A good place to buy a used car?

used car windshieldKatie asks via Twitter:

Any recommendations on good, honest, and reliable used car or new car dealerships in the capital region?

There are (at least) two parts to buying a car: the actual car (Is it an OK car for the price?) and the experience of buying it (Lots of pressure? Are they helpful?).

So, any suggestions for Katie -- about where to go in the Capital Region, or even just tips on what to look for?

If you have a suggestion for a specific place, please include why you like that place.

Comments

I recently shopped all over town, and ended up at Ed Comtois in Cohoes. It's a mom & pop shop, very friendly, easy to work with, had a good selection of what I was looking for (reasonably priced, late model, reliable, efficient cars). They were very friendly, honest, and no pressure. If I recall correctly, they've been in business over 40 years.

We have always had good luck with Latham Ford. Lauren is a great salesman to work with. Service dept is fantastic. Never got the feeling of being played, talked down too or used.

Capital Cities Imported Cars in Glenmont. New VWs & BMWs & assorted used cars.

Terry's Route 50 super-lot in Bunt Hills. I've never made a purchase there but every time I stop to look they are friendly and never use pressure tactics.

Seconding the recommendation for Glenmont's Capital Cities. They have the advantage of being close to us, but when we bought a used car two years back we looked all over the region and found what we wanted (an Acura, so not one of their dealer brands) there; they agreed on a very fair price.

On which note, we have not actually bought a car there, but so far we're very impressd with Northeast Acura as a service place; they were the other place in the running for us to buy from but were not as good on price as Capital Cities.

I've had good dealings for my last 2 cars at Armory on Central. It's big enough to offer an assortment of used cars & trucks. I went in & stated what I was looking for & they showed me what I was asking for instead of what they wanted to sell. Good for trade-ins, too. The repair shop - not so much. They do the minimum & charge the maximum.

I back Comtois as well. Ed is a straight shooter and doesnt BS.. which i wasnt used to at first. He is defintely worth a stop.

Linda Vasko at Fogg's Automotive in Glenville is great! Very helpful and made the process simple. They are a great bunch at Fogg's.

We've bought both our used cars from Gil's Garage in Burnt Hills (I think they have a new second shop near Guideboard Rd/Rt 9 now). He has just a few but the prices are very reasonable and they are always in excellent shape. If there are any issues at all with the vehicle, they fix it immediately, no questions or hassles. Very friendly folks and they have later hours on some days so I don't have to go racing through traffic to get there at the end of the day.

Edmunds website has some excellent advice regarding the process of buying a used car. It's a must read:
http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/10-steps-to-buying-a-used-car.html

From Silvia on Twitter:

@aoa_feed @alloveralbany I've always had good experiences with Dave @precision Volvo on Central.Tip: Avoid waterlogged cars from NYC.

— silvia meder lilly (@nylilly) October 30, 2012

Knighton's Auto in Colonie (on Central Ave in front of Kohl's) has low mileage cars at fair prices.

I'd recommend a private sale from an owner that has kept all service records, coupled with a dealer inspection (which should cost you one hour of their repair rate). Should save you 10%, at least.

As for price, start with KBB or NADA value, whichever is lower, and negotiate down from there based on comparables on CL (and other classifieds) and the cost of whatever deferred maintenance is turned up in the inspection.

If you choose the convenience of a dealership, the negotiating tactics should be the same. Good luck.


Parts manufacturers usually provide product information and sometimes even video trainings on their websites, so it is fairly easy to educate yourself on the car parts you need.

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