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Old 05-12-2012, 01:10 PM
magellan01 magellan01 is offline
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Questions about buying/leasing a car in different states.

I have a few questions:

1) How much disparity is there buying the same car in different regions in the country, or states. For instance, CA vs NY or CT? I was surfing around websites and, for instance, the Audi A5 was much cheaper to buy in those eastern states. There was a promotion, so that may account for it. But I get the feeling that different makes or models might fluctuate. Is that correct?

2) As a resident of CA, can I buy a car from a dealer in NY or CT?

3) This is a financial one. I'm protective of my credit rating, especially after some nonsense that happened a couple of years ago, and know that credit inquiries can negatively affect my score. So, as I shop around, I don't want everyone checking my credit report in order to give me an accurate estimation of monthly purchase or lease rates. So, would it suffice if I printed out the three reports from that month and bring them with me to give them the information they need. I understand that if I were to actually purchase that they'd probably want to do their own credit check, but I'm hoping that that they could use what I bring in as a placeholder. Does anyone know if that would suffice? Can they "run the numbers" based on, in essence, would be a hypothetical? Are they likely to?

4) This is one that I think changes with the times, and of course, the situation: lease or buy? Is there a current rule of thumb as to what makes the most sense for people. I've always bought, and tend to keep my cars for quite a while, but I know a tom of people who lease.

5) Pros and cons of buying a "Certified Pre-Owned" car from a dealer. Thoughts?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2012, 01:18 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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I believe that CA still has stricter emission standards than most of the other states. You might not be able to register a NY or CT car in CA without additional work on it. This might be one difference in price.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:00 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is offline
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
I believe that CA still has stricter emission standards than most of the other states. You might not be able to register a NY or CT car in CA without additional work on it. This might be one difference in price.
California still has stricter emissions rules than just the federal ones, but several other states (including NY) have adopted the same standards and so these days practically every new car meets them. There are sometimes different option packages available in California (for example, well-optioned 2wd pickups are easier to find there), but that's just a marketing decision because the state is such a big market.

As for disparity in prices, what may be an issue is sales tax. If you're just browsing around the internet, prices shown may or may not include a state sales tax. However, if you live in a state with sales tax, they will still expect you to pay it on a new car even if you buy it in a non-sales tax state. Conversely, if you live in a non-sales tax state and buy in a sales tax state, they should waive it. Oh, and there's usually no problem buying a car in another state, although if the dealership isn't near a state line it might take them a while to figure out the paperwork.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:48 PM
magellan01 magellan01 is offline
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Flagrant "bump".
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:17 PM
GreasyJack GreasyJack is offline
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Well, I suppose to chime in on the buy vs. lease, I actually think the conventional wisdom is pretty much unchanged. Even if you only need a car for three years (or whatever short period), you'll pretty much always end up ahead in the long run buying a car and then selling it after three years. Leasing is easier and you have to pay less per month, but the money just disappears, whereas if you buy and then sell a couple years later you get most of it back. With cars lasting longer and longer, they're also holding their value better, which tips things even further towards the "buy" column. Leasing is a little bit more attractive with some of the luxury brands that depreciate like crazy, but IMHO you'd be pretty much nuts to lease something like a Honda or Toyota that's only going to depreciate a few $k's during your lease period.

Oh, and the certified pre-owned is pretty much a marketing gimmick. In general, they're going to be pretty good bets, but that's by virtue of them being fairly new used cars, not because of the dealer certification. The drawback is that they might be slightly more expensive than buying one on an independent lot.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:10 AM
magellan01 magellan01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreasyJack View Post
Well, I suppose to chime in on the buy vs. lease, I actually think the conventional wisdom is pretty much unchanged. Even if you only need a car for three years (or whatever short period), you'll pretty much always end up ahead in the long run buying a car and then selling it after three years. Leasing is easier and you have to pay less per month, but the money just disappears, whereas if you buy and then sell a couple years later you get most of it back. With cars lasting longer and longer, they're also holding their value better, which tips things even further towards the "buy" column. Leasing is a little bit more attractive with some of the luxury brands that depreciate like crazy, but IMHO you'd be pretty much nuts to lease something like a Honda or Toyota that's only going to depreciate a few $k's during your lease period.

Oh, and the certified pre-owned is pretty much a marketing gimmick. In general, they're going to be pretty good bets, but that's by virtue of them being fairly new used cars, not because of the dealer certification. The drawback is that they might be slightly more expensive than buying one on an independent lot.
You make a good point about the Certified Pre-Owned, but you do get a full warranty, starting from your date of purchase. Not sure it's worth the higher price you pay, but at least it's something tangible.
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