I’m a little delayed in revealing the big purchase, but the day has finally arrived…drum roll anyone?
After much deliberation (probably TOO much) we chose the Ford Focus Hatchback. And I like it!
While we’re completely happy with our new car, I’m not going to lie and say that we slept well the night that we bought it. It didn’t have anything to do with liking the car, or not being able to justify the purchase, I think it was just that we had never spent that much on a single purchase before. It felt strange! Here’s where I’m going to go off on a tangent for just a minute. Bear with me. I did some googling the next morning and I think I entered a search phrase that went something like “why can’t I enjoy my big purchase?”. And of course, google delivered some useful insight. According to the article I read, I fall into the “tightwad” category, meaning that even though I have the funds to make a purchase, I don’t always enjoy them because I can only focus on the money that was spent. This could be a whole separate post on adjusting my thinking, but that is for another day. Back to the car-buying experience… If I had to do it all over again, here’s what I would do differently:
1. Know the features that you have to have, want to have and those you can do without. This will matter when it comes to deciding which trim package is right for you and if you will be able to buy any of the cars off the lot.
2. Be upfront with the salesperson as to whether you are ready to purchase (today or very soon) or if you are just out to test-drive to determine which car best suits you.
3. Reveal the other cars that you are cross-shopping. If you know you won’t buy the Ford until you’ve driven the Honda, stick to that. You have the right to make an educated comparison.
4. Ask to test-drive by yourself – without the salesman in the backseat. I didn’t do this at the first dealership assuming that they had to ride with you. But at the next dealer, when I mentioned that I’d prefer to take it out for a spin on my own, he said, “Sure, no problem”. Doesn’t hurt to ask.
5. Be nice, but don’t be a pushover. While some salesmen may be out to pull a fast one on you, many of them are just doing their jobs in trying to sell a car. Sometimes being nice to them will pay off in what they are willing to do for you. But at the same time, don’t be a pushover. If you’re feeling pressured, don’t buy. Only buy when you have all the facts, know that this is the car for you, and then work on a price and financing that’s agreeable.
6. Don’t over-think it. Trust your gut and don’t spend too long searching for the perfect car at the perfect price. Sometimes, the more options you introduce, the harder it becomes to weed through it all to find what’s right for you.
Good luck if and when you have to get a new car! And if you want a ride in mine, well, better let me master the manual first…