Buying a New Used Lexus GS300

After my last accident I needed a new car, and I finally got around to buying one….my new (used) black 1999 Lexus GS 300.

I was thinking of buying another Toyota Camry because it was such a great car, but I decided to step it up a notch and go with a Lexus…..same great quality with a little more luxury. The rational thing to do was buy a relatively cheap new car for the same price, but many times the rational thing isn’t the most fun! I’ve saved up a bit of money over the years, and I was prepared to drop around $16k on a car…..which doesn’t exactly afford the nicest of new car.

I decided I wanted a used 1998+ Lexus GS 300 with under 100,000 miles. Research showed me this is a very long-lasting and reliable car….not to mention Lexus has been the consistently rated the #1 most reliable car for years.

On a very superficial level, your car says something about you. I wanted to go for the young professional look (not sure how professional I am) but I didn’t want to spend $45,000+ on a BMW or new Lexus.

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Perusing Craigslist, AutoTrader and Yahoo Autos for a few weeks made it clear that all the good deals on private party Lexus’ in Texas were in Dallas which is about 3 hours away from Austin.

I passed on a few deals I shouldn’t have because they were in Dallas, but finally I found a good one and rented a car to Dallas. Patience was key here. I was getting a little hasty at first because I just wanted to get this whole car thing over with. I’m glad I waited a little bit longer for another good deal to come along.

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I got a one-way airport-t0-airport rental car from Austin to Dallas, so I could ditch the car if the deal went through and had to drive the Lexus back from Dallas. Since I’m under 25 there was a fee, there was also a fee for one-way drop off, and I also got upgraded insurance (juuuuust in case) which brought my total to $113 for the entire rental car, plus a $30 tank of gas in the end.

The night before the car rental I went to my local Bank of America and withdrew $15,000 in cash. That $15,000 involved a lot of hard work and savings over the years, yet it fit snuggly inside two small envelopes. I just HAD to play around with it!

$15,000…..Not as impressive looking as it sounds.

Money smells funny.

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do this!

Years of saving and hard work = Half inch stack of paper.

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I finally met up with the guy in Dallas after visiting several Lexus dealerships and viewing some other private party cars around town. Did a quick test drive, went through my check-list of things to look for and decided to seal the deal. In the end it came to $15,000 in cash even.

Sitting pretty on the driveway. 1999 Lexus GS 300 with 65K miles.

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I wanted to pay for this car in cash, and I did…..however I DON’T want to miss this opportunity to put a loan on my credit report. Therefore I’ve already arranged to have a $10,000 loan taken on the car from a Federal Credit Union. All I have to do is transfer the car title to the credit union for collateral, they write me a $10,000 check and I make monthly payments which looks good on my credit.

I wish the whole credit system worked in favor of people who pay off their cars in cash, otherwise I would never take this step.

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I’ve got GEICO insurance which was a pretty pleasant experience, and since I was in two wrecks in the last 3 years (My fault or not), my insurance for the Lexus is $1,080 for 6 months….yikes. The original quote they gave me was for $650 for 6 months….until that pesky little driving record was pulled up.

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So I finally get to cross “Buy a new car” off my to-do list. So far the car has been wonderful, and I’m very glad I bought it. For some reason the most fascinating part of this whole experience…….I have seat warmers!