Monday, July 27, 2009

Car shopping

Oh the irony!! I finally reconcile myself to having my old car for a while longer, working thru those "wants", and letting it all go. Pfft, I just wrote to y'all about it! And not two days later, my car starts smoking more than it has been, hesitating, and knocking. Mr Mechanic goes out and does a diagnostic on it, it needs all new rings, maybe a new head, and even then, it may not solve the problem. So, what would solve the problem? Oh, a new engine (to the tune of 2k).

Well....we decide to put the old girl to rest and buy a new (to us) vehicle. I gotta love hubbs, he tells me when I am half asleep on Saturday, and then runs to a co-workers house to help them until the afternoon, leaving me to do the banking and leg-work. Nice to know he trusts me still!

I hit the bank, run the numbers and work out our budget amount to work with. Then, time to check the internet, find prices and models that work for us. By mid-day, I have three solid leads, and by the time hubby comes home, we are ready to shop.

We stop by the closest choice. Go and look. Ugh, it's not quite what we want. Since starting on this journey, Hubby and I have talked a lot about what is important to us---price is number one, has to fit in the budget. Number of miles is second, nothing over 50,000. Third is space, a preference for four bucket seats to keep the boys separate. Me, I would LOVE (love!!!) a Prius, but it's a little small for the kids at this point, plus the price is out of our budget. I would like any type of hybrid, but all hybrids are out of our budget. *sniff* The second thing that I really wanted was a stick-shift. I have always owned stick shifts, and have a distinct preference for that. But those are becoming rarer than hens teeth, and typically cost more up front. Lastly, I have never liked minivans. The whole stigma of "soccer-moms" drives me nuts. If I had a choice, I would pick an SUV over a minivan, but those tend to cost more. Lesson learned? Really think about what is most important, and let some of those other "wants" go.

Back to car shopping. We looked at this first minivan. Too small. Still, we go inside, and talk to the agent. They look at what stock they have at other locations, and then start pushing hard to spending more money. By another 5 thousand!! "If you increased the terms by another year, you won't be increasing your monthly payment." But you still owe the money! Never mind. Off to the next place.

So we go to our second stop. I had two cars picked out for this lot, and we talk to a salesman, take a look at both. We looked at another HHR (similar to what we saw in June) and a large minivan. Comparing the two, we decide to test drive the minivan. Take it out and tool it around. Go back to the lot, and hubby goes over the van with a fine-toothed comb. He crawled under the van, checked out the engine.

Talked and haggled. And left with a new minivan. (New to us, it's 5 years old) It's a very nice ride, lots of bells and whistles (compared to my old, stripped down car). I am still getting used to driving such a large car. I am used to my old putt-putt, so this large van takes some getting used to.

Called and finalized all the paperwork here on Monday. Got the insurance switched around (only 50 cents more per month, I am shocked and thrilled! What a blessing that it isn't a huge increase.).

Sitting in the car service department today (I needed to get a second key made so we each have our own). Overhearing a young lady with a broken car talking to an older gentleman about buying a new car. She's talking about 14k for one or 15k for another. This older man said "It doesn't matter, you are financing it anyway." I wanted to scream so loud "It DOES matter!!! Even if you do finance it, you have to pay it, so spend wisely!"

Guys, I know sometimes we have to finance things. Most of us need a car, and most of us finance to buy them. But, spend the least amount possible and pay it off as quickly as you can. Frees up funds to do other things.

That is my saga for the weekend. At least I can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, we bought it because we needed it, not because of a want. And we waited a month and a half of serious looking to buy. Not an impulse. Here's hoping it never happens to you, but if it does, be smart and be blessed in your choosing.


  1. Good luck with the mini! I had a big ole Dodge Ram and I loved it...but when gas prices went up, we decided to get rid of it. I got a minivan and I really enjoy it; minus the stigma... it is a nice ride! We bought it used (5 years old, like yours) and just paid it off (several years early) and are already putting that monthly payment money we were spending into savings for our next vehicle...we plan to pay cash.

  2. good going have fun

  3. I totally feel the same about minivans, never have liked them and never will. I get teased by my brothers that I drive a minivan, but technically it is a crossover vehicle (cross between minivan and SUV). When we got it it had really nice wheels and tires which made it look more sporty and less minivan - like, but after this last winter we had to be practical (yuck) and get functional rims and tires. So now my car looks more like a "soccer mom" car, not thrilled about it but it serves it's purpose, and it has 4 bucket seats to keep the kids seperated!! (and a third seat to keep them REALLY separated!) LOL
    Enjoy your new vehicle!!