well…it was bound to happen. i have tired of my car trying to kill me. the amount of work that it will take to get it in satisfactory working order is not worth it to me. i have apparently been bitching about this for long enough that the Guy has decided that we need to seek out alternatives.
i have never once in my life chosen my own car. during my rocky teenage years, my mother chose my first, second, and third for me, and it was a way for her to control me. my first was a ford ranger, i think it was a late 70’s or early 80’s model. it had customized rust, and my very own hole over the gas tank. the knob on the gear shift was missing, and it didn’t have one of those meters that people use to tell them when to shift. i learned the old way, by listening. it was a good truck and well worth the $50 it cost me. but eventually it died. plus, i got tired of arriving at school and pulling my (french) horn out of the bed to find my mom’s beer cans.
then my mom had a friend who needed to sell a bronco II b/c she needed the money. of course, she decided that since i had a decent job i could afford it, and so i bought the car. my mom got the loan in my name, but kept payment book, forcing me to give her the hefty payments (i got her good, though, i always got cashier’s checks made out to the bank. my mom and i get along well enough now, but at the time i was not going to give her cash. pissed her off plenty.) each month. mind you, we didn’t live together. i was on my own long b/f i got a license. after about three months i nicknamed it the “black lemon”. i put two brand new drive shafts in it in that time, b/c the universal joints kept breaking b/c of the lift kit the previous owner put in it. i couldn’t get anyone to take the lift out b/c they weren’t used to messing w/ kits that drastic. oy! finally, i was away at college, living in my first apartment, and after an argument w/ my mother she came and took it away. somewhere in all of that i drove an escort EXP for a time, another car that my mom’s friend needed to sell, and at the time the bronco was down b/c of another drive shaft (b/f all was said and done, i put four total in that POS). i don’t know how i finally got away from being forced to buy cars…
after i lost the bronco (again) my grandparents were worried that i wouldn’t be able to get to and from work. in an unexpected turn they helped me finance a ford aspire. other than the fact that it was practically pink (you can call it candy apple red all you want, it was fucking pink) it was a great car, and the only small car i have ever liked. usually, i am terrified of driving little cars. i got 35 MPG in that car, and i still used the bus a lot.
i had that until the Kid was two (almost five years) when i went to Navy boot camp, and my fuck wit husband traded it to his parents for their bonneville. yes. i drove a fucking bonneville for two years. the girl who is terrified of being that close to the ground drove a bonneville. when we split up he took it w/ him, and i had to find a car, since i had a small child and was in the military.
that led me to the kia. my grandfather has a brother in california and he knew a dealer, and helped me find a car and finance it all in about three days. i was decently happy w/ it, but still, i didn’t get a choice in the matter. beggars couldn’t be choosers at that point. plus, my marriage destroyed my credit, so it was a miracle i was able to get anything.
but now the kia is trying to kill me. it’s not that bad, really. it will run for some time yet, and i may even be able to sell it to someone who needs a car, but w/ the repairs i have put in it, and the repairs that need to be done still the Guy and i decided that it was time. i have built my credit slowly since my divorce, and he has always had good credit, so we got approved for a decent loan from our bank. i have been looking at what i would buy someday for a couple of years. the Navy makes all new sailors in their first tour take a finance class called “Million Dollar Sailor”, and the woman who teaches it here is a car buying genius. i learned about many ways to research what you want so that you can figure out what you should pay. we learned a lot, like that MSRP is actually already profit for dealers, and that you should never ever pay sticker. most people will try to haggle b/t MSRP and sticker, when you should be trying to haggle b/t inventory and MSRP. i learned that they do not in fact need to have your driver’s license, or even know your last name to allow you to discuss car buying. i know that you need to be willing to walk away w/o that new car. actually, i also know that you should never buy brand new if you can b/c it depreciates the moment you drive it off the lot, but we are looking for a hybrid, and being on the islands they are very hard to come by, and in high demand.
this puts us in a very bad negotiating place.
i have decided that i want the car that i want. i am done letting someone else choose the car for me, and i am finished w/ other people’s problems. i had wanted a toyota, but we decided that we don’t need that much car, or to pay that much for it. we have decided on the escape.
we drove one today. all the research did us well, we know a lot about the hybrid escapes (the dealer was actually impressed), and we were impressed w/ the car. but, when we sat down to the table, we gave our price, expecting them to negotiate. they wanted us to give them a high price and work down, and we wanted to give them a low price and work up. they wouldn’t even consider negotiating, so we left.
i was very put out by the way it became condescending very quickly. he pulled out the “well, if you can’t afford that price maybe this isn’t the car for you” (actually, we got approved for quite a bit, but we aren’t telling him that) and i started to feel that we didn’t in fact have any hand, let alone the upper hand. we looked at another one at another dealer, and not only did they also not negotiate, but they wanted us to pay over two thousand more than sticker!
so, we are re-evaluating. we realize we may have to pay more than we want (which is still well w/in what were approved), but also that we are in a game that we weren’t ready for. the class we took never deals w/ hybrids, and they have apparently become wildly popular. people who don’t realize that they are way over paying are paying whatever these dealers ask, and they never think to question it. we possibly know too much for our own good.
so the Guy is going back to the internet, to find out if the online price (which we never made it to at the dealer) is still on the table. hopefully we will hear back from her tomorrow. luckily, we are not in a hurry. the part that frustrates me the most is that i can clearly see the inventory, MSRP, and sticker, and i can not for the life of me figure out where they come up w/ these numbers. i am finding that i am about a thousand times more frustrated than i was, and something that started out exciting to me is quickly becoming something that is stressing me out.
i am just glad we are not looking for a house.
oy w/ the poodles already.