The way car buying should be

Since arriving back in the US, one of my top agenda items has been to buy a new car. Well, not a real new car, I have never had one of those, but a new to me car. I don’t think that I talked about it on here, but I wrecked my car just before we left for India. There was a deer and a telephone pole involved, both survived, the car did not.

In theory it should be fun to buy a car. The one being replaced was ten years old and had enough miles on it to have driven around the Earth more than half a dozen times. In addition to it’s age and mileage it was beginning to acquire many problems, large and small, which we had trouble justifying fixing properly due to it’s age.

A new(er) car is like a fresh start. No problems. Easy peasy. Right?

Yeah, I’m not sure either. I hope that’s the case, but with my ever present skepticism and a stereotypical sentiment about used car salesmen, or anyone purveying previously owned rolling stock, really, I am naturally convinced that any new(er) car that I choose will only be marginally more reliable than the last years of the relic that it is replacing. If the last owner doesn’t want it, why should I? Gosh I hate buying cars.

Last time around, nearly 6.5 years ago, I avoided the process for a year longer than I probably should have. In the end it wasn’t so bad. I didn’t get ripped off, scammed, or taken advantage of in any way. I ended up with a new(er) car that was a delight to own until, at what in my mind was a reasonable age, it’s age began to show.

Sounds perfect, right? So what’s the problem? I have no idea, but in spite of my last positive experience with used car buying, it positively strikes fear in me. I wonder if buying actual new cars would feel any easier? Doubtful. There is still the fear of overpaying, buyers remorse, and the possibility of being financially constrained into not picking your dream car.

Ok, I’m sure that last part only applies to me. I’m kidding, kind of, I don’t really know what my dream car is anyway. I guess the hope is that I emerge from this process with a car that is, at minimum, worth what I paid for it, that it lasts long enough for me to avoid this process for at least another 6.5 years, and that I end up with something that has enough cargo capacity to haul Duke, Tacia, a baby, and all related gear. Considering that last criteria, I suppose I have to call it a win if I do not end up with one of those minivans that everyone claims will suit my needs perfectly.

Compounding my car buying fear is the fact that, for the first time, I am spending joint money on it. Last time around I only had the possibility of letting myself down. This time I have to hope that Chris, the ultimate skeptic, ends up feeling positive about this experience as well.

Wish me luck! Last night I set the ball in motion to buy what I hope is a perfect new(er) ride. I hope Chris likes it as much as I think I will.

Note: I’m totally not up at 4 losing sleep over this. It must still be my jet lag.

  1. Lisa said:

    Hope car shopping is going well. I agree it can be a pain. When my car got totaled last year we looked and looked. If you haven’t bought yet I would totally look at Subaru Outback. I love it for hauling my dog & all the stuff that goes with him. Happy shopping!

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