Last week (on Monday to be precise), Kim and I did our bit for the economy, we bought a new car. Granted the manufacturer is Japanese but the vehicle itself was manufactured in Indiana, so if the economy crumbles now, its not my fault. :)
This was the second new car I have ever purchased. I actually didn't want to buy vehicle, but a bunch of factors made it the better way to go. Most of the used cars that are 1 to 2 years old are former rentals and I've seen the way people destroy their rental cars and I would definitely not want to own one after that. Also, Toyota vehicles seem to hold their value well for the first few years so the savings on a 1-2 year old vehicle wasn't huge.
Purchasing a new car in California was a little different from Ontario. We decided to buy the car on Monday, and as we were doing the paper work Monday afternoon, the car was being prepped. By the time we had signed all the papers, it was ready for us to take home and the dealer politely insisted that we do so even though we needed to bring it back the next morning to get the security system installed. When I purchased my Mazda3 it took nearly a week for me to get my car from the day I signed the papers.
We also went through the Costco Auto Buying Program which was a fantastic experience. They take your information and then forward it to a dealer participating in the program. The dealer contacts you and sets up an appointment. At your appointment you get a printed package containing all the information you need for your purchase, including details of the specific vehicle you are interested in. The price is also pre-negotiated with Costco and is quite reasonable. For our vehicle the determined price was $500 under invoice (though it varies depending on the model). Granted we could have probably saved ourselves a couple hundred by haggling at another dealership but the ease of the whole process makes it worth it to just to go with the Costco program.
Now, know anyone who wants an Indigo Blue loaded 2004 Mazda3 with low mileage? :)
Technical Specs: Canon 1D3, 180mm macro, f/13, 1/300s, MT-24ex fired.