Experiencing Gratitude While Buying a Car

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Experiencing Gratitude While Buying a Car

Car shopping is a lot of things, but it is hardly ever enjoyable when you're getting down to the nitty-gritty on negotiating. I have learned a lot about gratitude since owning this car. That might sound kind of strange but sometimes it takes a little change for me to gain some perspective.

I leased my Honda Civic in 2017 with the intention of just buying it outright when I was done. I had never leased a car before but my old car was donezo. I just got my big girl job, so I needed a big girl car to match. Well, three years came and went VERY fast.  Last weekend, my time came for me to figure out if I wanted to keep it or get something new.

I knew this time was coming, and at the end of May, I was going to have to start making payments towards owning the car. I got a phone call at the beginning of April with a gentleman telling me  I was going to owe about $14,000 on my car if I wanted to buy it outright. Perfect, that is exactly what I expected so I wasn't in the market for anything new. I liked my car and it functioned for my needs. 

We got to the dealership and sat down with our salesman to go over my options. He pulls out his documents and he has a completely different number there than the guy on the phone called me about. I see the $14,000 charge but then I see ALL of these other fees that I was not expecting. My new total came to $18,500... YEAH, bro. I know.

"OH HELL NO"  - Okay, I didn't say that, but I like screamed that in my mind. 

You know the thing with leasing is that they talk it up when you're looking at buying a car like it is the greatest option you could ever consider. However, when you get to the end of your lease and it comes to buying or forfeiting your lease they look at you with their hands tied because there is nothing they can do to come down on the price.

Anyways, so the hunt started there. I didn't want another Honda if it wasn't going to be my Honda I've grown to know and appreciate. By no means was my Civic a car I LOVED but it got the job done. 

I started with my dream car. I REALLY wanted a 4Runner but I had no idea what type of budget I was looking at because for the past three years I was on this track of only owing $14,000 on my car keeping my payment relatively the same. 

I went over to Toyota and test drove a new and used 4Runner. Wow. I was freakin hooked. I felt so tall, and the drive was so smooth. Even the price was awesome. He knocked off like $5,000 right off the top. We barely had to haggle. Thank goodness my boyfriend was with me because I probably would have just said yes right then and there, however, I needed to really think about what I wanted in a car because in order for him to get the price down to what I could afford we were sacrificing a lot of things that made it a 4Runner. 

Two weekends and about 14 test drives later... 

I was still nowhere closer to figuring out what I wanted. I got a call saying my lease was due on the 2nd of May, not the 27th. Either I was highly disorganized or I was fed a lot of wrong information. Either way, I had to figure out what I wanted.

A few things I was sure of:

I wanted something that was taller

My budget was $30,000

My monthly payment needed to be between $450-$500

I wanted a somewhat outdoorsy car

4 wheel drive is a major perk

I wanted something that had a moonroof

On May 1st, I was between a Subaru Forester and Toyota Rav4. I wasn't super excited about either of those for different reasons, but the main one was they lacked a lot of character. I was going to have to end up settling and it was just picking the one that didn't make me feel like I was settling the most.

On the used car lot of the Toyota, there were a ton of used cars to test drive. We walked through because I just needed to see if there was something I wasn't considering. Not gonna lie I locked in on a teal Fiat for a minute because it was SO cute. 

That was when I realized I wanted something that gave me that feeling. Something that made me excited to drive it. If I'm spending upwards of $30,000 I'm not settling. Right across from the Fiat was a 2017 tricked out Jeep Renegade with 58,000 miles. Okay, WAY too high not he milage, but the interior was AWESOME and it drove like a champ. The only thing it was missing was a moonroof.

I was THAT much closer to figuring out what I wanted. If I could find a renegade with a moon roof I'm hooked. Sign me up. When we started our search we realized how RARE those are. There were only 3 for sale in the entire city. You best believe we were en route to see all three of them. However, we started with the one closest to us dealership wise and that was PERFECT. It is a used vehicle but you can't even tell. It looks brand spanking new, has all the features I want with the removable moonroof tops. The best part, it was $10,000 below budget. I could go back and get the Fiat and still be under budget haha.

My boyfriend even had to remind me not to be too eager because we still had to negotiate. I didn't even care about the price if we got it down since it was so far below my original budget. I ended up getting it for about $20,000 out the door. MY payments are $350 a month with an extended warranty. I was elated. All of the test drives, research, and hard work paid off.  

If there is a will there is a way.

A week later of driving this and boy I can honestly say I am so grateful for those that didn't let me settle, or didn't come down on a price like I wanted, or gave me a tighter deadline than I originally imagined. All of those pieces happened for a reason and I am so grateful to have found a car that I look forward to driving every single day. I am so grateful the stars aligned for this to happen. I am especially grateful that this serves as a reminder every day that I need to buy, say, and do things that bring me joy.

... and that's on gratitude while buying a car. 

Experiencing Gratitude While Buying a Car

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