Aug 17, 2009
A Brand New CAR!!!!
Still shiny! Here I am posing with the new ride. It's still looking like new 10 days and about 1100 miles since we bought it.
Just over a week ago, we bought a car—a 2009 Toyota Corolla. This is unquestionably the biggest purchase I’ve ever made in my life, and it still doesn’t seem quite real that I actually own this car. It certainly has gotten plenty of use in its first week. I’ll have covered about 3000 miles by the end of this month, thanks to my daily 90 mile commute to Columbus for work.
The process of buying the car wasn’t very enjoyable. I didn’t relish the haggling, the game-playing required to “get a good deal.” You would think that buying a car would be easy, right? After all, unlike most types of sales, the customer doesn’t generally have to be convinced that they want a car. Both the customer and the salesman want the same thing—for the customer to buy a car. Simple, right? Well, not quite. While they may agree on wanting to see a car driven off the lot that day, the customer and salesman have radically different ideas of how that will happen. The customer wants to pay as little as possible for the car; the salesperson wants to make as much money as possible. So process of buying this car involved a lot of fast talking by various car salesmen and heavily skeptical appraisal on my part.
We visited several dealerships, mostly here in Dayton, but I did make one trek out to the tiny hamlet of Marysville, Ohio to look at a 2007 Honda Civic we'd taken to calling the "Magic Honda." It had remarkably low miles and was selling for far less than comparable models at other dealers. However, when I got there the car didn't seem so magical after all. The small stain on the upholstery, the creaking brakes, and just the general vibe of the car left me unimpressed.
We finally ended up at King's Auto Mall just outside of Cincinnati, where Barbara's parents had bought one of their cars and where my best friend, J, had bought his. There we got an unbelievably good deal on basically-brand new 2009 Corolla with only a paltry 3000 miles on the odometer. Ryan, the sales rep who sold us the car--a tall man of affable, easy-going charisma who struck me as the sort of guy that might have once been a high school basketball star--insists that the dealership barely broke even on the deal we got. I don't buy it for a second. I'm certain that even though we got a very good price, the dealership still found a way to still rake in a tidy profit. But that's okay. The price was good for me, so with this sale we both won.
It was a bit of a struggle to come to terms with purchasing the humble Corolla. All the cars I've owned have been Corollas. All the cars Barbara's parents have owned in the past 15 years or so have been Corollas. Almost all the cars my mom has owned have been Toyota, Corollas. We wanted something different, something more exciting than the same old car that we'd grown up in. Babs, especially, really liked the sleek look of the recent Honda Civic models, and was admant that she did not want a Corolla. But the low miles and low price of the Corolla were hard to argue with. And after a second test drive on Thursday the smooth ride, peppy pick-up, and new car smell swayed us. We decided that the little red Corolla wasn't so bad after all. In fact, I think she looks pretty sharp, wouldn't you agree?
The interior. Pretty plain, especially compared to the Honda, but very comfortable. The cruise control is great on the long commutes to Columbus every day. The CD player is nice too, though I mainly use the auxilary port (you can see the cord running from it near the gearshift) to play my ipod through the car's speaker system. One of the things I've enjoyed getting used to is having a reliable car. After years of driving cars that always seemed to have something wrong with them, it's nice to know this car is in tip-top shape.
Our driveway looks like a Toyota dealership these days! From left to right: the 1990 Corolla. This was Barbara's sister's car when I first met Barbara. Now, Joe is the main driver of this car. In the middle is the 1997 Corolla, Barbara's parents' car. And on the left is our 2009 model.
A big thanks to J Carlos for providing lots of advice during the whole car purchasing process. I might have been able to do this on my own, but it would have been a lot harder.