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  1. #1
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    $3800 same as cash towards a new GM vehicle...what to do?

    Since I was about 20 I've had a "GM Mastercard" that gave rewards of 5% that could only be used for a new GM vehicle. My father had one and got $5700 off his Pontiac, and considering most other cards give 2% rewards max, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    As I used it for the next 9 years, I failed to consider two things that made it a bad idea:

    1) They added "per vehicle" caps on the amount you can redeem - most vehicles were either $1000 or $1500 caps.
    2) It meant I'd have to buy a GM.

    Those two things prevented me from using the $2000ish in rewards I had built up by 2003, when I bought my current car, a 2003 Nissan Sentra. There were just no GM vehicles in my price range that interested me in the slightest.

    However, out of laziness, I continued to use the same Mastercard, racking up rewards I'd likely never use. I finally stopped this last month, applying for a good travel rewards Discover card and education rewards Mastercard (as a backup for places that didn't accept Discover) and stopped using my GM card.

    A few days ago I get a letter in the mail - between now and June 30th, they are raising or eliminating the per-vehicle caps. Which means, I have $3800 same-as-cash that I can use towards basically any 2009 GMC/Chevy/Saturn/Pontiac/Hummer/Buick/Cadillac.

    $3800 is a lot of money, and it's just plain-old tacked on to whatever price you negotiate with the dealer. However, I still am not particularly interested in getting a GM vehicle. But $3800 is too much to pass up.

    My options are:
    Suck it up and buy a new GM, trade in or private-sell my '03 Sentra and have a new car.

    Private-sell my '03 Sentra and use the $3800 to lease a new GM car (leasing is also an option, same as cash)

    Try to find someone who was going to buy a GM vehicle anyway, collaborate with them to buy and then immediately sell the vehicle to them, saving them some money and walking away with a few grand in my own pocket. This is the most appealing and most difficult option - I'd need to find someone who I trusted and trusted me, who was buying straight cash or had an independent bank loan, and I'd (I think) have to sidestep tax laws and not charge sales tax on the sale from me to them.

    As far as buying goes, I'm just looking for something sensible and inexpensive to get me around town with good gas mileage. Which pretty much leaves me with just a couple options, namely the Chevy Cobalt and the Pontiac Vibe. The Aveo also exists but I do have a pair of testicles and I don't think they'd fit inside the car. The Vibe...is not my style, plus it's named after a female sex toy.

    So that leaves the Cobalt. A base-model Cobalt with current cash-back is $13,800. I assume I could talk that down to around $12,000 (I'm a motherfucker of a negotiator) and then get $3000 off with the GM Card (some vehicles have a $3000 cap, the Cobalt is one of them) and then sell my Nissan for $2500-$3000ish (it's pretty beat up cosmetically, 68k miles) and spent $6000-$6500 to upgrade to a new car.

    I'm not really looking in the $20k+ range, so that puts the Malibu and Impala and most of the Pontiacs out of reach. If anyone has any ideas of how to take the best advantage of this situation between now and the end of June, or knows of a good way to buy and then immediately resell a new car to turn some of that $3800 reward into cash, I'm all ears. Also if anyone has any experience with the Cobalt and would like to share, good or bad, let me hear it.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Quote Originally Posted by archibaldcrane View Post
    A base-model Cobalt with current cash-back is $13,800. I assume I could talk that down to around $12,000 (I'm a motherfucker of a negotiator)
    Thanks.
    You can't negotiate much with the cheaper cars since most dealers only make about $200 a car. They make all of their money on the more expensive ones. The idea is to sell you a cheap one now (and not make much money off of it) and then when you go to buy your next car you'll pick one of the more expensive ones. With GM going under I don't know what that will do to their prices so you may be able to get a good deal. I just thought you might want to take this into consideration.

  3. #3
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    Well, the "sale sticker" on my 2003 Nissan was $15,800 (after incentives) and I bought it for $12,300.

    Like I said, I'm a motherfucker of a negotiator. When you are buying near the end of the model year, straight cash, with no trade-in, you have all the leverage on your side. I appreciate the advice though.

  4. #4
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    The Vibe is essentially a Toyota Matrix (GM and Toyota teamed up on it), and I'm fairly sure it has the same level of reliability as its cousin. It should also be about the same size and economy as a Sentra. I would definitely recommend it over the Cobalt - its not a terrible car, its just not a very good car. It would probably be a step down from your Sentra. So if you can accept the looks of the Vibe and it drives well enough, I'd go with that if you're going to use the discount you have.

    Another option would be a 4 cylinder Malibu. Its bigger than the compacts you're looking at, and a bit more expensive, but its gotten good reviews and should still be decent with fuel.

  5. #5
    The Optimistic Asshole
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrockstar View Post
    You can't negotiate much with the cheaper cars since most dealers only make about $200 a car. They make all of their money on the more expensive ones. The idea is to sell you a cheap one now (and not make much money off of it) and then when you go to buy your next car you'll pick one of the more expensive ones. With GM going under I don't know what that will do to their prices so you may be able to get a good deal. I just thought you might want to take this into consideration.
    Dealers, on any car, typically make around 4% on a car after it's negotiated down. If you're a really really good negotiater, car dealers will "live" off of about 2%. What will really drive the pricing down on a car is the factory-to-dealer incentives (or pretty much any coupons that the factory will give the dealer for making sales goals and what-not). Car dealerships will make much more than $200 even on the cheapest of vehicles, but after expenses (commission and overhead), $200 is about the pre-tax profit. Some of the better dealers will actually show you the factory invoice that they bought the car for. Best bet is to find one that will, find out if they have any incentives as well as factory holdbacks, and figure the dealers "break-even" price. Then offer about 2% more.

    Edit: Should be obvious, but not every dealer has the same incentives and can offer the same discounts as others. So shop around, you may find a dealership with thousands more in incentives that lowers their cost of the car, therefor, can offer it to you much cheaper.

  6. #6
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    Just looked at the Cobalt, what a piece of shit. Poorly fitting cheap plastic interior, etc etc. Fuck that.

    Saw the Vibe from the outside, Pontiac dealership was closed. Looked much more decent but I am really not into the look of it (or the name) but I dunno. Looked at the G6 a bit too, but that is at the very upper end of my price range (21k ish)

  7. #7
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    Find out which GM dealerships are going to be closed, and start there..... should be able to get a even better deal, simply because they will want to get rid of as many cars as they can so they dont have to pay to relocate all of them to lots that are not selling.

  8. #8
    I'd tap that turian!
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    Hold onto that cash and wait for the Chevy Cruze to come out in a year. It's superior to the cobalt in every way.

  9. #9
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akucaen View Post
    Hold onto that cash and wait for the Chevy Cruze to come out in a year. It's superior to the cobalt in every way.
    The per-vehicle caps will be back on, so I'd only be able to get $1000 or -maybe- $1500 off a Cruze. The ticking clock is because the per-vehicle caps on my GM Mastercard rewards are only lifted through June 30th.

  10. #10
    CoP Dynamis
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    your description of the cobalt sounds just like my dad's G6 and i can't really see the vibe being any better.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akucaen View Post
    Hold onto that cash and wait for the Chevy Cruze to come out in a year. It's superior to the cobalt in every way.
    The offer is only good till June 30th, then the per-vehicle cap gets reinstated. In terms of small cars, you can also check out the Saturn Astra. Apparently offered in 3- and 5-door hatchback, no sedan, but its not related to the Cobalt.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milton View Post
    your description of the cobalt sounds just like my dad's G6 and i can't really see the vibe being any better.
    The Vibe is basically a Toyota Corolla wagon though. I don't mean to idolize Toyota and all it does, but lets face it, when the Cobalt and G6 came out, GM was still not giving a shit about the quality of their interiors.

  13. #13
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    just find a way to get that 3800 to your pocket without buying a car for yourself.

    EDIT by that i mean if you know a reliable person you can buy a GM car, then sell it privately and get a portion of that 3800 in cash

  14. #14
    I'd tap that turian!
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    Ah, I skimmed over that. If the Cobalt/G5 don't catch your fancy, look at the Astra.

    I know you said 21~k is your upper-most limit, but look at a new Chevy Malibu too. It's a rediculously good car for the class and money.

  15. #15
    I'll change yer fuckin rate you derivative piece of shit
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    I don't even think they made a 2009 Astra - the only ones that exist now are 2008s and in my area (ya know, Los Angeles) there are only 2 period, and both are MSRP over 19k. Meh.

    The Malibu is temping but the gas mileage is meh and yeah it's pricey. It's looking more and more like the Vibe is my only real option, which might be a good thing considering it gets pretty good reviews and is at least related to a car company that slightly resembles something that isn't a complete disaster (Toyota).

    I really don't like the way it looks though. I guess I need to see one in black. And figure out a way to pry that Pontiac logo and the word "Vibe" off the front and back of it. Damnit.

  16. #16
    okay guy I guess
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    buy a high class same as hooker

  17. #17

    Quote Originally Posted by scrockstar View Post
    You can't negotiate much with the cheaper cars since most dealers only make about $200 a car. They make all of their money on the more expensive ones. The idea is to sell you a cheap one now (and not make much money off of it) and then when you go to buy your next car you'll pick one of the more expensive ones. With GM going under I don't know what that will do to their prices so you may be able to get a good deal. I just thought you might want to take this into consideration.
    that's not necessarily true at all. Every car has profit in it, the differences aren't neccesarily expensive vs. cheap but new vs. used and standard vs. limited edition.

    I worked in a car dealership (which was miserable) and in the negotiation process there's a few tips. Go at the end of the month because if it's been a slow month they'll budge more on price in order to hit unit numbers. Try to pick a newer inexperienced salesperson cause the sales manager will do more to make a deal to get them a unit and boost their confidence. And always negotiate until they tell you to go on your merry way and go from there. Until they stop negotiating you shouldn't. They play the game to wear you down so you don't want to spend more time there and just buy it already.

    You could easily get that 13,800 down to 12,000 if you play your cards right and don't mind playing the game. But, that's not all of it, you gotta know all 4 pieces to the deal sheet puzzle cause they'll just play with number to make you think you're getting a good deal when you may not.

  18. #18
    Ridill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyylya View Post
    that's not necessarily true at all. Every car has profit in it, the differences aren't neccesarily expensive vs. cheap but new vs. used and standard vs. limited edition.
    This, get every option you can possibly imagine, then start negotiating. They charge you hundreds for shit that sometimes is literally the way they received the car and going into the deal regardless of if they charge you for it or not.

  19. #19

    I worked at a ford dealership and this was back in '07 but i had a guy that was looking a truck and i had him in the Harley Davidson special edition F-150 and the guy was paying full sticker but said that he wanted the bed of the truck to have a cover or w/e they are called. I assumed since he was paying full sticker we'd give him something nice.

    nope my sales manager told me to find the cheapest bed i could at the cheapest place, they wouldn't even install it themselves cause they said that would be more expensive.

    The car business is dirty, i felt dirty working there. My SGMs morning motivational comment was "the more you can put them in debt the better they can pay your bills"

  20. #20

    Camaro starts off at 23,040! unless you specificly have to have the gm tag(sorry tired just woke up)

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