Motoring Articles - Buying a
New Sports Car
Buying a New Sports Car Twelve Tips To Avoid
Financial Sticker Shock
by Valerie Mills
Nothing (well, almost nothing) can compare to the thrill
of driving a road-hugging high performance sports car.
Instant steering response. Power at the exact nanosecond
you ask for it.
Then, if you have one of the sexier models, youll
attract attention on the road, filling up, and in the
shopping mall parking lot.
Yes, you can pretend youre driving the Autobahn
with the wind blowing your hair. But beware of state troopers
just waiting for an arrest me red entry on
their ticket issuing track record.
Before You Fall In Love . . .
Before you step into that showroom and fall in love, consider
the following practicalities:
1) How much do you want to spend? $20,000? $30,000? Or
2) Whats the tradeoff between performance (power)
and gas mileage? Higher performance usually equals less
Does the vehicle use premium gas? Right now, the difference
between premium and regular is 20 cents per gallon. At
20 miles per gallon and 15,000 miles per year, the cost
differential is $150.
3) What about reliability? Some upscale models cost considerably
more to maintain and have a higher incidence of repair
costs. Would you appreciate paying $125 just to diagnose
the problem when the check engine light comes on? Or paying
$70 for an oil change?
4) In a climate where snow and ice are winter realities,
do you want to drive it year round? Or store it over the
A rear wheel drive sports car is impractical for winter
driving. A front, all-wheel, or 4-wheel drive sport car
can be driven in snow and ice, if you use all-season tires.
If the little devil comes with performance tires, you
will want to buy all-season tires (and possibly rims)
for winter driving. Add another $1500 to the price of
the car for the right tires and rims.
Do Your Homework . . .
5) Once youve decided price, performance, gas mileage,
reliability, and practicality for all-season driving,
get on the Internet. Here you can compare models and pricing
and read reviews. Google buying a new car
or new car prices and several sites will pop
Another source is Consumer Report (the new car issue)
where your criteria will be easy to find. Red dots are
good. Black dots are not. Most American car dealers consider
this issue of Consumer Report a nightmare because it favors
foreign car models, especially Asian cars. However, as
explained in the newest version of this report, American
car manufacturers are catching up.
6) Find out what you should pay before stepping into a
showroom. Dealers will offer below invoice prices even
on some sports cars because of rebates, dealer incentives,
and dealer returns when they make a sale.
7) Remember the incidentals. Yes, you have to pay to transport
the vehicle from the manufacturer. Yes, you have to pay
for options. And remember the sales (and sometimes luxury)
The Driving Experience . . .
8) Unless you have driven the exact model and year you
want to purchase, step into the showroom and test drive
the car. Driving the previous years model is unacceptable.
If the dealer lures you into his web and asks you to test
drive an earlier model, RUN out of the show room. Youre
wasting your time.
9) Pick at least 2 different road types for test driving.
The winding, hilly road is one road type. Road hugging
capabilities are tested here. If the car is standard,
smooth-shifting is another test. A car that cuts back
after you release the clutch is NOT smooth shifting.
The highway is another road type. Make sure power is sufficient
to handle entrance ramps and merging with traffic. If
you get an instant response at highway speeds, the car
is a possible winner.
Closing the Deal . . .
10) If you like the car, get the dealers best quote.
Then, find at least one other dealer to give you another
quote ON THE SAME CAR. If you dont like the car
in the test drive, you probably wont like the car
ever. Move on to the next model.
11) When you decide on a car, call your insurance company
and find out what the vehicle will cost per year. And
dont choke on your coffee when you hear the amount
you can shop around.
12) Estimate how much the real estate taxes will be on
the car, especially if its a high-priced model.
This could be another financial shocker!
As you can see, sports car buying is a process. Do you
need to do all this stuff? Nope, you dont. But consider
the financial sticker shock when youre paying an
extraordinary amount for maintenance, repairs, gas, insurance,
and taxes! Just for that Autobahnesque experience!
About the Author
Valerie Mills, a copywriter/designer specializing in direct
mail and web advertising, has written sales letters, web
sites, and brochures for the finance, self-help, and technology
areas. Refer to web sites http://v.mills.home.att.net
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