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?