Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm a Soccer Mom

IMG_0149Yesterday we crossed over to the dark side. The charming and beautiful Susan and I are mini-van owners. We traded in our sexy, but too small, Pontiac Vibe. I posted the other day about the possibilities of us doing this. I think you guys must have tossed up a few prayers for us because the dealership, Harper Motors, really treated us right. Our sales rep was the step-mother of a good friend of mine all through middle and high school. Plus it turns out that dealership did business with my dad for years when he was the local Xerox dealer. So I really found favor.

But I didn't know it was going to work that way, so I did some homework before I went.

  1. I found out how much my car was worth. I found the average trade-in value for my car. Not retail value - dealerships pay wholesale for cars, not retail. Know what your car's wholesale value is so you don't get a double dose of sticker shock. I also found out what I owed on my car. I the payoff is smaller than the trade-in value, you're upside-down and need to make up the difference in your down payment.
  2. I've been researching vans online for about a month. I found out what was the best value, best reviews, best warranty for my price range.
  3. I'm a Costco member so I took advantage of their new car buying program. Costco negotiates with the factory, not the dealer. They guarantee a price at or near dealer invoice. If there are rebates, those are applied after you have that bottom line price.

Buying a car can be a nightmare. Doing your homework relieves the pressure.

Allie really likes the ride in this car better. She doesn't sit as low or feel as boxed in as she did in our compact. She's up high and likes to look out the window. We have to make a run down to San Francisco next month, so hopefully she'll travel better than she has in the past.

Last night at bedtime, the charming and beautiful Susan said, "Good night, mini-van man."

I'd rather be thought of as a "mani-man vin," whatever that is.

7 comments:

Cherylsblog said...

I love the color and that Allie is more comfortable in the mini-man van as you call it!
Thank God! Van's aren't all that bad or those who drive them.

We started with an astro van...and look us now...we've filled the 9 passengar van!

Enjoy it! Does it have a TV? :)

Bryon Mondok said...

cheryl: no tv... we got the middle of the road rig. we have a portable dvd player already, so we're set.

Anonymous said...

welcome to the wonderful world of mini-van and kia ownership!

my wife and I are sporting two kia's, a 1995 kia sepphia (140,000 miles and still going strong) and a 2007 kia sedona (best truck we have ever owned).

at first it doesn't seem manly, but you can always tell people that it is your wifes car.

It is also funny laughing at the "manly guys" at Lowes as they realize they can't fit a piece of sheetrock in their SUV. Losers. Just casually pop the trunk on your kia, drop the seats and gently slide the sheetrock in place. Then ask them if they need you to deliver their load for them!

Shaun.

Bryon Mondok said...

thanks for the encouragement, shaun. i think i just felt a surge of testosterone.

Vicki Small said...

"mani-man vin" - that must be some kind of wine, right?

Anonymous said...

Do the Marines know about this? Chip

Darlene said...

I have a Kia. They are awesome cars. Good luck with the mini-van.