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Old 06-07-2010, 11:06 AM   #1
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Arrow How to Buy a New Truck 101

Years ago I sold trucks, GMC for a few years and then Chevrolet at another dealership.
IMO it was a miserable profession. Since then I have never purchased a new vehicle off a dealer lot. I only step foot in dealerships to occasionally visit the service dept or the parts departments. I've owned lots of cars & trucks, all 2nd hand, except new company cars that I didn't select or transact.
Over the years I have had many relatives or aquaintances ask me how to buy a car or truck. I have to always disappoint them and say that I honestly don't know.
I have always believed that MOST auto dealer's marketing depts were and are "crooked". Most not in an illegal way, but surely in a deceptive way.
I know those I worked at were. We called them "mouse houses". The whole thing was as if a carnival midway game, the customers were treated and thought of as shills.
The recent demise of many metro dealers really made me smile. Some of those simply reaped what they had sown for so many years. The closing of many small-town dealers was in many cases a different story. The "honest" brokers were much more likely to be found there, (but small-town marketing did not necessarily guarantee straight shooting).

Now I have decided to buy a new vehicle, it will probably be a truck and if so it will need to qualify as a tow vehicle, a almost daily driver, and a usable worker (i.e.use of bed for hauling & easy in & out). Probably gasoline unless yall can convince me diesel is way better and why.

Please give me any tips and lessons you have learned in buying brand new.
  • What about the 5 and 6 year no finance charges deals? What's the catch? This really gets my attention. Why would this not be as good (or better) as buying outright (cash in full)?
  • or is the 5g to 6.5g rebate a better way to go? if so why? what's the usual catch with those offers?
With either of the incentives above, does the buyer still get to make his best deal first? or do those just come if he buys at or near list (sticker)?

  • What about wheels? Why do I need 17inch "kryptonite" ones?
  • Cloth or "leather"? I know this one is just personal preference but why yours?
  • Could I still get a bench seat in a nice package if I wanted?
  • What's with all this "non-skid" "non-shimmy" stuff? Is it an option? If so what is the downside?
  • What about rear bumper? Which kind makes most sense for Airstreamers?
  • Is there any real need for a Grill Guard (cowcatcher)?
  • How bout carpet or rubber flooring? Do I even have a choice?
  • What should I buy the truck without? and then purchase aftermarket?
Yall get the picture, not so much here (this thread) dealing with which brand is best or even best buy but I will in another thread soon.(depending on what I learn here).I am also concocting one about buying used, but that is another thread in the trilogy to come after this brand new education I hope.

Thanks as always in advance.
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Old 06-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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Distantdrummer,

For financing, it depends on how much you're borrowing and how much is the incentive. For example, if you borrow $30k at 6% for 5 years, your monthly payment is $579.98 and in total you will pay $4799.04 in interest payments. for $40k, $773.31 and $6398.72 in interest. If your cash incentive is $5k, then you can do the math. the catch is, if you take the cash, what kind of interest rate are you going to get either from the dealer or from your bank. If the cash rebate is from the factory, then I would deal for the price of the truck then have them apply the factory rebate.

Most trucks these days seem to come with either 17 or 18" wheels and 20" as an option. IMO 17 or 18" will be better for towing.

Everything else seems to be personal preference, but I would say to get the towing package and make sure they have tow mirrors. My Tundra did not come with them and I had to spend $400 and change them out myself.

Good luck in your search.

Tom
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
What about the 5 and 6 year no finance charges deals? What's the catch? This really gets my attention. Why would this not be as good (or better) as buying outright (cash in full)?

or is the 5g to 6.5g rebate a better way to go? if so why? what's the usual catch with those offers?With either of the incentives above, does the buyer still get to make his best deal first? or do those just come if he buys at or near list (sticker)?
You have to see what your financing alternatives are and price it both ways. Usually dealer financing is a poor deal for the buyer. I line up financing before negotiating with the dealer. You have to call around to find the best rates, and then you can go to the dealer prepared to make a cash offer. Usually, when you do this, your payments will end up being lower than they would with the zero interest financing, and it ends up working out better for you if you pay the loan off early for whatever reason (crash, didn't like the truck and sold it to buy another, won the lottery, etc)

Quote:
What about wheels? Why do I need 17inch "kryptonite" ones?
You don't.

Quote:
Cloth or "leather"? I know this one is just personal preference but why yours?
It is my experience that there is rarely a choice because of the way the option packages are structured, though if you get a factory order you might be able to choose. It is my experience that, in this climate, fabric lasts longer, so I get that if I can.

Quote:
Could I still get a bench seat in a nice package if I wanted?
It depends. Go to the factory web site or ask the dealer. I usually find the "nice packages" to be horrendously overpriced, but it's your money and tastes.

Quote:
Is there any real need for a Grill Guard (cowcatcher)?
I find them to be worthless, because any kind of offroading that would bend up the front of your truck would also bend up the Grill Guard. A bent grill guard is just as ugly as a bent bumper, hood, or fender, and just as expensive to fix. Besides, it gets in the way of the snow plow.

Quote:
How bout carpet or rubber flooring? Do I even have a choice?
I get carpet and rubber mats. I think it helps with the sound, and keeps the interior
looking better than the other choices.

Quote:
What should I buy the truck without? and then purchase aftermarket?
That approach is worth considering with any of the dealer-installed options, and maybe the stereo, depending on your tastes and tolerance for running the truck over to an electronics shop for a day.

Be sure you think through the tires you want, and think through the range of trailering-related upgrades that might make sense, like extra batteries, 2nd alternator, brake controller, hitch, suspension changes. I also get a block heater even though the dealers always tell me I won't need it. They hate putting them in.
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:45 PM   #4
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I prefer buying a certified used. You normally get a better warrenty than new. Get your financing pre-approved before you go. That normally gets me a better deal than getting the financing thru the dealership.

Wheels are just personal preference. What looks good to you might not for someone else.

I purchased the GMC truck. One feature I like is the foldup center console for both the front and rear seats. My girlfriend sometimes like to ride next to me and sometime I also have 6 people in my truck. I just fold up the center consoles and I am ready to go. I thought about purchasing a Tundra but I did not like the large center console.

I prefer cloth seats - not as hot in the summertime and a lot more tolerant of abuse. (i.e. dogs in the rear seat)

I agree with Jammer on carpet or rubber. Carpet for a quieter ride but get the rubber floor mats.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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After I've decided what vehicle I want, I order the New Car Price Report from Consumer Reports for $14.00 It has a complete listing of all the options and packages with both invoice and MSRP prices. Other good info in there too. I just ordered a 2011 F250 diesel Lariat 4WD. I faxed a spreadsheet for a bid request with all my options and the invoice prices to seven Ford dealers. The high to low spread was $2500. I actually got mine below invoice which is pretty good for a special order 2011 high demand vehicle.
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:38 PM   #6
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Recommend never, ever buying new. I've done it and lived to regret it. Click and Clack, the famous Tappet Bros of NPR recommend buying a vehicle "at least three years old, then keep it at least eight years" as a best bet.

Never owned a pickup before buying the Airstream. My brothers-in-law, one a Navy SEAL, the other a tire dealer from Oregon both said "Get a diesel! You'll be glad you did!" And the Navy SEAL said "Get 4-wheel drive too, you'll thank me later.".

So I ended up with a 2003 Chevy 2500HD with the Duramax (read Izusu) diesel, loaded (the LT) with leather and all the goodies for $18K. It has a 100K miles on it,but in diesel that's not much. Here's the thing: I'm daily driving it to work because it gets as good gas mileage as my Lexus LS430. An honest 22 mpg around town. Plus when towing the AS, I'm routinely in the 14-16 mpg range. It would be less, maybe half that, with a gasoline engine.

New, this truck was a cool $57,000 out the door. Didn't mind paying a third of that and having a really great truck. The PO paid for the biggest part of it, and I'm the lucky guy with the truck.

Go used, Go diesel, Go 4-Wheel Drive. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:06 AM   #7
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I have never purchased a new vehicle from the dealer's inventory. However, I have ordered exactly what I wanted from the dealer. There are no flooring costs on a special order vehicle nor are their any advertising or marketing charges. Since I pay cash, finance charges are of no concern.

The term "mouse house" referring to a second loan offered through a fiance company at usury interest rates went away in the 1960's after some federal reform laws were passed.

In as much as I live in a small town, I feel that the local dealers are fair. After all, they pay property taxes, support youth sports and are generous to local causes. Dealer loyalty from the consumer side means loaner cars and immediate service when necessary. And trade in credits are usually better than the big city dealerships.

I find that input from ranchers that pull hay and livestock trailers over Red Mountain Pass or Wolf Creek Pass have more insight on truck performance than Click & Clack or Consumer Reports.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:22 AM   #8
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If you are buying new, fax or email a quote request for what you want to about 6-8 different dealers - and make it obvious to them you are shopping all over and will deal with whoever meets your best price request. You will find out who needs a sale pretty quick.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:16 PM   #9
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sometimes you can get a cold shoulder from a local dealer, when coming in for warranty work, after purchasing elsewhere.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer View Post
  • What's with all this "non-skid" "non-shimmy" stuff? Is it an option? If so what is the downside?.
Stability control basically keeps the vehicle pointed in the direction you're steering. If the vehicle starts to skid or slide, that differs from the steering input. The system brakes individual wheels to straighten things out.

There are a pile of studies that suggest that stability control will save many lives as it will significantly reduce accidents caused by leaving the roadway. This is especially important for high center-of-gravity vehicles like SUVs and trucks. When they leave the pavement going sideways, they can "trip" and roll over.

For the most part, all brand-new trucks will have stability control. GM introduced it on the Avalanche, and it became standard on crew cabs in 2007. It spread to more trucks, eventually becoming standard. Some GM heavy-dutys got it in 2009. Ford introduced it for 2009 as standard in 1/2-tons; their 3/4-tons got it for 2011. Dodge had it as an option on 1/2-tons in 2006; it became standard in 2009 on 1/2-tons and standard on the 2010 heavy duty.

In this situation, there aren't a lot of downsides. If the traction control (prevents wheelspin) gets too hyper, you can turn it off to get the truck unstuck.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:49 PM   #11
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Didn't see it mentioned above but we went with the built in towing package (bought ours certified-used from a Ford dealer). The truck also came with D rated tires which you will want for towing (D or E rated). I also wouldn't go with the larger rims if your towing as well.
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