Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Any car I have had the privilege to drive has always been given to me based on someone else's need. When I first got my license, my dad let me drive his old 1971 Volkswagen Bug, the car he ditched when he bought his mid-life crisis sports car.
After I was married, the cars we acquired for me to drive pertained to my expanding role as chief chauffeur of a growing family. Our first married car was a Honda Civic with no air conditioning because it was too expensive (or so we thought), then a used station wagon and after that, a used Dodge Caravan. When we ventured in to our family sport of boating, that dictated the next type of vehicle I would drive: one that not only had room for children but had towing capabilities as well. We purchased a brand new, 1996 Chevrolet Astro which was replaced three years later by a brand new, 1999 Chevrolet Suburban. The Suburban was definitely my favorite. I loved the solid ride. I felt so secure driving that tank around. It also enabled me to expand my taxi service to include many of my children's friends.
Then came the exploding gas prices in the mid-2000's. That and the fact that my children were getting their own vehicles and leaving the nest, my husband took away my beloved Suburban and parked it in our side yard, only to be used for summer boating trips. In its place, I was given his old 2000 Honda Accord. I didn't mind it too much. I could zip in and out of traffic a lot easier than with the Suburban, the gas mileage was pretty awesome, and because my husband takes excellent care of our vehicles, it was a comfortable ride. As the years rolled on, that car began to suffer from natural wear and tear. Still in semi-good shape, even with over 165,000 miles ( I told you my husband took good cars of our cars), it was decided that our college age son would have the Honda available for him to drive. That meant, it was time to get a new car for ME. Needless to say, I was excited beyond words. This would be the first time in my life where I was going to be able to have a say and get exactly what I wanted. (I hope I don't sound too mercenary here. It just is, the notion of researching, picking out, and getting my own car was so thrilling).
The process for getting my car actually took six months. Driving around, I would look at the cars on the road to see what appealed to me. I was drawn to the Ford Edge. I thought it was cute (now, that is important) and the size was perfect. Deemed a "crossover SUV," it fit five adults comfortably and could also accommodate my new grandmother responsibilities. While attending BlogWorld 2011 last November, I heard Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing , Sales and Service for Ford Motor Company, speak on what the Ford company is like today. He mesmerized me with his presentation and his confidence of the Ford product. From that day forward, I was sold on getting a Ford Edge. When I came home and told my husband, he said, "There is no way I am buying a Ford." He had given up long ago on American made cars. I told him that he would change his mind, just like I did, once he experienced the new Ford for himself.
That opportunity came in January. For my birthday, I told my husband, all I wanted to do was test drive the Ford Edge. This was the first time I had ever test drove a car before so I was pretty excited. Both my husband and I took our turns behind the wheel and we both agreed, man, it was a great ride. Up until this time, I had only seen the Ford Edge on the road and talked to some Ford Edge owners. Now I could say, I had driven a Ford Edge. Decision made: this was the car for me.
I started to do my homework on color, extras, and pricing plus read all the reviews. After all my studying, I knew I wanted a 2012 model with heated, leather seats, the My Ford Touch sync system, and Bluetooth capabilities. A few weeks later, we went to a dealer to see what they had in stock with my specifications and to start the buying process. We were there two hours, saw lots of cars, but walked away with nothing. It wasn't a total lost evening, however. I was able to see all the color combinations and many accessory packages. On this visit, I decided on the color combination I really wanted: white platinum for the body color and black leather seats. Fancy, classy, and stylish.
We were waiting for some funding to come through, and were told not to venture in to buying a new car until that happened. Unfortunately, there were delays after delays in when we actually received the money. During this time, I developed a lot of patience as I saw deal after deal, sale after sale, pass us by. Finally, right before Memorial Weekend, we were given the green light to go ahead and purchase the car. Yippee.
We settled on buying the car at a dealer that had an outstanding internet sales department. My research told me that you get better deals on the pricing when you go through an internet department. A really nice internet salesman had kept in touch with me for the six weeks while we were waiting on our funding, so, of course, I wanted to give him the sale. We made an appointment to see him on the Friday night of Memorial Weekend. We knew there were deals to be made that weekend and we wanted to get a jump on the rush of buyers. When we got to the lot, our salesman told us that there were no more cars available with my specifications (oh no) but that he had a car on the lot that was a 2013 with more features and he promised to do his best to bring it within the price we were willing to pay. Because I had done my homework, because I had visited two other dealers and an internet service, and because I knew the value of what I wanted, the sales person took me and my offer seriously. In the end, we got a 2013 model that in addition to the white platinum color and heated, black leather seats, and the My Ford Touch, it also came with GPS, 20 inch chrome wheels, and a sun roof, all for basically the price of the 2012 model I had intended to buy. The whole process took a couple of hours. My husband was so cute to make sure that my name was on all the paperwork as the primary owner so that it would really feel like my car.. When we went home at 10:00 that night, I was riding in the car of my dreams.
Since I probably won't be getting a new car again for a very long time, I wanted to do everything right this time around. What did I learn? That it really paid off to find out everything I could about the car, talk to owners, get a few quotes so that I had a bargaining chip -- all before I got really serious about buying the car. The confidence I got from taking these steps made the difference in buying the car I really wanted in a price range we could afford. We were in the driver's seat and because we came prepared, we knew we were getting a good deal. All in all, it was a very positive experience. .
Have you bought a new car lately? What was your experience like?
Labels: Edifying Education