Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Car shopping

First some backstory…
When my dad died, he and I were planning on buying me a car when I got back from a school trip to Turkey. I was going to be going off to school and I needed a car. Dad and I agreed that he would take me car shopping, we would buy something not terribly expensive and the loan would go under my name, but my dad would make the payments (to help build my credit, it was going to be one more way my dad helped me be more independent). Instead he died and I missed the trip and inherited his car. Which means I reached 28 without EVER buying a car.
My check engine light is on, and my plates expire on Sunday night. Perhaps this doesn’t seem connected, until I tell you I live in a county (not a state, just a county) that requires that I pass an emissions test to renew my plates. However, with the check engine light on, I won’t pass emissions. I COULD fix the $1,000 part (it’s the sensor that tells the light everything is fine) and continue dealing with the broken window, and the body damage that makes me want to hit someone, etc. BTW, my dad had the part fixed. Four times. In two years.
I’m not fixing the part.
Instead, I wound up (partially through my own stupidity true) with two weeks in which to buy a new car. With a crap credit rating and no money to put down. Car shopping is…fun? Terrible? I’m not even sure.
I did internet research, decided what I could afford, etc. My first day out (first dealer, first car I looked at) I fell in love. It was everything I wanted in a car. A 2006 blue Ford Focus hatchback with low miles, good mileage and a price tag that didn’t kill me. The dealer was nice to me and explained things for me since I don’t know much about cars. BUT I had been told not to just buy the first car. Try a few things out, they said. So I walked away after telling the dealer I would probably be back later.
The next day my mom and I went to a few other dealers, where I found out what people mean when they say car shopping sucks. First up…Hyundai. The salesman only talked to mom, even after we made sure he knew I was buying a car, mom had just bought a new one, nad she wasn’t even co-signing my loan. Like to the point that she was standing behind him, I asked a question and he turned around and answered her. We left. Next…Nissan. They ignored us for twenty minutes, which I wouldn’t have minded except none of their cars had prices. Finally a man came out who at least talked to me. But he had a very clear idea of what he was going to sell me, before he even talked to me. He ignored me when I told him the price point I was looking at, didn’t listen to anything I wanted in a car and tried to force something I hated on me. Then, when I told him why I was there (I wanted to see a used Versa) he didn’t tell me what he was showing me and tried to con me into a brand new car. Also, after I saw it, I thought the Versa was bigger than I wanted, and he was rude about that. Finally I told him I wasn’t buying a new car and he goes “Then I don’t think I can help.” To which I replied “Okay, thanks for your time.” I got ready to leave but mom was off changing Nick’s diaper, so I had to wait for them, and he goes “Well…let me talk to my manager.” As soon as Mom came back we left, while he was still talking to his manager, because he was rude and I didn’t want to give him my money.
So, I called the original Ford dealership and told them I wanted the Focus and my SIL was going to take it to the mechanic for my on Monday (this was Thursday). Which they said was fine, but then called me twice more to ask my intentions. I finally told them on Saturday “My SIL will take it to the mechanic on Monday at one, if the mechanic gives me the go ahead, I will come buy it after work, I’ll be there around 5:45.” Monday afternoon my SIL texts me, they sold my car. Then they tried to get her to take something else to the mechanic without me there to say if I liked it. Then they told me that I should come look and that if I found something I liked, they could set it aside until Monday when it could go to the mechanic. Why didn’t they do that with the car I told them I wanted!!!
Today I went to a different Ford dealer to look at the Fiesta (so pretty) even though it only comes in 2011. I can’t have that, but if all goes the way we discussed Monday night I’m picking up a 2011 Ford Focus sedan in electric blue!

1 comment: