Without putting much hoopla (i.e. research) into it, Julie and I decided on a new (actually used) car yesterday to replace the van, which was totaled in an accident.  I turned the rental car in on Friday, and after she picked me up, we stopped at a couple used car lots.  The first one was terrible.  First, the dealer lot was almost impossible to get in and out of.  The car I targeted was not in good shape and the sales guy just gave me the keys without bothering to get a license or anything.   Now that I think of it, he (or they) seemed solely focused on selling their high end used cars, of which they had quite a few.

The second place we stopped was not a dealer I had a target vehicle, but it was on the way and looked well maintained.  The problem with this one was NO car had a price on it, nor does their online site.  Too much hassle to try and figure out what falls within our budget.

It was 6:55 when we got to the last place and they closed at 7.  I asked the guy if they were getting ready to close and he seemed unconcerned and eager to help.  I had the name of who to ask for from a colleague, and this turned out to be my guy.  But he also turned out to be the general manager and not a salesperson.  Still, we looked at a couple then went on our way with one which I could really see being a possibility.

Saturday we got up early and stopped at one more place that I had some target car.  Didn’t like anything there, but ironically the guy recommended we check the last place we were at on Friday, which we liked.  He gave us the name of two sales guys: Dan and Bernard.  We both knew who we were asking for, given my dad’s name is Bernard.

Bernard turned out to be very hit and miss and it hindsight we probably should have went with Dan.  He was too preoccupied with too many things and we never knew when he was helping us or someone else.  And somehow we never really got in a price negotiation because of the confusion he caused, though I doubt he would have budged as many other people were looking.  On the other hand, if he had talked to the general manager who we had met, it might have been a different story.

In the end we bought a 2008 Kia Sportage.  Nothing fancy on it.  But what surprises me is I was talked into buying a vehicle warranty.  Sheash.  I am not so sure about it, but I have 10 days to cancel.  Also, I did not get it inspected (I am STILL not sure how that works) but I do plan to take it over to our local maintenance store to get the regular maintenance.  I am already 90% sure I need two new tires.

So that’s it.  Car buying done.


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