what is the general feeling of dealer financing of the Smart?

I am still waiting for my Smart, should be about Nov. 2009, delivery, and I was thinking of just paying cash for the car. But the alternative would be to take financing either from the dealer or directly from a bank. What is the general feeling here about method of paying for the Smart?

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I'll let you know. I am due to get my smart in June but the dealer says she has an orphan just like I ordered on the lot. I'll start my research on Monday. I also heard they may pass a new fuel efficient car tax credit. Do smart dealers take trade-ins?
In January, I got 4.5 % at my credit union...The dealer offered 5.0%...Needless to say, I had excellent credit and a big down payment...
I am taking delivery of an orphan Silver Brabus Cabrio. The dealer spotted one at the shipping docks. So, at his suggestion, I completed a credit app with the dealership. Daimler Chrysler Financial wanted a big down payment and only offered 5.5%. The salesman said they could beat anyone's interest. Wrong!! My credit union requires no down payment and offers 4.75%. Guess where I will be going?
The dealer in Sacramento says their finacing is rarely used due to better interest rates at credit unions. Two CUs I do/could belong to have current rates of 4.74% and 4.45%. He says will take my 9 year old trade-in and I might just have him take it because of my distance from Sac.
I am due to get my smart in June but the dealer says she has an orphan just like I ordered on the lot. I'll start my research on Monday. I also heard they may pass a new fuel efficient car tax credit. Do smart dealers take trade-ins?

...Hi Sara,
Not sure where you're located, but kinda watch out for the orphans they have on the lot only because of them adding on "extra features" that were never factory options to begin with... i.e. - navagation system, back up cameras, etc. They tack on thousands of dollars for it. At my dealer - it was $5,000. extra for these 2 "extra features". I about fell out. I then called every dealer in LA within a 50 mile radius of me to see if they did the same thing, and a salesman at one of them told me yes, due to not a big profit margin for the dealerships on these cars. I'm in Los Angeles and I wanted to get on an "orphan list" last year until I found out it would cost me $2,000 to get on the list which would of course come off of the price of the car, but I didn't have the funds to do that and decided to just wait it out. Then I visit the dealership to see what they had and that's when I discovered the "extra features" they put on the orphans. Honestly, who needs a back up camera for a car that's 102 inches long! Poke your head out the window if you can't see lol.

And yes, they do take trade ins. Do your homework tho, as you'll always get a better price selling to a private party than you would on trade in. I just went down to take another test drive at Smart, and I asked about the trade in thing. Since I still owe $$ on my car, but less than what it's worth, I thought I was in a pretty good place. I did a Kelly Blue Book on it last year, then again 2 days ago - my car is worth $3,000 less than it was last May! ouch. Then the guy at Smart told me to go to Carmax (they buy cars) and have them do an appraisal. Because, KBB is only for what the banks use to calculate financing - NOT what the car is actually worth. So, I plan on doing that this week. He did say the used car market was terrible right now, but I'm expecting the best. However, the more I think about it, if I sell it myself I can get about $2,000 more, which is more in line with what the car is worth on KBB, no matter. And every dime counts when making a downpayments, etc.


Hope this helps,
Red
Thanks for the heads-up on the "extras".
I was thinking of doing a CarMax combo thing since their offer is good for 7 days, just before I go to pick up the smart I would get CarMax's appraisal and then see if smart can match it. If not then drive both cars back and sell my GrandPrix to CarMax. My only fear of that plan is that my husband will call "dibs" on driving the new car back home! It's not quite 200 miles between home and the dealership.
Selling my car to a private party is more hassle than I really want. Too many crazies around here, I wouldn't want to let any of them take me for their test drive, nor let them take it on their own! My car is a 2000 model and only worth a few grand anyway.
Oh, and the tax credit seems to be the "Cash for Clunkers" program, you trade your car for a voucher with the idea that it will be scraped. My car would get a $3000 voucher and I think I can get more for it than that, so I won't wait for the legislation to be finalized.
Sara
hey sara,
yea, i know what you mean about crazies--i'm in los angeles and have had that same worry about selling it outright to a private party. let me know what happens at carmax. i haven't had a chance to take it there yet. mine is a 2005 and i'm wondering if the cash for clunkers is the bill they're trying to get passed. (my boss told me ever so briefly of what she remembered about it seeing it on msn.nbc--and said my car may be too new a model). she had said they will pay you 3-5,000 depending on vehicle and yes, for them to crush it. but i thought that was a tax credit...not sure on any details. yea, the more i think about it, i'm with you, i KNOW i'd get more from selling or trading it in no matter. although, i do have a friend who has a 92 ford bronco - total gas guzzling beast that may fit into the category of whatever this program is. if you have any more info on that program, i sure would appreciate any info.
thanks,
red
:)

Thanks for the heads-up on the "extras".
I was thinking of doing a CarMax combo thing since their offer is good for 7 days, just before I go to pick up the smart I would get CarMax's appraisal and then see if smart can match it. If not then drive both cars back and sell my GrandPrix to CarMax. My only fear of that plan is that my husband will call "dibs" on driving the new car back home! It's not quite 200 miles between home and the dealership.
Selling my car to a private party is more hassle than I really want. Too many crazies around here, I wouldn't want to let any of them take me for their test drive, nor let them take it on their own! My car is a 2000 model and only worth a few grand anyway.
Oh, and the tax credit seems to be the "Cash for Clunkers" program, you trade your car for a voucher with the idea that it will be scraped. My car would get a $3000 voucher and I think I can get more for it than that, so I won't wait for the legislation to be finalized.
Sara
Hey Red (and anybody else reading),
Well, search "cash for clunkers" and choose your politics for what veiw point you want to argue or agree with. It seems that neither house has finalized anything but lots of "green" and otherwise websites have opinions. Until Congress actually passes something, the terms will be up in the air. I started a re-fi on my house, so I'm letting the car thing run it's natual course for now. I don't want to de-rail saving hundreds on my house payment by applying for a car loan at the same time, if I don't have to. According to my DDE and the smartusa Customer Service phone rep, MY car is due in June. Perfect timing 'cuz my new -lower- house payment will start in July. I'm in the San Joaquin valley and WANT to buy my car in Sacramento.
Sara
I just finished my fiance paper through Smart Cars and I got 4.2%, no down payment needed and no trade needed, but could trade my 1997 mustang or my motorcycle, if I wanted too....Not a bad deal
Hey Nancy, (and anyone else reading)
I just got approved for 4.2% yesterday! i planned on putting down 4,000 total (including their 500 (for taking orphan) + my 99 res. fee + 3,400 of my own $$. got a call today and she said they may need an additional $1,000 for downpayment. something about she got back the "approval letter" and it got bumped from teir 2 or tier 3--whatever that means. I'm taking an orphan but it has more stuff than what I originally wanted -$850-- more. I don't know if I'm being played or what. Do you have excellent credit to get that 4.2% I had a few bumps years ago, but pretty good credit...and have never been late or missed a car payment in 15 years. I had always planned to put a downpayment on this...but ANOTHER grand is pushing it. Any suggestions/comments would be greatly appreciated as I'm to pick up the car this week!

Nancy said:
I just finished my fiance paper through Smart Cars and I got 4.2%, no down payment needed and no trade needed, but could trade my 1997 mustang or my motorcycle, if I wanted too....Not a bad deal

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