I love what you just said right there, Brian. You know, even when it comes to thinking about Teslas, thinking about these cars that you love so much, anytime we make an automobile decision, there are some things that we should do. I mean, right there, you just walked through, 'Am I going to buy a new one? Am I going to buy a used one?' Okay, I need to understand there's a tax credit that's involved with this. Anytime you begin to think about an automobile you're going to purchase, there are some things you want to make sure you do. Number one, you want to make sure that you do your research, just like you said right there. Hey, if you buy a used Tesla and you pay less than this amount and these are the years that it happened, and this will be the tax credit – that's part of the research you should know to equip yourself to know what kind of car you're going to buy. If you're thinking about buying a different type of brand, you should know the different trim levels and the different safety features and what you're getting with this automobile versus what you're getting with this automobile. Make yourself an educated consumer because the more educated you can be, the better the decision you'll make when it comes to making it.
I love technology and the world we live in now, if you want to, because I want you to eventually go test drive once you settle, but you can do so much research beforehand. My wife and I were watching YouTube videos on cars that she was thinking might be her next transition car, and I love the fact that there are actually people out there who will tell you, 'Hey, if you consider this vehicle, the thing you might not understand, especially with luxury brands, is that once they're out of warranty, they're known for this transmission issue or this drive shaft issue or this problem with the engine that is actually a $4,000-$6,000 repair.' To hear that stuff is just so valuable because it might lead you away from making a detrimental decision that, on paper initially, would look really good. There's also a great comparison website, think about it. You can also find out what invoice prices are now. Car prices, they're still not back to where they were pre-pandemic, but they are getting better. You ought to at least know the difference between the MSRP versus what the invoice is. If there are any holdbacks or other dealer incentives that are out there. And then I love when you can go get experiences from other buyers. There are sites out there that will tell you experiences and what prices were paid. Use those online reviews to help you guide making the best decision for your life. I love it.
Brian, in addition to doing your research, another thing that you can do is make sure that you explore your options. Just because you're buying a new automobile, you're in the market for a new automobile, doesn't mean you have to buy it within 10 miles of your current house. When my wife and I were buying our last automobile, we recognized that that specific car was super oversubscribed here in our area. People were way overpaying for it. So one of the things that we did is we actually looked out to Alabama. I was able to call a dealership there, get them to sell me the automobile for like $7,000 to $8,000 less than what I could have bought it here for, and for $100, they shipped it to me. It has been much, much easier to look in other geographies to find the automobile you're looking for. Yeah, I think this is the greatest time because one of the cool things on every website for all the dealerships, if you type in your ZIP code for the manufacturers, it's going to tell you what dealerships are in the area and also what inventory they have on their lots. So what I like to do is, and I use Google to figure out what are the zip codes for certain areas where I find out dealerships are, I type that in as my own ZIP code, see what the dealership has in inventory. And then once I find out two or three dealerships have the exact same car that I want that meet all my needs, it's time to get down to business. Because here's what I found out, Bo, you said it here in the Nashville area, people have more money than they have common sense. So when you go and shop for cars here in the Nashville area, they don't want to make a deal. No. But when you call Huntsville, Alabama, or Bozeman, Alabama, like you did, they were ready to work with us, make the deal, do the extra things, give you the floor mats, give you some extra oil changes. Not that we used that because it was too far away, but still, it was nice that it was there to be appreciated as a customer. Don't be scared of that. Now let me give Bo a compliment. I actually had to drive two hours to get to Huntsville. Bo was smart enough to ask the question I never asked: 'Can I pay a delivery fee, or are you willing to bring this vehicle to me?' You paid a hundred dollars, a hundred bucks, and you had it delivered to your front door, and you signed the paperwork. That's brilliant. So make sure you explore your options and make sure you take advantage of the technology of seeing how many vehicles meet your needs and put people against each other.
Another thing you can do is you don't have to buy from a dealership. Again, the internet, technology, social media have made it so easy. It's not incredibly difficult to buy from a private party. You can go look on Facebook Marketplace, or you can do some Auto Trader-type research to find someone who is selling a car that you're looking for. And if you're dealing private party, it's not going to be incredibly difficult to work out a deal that might work really well for both of you. I know the last automobile that I bought, I ended up buying it from somebody who was upgrading. I got a good deal, he sold the car quickly, it worked out fantastic. There's nothing wrong with doing that. Yeah, by the way, Bo and I have been buying and selling cars to each other for years. It is one of those things where I think if you find out that there's a friend or a family member that is selling a car that works well for your needs, there's nothing wrong with finding out, 'Hey, what was the trade-in value? Can I give you the sales tax adjustment on top of the trade-in value? Make them whole because remember, you usually do get an offset on the trade-in from the sales tax. So it is one that makes them whole enough, but you might end up with a unique opportunity to give the best of both worlds for both of you, meaning that they get the same value they would have gotten on trade-in, but you get a great deal on a car because we all know trade-in value is less than private party as well as market value. And then if you are going to buy private party, again, you want to make sure you're responsible. Make sure you take it to a mechanic, have someone check out the automobile, make sure you know what you're buying so that you can make an informed purchase decision when you do that. Do some research, look around, see what the KBB value is, look at how much you can buy it on Costco or Vroom or how much CarMax. That way you can have a number of different prices and arrive at a price that makes sense for you as the buyer or, if you're selling, you know how much you should consider selling it for privately. Yeah, and if you're buying new, look, I love to pride myself that I'm a great do-it-yourself buyer and I'm going to get the best deal. But if you're one of those people, you're just not going to put the time in, at least talk to your local credit unions, go to the local Costco. A lot of these companies will have buying services where you ought to at least see what that price is versus you just going in there. If you're not going to put the effort in, this at least gives you a better chance to use their volume purchasing to get you the best deal. So not only should you do your research, not only should you explore your various options, the last thing you need to make sure you do is advocate for yourself. There's an entire industry set up for sellers of automobiles to sell you the automobile to make as much profit for themselves or their dealership as possible. You want to be the advocate, get on the other side of that equation. So make sure you're asking the difficult questions and don't just assume that because they tell you there's a price that you should pay it is, in fact, the price that you have to pay. Yeah, and don't forget you've got to check the numbers. I mean, because what somebody tells you over the phone or even emails to you, you might find when you get to actually purchase the car, the numbers have changed or tweaked a little bit. Don't fall for that. That stuff is a typical tactic I don't want you to fall prey to. And then also remember, this is something I found in the past: we always heard cash was king when buying cars. You will get the best deal. Unfortunately, there's been a trend where more and more dealerships have become the. The profit has come from the financing more than actually selling the product. So I found on my wife's last car, even though I was going to pay cash for it, at the last moment, I found out, look, they were going to cut me another $1,200 to $1,500 off the purchase price if I was willing to finance it for all of four months because it allowed them to qualify for some type of incentive or something that the manufacturer was offering. So don't shortchange just looking at all the different ways that you can buy this car, including maybe financing for a small period of time to get the best deal possible. For more information, check out our free resources