Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drive My Car . . .

So, I have made two significant appointments in the world of cardom: I made an appointment wirh the DMV to get my California license, and an appointment to look at cars at a dealership. I'm fairly nervous about both, though with the license I will only have to take a written test (thankfully). As for buying a car . . . I know that from the moment I walk in the door, the salesman will be determined to put me in a car that is over my budget. I have a firm, no-budge amount that I can spend for a car, based on the money I have to put down, my expected interest rate for financing based on my credit, and the amount I want to pay every month for said car. I will not go over this amount (and it is pretty small). But, having been involved in several car-buying experiences for others, I know how much pressure there is, and often condescension and manipulation when the buyer is a woman. This is compounded by the fact that I will be alone, and will have no one to stick up for me once the salesman starts the usual dick-tactics:

"Can I be honest? You don't want this car! You'll be much happier in this (more expensive) car!"

"Believe me, I know this (more expensive) car is going to perform much better for you than that car (in your price-range)."

"This car (in your price range) is actually not available; someone is coming to look at it today. How about this (more expensive) car?"

"That's an internet-only price. It's actually this (out of your price range)."

"I'm sure we could get you financed for this (more expensive) car!"

They tried to pull many of these on my sister when she went to buy a car last year, and she was lucky that she had me and her husband there with her. It still took over four hours and was one of the more stressful things I've ever been through, and I wasn't even the buyer.

Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to this. If Serenity was in better shape, I'd hold onto her longer, and put this off as long as possible.

Any of my readers have first-time car-buying advice?

1 comment:

AmandaMuses said...

How exciting about getting your new license. I loved CA's online appointment system and had really great luck with them (though that was NoCal--Hopefully SoCal will be friendly too).

Wish I had great first-time car buyer advice (I was in a similar spot like you a year or 2 ago when my old car died while living in CA) but don't other than don't let the salespeople fluster you and stick to your guns. I made a massive spreadsheet and test drove several cars.

Good luck!