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Vroom-vroom, let's discuss how to buy cars/automobiles! How do you negotiate the car price, or know the dealership is reliable, or REALLY find out the car is isn't a clunker, or avoid the ridiculous overpricing that first-time buyers experience?! Find out in this, one of our most frequently-requested videos EVER!

PS - If you'd like to share your career advice with Mike, you can also reach him on Instagram (tmichaelmartin), Snapchat (tmikemartin), Tumblr (tmichaelmartin), and Twitter (tmikemartin). Thanks, y'all!

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Created and Hosted by:
Emma Mills & T. Michael (Mike) Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
Indiebound ( ) and Amazon: (

Written by:
Alan Lastufka & T. Michael Martin

Directed by:
T. Michael Martin

Edited by:
Nathan Talbott

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green


Mike & Emma: Hey! 

Emma: And vroom, vroom, let's talk about how to buy a car.  Part 1: Budget. 

Mike: Unfortunately, first-time car buyers tend to have to pay more for their car financing and insurance, but there are some ways to lessen the ouch.

Emma: While paying in cash might be ideal, most of us don't have that option. Financing comes in two flavors. You can take a traditional loan and make payments over time plus interest, or you can lease the vehicle, which is basically like renting the vehicle and then trading it in after a certain amount of time for an even newer vehicle.

Today we're gonna skip leasing, because according to Consumer Reports, owning is almost always the more financially preferable option, but if you wanna know more about leasing, let us know in the comments section below and we can talk about it in a future video.

Mike: For the most common five-year loan plan, you can calculate how much car you can actually afford, by using a simple formula.  A five-year car loan will cost you about $20/month for every $1,000 you borrow.  So, if you borrow $10,000, it means that your monthly payment will be around $200. 

Emma: A note on financing, you'll likely get a much better deal from a credit union or a bank than you would from the dealer.  We should also mention that to get the most giddy-up for your buck, used cars are almost always the better value.  A new car loses an average of almost 20% of its value in the first year alone.  Cars should maintain their value. 

Mike: Yeah.

Emma: They should become more valuable to you as you come to love them.

Mike: That's why I am in favor of switching our economic barometer from GDP--

Emma: Okay.

Mike: --to GDL.  Gross Domestic Love.

Emma: OK (laughs) I endorse that.

Mike: Yeah. Part 2: Wants vs Needs. So you might really want the new Ford super-duty, but your budget might tell you that a Ford Fiesta is more appropriate. Larger vehicles ten to get lower gas mileage and cost more to insure, so getting a smaller car could save a lot over time.

Emma: I feel like we should be doing this like car salesmen.

Mike: I think we should specialize in superhero cars.

Emma: Like novelty cars?

Mike: Yeah.

Emma: OK.

Mike: A popemobile maybe, Batmobile.

Emma: Ice cream truck.

Mike: Ice cream truck.

Emma: The DeLorean.

Mike: DeLorean, yes! What are your favorite fictional cars?

Emma: Novelty vehicles.

Mike: Please let us know. Yeah.

Emma: Yeah. We'll sell them at our dealership. Mills and Martin, we're here for you!

Mike: Clown car! And you're not gonna believe how many people keep coming out of it.

Emma: Part 3: To The Research! Several different websites, which we'll link you to in the doobly doo offer many reviews and prices for both new and used cars. 

Mike: Other things you want to look for before heading to the dealership: what others are paying to make sure you get a good deal, average lifetime maintenance costs, miles per gallon, crash safety ratings, whether the flux capacitor is included or costs extra. That's a big deal for me. No way. 

Emma: It has to be inclusive.

Mike: It's just good manners.

Emma:  (laughing) Flux capacitor inclusive.
Part 4: Insurance. So you'll need car insurance before you drive your car off the lot. If you know the make, year and model of your car, you can contact your insurance agent and set up your insurance so that it starts the day you buy your car.

Mike: If you aren't sure about your future purchase, you can just wait to call your insurance agent from the lot after you've made your final decision. They can issue your insurance effective immediately, so then you can just like peel out and pop some wheelies and like wink at your friends on the sidewalk who-- they thought you were gonna give them a ride home but your not.

Emma: See you guys!
Seriously though, never drive without insurance, it's not a good idea. Not even around the block, not even with a flux capacitor.
Part 5: Test Drive. I wish we could have like a zshoom.

Mike: Oh, we can.

Emma: OK.

Mike: In fact, we just did. The dealership may have their own mechanic but we recommend taking the car to an outside mechanic who you can totally trust.

Emma: Part 6, You are the Negotiator. Time to sign on the dotted line? Not quite yet. You can negotiate not only the price of the car but everything else from features to included maintenance. If you're financing through the dealer, you can also negotiate financing as well.

Mike: Maybe you have some anxiety about negotiating with the salesman. I never feel very comfortable doing that.

Emma: It can be tough to do that stuff face to face.

Mike: Well then here's an adulthood secret:

Emma: OK.

Mike: You can negotiate before you even get there through e-mail.

Emma: OK

Mike: Like Alan, the guy who wrote this script and is one of the adultiest adults we know, he negotiated everything in advance, so he just went in and signed the contract, and just drove away, popped wheelies threw change at Hank on the sidewalk. (Emma laughs)
Part 7: Take Care to Take Care of Your Car Care. A car is one of the biggest purchases of your adult life. Figure our the maintenance schedule and stick to it. In addition to getting oil changed, you're also gonna need to change tires and filters.

Emma: If you have any stories or strategies about car-buying experiences, we would love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Mike: In the meantime, I just got an email from our local catchphrase dealer--

Emma: OK.

Mike: and he is trying to pressure me into revealing the catchphrase. Well sir, I'm afraid that is non-negotiable. (beep)
Viewers. Lovelies. If I were going to get a job--

Emma: A traditional job, you know like a nine to five, maybe.

Mike: Yes. What do you think I would be good at? It can't be-- I know you're gonna be tempted to say "Be on America Ninja Warrior" But I'm just not ready emotionally to go back to that place.