We bought a car! If you read my last post, you knew our requirements were a car with good gas mileage that’s big enough for our dog, and that can handle snow.
My wife researched for weeks, so we had our choices narrowed down to a few different CUV’s and SUV’s. The highest car on the list was the Subaru Outback because it hits up to 30 mpg on the highway and has all wheel drive, but we were also considering other midsize SUV’s. After we found a couple of good options in Oklahoma City, we decided to go up on Saturday to check them out.
We started by visiting a Subaru dealership where we previously found a used Outback with 49k miles. After we parked, a timid young guy approached us – definitely not taking the “salesman” approach as he talked under his breath and didn’t seem to know much about the car. After telling us there was another couple already looking at the 2010 Outback, we agree to take a new Outback for a drive.
I know what you’re thinking – he talked us into buying a new car and we financed it! Not quite; when we learned our salesman was on his third day of car sales, my doubts turned from him to the car. It just didn’t have the driving feeling that I was used to, and I learned later it’s probably due to the Outback’s transmission.
When we pulled back into the dealership, the same couple was still looking at the 2010 Outback! We didn’t have any longer to wait, so we headed to my niece’s soccer game and told our salesman that we’d call later in the day to see if the car was still available.
After hanging out with family at the soccer game, it was off to the next dealership. Before we left, we called the Subaru dealer and learned the used the Outback was still available. We still didn’t think we’d be able to buy it that day because it was a Saturday afternoon and we didn’t get a certified check which we thought we’d need to buy the car. It was good to know that it was still available though.
Our next step was a Volvo dealership where my wife previously discovered a used Volvo XC60 mid-size SUV with 79k miles on it. We didn’t want to buy a car with that many miles on it, but if we wanted to buy a XC60 within our budget, that was our only option. As we pulled up to the dealership, we asked about the used XC60 and learned it was traded in just on Friday, so they hadn’t even detailed it yet!
We took it out for a spin, and right away it reminded me of driving my previous car, a Volvo S60. It’s full of power with a very luxurious ride, and it pretty quickly jumped ahead of the Outback as my preferred car. We pulled over halfway through our test drive, and my wife drove back the rest of the way to the dealership as our veteran salesman subtly sealed the deal as he explained why we should love the Volvo (or maybe he just told us facts and we decide to love it).
When we got back to the dealership, we were on the same page on the car we wanted, but not on the same page if we wanted to buy it yet. We needed a car pretty soon because of some upcoming double travel needs, but I don’t think my wife wanted to buy it yet. However, I knew we were on the same page and with all my wife’s previous research, we knew what price wanted to pay for it.
So there we were on Saturday afternoon, deciding if we wanted to make the decision on a front wheel only drive car that didn’t get as good of gas mileage as the Outback (26-28 highway mpg) and had higher miles than originally intended. However, we really liked the car and our research said we were close on the offered price.
We decided we were prepared to make the purchase, so why not do it now! I asked the salesman for another $1,000 off, and he agreed, and we had a deal! We headed over to the finance department to finish it off.
That’s when my wife wrote the check for our next car. It was such an incredible feeling to know we were able to write a check, and we don’t have to worry about any payments! It’s the result of hard work, watching our spending, and saving over the last 5-7 years, but it’s so worth it when you can do something like that.
I’ll keep you updated over the next 5-7 year as we continue to drive our higher mileage purchase and let you know if buying a used car is a terrible idea because you don’t know who drove it before. Just a side note, I bought my Volvo S60 with 83k miles on it, drove it for five years and another 55k miles with only one major repair (air conditioner) and some minor repairs. I’d be quite happy if that happened the same with this car as we saved $15k-$25k over a new purchase! Oh yes, and the most important part, we stayed under 20% of our annual income when purchasing it.