Buying a car in Los Angeles
October 25, 2019 7:37 PM   Subscribe

Hints and tips for buying a car (likely used) in Los Angeles? Good/bad dealers?

It's finally time to retire the old (2002) Focus. We have a general budget and idea about a handful of cars — probably time to start sussing out details and test driving.

We're in the Silverlake/Los Feliz area, so close to the Glendale auto mall. I also have Yes Ceritos stuck in my head after living here for over a decade.

Have you bought a car in Los Angeles? How did you find the one you liked? Any bad experiences or places to avoid? Any tips or tricks with trade-ins on an old car (comparatively low mileage though, just over 100k).

Is it better to avoid dealers altogether and go for private sales? Through what, Craigslist? One of the other online search engines? Should we ask our mechanic?
posted by klangklangston to Shopping (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had a great experience selling my ancient, troubled VW through Carmax and got a low but extremely fair price for it. I also got a fantastic low-mileage car through Hertz Sales, which had the benefit of allowing me to rent the car for a week before buying.
posted by corey flood at 6:39 AM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Have you been taking the Focus to the same mechanic this whole time? Many local mechanics keep a roster of customer cars up for sale and another for customer wants. If they're someone you trust, call or go by and tell them what sort of vehicle you're looking for—they may be able to play match-maker. It's definitely not a quick method (unless you're really lucky), but if you can get a car and a mechanic at the same time I highly recommend it. If they don't find you a car, at the very least they know you're looking and might be that much more willing to do a once-over pre-sale check for a private-seller used car you locate on your own.
posted by carsonb at 1:51 PM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

We used consumer reports car buying service and ended up at Galpin. They’re in the valley and move serious volume so their pricing is good.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:34 PM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

But use the car buying service so they negotiate the deal for you.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:35 PM on October 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

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