(Alternate title to this post: How to buy a used car)
Today, I bought and took possession of a
used car. New to me.
I've never bought a car on my own before. The one time I was in the room when my car was bought was when I was 16 and my dad took me to the little old lady down the road who was selling her Buick (drove it to church on Sundays) and negotiated with her (don't worry, she held her own and got her asking price).
Since then, it's always been kind of a trade where my dad's company car comes up for sale, so he sells the oldest car in the family and uses that money to buy the company car he'd been driving and switches it out for whoever needed it. And when I lived in Chicago and first got married, there were many, many years I was carless. The last
truck I drove was actually inherited by my uncle, sold to my father for pennies on the dollar, then gifted to my brother, then me before our move up here last year. It was the first car I technically owned with my name on the title. And it was dying.
So, time for a new car, right? Right. I got a bee in my bonnet yesterday to finally do this thing. I woke up, called my bank about an auto loan and a few hours later was promised almost $10,000 if I wanted it.
That was so weird.
Then, since that took almost no time at all, I do a quick check of used cars in the area and found exactly what I was looking for at a dealership literally across the street (and over a fence) from our apartment. I walk in (with scribefigaro
), ask to test drive, can't find much wrong with the car, and agree to trade in my truck. They ask if they could try to match/beat my financing through my bank, so I say sure. That takes the rest of the evening.
I got a call this morning with them telling me they could beat my financing offer and that the car was mine if I wanted it.
So I bought it.
The only glitch was that, while I had researched "How to buy a used car" on Google, I was still a little dumb when it comes to what really happens when people buy cars. Today, scribefigaro
was at work, so I kind of went in a little blind. Things were going swell when I was suddenly presented with the "service options." It was done in a way that made it seem like it was something required. I was half-way through agreeing to one option when I realized that this might not be totally necessary. I couldn't ask, "Do I need this," because I knew what their answer would be, ("Uh, yeah, and the most expensive one") and didn't feel I could take a time out. It wasn't high pressure or anything, but it did kind of sour the experience for me and I didn't feel like anyone was on my side when I was trying to make a decision about it. I did ultimately take a service option because I have a hard time saying no to extra insurance and this was a used car. But still, I wished I had researched that part before going in so I didn't feel so blind.
So, word to the wise: Research everything
that happens when you buy cars so you can feel comfortable saying yes or no to things.
Anyway, I now have a car that I'm not worrying about fishtailing in winter, that has new tires, and that I don't have to wrestle around turns. So: awesome.
And like I said, I feel weirdly adult now.