Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Car shopping is bullshit.

I have a confession to make.  My close friends and family will already know this about me.

I am cheap as all hell.  Stingy.  It's sad.  I could give you all the reasons why, but here's the long and the short of it:  I just don't like putting down large sums of money for anything.  I don't like being in debt, so I try to live well within my means.

My means, meanwhile, are not fabulously abundant. 

There's food on the table, my rent is paid, my bills are (mostly) caught up.  There's not a lot left over, but it's not dire.  But it has been.  So now I'm extra careful not to get to that point.

I have to buy a car. 

*cue massive coronary*

I got the call back last week in regards to Betty's ultimate fate and the insurance company's final decision was to put the poor girl out to pasture.

Now, it's not all bad.  On some levels this helps me, financially (when you put aside the potential to get screwed on my next insurance renewal).

You see, I have a cunning plan.

"You wouldn't know a cunning plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing "Cunning plans are here again!"
I've looked it up and since I have full-replacement coverage, and my loan is half-way paid off, I should be able to pay it right off, thus ridding me of a $300+ monthly car payment (which can then go towards my downpayment fund and paying down student debt) and have a decent amount left over to buy a good used car. 

... did I just say 'Used' car?  As in.. driven by others?  As in, potentially unknown maintenance records?



Thing is.. me with cars?  They're not my strong subject.  People know this, friends and family know this and God Bless 'Em.. they seem to like me and have concern for my safety and even want to help me.

Thing with cars and buying cars is, everyone seems to have differing opinions.  Where to buy; where not to buy; what make to go with (and NO ONE will have the same answer for this, TRUST ME ON THIS ONE); which one's not to go with; Private sellers are a rip-off; used-car dealers are a rip-off; get an extended warranty; no don't they're a waste of money.

Sensory motherfucking overload. 

And I start worrying that I'm going to make the wrong decision and pick a car that will:
  • Rust out within a month
  • Spew flames upon ignition
  • Refuse to start at any temperature lower than -5 celcius
  • Randomly shoot lugnuts at my children when my back is turned
  • Secretly change all my radio presets to Country, Talk Radio and Contemporary Christian stations.   
 And I'll discover that it's the car rated most likely to spontaneously drive itself off a cliff so my insurance premiums will be 500 dollars a month, and all the parts will need to be ordered in from Kazahkstan.
"Dammit Thelma, I told you that wasn't the I-95 exit!"

You know what happens then?  My brain, the car-buying portion of my brain SHUTS DOWN, and the only thought I can process is "Ooooooh.. pretty.  Is it certified?  E-tested? Within budget?  Let's just drive this fucker home NOW, thankyouverymuch."

"But it's PINK! and it's great on gas!"

I do want to point out to all the people who have offered to help, I DO appreciate it greatly and I love yas for it and I will definitely be taking some of you up on your offers of assistance (because God knows, I'm probably going to need it).  All I'm saying is, I'm not good with large purchases, so if we're talking cars and my eyes start to glaze and my bottom lip starts to tremble and I keep glancing at the door like I'm going to make a run for it.. well, don't take it personally. 

Just change the subject.  Trust me.  We'll both be better off.

Photo Sources:
Living Stingy
Bin Bin

The upside is I've been having fun with my 'Car-Shopping Music'.


Ahh, Blind Melon. Still so under-rated, in my humble opinion.


  1. When I had to purchase a car last year my sole condition was a sunroof. Sure, I'm kicking myself for driving a small SUV w/ gas being $4/gallon, but I do love my sunroof!

  2. Don't fret, you are not alone in hating shopping for cars. I hate it as well.

  3. I am 83 years old and I have had a bunch of cars in my lifetime.....almost all of them were purchased "used". I only got one lemon....the rest were all great cars and great bargains over new. Just one thing.....You must have the car checked by a reliable mechanic before buying. Good luck, whatever you do.

  4. If only you were in Los Angeles! I know the very best mechanic ever here. If she didn't have a car for sale, she would probably be able to find you a good one.

    And as Lo says, I've had used cars for the most part and they've, mostly, been decent. Just make sure you get it checked out. (Really, all I needed to write was "what Lo said".)

  5. Randomly shoot lugnuts at my children.
    I choked on my coffee with this one, so thank you.

    As far as strangerly advice is concerned I'll simply say start with cars you know are reliable, shop with someone you trust and have your mechanic look at it before you buy. Also there is more dealer profit built into used cars than there is in new, so your frugal ass will have plenty of room to negotiate.

    Good luck!

  6. Love the Blackadder reference=]

  7. I'm am not at all a car person. I've never actually shopped for one. I let someone else buy me stuff. Now, my only stipulation is that it's not too big, it's not orange, yellow or purple and it has bum warmers.

  8. See, and for me, being Orange, Yellow or Purple would be a HUGE selling point.

  9. I hate car shopping so much that I just give my husband a "wish list" and send him off to do it...which goes against everything I believe about being a woman (Must. Retain. Control.)

    I honestly don't care what I drive! Getting from A to B, baby. that's all I need. My 12-year-old Toyota does me fine. Best wishes on your car quest!

  10. I started car shopping SEVERAL months ago. It went so badly that I have since given up, and continued to put hundreds of hard-earned dollars into my *existing* car, which just pisses me off even further. Rock--ME--Hardplace


Engaging in discussion and/or general sucking up.. that's where it's at!

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