It Wasn’t Easy

It was time. Time to say farewell to my car. This car served us well. It was the car bought during my last year of teaching, so it was to be a retirement car. Not our usual sort of car, but one bought because it would be fun. It was a  two-door convertible, not the most practical car, but a fun one. After 130,000 + miles, we decided it was time to let the convertible go.

Two years ago, we bought a Scion IQ to run around town, which would let the convertible rest. However, after one trip of forty miles, a problem was discovered. My husband has arthritis in his knee which became inflamed due to the height and depth of the seat. He would be unable to drive this little car. I knew it had to go, we don’t need a car that will cause pain when driving.

So now the search is on. My husband LOVES cars. He can read about cars all day long on the internet. He spends Sundays wandering around car lots peering into cars, studying the posted sticker, hoping the dealer left one open so he can explore the interior. (In our state car lots are closed on Sunday, so you don’t have sales people chasing you down.)

He is the person friends and family turn to when they want to buy a car. He can tell you the pros/cons, price you should pay, options you should consider, reliability of this vehicle, and those thoughts only scratch the surface of what he knows. However, when it comes to purchasing a vehicle for us, he has so many facets to weigh, it becomes a nightmare.

Just to give you a hint these are some of the items that must be considered:

  • Safety, how did the car do in all the insurance crash tests?
  • Reliability, how reliable is this car, does it break down often?
  • Does this car have high ownership satisfaction on surveys?
  • What is the cost of ownership? This takes into consideration cost of insurance, gas, depreciation, repairs, cost of injuries from a crash.

If the car passes those tests, he gets down to personal preferences, such as:

  • Heated seats (for me, hotter is better)
  • Cup holders must be able to hold two 32 ounce drink cups and not rub
  • Will the storage area be tall enough for a rolling crate?
  • Does the storage have hidden out of sight capabilities?
  • It must have a sun roof (bigger is better).
  • Is it comfortable after a few hours?
  • Does it pass the knee test or does his knee begin hurting in a short period of time?
  • Is it fun to drive?

So now he has lots of boxes to tick when he begins the search. He lusts for a German made car, but deep in his heart he knows he can’t buy one. They are too expensive and they are costly to fix. No BMW or Audi or Mercedes for us. We won’t buy a car if there is no dealer in town. So that eliminates Volvo and Mini Cooper.

He has done his research and now he heads out to test drive. This is the only way he can determine if it passes the knee test. Car after car is eliminated due to the knee test. Only a few options remain. What car will it be?

He does all the legwork, so when it is getting close to a decision my input is requested or should I say required?  All along I give feedback as it is needed, but I’m not truly invested in any car search. A car is a car is a car. What matters to me is if he is happy with the decision. He can usually bribe me to look at cars with a promise of a meal out. 🙂

A decision is almost made. A car has moved to the top of the list, but it has a dent in the trunk lid. No dents allowed! However, he will be in St. Louis for a day. Maybe they will have the car. He spends the day looking at various dealers. Now we are weighing between two cars.

He picks me up from school and we begin the three hour ride home. He tells me all of the information he has discovered on his day in the city. We talk, we discuss pros and cons. I know a decision has been made. Now the question is will the dealer in town match the price of the St. Louis dealer?

Saturday my husband heads to the dealer. They match the price, a deal is made. Hallelujah the search is over! It wasn’t easy to find the car that meets our wants. So what did we get?

A Subaru Outback! I know we will have fun with the places it will take us :-)

A Subaru Outback! I know we will have fun with the places it will take us 🙂

21 thoughts on “It Wasn’t Easy

  1. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear the final choice… and I am thrilled. I don’t consider myself to be much of a car person, but I LOVE my Subaru. I drive a Forester and my husband (a die-hard Jeep man until I came along) drives an Outback. We love our Subarus. Although I am sad to hear about the end of your little Scion IQ, I am certain a Subaru is the way to go!

  2. What a surprise when I got to the picture! I’ve been looking for a newer car and decided to get a crossover. My oldest son sounds like your husband. On his list, the Suburu Outback is third. I have seen them and like the look. Now I have 2 expert opinions. Thanks for sharing the every day again–this time in the auto world!

  3. Tiffy says:

    LC, Love the new ride- even if it wasn’t your turn! Can’t wait to do more that just sit in it. BTW, loved your ending!

  4. You should share your story with Subaru! What a commercial this would make! My hubby drove an Outback for several years and loved it, but his true love is Jeeps. Just before we purchased our Jeep this summer, we attended a Subaru event here in IL — a parade of Subarus with the hopes of making the Guiness Book of World Records. It was a fun outing, and days after we said our goodbyes to our little black Outback, the sticker and official letter arrived that we were part of the largest Subaru parade.

    Congrats and enjoy the new ride! Now, what about a name for that beauty? 🙂

  5. Joyce says:

    Oh… the stories your new ride will enable you to tell! I always look forward to reading of your latest journey, how ever you arrive.

  6. Ahh…the things that our guys take joy in! I have to admit, that the Subaru is such an awesome choice….especially with all the traveling bot of you love. I hope the knee thing improves. I am hoping that we won’t do the car thing in the near future…especially since we are starting the big kitchen project in January….fun, fun…I did get my pick of wood, 🙂 xo

  7. Jaana says:

    I would love to have someone do car shopping for me. I just want a car. The car is great; I would drive with joy! Happy new adventures!

  8. My husband is the same way. No one likes to shop for anything with him because of that. Lucky for me he has only had two vehicles of “his own” his entire 54 years of life!

  9. Judy C. says:

    As I read the comments, I hear a consensus and my hubby is the same. He did a lot of research into the car we purchased in June. He was looking over my shoulder as I read your slice and then saw the picture – his comment “that’s a great car!” I hope it gives you many years enjoyment.

  10. My niece just got the same kind of car and loves it. I so enjoyed reading your blog….my husband does the same thing when buying certain things and I just let him do all the research. A car is a car is a car….so true. What would your husband say about me going to a dealer and saying I just wanted a red car that had good windshield wipers! The dealer thought I was crazy…but that car lasted me many years with close to 200,000 miles…and yes, the windshield wipers worked great! Jackie

  11. May you and your husband have many happy miles in your new car. Car shopping is always exciting. There is nothing like that new car smell. When we bought my wife her last car the top requirement was that it must be blue.

  12. How exciting! It is always fun to get a new car, and it was fun to read how you have bought different cars for different reasons in various phases of your life. Right now I am hoping that I won’t have to say farewell to my car until I am able to pay off (or significantly decrease) my student loan amounts. Our family could sure use a little bit more space though, so we will see what happens as time goes on!

    Enjoy your new Outback!

  13. Alright, so this is my dream car, once we schlep one more kid to their new apartment and out of the family home. LOVE it – roomy, and sporty and just right height-wise so that even I can get the kayaks on top (all by myself). Happy travels, Elsie!!

  14. My daughter has a Highlander, for a number of years, and loves it. Hope your new “baby” is just wonderful for you both, Elsie. I’m now driving my 4th Honda Accord, and love them. When it’s time, it will be hard to choose I guess, or I’ll stick with the Accords. Just an FYI-for a long time a while ago, we had an old Mercedes. It was priced right because it was used, and we loved it. It still drove like no car I’ve ever had.

  15. This made me smile when I got to the end. A good friend recently purchased a Subaru Outback, and constantly tells me it should be my next car (mine is 11 years old). I’m a loyal Highlander driver, but I don’t like how the newer Highlanders have grown in size. Knowing that your husband is meticulous about some of the same criteria that matters to us, perhaps I will consider the Outback.

  16. Terje says:

    Isn’t it great when you are saved the time and energy of choosing a car? I trust my husband almost blindly. My request was that the car wouldn’t be too big. All the fun of choosing and testing I left for him. I have had my new car (Shkoda) for a year and I am happy.

  17. I sit here with a big smile on my face….you know this is my husband too 🙂 Eating out is one of the few things that would get me to car shop. Ugh. That’s why I have the rule of three. Narrow it down and then I will look. We have been in the same process. Sure glad he does all the research. In the spring, we are buying a Toyota Rav 4 (or maybe a Highlander, he has time to change his mind) —something about the way the back door opens. Oh well. At least a new car is on the horizon.

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