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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Seeking advice from the wise regarding RL purchase

Hi and thanks for taking the time to read my post. I've been reading quite a bit on the forum here and figured I'd tag along and seek your thoughts.

I just relocated here to Atlanta GA for a new job and am closing on my first month here, I've been debating which way to go regarding vehicle purchase since I cannot live here without one!

Since I relocated from abroad I had many other expenses additional to the upcoming car purchase, I do not have much to put as a down payment. Probably around 3-3.5k. I have been thinking for a little over a month now which vehicle to buy and into what type of loan I want to get involved with, while just starting a new job in a completely new environment. In my point of view there are 3 options:
1- the cheapest car I can get, with lowest miles from around 2006. Spend somewhere around 6-7k. Hope not to get ripped off by some dealer, fall into a never ending stream of repairs, hold onto it for a few months and trade it in once I have saved more money and feel comfortable in the new change. 2- get a standard 2013-2014 focus\dart etc.. with minimum miles (15-25k) for about 12-15k and still have manufacturers warranty.
3- get a used sporty car, this is where the red line comes in..

So for the redline, I came across a 2008 RL with 33k miles in nearly perfect condition, single owner, no accidents, no scratches dings or anythings besides some scrapes on the bottom of the front which can only be seen when kneeling down and looking under.. I am not nearly an expert or even an amateur when coming to this model, they claim it is a Carbon Flash SE trim but I cannot identify, I've read that it comes with paint and wheel options but I really not sure. The dealer wanted a 16,882 value for the car not including taxes and fees which brought it up to almost 18k out of the door. I managed to bring them down to an out of the door 15k meaning at a 13.4k value. I put a small deposit to hold the car for me till tomorrow evening so I can make the right arrangements with my bank and have a clear mind.

My questions are considering the different paths which would you choose given the following factors:
- Down payment of 3-3.5k, which will leave me with a margin of 1-1.5k in savings for the first month until my next paycheck.
- Remaining loan in payments of 300 per month maybe a tad less which means around a 4 year loan for the RL or the standard focus.
- New environment, job, apt etc.
- As of this job I will be saving $500 per month.
- In case I for some reason, worst case scenario lose the new job, which doesn't seem too probable because I work in a leading enterprise that is constantly hiring right now in ridiculous amounts. but given the current economy you can never know. If at that point I cannot hold on to the car due to payments\repairs\overall costs which vehicle path would be best in terms of reselling with minimum cost losses in a short time?
- I love driving and I've always wanted a coupe\roadster!


Here are links to the vehicle and carfax:

2008 Saturn Sky Red Line Carbon Flash SE For Sale in Buford, GA 30519 - 8Y124160

CARFAX Vehicle History Report for this 2008 SATURN SKY REDLINE: 1G8MF35X68Y124160


Thanks again for any advice, insights and tips!
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:04 PM
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Financially, there are those on here who will know better than me but, with most car payments, you're upside down for at least the first half of them. If you loose your job in those first 2 years, you most likely will not break even.

Secondly, the car in those pictures is not a Carbon Flash. The Carbon Flash was a dark metallic gray, almost black, with a silver stripe. The seats and steering wheel were two tone silver and black. That model is all black. This is what a Carbon Flash should look like:





For a regular Redline the price you're getting OTD is about right for that many miles.

The big question is though, can you live with this car as your only car? Most on here have the Sky as a second car. While I drive mine nearly every day, I still have a truck for times when I need to carry more than a duffel bag or a few bags of groceries. If your life can handle having a car with very limited cargo capacity, the Sky is a great vehicle for everyday use.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.

Last edited by Robotech; 10-05-2015 at 02:07 PM.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 02:44 PM
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I disagree on the price, Robo. Mine had under 20k and I was out the door at 18k. 16 is too high in my opinion for a few reasons. 1. This is an automatic. In my searches all autos were priced lower as they were more common. That may have changed though. 2. 33k is low, but not great and I would want 1k or so taken off for that. 3. Heading into winter, that dealer should be taking off another 1 or 2k because otherwise he'll be stuck with it until April.

That said... automatic is the right choice for Atlanta driving. However space will always be an issue. You have enough room for you and a passenger. Not even takeout or a purse will also fit in the passenger compartment easily unless you are alone. In Atlanta not to big a deal since almost anything can be delivered. If you are a big guy the lack of space will wear on you quickly. I'm not big so I've been okay so far.

All that aside though, my most major concern is driving in Atlanta traffic. The Sky has some pretty epic blind spots. If you spend a lot of time downtown in that ridiculous mess you will HATE it.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Robotech.

True, and that is something that makes me question this idea, but then again I'm in the same position with the option of going with a new standard car which I might even loose more money with the vehicle depreciation? Also would I be in a problem within the first\second year trying to sell it if I reached a point I really needed to let it go? How much would I loose in value assuming I don't drive much and maintain it's quality?

Yea I definitely don't need the car for anything that requires cargo, it's just me from home to work and the gym all in a 2 mile radius.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Specter.

I've been looking a lot for the past few weeks and they are really rare in this area, I haven't been able to see any in GA with lower miles, I've seen maybe 3 listings so far all ranging between 60-100k miles and priced 11.5k (75k miles) 13.9k (68k) for 08', 07' models these are off memory and not entirely accurate but they present the range I've seen so far.
I managed to negotiate bringing the value from 16.8 to 13.8 and agreeing for otd of 15, I'm not sure I'll be able to renegotiate.
What do you think would be a right value? I mean the value it at 13.8 now but due to taxes and fees it bumps to 15.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 03:27 PM
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Unfortunately, you don't have a bargaining chip to play, that I see other than just walking away for a month and checking back. With no trade in and no large down payment...

As far as listings, don't get locked into "I have to get it from HERE, because there are none!" Remember, mine was 18k out the door, which included shipping from California (yes, I stole one from you guys. HAH!) to Atlanta for $800. Look up Carmax Certified Saturn Skys, but try to have it shipped somewhere other than the Southlake location if you decide to go that route. I was not happy with their level of customer service. But the company as a whole is good (pricing, stock, etc), which is why I suggest them.

Edit: ouch, just looked them up. Well, prices have gone up! Heh. I guess the tail end of the summer season for most folks so... That's looking like a pretty good deal with the current market. Unless you can wait...

Last edited by Specter; 10-05-2015 at 03:31 PM. Reason: PRICE CHECK!
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shay_A View Post
I managed to bring them down to an out of the door 15k meaning at a 13.4k value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Specter View Post
I disagree on the price, Robo. Mine had under 20k and I was out the door at 18k. 16 is too high in my opinion for a few reasons. 1. This is an automatic. In my searches all autos were priced lower as they were more common. That may have changed though. 2. 33k is low, but not great and I would want 1k or so taken off for that. 3. Heading into winter, that dealer should be taking off another 1 or 2k because otherwise he'll be stuck with it until April.
Note he is at 15K OTD not 16K. 1K off 16K is 15K. I'm not sure but we may be agreeing in price.

33K is not high mileage on a car this old. Also, Georgia winters are not like northern winters. Here in So Cal the winter price isn't far off the Summer price when it comes to convertibles and motorcycles. Georgia may be the same way.

When I got my 2.4 Sky last year, it was $11,500 with 44K miles. You couldn't find a Sky, RL or base, 20K miles or 100k miles, for less at the time. OTD at 15 means he is probably at around 13,800. To take another 2K off that...for a RL...with 11K fewer miles than my base...would put it at $11,8.

Now, this is in a CA market and GA may be very different. From the sounds of it and how it is in his area, he's getting a decent deal.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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I tried looking at Carmax theyre all insanely high priced!!
I also just got a huge bummer I got an insurance quote for 190 per month because my foreign license doesn't count.... they only look at the U.S license years which is only 1....
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 04:18 PM
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Exactly what I'm seeing now too. We may be seeing that point where prices start to climb back up because collectors may be seeing these as something to hold onto. Will be interesting to see where prices head in the next few years.

Regardless, I'm driving the crap out of mine. LOL

This also affects on where we will see future prices on these cars wind up. The Kappa twins, I believe, are going to very different than other more mainstream cars. Throw the Pontiac G8 in that group as well. I have a feeling we have a future collectible on our hands...but not for another 10-20 years.


V.A.L. (#1108)
2007 2.4 Base
MagnaFlow dual outlet, quad tip exhaust test car
**Sold**

Max (#1547)
2007 TURBO 2.4
Too much to list here. See my Garage for details.

Last edited by Robotech; 10-05-2015 at 04:22 PM.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 05:12 PM
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I have to agree with RtE. If you are not factoring in some hefty repair costs to your budget then you may find yourself with a really nice Sky in the garage waiting for funds to repair. I have had mine for right at 5 months now and have not had any issues at all. But, that's 5 months and the car had 19k miles on it when I got it. I haven't yet taken it on a really long trip (up to Atlanta a few times does not count) and really haven't put many miles on it in that time. Up to 23k now and that's nothing really. Mostly highway miles too, to and from work.

So, look at your budget and read up on the site about things that probably WILL go at some point. Water pump as mentioned. Seat sensors. Fans. Etc. If you aren't someone familiar with a wrench and have the tools to do your own repairs, it's gonna cost you a bit. Also realize that some of what you run across may not be readily available in your local parts store or dealership. You might have to wait on shipping. So, take into account a rental or some other mode of transportation while you wait.

Understand, we are not trying to scare you off. We'd LOVE to have another Permagrin Convert. But if you want honest opinion, well... There it is.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 10:23 PM
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You mentioned your bank, so you're obviously comfortable getting your own financing. Try a credit union too, and finance every cent if you can. Money is still pretty cheap right now (my credit union would finance that at 2.9%), so leave your down payment in the bank and presto- a bigger repair buffer than you could possibly need. Just make sure you have gap insurance in case something happens to the car and it is worth less than you owe. You will be upside down longer (it will probably still pass pretty quickly), but again, you'll still have that down payment in the bank.

As far as it being your only car, since you don't have to worry about particularly harsh winters, you should be fine. You know what the space issues are going into it, and if you need a lot of room for some reason you probably know people with bigger cars who would be willing to help you out or you can always pick up a rental for a day or two. When it isn't snowing and the salt has been washed off the road, mine might as well be my only car.

Life is short, so do what makes you happy. You've negotiated a good deal and odds are you won't regret it.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 10:27 PM
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That model is all black.
Are there shenanigans afoot? I will swear on a stack of bibles that car is Chili Pepper Red!

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 10:52 PM
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My only issue is why is the dealer marketing it as a special edition color when it isn't.

Makes me wonder about their integrity

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 12:36 AM
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Let me preface this with I am not wise, smart or reasonable. Just love the Sky.

Spector, the auto's normally go for 1-2K more than the sticks, from what I have seen and what davhamm has posted several times.

Shay-A, these are toys, nothing more. You need a real vehicle in honesty. Not much on the road more fun, better looking or priced as well, but trying to survive out of one is going to be tough. Not enough room. Expensive to maintain and the prices are going higher for parts.

Get a beater and the Sky, was good advice I think.

Last edited by skersfan; 10-06-2015 at 12:44 AM.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks for all the replies guys, you really brought out some valuable pointers that I haven't thought of!

So regarding it being my main vehicle, everything in my regular day basis is within a 2.6 mile radius. In general I don't expect I will be driving more than 3.5k miles a year and thats already with a healthy margin. I will barely drive the car and when I do, I will try to hold myself from pushing it's limits in order to try and avoid any of those painful repairs at the beginning of my journey (though I'm not sure I can hold myself entirely to that statement ).

Putting a grand less on the my down payment and putting that into my bank for saving just for car issues is a great idea, I'll see how that works with the payments and if I could handle an extra XX per month. I am currently getting financed for 1.99 so I can't really beat that either.

After a few months of savings and hopefully nothing happens to the car with my "careful" and limited driving, I'll be able to purchase a daily car and save the babe for fun times.

I think I managed to hit all your pointers out there except for skerfsfan here which I'm not sure what to say besides yes I agree, it is a toy, but it's a damn good one and I'm not sure I'll have such an opportunity again. Also, every man needs a toy.

I'm sure I will need to sacrifice on things and be careful, but as long as the numbers are good and I hopefully don't lose much value I will not be sorry.

Oh, there is one more thing I wanted to ask. Since I've never been in a Sky or Sky Redline before until my test drive on Friday I wasn't really sure what to expect and how to evaluate the acceleration and feel of the car, it was also a rainy day which made things even worse, as if the traffic in Atlanta isn't bad enough (but hey at least there aren't any top leaks :-) ). In summary I felt like the car was a bit heavy or hard on the acceleration compared to a 350z or Miata, but again it was rainy and I didn't really get to press at all. Another thing is that the steering wheel was very "stiff" is that normal? They offer a 3 day guarantee return policy in which I intend to take to a saturn certified mechanic and have checked up just in case they won't let me do it before the purchase, what things should I make sure are checked? I assume water pump and other failures cannot really be foreseen until they occur? Would you recommend a certain service place in the north Atlanta area or is any saturn certified good enough?
Another pop up question, what do you guys think about 3rd party warranties? When in context of Sky repairs of course, considering they cost a minimum of 2k is it even worth it? I don't have the paper near me with all the details but I remember its within the 2-3k for a 2 or 3 year depending on type, whether powertrain, silver, gold etc..

Last edited by Shay_A; 10-06-2015 at 04:07 AM.
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