So now that you found the exact supercar you were looking for is time to pay for it so you can drive it home. Well, in the case of a purchase from a private individual many of the steps described in this guide will actually need to be taken ahead of time. But let's proceed in order.
Whether you are buying from a dealer or from a private party there are primarily two ways you will be paying: cash, financing, or a combination of the two. If buying from a dealer it is possible you'll also be trading in an existing vehicle. Very rarely one will buy their supercar by swapping a vehicle + cash with its owner. In the majority of the cases paying for your supercar will take the form of a cash + financing solution.
Regardless of the source from which you are buying the vehicle it is absolutely recommended you carry out the transaction in person.
But – you are thinking – wouldn't financing be difficult to obtain at a reasonable rate when buying a 10 or 15-year old supercar (or even older)? Obviously, access to financing is primarily a function of highly individual variables such as individual credit score and so on: for this reason in this guide we will not delve into the ease of obtaining credit. That's your own thing. Ease of obtaining credit aside, there are plenty of financial institutions that will lend money at reasonable rates to qualified buyers for the purchase of an older, pre-owned exotic.
The most reasonable financing for this type of cars is usually obtained from credit unions. Each institution is different and no blanket statement can be made, but Pentagon Federal Credit Union (Penfed), for instance, is a very large credit union that many buyers of this type of cars resort to. Yes, you will need to join: whether or not you are or have ever been a member of the US military, you can easily become a member. If you aren't a member of the military all you need to do is join either the National Military Family Association or Voices for America's Troops and become a member that way. Once a member Penfed offers several very reasonable used car loan options at rates that will surprise you.
Financing with LightStream (a division of SunTrust Bank) is another option described by many users as being customer-friendly and easy to work with. They offer unsecured loans so that the car stays in your name, and their interest rates are quite reasonable even when compared with secured loans.
Other financing sources are Premier Financial and Putnam: among other things they both offer a “lease to own” option whereas CA residents don’t need to pay sales tax on the whole amount financed but only on the part that one is “renting”. This is because these institutions have acquiring balloon options at the end (30k-35k): so basically one is deferring the sales tax and the “down payment” occurs at the end of the term. These facilitations come at the cost of a higher interest rate when compared to Penfed, though.
OK, let's say that you now have access to credit for the purchase of your supercar. How do you finalize the transaction?
Remember when we said one should never buy any of these cars without seeing them first in person? Right: regardless of the source from which you are buying the vehicle it is absolutely recommended you carry out the transaction in person. If buying from a private owner be sure you have agreed a no-higher-then price, which will be somewhat negotiable based on the results of the PPI or personal inspection. So, for instance, you could have both agreed that the vehicle is priced at $72,000 with the understanding that the estimated and reasonable cost of any repairs found during an inspection will be subtracted from that amount. For this reason it is quite likely that by the time you leave your house to go finalize your supercar purchase you will not know exactly how much you'll end up paying for the vehicle. The recommendation is that you bring with you a portion of the no-higher-than amount in cash, and the remainder in the form of a pre-authorized car loan up to a amount agreed with your financial institution. Thus, for example, you could bring $10,000 in cash and have a pre-authorized car loan check up to $62,000 – or whatever combination of cash + check you prefer. As soon as the final price of the vehicle has been agreed upon between both parties you'll then proceed to call up your financial institution from the seller's location and activate the pre-authorized car loan check for the balance of the amount due to the seller. Because each financial institution works differently it is recommended you clarify the details of this procedure with your bank/credit union ahead of time.
If buying from a dealer one could proceed as described above, or take advantage of the dealer's financing (if available). Depending on the circumstances financing through a dealer may or may not be advantageous, but the details of when it is or isn't far exceed the scope of this guide.
In the case of a 100% cash transaction the procedure certainly doesn't need to be clarified here. Just a word to the wise: if bringing a large amount of cash be certain the circumstances surrounding the sale are conducive to a safe environment. If uncertain about what to expect, bring a friend with you.
For this guide assumes you are already familiar with car purchasing we will not delve into what to do with the car title, how to transfer it from seller to buyer and so on. You should already know all that: if not there are many resources available where you can gather all the needed information.
Next up: you paid for your supercar and now it's all yours! How do you bring it home and what do you do once it is safely parked at your house?