Lady Gaga: The only big things I’ve purchased are my dad’s heart valve and a Rolls-Royce for my parents, for their anniversary. And that was only because my dad had a Lady Gaga license plate on our old car and it was making me crazy because he was getting followed everywhere, so I bought him a new car.
What’s crueler than a Monday morning? I can’t think of much. I suppose if it was raining, or I had to rely on public transportation, I’d be in a fouler mood than usual. But my car is good and it hardly rains here. Yeah, right. For the past few days, Leslie and I have been talking about buying new cars. I drive a 2004 Nissan Murano and Leslie drives a 2002 Toyota Camry.
When I bought a Volkswagen Passat in 2002, my credit union negotiated the price after I gave them the specifics of what I wanted. When the car was available, I drove my old Toyota to the credit union’s parking lot, signed some papers, and drove off with my new Passat. No muss, no fuss, no car salesmen.
At the end of 2003, I was involved in a car accident on the freeway on the way to work. Someone rear-ended me, I hit the person in front of me, and so on. We were all lucky there was no physical damage, but for the cars involved, it wasn’t pretty. My insurance company didn’t total the car and, instead, paid several thousands of dollars to have it repaired. After finally getting the car back after months of repairs, it was never the same.
So on Memorial Day 2004, I decided it was time to buy a new car. For some reason, I negotiated the “deal” myself. I probably could have done better, but I was eager to get that new car. I had large car payments for five years and I’ve now been car-loan for many years. Now, thinking about having a car payment again is scary, but the five years will fly by, I’m sure.
The car buying process has certainly changed since 2004. I can now go online (to my credit union, Costco, Kelly Blue Book online) and “build” a car. The websites tell you everything you need to know about the car and the options, and you just click what you want and add it to your list. At the end, it tells you the price and approximate monthly payments. KBB’s price is strictly the retail price, and the CU will tell me what the discounted price is.
I looked at the Kia Sorento online. The credit union price was about $6,000 lower than the KBB price; however, I was understandably limited in some options since the CU deals with certain dealers and certain models to get the best price. I will now look at the Honda CR-V and a few other mid-size SUVs and then get to the dealers for some test driving.
Do you have any suggestions? What do you drive?