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I've had a few people e-mail me about how the whole carsdirect.com experience went...so I figured I'd post so everybody could see. Keep in mind that Carsdirect.com, like any internet company, is always evolving,so someone else's experience may be different. Here goes...


Late September of lasy year I was dying for a new car. My Saab was hurting bad....I had run wayyyyy too much boost through the engine, and it was ready to go. When I heard the rod knock it was time to take action. I decided on a Sentra SE after reading many reviews...I never drove the car...or saw it in person. (For this my wife called me crazy, but I was sure of what I was getting, I turned out to be right!) I wasted time poking around on local car lots here in Memphis...couldn't find anything! I hadn't realized that there were so few SE's built!
Frustrated, I turned to carsdirect.com. I figured with a nationwide network of dealers, they could find me what I was looking for. I logged on to their site. It's very professional, well laid out, and easy to navigate. You can mess around all day just building possible car combinations without having to give any information. I decided I wanted a 2001 SE with the performance package, sunroof, ABS, 6-disc changer, side-impact airbags....I wanted this thing to be FULLY LOADED! The site guides you through the process of selecting trim line, options, and color. There is NO haggling on price. You simply pay what Carsdirect.com says you pay. That can be good or bad...more on that later. Once you get set on the EXACT car you want, you submit your information, and you leave a fully refundable $250 deposit on a credit or check card. As soon as possible, someone from Carsdirect will contact you by e-mail or telephone. They will confirm your car selection, and then search their dealer network. There's the tricky part, when you're buying a car that's in short supply like an SE, you may not get exactly what you want. Carsdirect had NOTHING in metro Memphis. In Nashville (210 miles away) they had an SE without PP and an automatic tranny.
I said HELL NO! The rep said he'd keep looking for a car that was closer to my specs. Two days later he contacted me about a car in Chattanooga,TN (350 miles east) it was a 2001 SE w/PP 5spd Granite. It had a sunroof, but nothing else. It was the ONLY SE within 600 miles of me that came close to what I wanted. As I understand it, it's next to impossible to find an SE with /PP, let alone the rest of the crap. But, I wanted this car, so I told the rep to go for it. He faxed the car description & price to me to confirm my order. My carsdirect price was $16,101 without tax, but everything else was included in that price (destination, title,tag etc.) I agreed to the car, at this point the deposit becomes NON-refundable. If you back out at this point you will lose your $250. The carsdirect rep will ask you if you already have financing lined up, or if you need assistance with it. I already had my financing lined up, so I can't speak for that side of the process. The carsdirect rep confirmed everything with the dealer and my bank. They will need faxed copies of your driver's license and insurance card before proceeding with the sale. The dealer wouldn't move the car any closer so I was stuck with the road trip. I agreed, and everything was ready to go the next day. I couldn't pick the car up until after Thanksgiving, but my agreement assured me that the dealer could not sell the car out from under me.This leads me to what I considered to be the best part of using Carsdirect.com, the dealer. Up to this point I've never talked to the dealer. They arrange everything for you. When I arrived at the dealer, they had the car all ready for delivery. Everybody there shook my hand and thanked me for the sale, I signed some papers and then I left with my car! I was out of the dealer within an hour! It was excellent!

Would I use Carsdirect.com again?
Yes. It fits my schedule. I don't have time to haggle with dealerships and idiotic salespeople. I may have gotten a better price if I had bought it the old fashioned way, but in THIS case there was no other car within the region, so I had no choice anyway. It was so easy to take delivery of the car, it was all worth it. I would suggest Carsdirect.com to anybody buying a new car. You may not get the absolute best price, but you will get a hassle free experience free of the bull**** common to today's car marketplace.

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2001 SE 5-spd. w/PP Granite, no mods yet.

I miss Florida.... the girls are prettier and the cops are friendlier.
 

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Congrats on a great car purchase. I actually wanted to buy my car through carsdirect too last July but they also couldn't find one in the whole Northeast or Middle Atlantic. I also looked at 3 local dealerships and they had no 5sp SE w/PP. I finally found one through a dealership that one of my mom's friend worked at. I ended up paying a little more for the car than I wanted to but it was my mom's friend...I didn't want to ruin their relationship.
 

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Wow, the dealer I go to has a lot of SEs with PP. Some 5spd, some Autos. But they had more SEs than GXEs or XEs. Unfortunately, I was told that finding one with side impact airbags and an ABS system will be pretty hard, since those vehicles are in very short supply. Hopefully I can find one with ABS, since I like to know that I can get out of a tight situation while brakingm if I need to.
 

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When I tried Carsdirect.com, they charged me $25.00 for the deposit thing. Must have changed around. Just my two cents for people trying out online auto purchasing.

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Waiting for PR CAI, got the Stromung, got the Unorthodox, got a big fat empty "0" in my bank...:)
 

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I actually had a very similar experience to yours. i had just gotten hired from sun microsystems, and just got out of college and needed a car. carsdirect basically got me the best prices and within 2 days i was driving it. really good experience. i've heard different stories though, but overall most people i know have been pretty satisfied. i would definately do it again through them.

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Jaded 2000 SE with Performance Package. ABS, Side Air-bags, in cabin microfilter, and PIAA headlights.

Thinking about:
Hotshot or PR CAI
Stromung Cat-back
 

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There seem to be plenty of Sentra SE's in California, and I believe Carsdirect.com is based in L.A., which probably makes it easier for fellow California peeps. I got my Sentra through Carsdirect, too, and it was a piece of cake. Though I took too long the first day to confirm, and the 1 Radium 5SPD SE was sold. Lucky for me they found me another one the next day! Though it's getting overpopulated on its freeways, I guess there are some nice fringe benefits for living in good old Cali. :)

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2001 Radium SE 5SPD PP
 
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