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Tips on Buying Cars/Looking for a manual transmission pickup.

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Question
My son is interested in a manual transmission small or medium sized pickup, not more than 7 years old. I live in a medium sized city with lots of dealerships (he doesnt want a private sale) and have found a few online, but want to narrow the search down before we go look. We only have next weekend to do so. Any suggestions appreciated!

Answer
Limited time is never a good thing when auto shopping but as part of your preparation to save time, due diligence is a good plan.  If you have a few vehicles picked out, do the following  
1. Check the book price on NADA average retail either on line or in a NADA guide.  Do not use kelly blue book.  
2. Check the better business bureau for the reputation of the dealers you are considering.
3. Google the make and model of the truck for repair records and safety info
4. If you can get your hands on the Consumer reports used vehicle edition, that would be good.
I know your son wants a stick shift but please keep in mind that stick shift has a lower resale value percentage.  Fewer people want stick shift then want automatic so supply and demand dictate that the automatic transmission has a better resale value.
Brands I like in a pickup are Ford, Toyota, Nissan.  
When you go to look, take a pad and paper and take notes. Make a list of the important things to be considered and after you have looked, compare the lists.  Don't fall pray to an "If I could would you?" from a sales person. Make an offer or buy when you are ready and feel good about the choice
The important factors other then the manufacturer are:
1. Mileage. Both kinds. How many miles are on the vehicle and how many miles to a gallon does it get?
2. The general condition, paint, interior, cleanliness
3. Dealer reputation. Does the dealer have a good reputation (check the BBB)
4. Warranty length and company. how many months of warranty are being included and is the warranty from the manufacturer or an outside company. From the manufacturer is obviously better
5. Price. How much money, what interest rate if you are financing, What other fees are being charged
Compare the total OTD (out the door) price
6. Be thorough in checking these things. Like the old carpenter said "measure twice, cut once  

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Geoffrey veit

Expertise

I can answer most any question about buying a car, truck or motorcycle

Experience

I was a Sales Manager in the Automobile Industry for 25 years. I worked for Ford, Honda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan and Volkswagen, plus, I was a used car manager for 8 of those years I have also been a sales manager for Harley Davidson for 8 years and metric bikes for 2 years.

Organizations
Florida Writers Association, National writers association, Mensa

Publications
I have had published writing in the Automotive News, Aller Welt magazine (Mercedes Benz), Mensa, Ford times and a few others I have written a number of books including "The Informed Buyer" This book offers advice on how to get a great deal and avoid the hastles of buying or leasing a car, truck or motorcycle. It is available on Amazon-Kindle or Barnes and Noble-Nook for $3.99

Education/Credentials
I have attended hundreds of work shops and seminars within those industries. My formal education is an associates in Business.

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