Yesterday 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.