Well guys, I’ve completed a major rite of passage into adulthood…I BOUGHT A CAR LAST NIGHT!!
I’ve focused a lot of my free time (and some of my time at work…oops) into this car hunt. There have been several developments since my last post about the agony of car shopping. I found out that our school cook’s husband works at the same dealership where I was so stressed out. She called him and told him I was stressed out and she wanted him to help me out. I went in to meet with him and he told me not to buy that Mitsubishi. He said the car had been on the lot for awhile and they were more concerned with getting rid of it, not with getting me a good car. He looked in the inventory and said they didn’t really have anything that fit my budget, but he did have me test drive a 2013 Dodge Avenger (that was a niiiiiiiice car) and got me really good financing. However, my grace period for my student loans ends next month so I’m hesitant to take on a car payment right now.
Only 16,000 miles on this baby!
Then I went to Nereson Automotive. It was an amazing experience from start to finish. Everyone there (from the front desk to the salespeople to the service department) was unbelievably friendly. Not once did I feel pressured or stressed. I test drove a 2008 Avenger, and it was love at first shift. I love the style inside and out, the car drove well, the tires were good on the icy North Dakota roads, etc, etc, etc. I could go on and on. It felt nothing like when I was driving the Mitsubishi. It was perfect.
When we went to talk numbers, the salesman (Mike) asked what I wanted for my trade. I told him what the other dealership had offered me, and he beat that by $800 (so we were up a full $1000 from the Blue Book value of my car)! I was still a little hesitant, so I asked if I could keep the car overnight. Mike told me that was no problem at all. When I came back the next day, I was pretty much ready to accept their offer but I figured I would try to bargain one more time. I asked them if they could go down $700 dollars (which would get me to an even $6000 including tax, title, and license AND a free autostart). I wasn’t expecting much, but Nereson’s came through. They offered me $4800 for my car ($1300 more than the Blue Book value) and took another $250 off the sale price. I told them if they threw in rubber floor mats (a necessity with North Dakota winters) we had a deal. They gave in and I wrote a check for $6124.
And now introducing my new baby boy, Howie:
The process of buying a car was TERRIFYING. I was scared to trust my own judgement and scared to make a mistake. But let me tell you, this feels SO GREAT. It is so nice to feel a little bit like I’m in control again. I am still capable of making choices. I am still a responsible person. I am still able to feel positive emotions like joy and excitement (if you don’t believe I was excited, here is a screenshot of the Snapchat I sent out last night:)
My sister and I are going home for the weekend and we’re taking Howie, so we’ll see how he handles on the interstate. Overall though, I’m just jacked about my purchase.
After that experience, here are a few things I would recommend to those of you who are shopping for a new vehicle. First, if you are feeling stressed or pressured at all, DON’T BUY! The offer I got on the Mitsu seemed good, but I know I would have regretted buying that car. Secondly, if you don’t personally know anyone who sells cars, ask around. Talk to family, friends, and coworkers to see who they bought their vehicles from. I tried going it alone at first and it was very stressful, but when I started telling some of my coworkers that I was looking for a new car I received several recommendations of people to call. Finally, trust your gut. If you test drive a car and it doesn’t feel right or you find you are trying to talk yourself into liking it, don’t buy it. This is a big purchase. You should love what you buy. I knew almost immediately that the first few cars I test drove were not it for me, and I also knew that the Avenger was it.
I’ve taken a lot of steps to recover from what happened over Christmas break. Most of these steps were reactionary (closing my bank accounts, reporting my Social Security card as lost, etc.). Buying this car was not reactionary. I very easily could’ve had my Malibu detailed and you never would’ve known she had ever been any worse for the wear. Buying this car was a way for me to let the bad stuff know that I’m not going to let it win. As cheesy as it sounds, this whole experience has made me feel strong. People have been telling me that I’m really strong for dealing with everything the way that I have, but this is the first time I really am feeling it.
And that’s a nice feeling.