We went up to the Kia dealer in Attleboro today, to find out about warrentee transfers. The Kia dealer in Warwick so underimpressed me that I basically told Todd I'd sooner be staked to an anthill nekid than to do business with them, even if they gave me a brand new Kia, threw in a thousand dollars and offered to take Goten off my hands.
The Pride dealership in Attleboro is amazingly huge. They sell Fords, Dodges, Kia's, etc. They have another sprawling complex in Pawtucket that sells Hundays (sp) and other cars.
So, we go to Attleboro and first I am totally underwhelmed because I can find no friggin' place to park. But we finally work that out and go into the Kia repair end and they tell us lots of nice information that makes me feel totally better. Apparently, the full warentee would transfer to Todd and I. We would not have to go to a Kia service dealer for every bit of work, we could go to another dealer, as long as we got full paperwork saying they did all the work that had to be done. Groovy.
Buuut, just before we're going to leave, I say, 'Ya know, there's some unwritten law that no one will tell me that before we settle on a car, we have to look at a certain number of other cars. We must kick tires and frown a lot. Since we're here, let's see if we can work off our quota of tire kicking and see what one solidary car they have in our price range."
So we go to the Dodge dealer. Why? Because they are the closest to the repair department.
Now, I know you good people on my friends list had some wonderful recommendations and I appreciate them. But... Toyotas and Hondas, in our price range, were for the most part older than our Saturn and had a lot more miles. I just didn't want to risk it.
Well, we're in the door and I'm immedietly falling into my "I'm a stupid car shopper" look that I can't help but do. Well, we weren't rushed with salesmen, which was fine with me, because it gave me a chance to touch all the new cars in the showroom. I don't know if you've ever done this, but the next time you go to a dealer, reach out and touch the cars in the showroom. The feel of the paint, your fingers sliding along it, is a wonderful feeling. Once a car is a year old or so, no matter how carefully you wash and wax it, it will never feel quite so silky smooth, it won't reflect quite as brightly. Touching a showroom fresh car is an orgy for your fingertips, and seeing how I hate car shopping, it's not one I allow my fingers to indulge in regularly. I was making up for lost time.
So, after glutting my fingers on touching showroom fresh RAMS, Minivans and Neons, a saleman finally comes over. "Can I help you folks."
Todd goes, "Yeah, we're looking at getting a used car."
The salesman is watching me laying my hands on the new cars with a rather bemused expression on his face, I'm sure he was convinced at that point that I was "Special." He goes, "Okay, how much are you looking to spend?"
Thats when I whip around and go, "We have a budget of six grand, take it or leave it."
He nods. He doesn't give me a disgusted look as if I peed on his shoes, he doesn't heave a horrid sigh as if I've asked him to pull his lungs out through his nose. He goes, "Okay, let me go see what we've got."
So, he goes, and comes back. "I have a few cars you can look at for that price. Most of them have some pretty high milage or are on the older side. But, I also have one car you might be interested in. It's a Pontiac Sunfire. It's a 2001, but it only has 21,000 miles on it."
My eyes narrow. "That sounds much too good to be true."
He shrugs. "Do you want to test drive it?"
I say, "Okay, what the heck." I figure it'll work towards our "Tire kickin' goal." He gets the car, puts some dealer plates on it, photocopies my license and Todd's and says, 'Have fun."
Wow, the other places we've gone to, the Salesman comes along in the car and breathes down your neck the entire time. So, this is really nice. We take the car down along route one for a bit, then we get on 295 for a bit. It's a rainy, windy, miserable day. I immedietly notice one big difference between this car and the Saturn, or the Neon or the Kia.... and that is that I feel more ground on the road. 18 wheelers are whipping by me, spraying the car with water, blowing all around me, but I never felt like I was losing control of the car. I felt firmly embedded on the ground, I felt totally in control. We joke about taking the car back home to "See how it looks in the driveway." Giggling a bit, cause we figure that won't go over well.
We return and talk to the salesman some more. Todd is ready to leap on the car, because apparently how I used to feel about Saturns, he always felt about Pontiacs. So, he tells me, "I can't be rational about this, you're going to have to handle that part." So, I'm talking with the salesman.
He tries to see how far we'll go. At one point I tell him flat out. "Look, I have learned one thing car shopping, and that is that there is always another car. Yeah, we might not have ten grand plus to spend on a car, but we haven't gone to anyplace yet that didn't have at least one car in our price range. I can get on the net and pull up 50-200 cars all makes, models, etc. all in my price range. So, don't shit me, 'kay? If this isn't the car for us, we'll find one that is. It's not a big deal."
I swear, he grinned at that point. And it was like this new person took over. I mean, he was still a saleman, make no mistake, but it was like he was relieved to recognize that all his salemanship wasn't going to do much of crap, so he might as well just cut to the chase. So, we talk a bit about the Saturn. He tells me that he can see from the car, that I've taken excellent care of it. Not quite, but the car does look pretty good, I admit. I tell him that yeah, I've kept up pretty much on oil changes and other things, but I also tell him that yeah, I've dumped a fair bit of money into the car over the last year and I really don't want to keep dumping money into it, because it isn't going to get better, it's going to get worse.
We finally cut to the chase. "If I can get you into that car for Six thousand, for everything, including registration, sales tax, all that stuff, will you do it? This is counting your Saturn in for a trade in as well."
I say, "I'm tempted, but I want to talk to my dad first. He's been with me every time I've bought a car and I trust his gut more than I trust my own."
He says, "Where do your folks live?"
I say, "Malborough."
He says, "Well, I don't want you to take the car till you've really had a chance to test it out. Plus, we need to go through your car. So, why don't you take it up to your folks and let your dad see the car and drive it?"
If that was a big gimic, I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. So, Todd and I took the car up to my folks, which was probably an hour drive each way. A lot of it was highway, and as I said, it was a crap day. At one point, I was smack in the middle of this huge group of 18 wheelers, I mean they were on all sides of me, just spraying me with water, and the wind was whipping around violently. In the Saturn, I would have been about as calm as a spider on a griddle, but in this car, it's like, "So what? You just try to blow me out of control, buddy."
I also have to keep slowing down, because I'm finding it too darned easy to get the car up to 80 MPH.
We get to my folks. I let my Dad drive the car. He does, playing the "Let's slam the brakes!" game, that everyone does when test driving a car. He's so darned impressed he's ready to piss his pants. The last two cars he's bought, both of them Ford Taurus Wagons, have had more miles than this car and cost more for him to buy. He thinks we should go for it. He's even saying, "Money is a bit tight, but we might be able to scrape together enough to cover you until your check comes in..."
My opinion is the same as I told the Salesman. Nope, I'll work it out and if this isn't the car for me, there will be another one.
So, we go back. We talk. He asks what my dad thought. I counteract the question by going, "He was very impressed that you let me drive it up there." I never said what he thought of the actual car I just tell him that my father is impressed by their allowing me to take the car.
We run carfax reports, we look at the bluebook value. The car is rated about 15,000 higher according to Bluebook. On the other hand, it is towards the end of the month, and we are offering straight cash, no financing.
We crunch more numbers, we talk some more. Todd is acting all mellow and I'm trying to act like I don't have a care in the world. By this point I was starting to feel frayed so it was pretty easy to act like I just didn't care.
It's finally concluded that with tax, title, registration, etc. I can get the car for 6,289 dollars. Yeah, I knew darned well the car was going to cost me more than six grand, but I also was planning that I'd have to pay for title, sales tax, registration, etc. after the six thousand, so in truth, the car will be costing me less and they'll take my Saturn too.
But, the only catch is that I have to take posession of the car, today.
This sorta weirds me out, cause I don't have the money. I tell him I don't and I won't have it until probably the end of this week, beginning of next. I do say I'm willing to leave a deposit, but I can't pay for the car.
He says that's fine, that he totally trust me.
We talk a bit about warentees. He is willing to offer me a 4 year 48,000 mile bumper to bumper warentee that will pretty much cover everything but oil changes, tires, things like that. 12,000. I'm very tempted if I can scrape up the money. I have 90 days from now to decide on that and the warrentee will after the 90 day warentee that just comes basically with the car. I feel a whole lot better that he's willing to sell me this warentee, simply because if they were trying to pull a fast one on me, why would they basically be willing to cover the car? I mean, if we'd had such a warentee on the Saturn, a lot of the more expensive things I had fixed would have been covered.
But, the long and the short of it is that the car is now sitting in our driveway, and all I've given them is a promise that I'll pay the rest and 200 dollars. All because it's too close to the end of the month, and his division (Dodge) won't get "Credit" for meeting their quota unless I take delivery.
It still seems sorta weird to me. But I have it in writing what I owe, so I can't walk in and have them suddenly tell me, "Oh no, now it goes up to THIS much..."
It's a pretty car. It's black. Tires are good. Radio/CD player works good. Interior is a greyish color. Yeah, black isn't a car color I'd pick for myself, but beggers can't be choosers and a lot of the cars I've looked at have been either black or red.
Pontiac didn't make the "Best of the best" lists, but nor did it make the "avoid this car at all costs." lists either. So, I guess it's an average car. Todd is totally in love with it, and I have to admit, it's a pretty easy car to get used to.
But I'm still absolutely boggled at the car buying experience. It's like you look, you hem, you haw, everyone offers you advice, everyone gets your head in a whirl that you should buy this or you shouldn't buy this. You start to feel like there is this whole system of rules that you have no clue about. Then...suddenly, you find the car and things move so darned fast that by the time it's over, you're like, "Wow, there's a different car in the driveway... how strange!"
I don't know if we made a good deal or not. I think we did. And, I have to think that my "Don't shit me," attitude helped. Because it's totally true, that finding a car for six grand is not impossible. So, if it wasn't this car, it would be another car. And, I do feel a lot better knowing they are willing to back the car with an extended bumper to bumper warentee. The Saturn cost us 6,000 too. It had 81,000 miles on it. We asked about an extended warentee and were told the best they would give us was a one year and it was a ridiculously high price. Granted, we've had the Saturn for juuust about four years and that's all they'll cover for the Pontiac, but I also dumped a lot of money in the Saturn.
Sooo, let's just hope this works out.
Oh yeah, and in keeping with my "Trying to quit smoking" I told Todd that we are not allowed to smoke in this car. He agrees. So, we haven't. I told him that this might mean I pull over sometimes because I want a ciggarette. He agrees. I've been trying not to smoke in the car anyway, and I figured this is a good place to begin. New car, no smokey smell, let's keep it that way.
And who knows, maybe being forced to pull over if I want a smoke will convince me even more that smoking is a big pain in the ass and it will be better to give it up.