Sunday, July 15, 2012

big girl pants were worn

If you can't tell from the pics, I bought a car! It's a brand new 2012 Honda Civic in an awesome blue color. We said we never wanted to buy new, but the deal was too good to pass up for a car we'll want to run into the ground.

Here was our car-buying process:

Monday: We took my 2002 Ford Focus into our mechanic who said it had transmission problems. The car was barely drivable at that point, so we decided to sell it off. I listed the car on Craigslist that evening. The man who ended up buying my car contacted me within an hour.

Tuesday: I had about eight people who contacted me about the car, but the first one bought it by Tuesday afternoon. He paid us in cash, loaded up the car, and drove it away. Sniff, sniff. Bye bye, car I've had for eight years! We spend a ton of time researching cars slightly bigger than a small hatchback over the next few days.

Wednesday: We go and test drive a 2012 Honda Civic. I'm not in love, especially because we test drive a used 2011 Hyundai Elantra later that day. The Elantra was big for the money and had some great features. Dave loved it but I wasn't sold on the way it handled on the road. My old Focus had tight steering and braking, and I wanted something that drove similarly.

Thursday: We test drive a Mazda 3 and Mazda 6. Not in love with either. While they handled great in the road, the braking was a little funky. Not impressed with features, interior, or exterior. The Mazda 3 was the most uncomfortable car I test drive. We also take a look at the Hyundai Accent but find it to be too small.

Friday: My mother-in-law comes over to babysit for us while we head to a different no-haggle Honda dealership to take a second look at the Civic. We test drive and I like it much better the second go-around. We talk about pricing with the dealership but since they're no-haggle, they're not willing to budge anything on their price even though they add a non-optional $299 vehicle theft protection charge.

We take their deal to the other local Honda dealership (where we first test drove the Civic) and they automatically give us a price $200 below the other's offer. We look at each other. It's still a little above our price point. Plus, this dealership added extra charges for non-optional pinstripping, splash guards, and nitrogen in the wheels. We pretty much knew our bottom line. I wrote a price on the sheet, passed it to him, and said, "If you'll give us this price, we'll buy the car right now." He said, "Oh, I don't know, we're already under invoice" and went off to his manager. A moment later, he comes back and holds out his hand - we had a deal! Next, I picked out my color - they had all of them on the lot. They were flooded with 2012 Honda Civics (so was the other dealership), so I'm not surprised we got a good deal. I was torn between the light blue and dark blue, but the dark blue won me over since it's such a pretty and unique color.

We had very good credit and got the best APR possible. Our monthly cost will only be $10 more than we planned on spending, so I'm way happy about that. I've been having tons of fun driving my new pretty around town.

I'm sad my poor Focus is gone. I had a lot of good times - and bad - in that car. I drove it back and forth between Iowa and Alabama when I was in grad school. My brother and I drove it to Miami and back on a month-long road trip. I went to meet Dave for a drink on our first date in that car. I drove it while pregnant with G and drove him all over the place since he was born. I drove it home by myself when we found out baby #2 had died at 14 weeks, and I cried and cried and cried in it. Even though I inherited it from my parents and paid nothing for it but repairs, it was my first car.

Bye bye, red beast of a car. You had zero get-up-and-go, but you handled like a dream. Hello, blue monster, my car for at least the next 10 years. If you last long enough, G can learn to drive in you.

...And now pardon me while I weep for my baby's childhood.


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