I had 100,000 miles on my Honda Civic and it was time for a new car.  I  am too old too negotiate; and, as an old man, I am always afraid that I will screw something up. I like simple. I like a deal; even if I am the only one who thinks that I got a deal.

I decided on a Prius. Consumer Reports liked it. With expensive gas, 55 miles to the gallon sounded nice.

The sticker price on a 2013 Prius was $25,350 plus, taxes, license, etc.

I took my Civic to CarMax; they told me they would buy it for $7000 and the offer was good for seven days. I didn’t feel like arguing with a dealer over a trade-in and a young teacher friend needed a car, so I sold it to her for $7000; provided I could keep it until I got the Prius.

I have three sons, a brother, two sisters and numerous other relatives and friends who live around the country and whom I visit. Consumer Reports Auto Buying Guide let me enter a zip code and gave me a price and a dealer. I entered the zip codes  of relatives that I visit.  Spartanburg, SC, near where one of my son’s lives, had the best price.

I agreed to buy the Prius for $21146.97 plus optional equipment of  $399, NM Sales Tax of $634.05, and NM License and Title of $79, for a total of $22259.02. This was all done by e-mail with my credit card for a $500 deposit. Two years of free maintenance came with the car.

The dealer put my name on the car and said I could pick it up any time in the next month.

I flew into Spartneburg, SC. the dealer picked me up at the airport, let me drive the car since I had not driven a Prius, filled out the papers and I was on  my way in an hour. They gave me a 30 day transit permit, and I left.

I drove the car to visit my son, drove back to NM, seeing part of the country that I  had never seen before, and stopping to see several old friends along the way. Two weeks later I received, a bill of sale, a check to the State of NM for the sales tax and a check to MVD for the license.

It was the easiest and cheapest car deal that I had ever done. It is now two years and 40,000 miles later and I still get between 55 and 60 miles to the gallon.

The savings, after deducting tax and license was: MSRP $3804.03; Albuquerque, Consumer Reports price, $3135.03; Tucson, CS price, $3135.03. Several others I tried were in the same range.

The downside was that I had to drive back from Greenville, but I visited friends and saw a part of the country I had not seen before. The hotels and meals were reasonable and the Southwest Ticket I would have bought anyway to see my son and I only had to buy a one-way ticket, so I really saved the cost of the hotels and meals.  I didn’t lose any work as I am retired, so….




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