My credit score is above average and as a result I get tons of postal mail from credit card companies to sign up. Incentives range from bonus airline miles all the way up to 5% cash back on purchases.

So if I were to buy a car for 15K and charge it all on my card I would get 750 dollars back from the credit card company. This is free money with no effort required.

Sounds like a great deal but there’s a slight problem. Most dealers place a 3K limit on the amount you can put on your card when buying a car. They do this because of the 1 to 2 percent transaction fee they have to pay to the credit card company.

Two percent of 15K is 300 dollars out of their own pockets. There’s no incentive for them to do this for you. Two percent of 3K is only 60 dollars, an amount they may be willing to give up to sell you a car.

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While most car dealers tend to play fairly and won’t take you to the cleaners, there are still plenty that will try to extract every penny from unsuspecting buyers.

Many people avoid going to dealers because of the fear of being ripped off. But if you know how to play the game then your chances of scoring a great deal increases three fold.

Take the following into consideration when negotiating your next deal.

Manufacturer Rebates
Manufacturer rebates are an effective way to entice customers into dealerships. You’ll normally see rebates ranging from one to two thousands dollars off MSRP. That’s an awesome deal if you ask me.

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There are a lot of people I know that have either bought a new SUV or Minivan after having their first child. To me this seems like a waste of money.

I think a station wagon would be more than enough to haul around a baby and a stroller. Why spend over 30K for a new gas guzzler when you can buy a used station wagon for a fraction of the price?

Here is a 1988 Toyota Corolla wagon with 4WD and a 5-speed manual transmission. Power is rated at 113 hp but with 174K miles on the clock it probably has less than a 100 hp by now. But forget about the low power. This car is a fuel efficient family hauler and is very cheap to own and operate.

It’s currently for sale on eBay and the bid is at $1200 with 5 days left in the auction. If I were in the market for a used car I would probably be willing to buy this car for $2200 max.

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Here’s a rare find. A 1984 Toyota Camry turbo diesel with only 133K miles on the clock. It recently sold for three grand on eBay.

This Camry comes equipped with a 1.8 liter turbo diesel engine making a whopping 74 hp.

That should be enough power to lug around four adults and a suitcase. But it only weighs 2300 lbs so that should make up for the lack of horsepower.

The car looks outdated because it’s twenty eight years old. But considering its old age it appears to be in decent condition.

The turbo diesel coupled with a manual transmission is what caught my attention. You usually see this engine/transmission combo in a pickup truck or a commercial vehicle. Rarely do you see it in a passenger car.

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When buying a car at a dealership or from a private party you need to be prepared.

Not only do you need a basic understanding of car buying but you also need to be physically prepared.

Buying a car can be a grueling task both mentally and physically.

A few years back I once went to a dealer to check out a used car and had to leave early because I was exhausted from visiting other dealers that day. I called in sick that day to look for a used car. But I didn’t have a car in mind and just wandered aimlessly from dealer to dealer.

Many car dealerships are located next to each other so that buyers can easily browse from dealer to dealer. Don’t be one of these window shoppers. It will only wear you down and can force you to make rushed decisions.

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I remember test driving a used 1991 MR2 Turbo back in the mid 90s. It had a 5 speed manual transmission and was completely stock.

The car looked great with it’s black exterior and black cloth interior. It looked and drove like a new car.

I remember how nimble the car felt through the corners and how the turbo spooled up quickly with virtually no lag.

Though I ended up not buying the car for practical reasons, I had a newfound respect for the MR2.

Many people refer this car as the poor man’s Ferrari. I don’t think it’s fair to call it that. This car is in a class of its own and for the price no car can come near it.

If you’re in the market for an MR2 this one is for sale on eBay and is completely stock according to the owner.

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