Hooniverse Asks: Are you going to try and buy a car right now?

The automotive industry is facing down a crisis right now. Global sales are expected to fall 22% this year, while domestic sales will drop by nearly 27% per CNBC. This will be a very tough time for the automakers, but it could be a perfect time for you. If you were considering buying a new vehicle, you may have a shot at great deals in the coming weeks and months.

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? If so, are you going to make a move, and has the effect of the Coronavirus impacted your financial decisions?

Automakers are getting desperate to move the metal. The loan terms are getting obscene and interest rates should be dipping. Assuming you still have money flowing in right now, there’s a strong chance you could snag something for far less than its MSRP. No, this doesn’t mean it’s time to pull the trigger on those exotics or ultra high-end sports cars. But now is likely a brilliant time to buy a fresh daily driver.

In fact, with oil plummeting into the abyss, it might be a fantastic time to purchase an electric vehicle. There should be deals galore on the EV machines. You can socially distance yourself from gas stations, at least with regards to a daily commuter car. Leave the rest of the fuel for your project cars, Lemons racers, motorcycles, and fleet of microcars.

33 Comments

  1. I only have about 55k miles on my car, and it was relatively worthless before used car values took a dive, plus I’m about to start spending the equivalent of a new car every year (actually, two per year based on my cheap Mazda) on daycare. Rationally, however good the deals get, I should wait.

    I’m 100% keeping an eye out to see if house values start dipping though.

  2. If the Feds send out another round of cash I’ll be very tempted to find a cheap sub $3I pickup truck. That or I start saving my Ebay earnings to buy one.

    1. I don’t see another check coming after things I have seen in the news yesterday and today. But as much as I hate the concept there is talk of a second cash for clunkers coming. If that happens it could push me over the edge for myself.
      As for my wife this is making me look. We downgraded her car to lower the bills and she is okay with her Outlander but it doesn’t do anything for her. She would drive it for years and as a car guy this bugs me. I know there are going to be monster deals in the coming weeks and we are both still working and I dont see this changing. So I am going to keep an eye out for what happens. Dealerships are allowed to sell online starting Monday here in Pa. I can only imagine what is going to happen.

  3. We usually keep our (newer) cars for at least 10 years, and I’m only in year 6 on the family minivan, and my wife’s in year 1 on hers. Unfortunately, we’re not in a position to replace anything.

  4. If I wouldn’t be depending on getting good value out of a trade in/sale of a current car, perhaps there might be some desperation pop up here or there, but I would guess used values would follow suit. Maybe a C7 Grand Sport sitting on a lot at a dealer that really wants to make payroll….

    ETA – why haven’t we seen the twerking blow up thingy before now? That’s fantastic in the whole triple entendre internet meme kind of way…

  5. No, the models we are interested in for the wife’s next car, the PHEV versions of the Escape and Corsair aren’t available yet and I expect their release to be delayed. Though I won’t rule out a toy car that is a screaming deal because someone needs the cash more than their toy.

  6. “…your project cars, Lemons racers, motorcycles, and fleet of microcars.”

    Oh, good, it’s not just me.

    In my case, though, my three-wheeled microcar that’s been on a Lemons rally and in a Concours d’Lemons, served as a Judgemobile, and is legally a moped requiring a motorcycle helmet to operate, is one project I haven’t revisited lately. Mostly I’ve been taking care of deferred projects on my International and my Lemons race car. For example, one of them now has a working tailgate again.

      1. The rules preclude a true overlap between “Lemons racer” and “motorcycle” without special dispensation, which Lemons HQ has made clear will not be forthcoming, so that’s about as close as I can get.

          1. My welding skills are even worse than my painting skills, so that’s not going to happen for… a number of reasons.

  7. When the stockmarket tanked and our currency imploded, I put 60% of my Toyota Century moneyz into index funds. Not sure how sensible of a move that was, as I am a perma-bear when it comes to our coco-bananas-economic system, but the world’s most serious toy car is on hold.

    Our Leaf is only getting better as we improve it and the Camry absolutely refuses to die. I am also expecting used cars to go up in price, as new cars do due to the weakened NOK, and because less people afford new cars now and rather look for used vehicles. But maybe a nice 30+ year old on special insurance shows up, or I should finally abandon my serious track and try a Miata now?

    Fortune telling is a weird and challenging business right now.

  8. Hmmm- having just pumped a couple of grand into the wife’s car, my knee-jerk answer is Hell No! Besides, the saved money that would have made me feel comfortable in buying a car without worrying about the future ….evaporated. There’s no point in calling my financial advisor to discuss the idea. All he does is sob into the phone.

    Having said that, if I could find a ridiculously good deal on a CPO 1 or 2 Series BMW to replace my wife’s old 328i, I might be tempted. However it would have to be on the distant edge of ridiculously good…. so I guess the answer is still no.

  9. Keep in mind that all the new car incentives are stealing buyers who would have otherwise purchased certified pre-owned vehicles. In turn, CPO lots are going after Clean Used Cars lots, and in turn are going to end up poaching customers from Buy Here, Pay Here.

    Lemons-grade cars are going to be coming out of the woodwork.

  10. I bought a cheap used truck in late March and my son is shopping but at the bottom end of the market unemployment making people convert spare vehicles to cash is probably a bigger driver than industry trends. So far a lot of used vehicles we loooked at haven’t sold and have been on Craigslist for weeks. Same with FB marketplace, some trucks I looked at in March are still for sale.
    Since our current car is 3 years old with lowish miles and new snow tires we definitely won’t be looking at replacements for at least 5 years.

    1. This is also where I will be looking. My 20 year old son has been driving my van and is looking to own his own vehicle. He has been working full time. There will be a lot of good deals coming on the market soon in the 3k-4k range. I already saw a ’14 Mitsubishi Mirage at a used card dealer for $3500. Yeah it’s not something we would want but with 85k on the clock it would be super cheap for him to run after my Grand Caravan.

      1. Cheap and reliable is good, my son has been driving a 2003 Buick LeSabre since 2017. It was cheap and has required only modest amounts of cash. While a Mirage screams sub prime car loan they seem like good appliance cars and worth the money for low mileage ones.

      2. Cheap and reliable is good, my son has been driving a 2003 Buick LeSabre since 2017. It was cheap and has required only modest amounts of cash. While a Mirage screams sub prime car loan they seem like good appliance cars and worth the money for low mileage ones.

        1. Yeah a sub prime car is fine if you can get it for the right price. He would get decent gas mileage, decent safety, and okay reliability. I’d get a car that is cheap to insure. Plus he get pride of ownership of a newer car. Let’s see what happens in the next month.

        2. Yeah a sub prime car is fine if you can get it for the right price. He would get decent gas mileage, decent safety, and okay reliability. I’d get a car that is cheap to insure. Plus he get pride of ownership of a newer car. Let’s see what happens in the next month.

    2. As a further update my son’s friend just bought a very clean 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP with a supercharged 3800 for $1500 to replace his 80s Camaro with the blown engine. #1 son is still on the hunt but has found some prospects

  11. I’d really like a new Tacoma. Or a slightly used one. But I looked at prices and deals available, and remembered there’s no way in hell I’m taking on a $600 per month car payment for 5 years.

    1. As much as it pains me to admit it. I loved my 95 1/2 Tacoma when I got it new but I couldn’t justify the cost of those now. The only vehicle that could get me to jump out of my Soul right now is a Frontier. I know, I know. It’s a hundred years old. I have such a little payment on a Soul but I figure I could about do the same thing on a used Certified or leftover Frontier. Especially a leftover since the ’20’s got the new engine and transmission.
      Although my heart wants a new Tacoma.

  12. We were looking at trading the wife’s Durano R/T in on a SRT Durango. But the dealers around here aren’t really wanting to deal, and Chrysler isn’t offering 0% on the big block Durango’s. So, we’re just sitting tight, everything we have is paid off. So maybe we’ll just bank some cash for now.

  13. I’m lightly in the market for a 200 series land cruiser, planning to spend in the $50k range whenever I make the jump to it. However, I haven’t quite saved up enough yet, so it would have to be one hell of a deal to convince me to take on a payment, especially facing an almost certain furlough when the fall semester starts.

    But, I’m still keeping my eyes open…the thrill of the car search hunt, as I’m sure many of us can relate…

  14. We recently bought a CPO vehicle for my wife. Our current situation is that we are both essential (she is a nurse) but she is commuting further. We sold our prior MDX (reliable as the day is long but really getting up in mileage) to downsize to a more fuel efficient car. We were able to get what I wanted on my trade in. I have noticed many dealers not being enthusiastic about any trade because of the glut of cars on the market. Interesting times as all dealerships we went to we definitely seem to know that the pinch is coming.

  15. I may have mentioned the free, non-running scooter I got last year… I’ve just pulled the trigger on parts for it, several dozens of dollars. That’s enough mobility renewal for me I guess.

  16. Not going to say that I haven’t looked at all the VW deals out there right now. Really sweet deals when you think they’re throwing in long financing and no payments until fall. Seen some sweet 2019 leftover Alltracks with the 6 year “(Blame The) People First” warranties still on them.

    BUT

    Then sanity wins, and I remind myself that why in the hell am I buying a car and taking on a note for years, when I haven’t actually driven to work in what, 2 months? Who knows when am I going back in anyways, now that we’ve hit this large scale work-from-home experiment.

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