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[personal profile] anotheranon
So yesterday I got a new car.

This has been a long time coming and the trunk and window snarl-up from last week only made the inevitable more urgent.

Understand, only part of the reason I put it off so long is because I hate the entire process of car shopping (more on that anon). It's also because I'm hard on cars and want to wring every last ounce of usable life out of them before I consign them to the junker.

Well, perhaps not very hard on cars, though I admit a tendency to scuff up the underside by parking too close to the curb, or taking corners too shallowly and denting up the rims. But I do think it's wasteful to trade in a car just because some of the conveniences no longer work, and I do expect whatever car I drive to be able to take this wear and tear in stride.

The Civic has been like a tiny tank in this regard - it still runs, even without A/C, power windows, or trunk pop - but after 14 years (! see, a tank!) it had become more expensive than the price of the car to fix these things. So...

I did my research, and did some test drives while setting up the auto loan (I love my credit union). I wanted a hybrid for fuel efficiency and was leaning towards the hybrid Civic, but the batteries took up valuable trunk space that I needed for the fencing bag (priorities, I have them). I decided to check out this year's Prius - I've driven D.'s 2011 model enough times to know that I like the way it handles, even if I don't like the lack of visibility out the rear window.

And then after the test drive, I saw the Prius C - a smaller version with rear visibility and fold down back seats to accommodate my fencing bag, all while maintaining the insanely good gas mileage.

Sweet :)

So I did some more research and figured out a good price to offer, plus some quality negotiating tips (Carbuyingtips.com has some good ones, as does Fighting Chance) and went through one round of rigamarole with the dealership where I did my test drive. I was proud of myself: I was strong enough to walk out of there when they did their "you're getting the car at cost/robbing us" dance.

Then I discovered the joy of Carwoo and Drive Your Dream where you can list what you're looking for and let the dealers come to you.

And they will... in droves... on the phone, even when you tell them you prefer email...

So I gave preference to the vendors that did email me, and spent much of yesterday playing them off against each other: naming the my lowest price, getting theirs, and then seeing who else was willing to match it. And it was fun, by doG, to watch them fall all over themselves to meet my demands :P

I ended up going with the vendor who offered me a out-the-door price lower than the market value (!) and respected my desire to not use the ()*!*&^# phone. She even got the color I liked (red*) from another dealership, and I talked her into giving me $300 more on my trade-in than they offered. This makes very little difference in my monthly payments, but at that point I was just enjoying being obstinate. And incredibly, they're not going to scrap it - perhaps it might make a good "first car" for some kid once they fix the mechanical problems.

So after several hours of paperwork I have a shiny new car - and it's the first time I've owned new, and not used. And it gave me pause because I've always thought of myself as a bad driver who is hard on my car: do I really deserve a new one?

Yeah, I think I do, especially if it means I don't have to do this dog and pony show again for another ~14 years.

*Yes, I know. Except as a 40 year old woman driving a Prius, fer crissake, I don't think most cops are going see me as a speeding risk.
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