That Newish Car Smell

Recently, we bought a new car. Ok, ok, not a NEW, new car, but a used car that was new to us. Dave and I have both purchased used cars before, including the 1998 Camry we bought together after settling on a price with the ultimate haggler, my mom. But this time we decided to take things up a notch. We needed a car that will a) be safe and reliable b) fit in our budget c) fit most of our worldly goods and/or pull a trailer around the country when we move and d) be comfortable for us, future baby and our well-traveled dogs. Easier said than done.

First of all, let me just say, that the environmental sin of owning an SUV is one we weighed strongly. We need the space, are not ready to admit mini-van defeat, and cannot afford a hybrid. We’ve been driving an extremely fuel efficient Toyota for so long, we couldn’t help but feel some greenhouse gas guilt not to mention a bit of financial stress thinking of the cut we’d be taking in fuel economy. But we faced the reality of what kind of vehicle our life situation requires, and consoled our consciences with the fact that we have been a one-car family since before we were married, and lived entirely without one last season. There, I confessed my sins.

Even though you’d think I could have inherited some love of shopping/bargaining/haggling from my mom and my sister, I didn’t. I don’t like the process. I’d be perfectly happy to set a budget, send someone else to find something reasonable to fit within that, and then sign some papers. Done. Sure, I want a car that I like. But beyond the basic requirements listed in paragraph 1, I don’t really care about the car. I don’t drive that much, I don’t think about what I look like when I am driving, I don’t really think much about cars at all. Sorry. I just don’t.

Dave, on the other hand, turns out to be some kind of crazy car shopping fiend. We went day after day to dealerships, until we got a good handle on what exactly we wanted. Then we RE-visited the dealerships, and he played them off each other, made disappointed faces at their offers, brought up Blue Book values and asked for extras and got downright ballsy. I tried to be all ‘mmhmmm, what he said, I’m not just the lady I know stuff too’ but really I just found it all SO tedious. Thank god every single car salesperson keeps a dish full of sweets on their desk. I sampled them all. Some of them even give you popcorn. I’m not saying it’s enough to make me want to give you my business, but I am saying that I love snacks. So it didn’t hurt.

After the better part of a week, the deal was done. Dave got us a great deal, we unloaded our beloved but hail-dented Camry and put our things into our barely used Trailblazer. It was a bit sad leaving our old car behind, seeing it sitting sadly, imagining it feels a bit rejected after years and years and thousands of miles of use just to be traded in for a newer model. But times, they are a changing, and we’re just that much more ready for it now.

5 thoughts on “That Newish Car Smell

  1. Okay, Dave definitely did NOT learn that shopping savvy from my Dad–must take after my Mom in that regard! Good for him! Enjoy the new car.

  2. Wow – impressive!! Our last car purchase was made in DC…during the DC sniper timeframe. Totally not fun. Mike wanted us to make an “informed choice, within a reasonable budget on a used car”…but after traipsing around at various dealers, I ended up walking into a Volkswagon dealership saying, “shiny red, heated leather seats, sunroof” and the guy, quickly seeing the writing on the wall replied: “It’ll be here Monday. Sign here.” Done.

    (But you know, we STILL have that car…just trying to figure out how to get two seats in it….)

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