Over the past decade, clients have asked me for advice about how to buy a car: what to buy, how to finance it, when to sell, how to negotiate the deal. But they almost always completely ignore the very best advice I can give on the subject, and I have no idea why that's the case.
I've decided to take this in stride, and today I'm going to try something completely different. I'm going to give you the worst advice I can possibly give about buying a car. Ready? Here goes...
- Don't buy a car, lease one. Leasing is the smartest way to go and saves you the most money over the long haul.
- Get a brand new car. Do not consider, not even for a moment, the thought of buying a used car. Used cars are a BAD DEAL.
- Don't negotiate the sales price, and make sure to work with only one dealer. Never, ever shop around.
- Never pay cash. Finance the car through the dealership. Don't waste your time with low rate loans offered by credit unions, and never use a tax-advantaged home equity line of credit to finance your car.
- Listen to what the salesperson says about the vehicle's safety record, and don't do your own research into the crash test reports on the vehicle before you buy.
- Always trade in your old vehicle. Never try to sell it yourself.
- Trade it in every year. Driving a car for more than five years is a really bad idea.
If you're crazy enough to actually buy a used car, make sure not to take it to a mechanic. There is no such thing as a great mechanics, and you can't build a long term relationship with one you can trust, even if you tried.
Please ignore everything in this post, or at least do exactly the opposite!