before writing a policy? Anyway, I have an insurance guy.

Housing market, through the roof. Used car market, through the roof. Great time to be relocating to the USA. I wonder what other delightful changes await me there.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by pennywise »

FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm So I'll be moving back to the USA in a month or two. I'll need a car.
In my visits, I have borrowed a car during my stay. Now I need my own. I haven't bought a car in 20 years.
This is going to sound simpleton, but how do I pay for the car I buy? I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
I would put it all on a credit card, but I've read in other threads how the sellers don't want to do that. So, I have to have write a check? Link my bank account?
Thanks.
It's been 10+ years since I last bought a car but at that time dealers had a max amount that could be charged to a credit card, so I put that on my card then a check for the remainder.
novillero
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by novillero »

Last time $5k credit card, remainder certified check. I’m about to buy another car, and am thinking $5k credit card and the remainder 0.9% financing. Why take money out of my portfolio?
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by RickBoglehead »

If you're buying a new vehicle (not many are $15-$20k), ignore the advice of paying cash, or financing on your own, until you do your research. Often a manufacturer's captive financing arm will provide higher rebates if you finance with them at an unsubsidized rate. You can then pay it off days later or refinance with a credit union.

Second, if you want a new vehicle, look for something like Ford's X-Plan if you're unfamiliar with buying a car, or in a time of limited supply. Many organizations offer membership including the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Remember on a rental car - their inventory is way down, so what they're selling as used may be dregs. In addition, people beat the hell out of rental cars.
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Watty
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Watty »

FOGU wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 5:52 am Thanks for the tip on insurance. Won't the insurer want to know what kind of car I have before writing a policy? Anyway, I have an insurance guy.
You can get insurance quotes from different companies for the type of car you are looking at to make sure that you have a general feel as to what it will cost and which insurance company is best. When you find the car that you will be buying you can call them from the car dealership to finalize the insurance details. It is also not uncommon to get the deal set up, put down a deposit, then not pick the car up until the next business day when it is easier to finalize the details.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by dknightd »

I recommend 0% loan. For as long as possible.
Last edited by dknightd on Mon May 10, 2021 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sk2101
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by sk2101 »

Maximum they will allow on a rewards credit card. Balance via wire transfer.

I never ever set foot on a dealership, I have done everything remotely for the last 20+ years. Just bought a car last week and the only contact with the dealerhsip was by email/phone, and I saw the car for the first time when their driver delivered it to me, along with the paperwork I had to sign.
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by dknightd »

I just can't imagine buying a car without driving it first. Unless I was a collector.
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds from the market, invest the funds. Retired 9/19. Mortgage payed off 5/21.
dmk395
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by dmk395 »

Recently bought a truck and if I paid cash the cost would be an extra $1000. They asked me to finance for 4 months, then pay off....difference was a 500 savings roughly
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by sschoe2 »

The last time I bought a car was in Jan 2009 during the credit crunch. Despite an 800 credit score, good income and I was buying a $17k Honda Fit I could not get a loan and the closest I came was at 8% so I paid cash for it.
sureshoe
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by sureshoe »

There is absolutely no reason to put a car on a credit card unless you're absolutely desperate. Hard stop.

Think You're Saving Interest
If you are going to be doing weird transfers or interest juggling/etc, maybe you can trick yourself into thinking you're saying money, but you're just playing with fire. A good autoloan today on a used car is going to be 3-5% On a $10k loan, that's only $400/year interest. All it takes is one hiccup or mistake and you can find yourself paying 10% or 15% (or higher), and all savings for the life of the loan is wiped. It's a fools game - to save what? Maybe $100, $200 a year?

Reward Points
SOMEBODY has to pay the credit card fees. If a dealer is letting you do this, you simply aren't getting the best price. Congratulations, you got $50 of reward points on your credit card and paid $200 more for the car while running up a $5k charge. This is all just mental gymnastics.

Options
There are probably more creative options out there, but just like with homes > simple is best. Cash is nice, but if you want to do a loan, I don't think it's a terrible idea because interest rates are ultra-low, even for used. On used cars, you can get a good loan through a credit union or bank - that's the way to go. Dealers will give it to you too, but they tend to be a little higher if you're trying to squeeze (but they'll be reasonably competitive). On new cars, usually there are incentives where you can get ultra-low rates, like 0%-2% financing (or pay cash for a rebate). Best case is take the rebate and do the outside loan or pay cash, but again - the numbers are usually tight.
7eight9
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by 7eight9 »

Last two new cars - Toyota dealerships.

My wife - $5K on her credit card | personal check for the balance

Me - $8K cash | personal check for the balance.
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Yarlonkol12
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Yarlonkol12 »

If it’s a new car from a dealership, in my experience they allowed 20% to be paid for with a credit card and then the remainer paid with a personal check. This assumes your using the credit card as a transaction tool, not a lending tool. If you need to borrow money, don’t use a credit card

You could also just pay for the whole thing with a personal check and just ask them to give discount you a few hunded dollars, or whatever your credit card reward would be
Colorado13
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Colorado13 »

jabberwockOG wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 8:29 pm When buying from a dealer I generally put as much as the dealer will allow on a credit card that has cash back or reward points and write a check for any remaining amount.
This is exactly my approach too.
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Shackleton
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Shackleton »

I’ve always put the max the dealer will let me do onto a credit card for the rewards and written a check for the remainder. I have done this for cars up to $80,000. I only buy new, so no experience with used car private-party sales.
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton
diydocwifejd
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by diydocwifejd »

We wired funds for the entire amount to the dealership. We were out of state for purchase so bringing or mailing a check wasn't even an option.
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Toons
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Toons »

Cash






:happy
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Beardog
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Location: Arkansas

Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Beardog »

Get the very best deal possible. Only then do we look at options of how to pay. We usually finance for as long as possible at 0% interest. Would never go above 1.9% for 2 years, and then would probably walk away. Don't buy unless you have the money to pay for it in full. Pay it off early if you want or need to do so, for a variety of possible reasons. Over the years, we have usually purchased slightly used cars for cash.
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TheHiker
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by TheHiker »

When buying from a dealer, I just write a personal check which they happily accept.
They may be willing to take a partial payment with a credit card (like 5000 or so). Use the card to get cashback, not to finance the purchase.
Superleaf444
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Superleaf444 »

I purchased my car from a private party in cash. I knew the exact make and model I wanted, researched the good years vs bad years and had a budget. I prefer reliability and low cost to luxury, but that is just me. Everyone has different strokes.

Consumer Reports is, without a doubt, the best car resource. J.D. Power and Associates for a little backup research. Then to the make/model/brand forums to research normal issues that pop up.

If you go the dealer route, there is a dance you have to play. You don't want to give them your money situation. They want to know the cards you have, so they can play theirs. You will get the best rate if you finance, but then pull the rug out from them last minute and pay in cash, because lots of dealers now tend to make decent money from loans + extras vs sticker price. With that said more and more dealers are negotiating less and less when it comes to the sticker price, but tbh it is a crapshoot. (This also sorta applies to the CC route, which I would avoid. But if you negotiate a price point, act like you will finance, then last minute be like, I'll use my CC, I can't imagine a dealer would scrap the entire deal.)

Also, if you go the used route, which as a Boglehead prolly a no brainer, ALWAYS get it inspected by a mechanic.

NPR had good tips:
https://www.npr.org/2020/02/14/80607337 ... for-a-ride

This YouTube mechanic vlogger had a good series how to buy a private party vehicle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC8LbvYk6es
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StevieG72
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by StevieG72 »

Cashier’s check for negotiated amount.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
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Shackleton
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Shackleton »

I’ve always put the max the dealer will let me do onto a credit card for the rewards and written a check for the remainder. I have done this for cars up to $80,000. I only buy new, so no experience with used car private-party sales.
“Superhuman effort isn't worth a damn unless it achieves results.” ~Ernest Shackleton
hudson
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by hudson »

FOGU wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 7:23 pm So I'll be moving back to the USA in a month or two. I'll need a car.
In my visits, I have borrowed a car during my stay. Now I need my own. I haven't bought a car in 20 years.
This is going to sound simpleton, but how do I pay for the car I buy? I expect to spend, I don't know, $15k maybe $20k?
I would put it all on a credit card, but I've read in other threads how the sellers don't want to do that. So, I have to have write a check? Link my bank account?
Thanks.
FOGU,

Dealers I've dealt with only do a few thousand on a credit card.
Otherwise I've paid by personal check.
If time allows, talk to the finance person at the dealership and see what works for them. One dealer wouldn't take my check. He used some kind of service that turned me down...probably because my credit was frozen. After that mix up, I always ask to talk to the finance person. I do the same with plumbers, electricians, and contractors. I asked a tree removal guy what he preferred. He said $1200 cash or $1500 by personal check. That was useful information.
Starfish
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by Starfish »

Usually you can put 1-2-3k$ on a credit card and the rest is credit or cash. Credit card fees are pretty significant.
Without a credit history you will nor be approved for credit which would be the preferred way, so some form of cash (personal or cashiers check etc) is the only way.
You should consider the long term rental (1mo or so) at the beginning, it can be pretty cheap sometimes.
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AerialWombat
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Re: How do you pay for a car?

Post by AerialWombat »

Colorado13 wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:28 am
jabberwockOG wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 8:29 pm When buying from a dealer I generally put as much as the dealer will allow on a credit card that has cash back or reward points and write a check for any remaining amount.
This is exactly my approach too.
On my current car, purchased in 2018, the dealership let me put the full $28k on a rewards credit card, with no surcharge from them. That was at a Subaru dealership in Utah.
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