How to Buy a Car with Cash

How to Buy a Car with Cash

– Hey you guys, it’s
Dana and it’s Tuesday, so it’s time to talk about money, and it’s time to talk about my new car and how I paid cash for it and how to buy a car with cash. (cash register bell ringing) All right, so, I have been
driving the same Subaru for 13 years, and the
Check Engine light was on and the head gasket was leaking, oil was leaking, I don’t know. So I used to drive around with a bottle of antifreeze in the car
to fill up the antifreeze when the car started overheating, so I really have been
workin’ this car for years, like much further than it
really should have gone because the head gasket
kind of was leaking five years ago, but I’ve
still just been driving it, keeping an eye on the fluids. And so, the inspection came
up, and the inspection was due. And I knew this was
probably gonna be the time that the car was not gonna make it. It failed inspection. It needed a whole new exhaust system, and so, I was quoted $1,800
for the exhaust system. But then, I went to two different garages, two different mechanics
to get their opinion, to get different quotes
to see if they could bring the price down, to see
if it was really worth it because the Subaru really
was only worth about $1,500, maybe 2,000 if it was
in really good shape. So, I didn’t want to be putting
$1,800 into a $2,000 car. So I had to make the
decision whether or not to keep this car or not. So I decided to purchase
a car and to trade in or to sell my current one. And it was really stressful. It’s been making me ill,
and this has been going on for a while, but I’ve been, like I said, did my research trying to see
if I could first get it fixed, how much it would cost,
whether it was worth it to do that, talked to different people with different opinions if they would think the
car would last longer if I did do the repair to
fix just the exhaust system. Anyway, so, to the car purchasing. So then, I went and I started looking, different places to buy cars: dealerships, CarMax, CarSense where
they have used cars, just local used car dealers,
regular main-chain dealers. Craigslist, I went onto
Craigslist and looked for cars. I called somebody on Craigslist, talked to them about a car. And then, I ended up finding
a certain dealership lot where they had used cars that
were within my price range, my price range being $4,000. So that’s how much I wanted
to spend on a new car. That’s how much cash that I had available to pay for a car. And this is the first time
I’ve ever actually gone in to buy a car with cash. And so, it was really nerve-wracking but exciting at the same time. But I found it within the inventory. Now if you go onto dealership websites, it’s actually really
awesome because you can see their full inventory online. A lot of times, you can click and see the Carfax report as well, like you can see it all there. Because where I live in Pennsylvania, a lot of people are
saying used car dealers or people on Craigslist
are shipping cars up from the South where they’ve
been exposed to flood and they’re reselling these flood cars up in the Northeast. And a lot of times,
the buyers aren’t aware that it was a car from the flood zone. So, it was nice to see
the Carfax report online before going into the dealership so I kind of have an idea of what I wanted to look at before even going in. So I went into this dealership, and I brought my car with me, my Subaru. So number one, if you have a car that you’re looking to trade
in as part of your deal, you want to make sure
you bring it with you. And when you go to the dealership to buy your car with cash, you have to do the two main things that I
think from this experience. You have to be willing to buy it that day. You have to be ready to pay for it, so you want to bring
your checkbook with you and have the money in
your account ready to go. And you have to be ready
to walk away, to leave. Right? Those are two really big important things when you’re buying a car. Being able to walk away
is an important thing in general that you’re willing to do that, but also, that you’re ready
to actually make the purchase. Because when you go in and you have cash, whether it’s actual
cash or you’re gonna be writing a check, or using your debit card if you happen to be able to buy a car. At this dealership, they had a sign that said they would do
a debit card transaction for up to $2,500. So if you had a $2,000
trade-in and you were buying a car and the remaining balance was 2,000, you could have used your debit card to purchase the rest of the car. But aside from that,
they said they accepted personal checks which I was surprised by. I thought that I was
gonna have to go the bank and get a certified check
or have actual cash, right? But you don’t. They accept personal checks. They were totally fine with that. So you have to be able to, like I said, be able to buy it that
day that you’re there and also be willing to walk away. So when I looked at the
car that I was interested in buying, I just was really upfront. The car was listed for $4,900 and I said, “Is there any way you can
lower the price of this car? “I’m looking for the
car to be about $4,500 “and then I would like to get
at least $500 for my Subaru “as trade-in because the
Check Engine light’s on, “it has high mileage, I know
all these things about it.” I didn’t say that part but, “I’m looking for about $4,000. “That’s what I can do. “That’s what I have, and
I’m prepared to pay today. “I have cash.” And so, those two things
I think are important. I think a little bit of honesty, I know people think that
doesn’t make any sense at a dealership, but,
if you have a set amount that you are able to spend,
like you have that amount of money in your bank
account or cash or whatever, then just say, “This is what I’ve got.” And honestly, I think
that really helped me. They ended up giving me $1,000 trade-in for my Subaru, that really, I was like, they’re gonna take it to the auction. There’s nothing in that Subaru. It’s really, head gasket
leaking, it’s not in good shape. And so, I was able to purchase the car within my price range of
$3,900 is what I wrote the check for. All right, so I was really excited. I cannot express how amazing it is to have actual money as
opposed to financing your car. It was such a different experience for me. I just felt so much better
not having to fill out paperwork for financing and tell them how much money I make, where I work. It was just so nice to not have to. They don’t need to know that. It’s none of their business
when you’re just paying for the car. And I think that it helps so much just from a personal
empowerment perspective, especially as being a
woman, that I think it helps a lot to be able to sort
of stand your ground and negotiate the price when you know how much money you have, and
you actually have the money. You’re not sitting there behind the desk waiting to hear back, were you approved. Remember, they walk off,
and you’ve got to sit there, and you’ve got to be kind of nervous waiting for their approval
if you’re gonna get the loan. It’s just such a better
experience when you have cash, even in this case, it’s
a car under $5,000. It’s not like it’s a huge amount of money, but it’s a big amount of money to us. That’s a lot of money, and
I still kind of felt like, “Oh my gosh, I’m spending all this money.” But it was such a wonderful experience. And then after we agreed on the price and the deal went through, then I went and I sat with somebody else. I don’t know, I’ve never
worked in dealership. I don’t know what his title was. But you know the person who prints out all the paperwork for you to sign to transfer the title and all that stuff? Plus, oh also, I brought
with me, I had the title for my car, my Subaru,
I had the title for that that I brought along to
give to them the title. But that guy too, even sitting with him and then writing the check out for the car and giving it to him,
it was so much more easy and just not as stressful. The whole transaction all around just felt so much better to be using cash. And I really wanted to
make this video, you guys, because before I went
in, it was terrifying. And I looked up a lot of videos on YouTube about buying a car with cash and just like the simple mechanics of it
is what I didn’t understand. I know this sounds really weird, but I haven’t bought a new car in years and years and years, or a new used car, new-to-me car, I haven’t
bought it in years. And I felt like, what were
the actual mechanics of, I understand like buying a cash car, I was like, what do I, do
I need a cashier’s check? Do I have actual cash? Do I have to have actual cash
or how does that even work? I was so confused by it. But you can write a personal check. A lot of dealers, you just ask them, “Do you take a personal check for this?” I do think that they are willing to give you a better
price, either knock down the price of the car or give you a higher amount of money for your trade-in if you are ready to just pay for it because it’s easier for
them too, I imagine, if they don’t have to go
through all the paperwork of financing and then find
out that you don’t qualify for financing and the deal falls through. So it’s easier for them
too when you’re just saying you’re just gonna pay for it. You don’t have to have financing. So they are more willing, I think, to give you a better price and it’s just, it’s just such a great experience. But like I said, you can bring cash, but you don’t have to. You can just do a personal check or even a debit card like said if all you owe is,
depending on the dealership, they may have different amounts, but they can take a debit card if you’re gonna be 2,500 or less. So especially if you’re buying a used car, that’s gonna work out
if you have a trade-in. So yeah, so any questions,
down below in the comments. I don’t think I forgot anything. But basically, this car,
I’m hoping it’ll last me for a couple years. It’s a Toyota Camry, which
are really good cars, at 130,000 miles, and it’s
in good shape I think. So I’m very excited about it. The Subaru that I was driving,
the trunk wouldn’t open. So this car, the trunk opens, so I’m like, “Ooh, the trunk opens!” It’s these little things in
life, you know what I mean. And I really just need this car to drive back and forth to work, and that’s really all that
we ever use my car for. And so, I just wanted something that would get me there and back, something very simple, something
that I could pay cash with. And so, it was really a good experience for my first cash car-buying experience. All right, so that’s it, you guys. If it’s your first time
here, be sure to subscribe. I’m here every single Tuesday
talking all about money, and I encourage everybody
to live debt-free, to not borrow money, not only because that’s what the Bible says, but also because it is just so incredibly freeing. It feels fantastic. ‘Cause when you don’t have payments, what you have is money in your account which is really great, right? You can’t argue that. All right, okay, I’ll talk
to you guys next week. Bye!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. My mom had a used car that she took a loan out for. The week after that was paid off, some kids stole it right from my moms work parking lot. The car insurance gave her cash for less than what she paid so with that money she bought an even better used car. It's better because its biggerm

  2. Dealership makes money off financing. Purchasing a a car at the end of the month is easier to buy a car in cash but that they need their numbers up. I work at a car dealership before.

  3. Recently, my paid for car was declared a total loss after I was rear-ended on the highway on the way to work. Thank goodness it was paid for, because I was able to use the entire insurance check to buy a new car. This was $4000 as well! I bought something through a private sale on Craigslist. Because I wouldn't expect this guy to trust that my personal check was valid, I paid with a bank check. Like you, I had an amazing experience and feel so good that I did not go into debt to (very suddenly) replace my paid for car. Two things I wanted to mention to remind people to budget for it… TITLE/REGISTRATION FEES and SALES TAX (if it applies in your state). That added another $300 dollars to my purchase that everyone should remember to plan for when buying a new to them car!! Great video, Dana, thank you for all of your inspiration!!

  4. Congrats I dread getting a new truck ! I love my truck 2007 Ford Explorer. I want to keep it 4 more years had my transmission done last year $3600.

  5. yay, the feeling is so sweet!! im so happy for you & your fam.. financing is such a burden, "slave to the lender" they now have up to 7years term loans, which is insane to me!? I have 2011 ford focus, which is paid off now, but I had to settle for a subprime loan and that little car's value was $14k, but once financing was done, i ended up paying a total of $26k!! its horrible, but I was in need of a car big time.

  6. My used Volvo was $10,000 (Cdn cash), when I bought it in 2013. It is still in great shape. No rust (from salt on snowy roads). It is always getting compliments and people's mouths fall open when they hear it's a 2008 (10 yrs old).
    We bought a new (two year old) van for our business. It was just in the shop because it's driver-side door is falling off! We had bought that van with our line of credit. We paid it off in 1.5 yrs. The cost of the van was just under $40,000(Cdn). We didn't pay the interest, as we 'loaned' the money to our business, and wrote-off the purchase of the van through the business. Hubby purchased it in Edmonton, Alberta and drove it home to Toronto, Canada. The distance is half of the country of Canada, and about 3 sleeps.
    Your Toyota will last forever!!
    CONGRATS!! You've done well!

  7. Dana, This made me cry and gave me goose bumps.  This will be our experience someday.  Our car is 19 years old and we know someday it will need replaced.  We have been saving for a couple of years and we discuss what we might get and most importantly how much we will spend.  We have always, always, always borrowed money to buy a vehicle.  Always.  Next time it will be cash.  I am so, so happy for you.  And so proud of you for standing your ground, walking out your beliefs and not compromising your values so you can keep up with the Jones.

  8. congrats on your new car !! I am very interested in mileage on a car that cost less the $50000. I need to buy a car and would love to pay cash instead of credit

  9. Great job on the trade in. I know it goes against everything people say, but I beleave in buying a new car, take care of it and drive it until it dies. Our 2008 truck, baught new and we still have it. I feel a used car is must have problems, if it was a good car why did someone get rid of it. I know 4 people this year that baught used car that were money pits. And 2 of them did the resurch.

  10. Congratulations on the new used car, so exciting! Finally made it to your recent video, been watching non stop for the past week since I discovered your channel. Saw all the videos you uploaded since going from cloth diapers to debt free living. You're by far my favorite YouTuber on the subject, you just keep it real. I checked out your Facebook groups, and maybe I've missed it, but I didn't find a Debt Free Dana Facebook group. To me, that's a pity, because I would love to connect to other people who think your videos about debt free living are amazing and exchange ideas and stories and tips. Maybe something for the future (here's hoping!)?

  11. This is a question that has not one thing to do with video . I just want to ask if you made the desk with shelves that is behind you in the video ? I ask because I like it and I am kinda wanting to do the same in my office. Did you make it or buy it that way ? Also thanks for the car info. I will be doing the same soon . I am not looking forward to it . Thanks again !

  12. Congratulations 🙂 I have started following you and watching your previous videos for a few weeks now and you really inspire me, being a mom of three.

  13. Thanks for making this video! My lease is up in 11 months, when I’ll probably buy something used. It’s definitely a stress! Congratulations on the Camry!

  14. Yippee thats great Dana. Well done. Hubby has just bought a new to us car cash paid and 2 years ago we replaced my car with cash. Its the best feeling to drive away and its yours. For us this was a first too but never again will we owe on cars or anything. You just can't beat the feeling of owning it outright.

  15. I just bought a Toyota Camry with cash recently too! It was a great decision, it drives very nicely and is very comfortable. Camrys are some of the safest cars out there and gas mileage is reasonable. That car might last you another 10 years :). I bought direct off a person on craigslist and I went with my dad and paid cash for it. I am glad I did it that way because besides a few little things to make the car more "me" (seat covers, painting over some scratches, etc), I won't be looking at any kind of monthly reoccuring costs for this car. Whereas a loan costs you interest every single month.

  16. Thanks for this video! I am getting ready to start saving for a new car and I wasn't sure how the process worked as far as paying cash

  17. I am so happy for you. I do have one  question please. Do these places offer any kind of warranty? Toyotas are wonderful. We love ours.

  18. I would write a check over using a debit card when buying a car especially when negotiating a deal. For one the dealer doesnt have transaction fees this allows the dealer to give you a better deal or make a better profit or both.

  19. We definitely need to get a car soon. We've been walking since June. My husband walks 2 miles two to three times a week to get groceries. It's starting to get cold and it's really hard.

  20. This was one of my most liberating experiences- buying a cash car for $4k. There’s no stress! I’m so happy you got to experience this as well.

  21. I currently work at a dealership. It is totally acceptable to walk in and say for example $4000 “out the door” which means that’s the total cost including tax, title and license. They will move the numbers around to make it work. If they don’t have what you are looking for, they can find it. Form a good relationship with your salesman and make them do the work. As a previous person said, money is made on the financing. Also, please don’t bring cash, paying 10,000 in $20’s because you think it will be funny makes you an asshole. Just saying. Congrats on your new car!

  22. So happy for you! We are a Toyota family and I'm here to tell you that was a great deal…you can't go wrong with a Toyota!!!

  23. Did you regularly maintain your car over the years you had it? And if you have to buy used, buy a used "certified" car.

  24. WhoooHOOOOOoooooo! Congrats on your first all cash payment in full for a car!!!! Doesn't it feel great?! I bought my first car with cash around this time 2 years ago. It was so invigorating, I loved it.

  25. I love your channel, you have not only taught me the importance of saving money, but you have also taught me to be grateful for what I already have. I’ve been obsessing about buying a new car for months and now I have realized that I don’t NEED (truly need) a new car. She runs well and she has low mileage! Only had her 2 years this month. What’s the rush? Thank you ❤️

  26. Lol I appreciated my used car I bought, but new to me, because I had previously was driving a clunker. I felt fancy. ????

  27. Yay!! I’m thrilled for you, Dana! I also paid cash for the car I bought last spring-such a great feeling to know I would not have a car payment!! Many thanks for all the great vids you do! Blessings!

  28. Technically it was not new but i got such a great deal and paying with cash made me feel in control. When they have an online price they cannot try to mess with the prices. I agree with u on being ready to buy or walk. I used
    a personal check today and was also surprised.

  29. Not only get the loan but how much interest they want to charge. They were a little disgruntled that I didnt want to finance. ..they make a lot of money when u finance. Dealerships do not like cash payors…and I was told that today. But I love my loan free new car!

  30. Awesome. Yes I want to know about the mechanics of things I haven't done before too! Like what do you do if you miss a connecting flight? Who do you talk to? How do you even find anyone in some random foreign airport?

  31. I just started paying down debt, it’s much different then going and mindlessly shopping etc. I feel better already, it can be done, Thanks for your weekly video, it encourages me in this journey. Then I’ll save for a vehicle..

  32. I love this video, you are extremely inspiring. Please keep posting such informational videos. On baby step 2 so purchasing a vehicle is a ways off

  33. Congrats to you…. way to go!!!! I wanted to share this info with you and others. it is a holiday gift for you and all trying who scrimp and scrape, to save, for the big things. Beans and rice / rice and beans recipes from around the world. Enjoy

  34. Deb, did you actually buy a car for $4,500 or you are using this figure for demo. I thought YouTubers are loaded with cash.
    I have never had experience buying a car from Craig's List. Hope to try that soon. But, I notice that used car sales company are using Craig's list also to sell their cars. Deceptive.

  35. Hi Dana,
    Love your video. I have a big question regarding cars. My current car is on its last legs but I still owe $10,800. My mechanic told me I shouldn't put any more money into my car I should start looking to buy a new car. Should I try to buy a newer car or hold out and continue pay off my old car? I want to be out or car debt. Thanks. Dawn

  36. Fully believe in this. My husband and I only pay cash for our vehicles!!! In our experiences we have saved around $800 – $1200 dollars off the sticker price just for paying cash up front!!! We are currently saving for another used car around $3- 4,000 as well!!! We just save the amount that we would be paying on the car each month and save it until we have enough!!!

  37. Cash is king. Buying from an individual is a crap shoot. Is the person telling the truth? You never know. At least with a dealership they have their reputation to worry about.

  38. When you have an old car, it's really important to keep an eye on the worth of your car with current mileage vs. repairs cost. A couple hundred here and there really adds up – plus any major repairs. There comes a tipping point when repairs are more than the worth of the car. I've always bought my cars used for cash, all Hondas and from dealerships. Once I hit 300k miles, I start researching inventory to know what it is out there and what price to expect to pay. There are so many nice used cars out there I don't understand why people go into debt for something new that loses value as soon as you drive it off the lot.

  39. When I'm at the dealership and in going to pay in cash, should I tell them up front, before the negotiations, that I'm paying in cash? I've heard arguments saying both ways.

  40. Dana I have $16,000 right now, I plan on buying a Toyota Highlander 2016 that costs about $25,000, I own a Toyota Highlander 2003 which is worth about $2500,,, I plan to buy this summer around July/August, I hope I can get some credit for a trade in & get a worth while car for the money I’m spending,,,

  41. I’m confused as to why you wouldn’t get the car fixed when it originally started leaking? It’s generally much cheaper to fix the sooner you do it and it puts undo stress on the car when a system isn’t working properly like that.

  42. Yes! I love these videos of people buying cars they can afford with cash! All these “finance videos” drive me crazy!

  43. I bought my used Nissan LEAF for all cash too at a Nissan dealership and they accepted my personal check.. it was a straight-forward process.

  44. Yay! So exciting to see you having success with this! All your hard work is paying off! (I've been watching your channel and just opened a second savings account for a car earlier today)

  45. OMG I’m like freaking out you give women hope for the future for womankind. People say white women are weak and gullible but you just proved that women are warriors. I think I’ll donate to BLM because they have a hard time using and getting Internet. May God bless you and your family.

  46. Good call on the Camry. I bought one just out of college in 93, put 193K on it, sold it to a student who put it up to 265 sold it when he was deployed to Iraq and he saw it on the road 5 years later. Keep the oil changed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *