Friday, October 9, 2009

Adventures in car buying

I have been leasing my car. I know what that crazed and wildly unrealistic Suze Orman says about leasing, which is to say I have been flushing money down the drain, but BITE ME Suze Orman. The lease was hundreds of dollars less a month than buying was, and that was good enough for me at a time when I was taking on being a new mom and having to begin paying for day care.

She creeps me out. And not because she lives an alternative lifestyle. Well, everything about her life is alternative to mine, from her choice of partners to owning 12 houses and 9 cars or whatever. She is just WEIRD. I do love the spoofs they do of her on SNL. I would link to it right now, but that is just more work than I am interested in doing at the moment. Go youtube it.

Back to car buying. My lease ends in December. I drive a 2007 Honda CRV. I love my car. It is a good size for an SUV, which is to say it is about the same size as a sedan, but it rides higher and has on demand 4 wheel drive. Great in snow. Good for getting a toddler in and out of a car seat. And because my commute is only 8 miles one way, I have ridiculously low mileage on it - 16500 miles after 3 years.

So I decided to buy my own car. It is an option with the lease. I first made contact with my dealership via email. That resulted in a barrage of automated responses, none of which made sense to send to me given my inquiry - I want to buy my car at the end of the lease, how do I do this - is what I asked. Next thing I know I am getting emails saying SURE we have the car you are inquiring about, or 25% of buyers buy within the first week of looking, so come on in...

So I responded by email again, saying Yes, I want to buy a car, MY CAR. And then I called the dealership. And got transfered to a woman who didn't know the answer, but would have someone call me. Then I got some phone bank customer service person calling me who was all "I can get you in for a VIP appointment, how is tomorrow" but that wasn't going to work for me, which threw her off her game.

Eventually I got an email from Jessica, the sales person I dealt with when I originally leased this car. I called her, and she made the appointment for me that I needed, with the finance guy. I went in this week, fully expecting to still get the hard sell on trading in my leased car and buying or leasing a new vehicle, but it didn't happen. David just processed my application, and in an hour I was the proud owner of my own car. Whee.

David was an experience all unto himself. In one hour I found out way more than I needed to about him. He has been divorced twice. He grew up in Europe because his parents were hippies and his dad didn't want to serve in Vietnam. He himself however, did a stint in the Army, with an airborn division. He has one child, who is 5. He likes to golf, play online Poker and has a girlfriend who is a little too fly by the seat of her pants for his tastes, because that is the way he is too, and someone has to be responsible in a relationship. His second wife got her hair done every two weeks, costing $150 each time. She also was not adventurous at all, as in she would not try sushi or food she didn't already know and like. He thought I was very cultured - he has a "class meter" and can tell classy people right away. His words, not mine. He thought I had an unusual "look", not the average jewelry selection. Note: I was wearing some Asian inspired jewelry, which is different, but not outrageously unusual. He is bald, and has a large scar running around the backside of his head from ear to ear. I didn't ask about it. He buys a new car once a year. Good think he works for a dealership! He said "Thank you, ma'am" every time I gave him an answer to a question for the application. He is okay with Obama but wishes he would just stay out our private lives, keep his hands off health care and stop telling anyone what to do, like stay in school. He is not a Republican or a Democrat, he is a FREE AMERICAN.

That was just some of what I learned in an hour. To say he did NOT STOP TALKING is being polite. He ended up giving me both his personal email address AND his cell phone number on my packet of paperwork in addition to his work info. I am quite sure he was not hitting on me, but perhaps he would like to hang out or go sky diving. I mentioned I wanted to do that when he talked about being in the airborn division. He did say I was "a fun customer". I won't be inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner though.


Dproudmama said...

And our Honda is whole again. No "check engine light" to cause fear and tremors.

Chip said...

I'm thinking that scar also points to some lingering damage... dude shared WAY too much. Or maybe he's just THAT bored and found some one interesting to chat with while doing the rote mundane soul killing work that is paper shuffling.

Oz said...

Free American is clearly the alternative to Republican or Democrat. All Republicans and Democrats are, what, unfree? Slaves? European?

I'm with you on Suze. Even her name throws me off. I always read it as Sooos but it's Suzy and it's just disconcerting. But someone named Oz probably shouldn't talk, eh

Audubon Ron said...

The weird people we meet in dealerships.