Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More on the car deal

The flip side of the standing on principle coin is the "I feel like I'm cutting off my nose" coin.
  • The price we were given on each car is a fantastic price, even with 20k miles.
  • 20k miles on a 2007 car isn't that big of a deal; it's just that we were expecting one of them to have under 10k.
  • We didn't "lose" anything because we never "had" the cars. Therefore this is like complaining that we only won $200,000 on the suitcase game when we could have walked away with $450,000 but turned it down. We still have a great offer on the cars.
  • I put a LOT of research into different cars, companies, dealerships. I've exchanged quite a few emails. I've made dozens of phone calls. If we pass on the cars then I now need to start all over again and choose a different set.

However, if we walk away from this deal, which we probably will if they don't give us what they agreed to:
  • There are MANY dealerships who would love to sell two cars. We live an easy drive from Tampa and St. Petersburg where many many car dealers live and, if needed, could even drive down to Orlando. Worst case scenario is we invest a bit in gas to go pick up our cars.
  • I'm sure we can get close to the same deal for two cars in this economy.
  • We should be considering cars with better gas mileage anyway. This will be a major expense--actually, it already is--so there's no point in buying a new to us car unless it is one we really love or one that will save us money on gas.
Also, I realized something.

I've wanted a PT Cruiser since they came out. Drooled over them. This is, in fact, my third attempt to buy one. I wasn't able to make a great deal the other two times so I walked away. Every time I see one I make a comment, even if it's in my head, that "that's the car I'll be driving some day!"

Now that the reality of ownership is but a few details away, I find myself less than excited. I don't know if it's the effect of all the stress that goes along with the car buying process accumulating or if it's because I've realized that the kind of car I drive doesn't really matter.

It's weird. I'm so close to something I've wanted for a long time and I'm ready to turn my back and start all over. I really thought I'd be jumping up and down and calling everyone I know to tell them. Not really. I don't feel good about the deal. And if I don't feel good about something, I don't do it. I've learned to listen to that internal voice that says, "not right now."

Also, now that I know we can get a 2007 car of several different kinds for an affordable price, we don't have to lease. This has made me realize how much I don't want to lease. This is weird, considering I was gung-ho about it. But for us it's financially stupid and if we can own a car and keep our payments roughly the same, we're good. (I am NOT a payment buyer, however I am conscious about what our payments will be and how much I can spend on a car. I am negotiating overall price, not payment. No way I'm financing for more than 60 months and even that I'd prefer not to do.)

If my mother had air conditioning that worked, I wouldn't worry about this right now. If my husband was comfortable driving his car (btw--airbag light has not come back on since first day) and I knew I would be okay with him putting the kid in it fume-wise, then I would rest for a few months and then start to look for other cars. I've worn grooves into my current car. I don't even have to think about driving it anymore than I think about walking. It's very comfortable and I have no issues with it.

However, hubby's car needs to be replaced soon. It would make a great commuter car for someone without kids. My mom either needs to put $1500 into her car to fix the a/c or she needs a car that has a/c. (She has some health problems and gets overheated very easily.)

I don't know what to do.

In the meantime I'm going to wait until next week, I think, to start the process over again. So I'm going to sit and be still and listen. When something feels right, I'll know that's what we're going to do.

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