Is there anything better than getting something after waiting soooo long for it? I contest that there is not.
Husband and I, we had a whole plan mapped out for the month of March. We were going to spend some money fixing a few things on the Subaru, pay it off, get the interior cleaned, test drive a variety of cars, then choose the best car and buy it towards the end of the month.
But here’s what happened instead.
First of all, if you’ve ever compared a line of cars, you see that there’s not much difference between them. We were comparing the Toyota Yaris, the Nissan Versa Note, the Honda Fit, and the Mazda2. Besides a price point difference of a couple hundred, and the fact that the 2015 Honda Fit wasn’t out yet, they were all pretty much the same car. In fact, Husband and I had confused the Toyota Yaris and the Mazda2 when we saw them out on the road. So we were really going into this just trying to find a car that we liked, since everything else seemed to be the same.
Last week, we had an appointment to fix the Subaru’s windshield on Tuesday. That was one of the many things wrong with the car, as well as the clutch, the steering wheel, the brakes, the shocks, the air conditioning, the left headlight, the spark plugs, and the tire alignment. The car needed about 3-4 thousand dollars worth of work put into it, and it had about 180,000 miles on it.
Basically it was a hunk of junk and we were ready to get rid of it, but we did want some money from it. It’s a long winded story, but when Husband originally bought it he was young and in crisis and not too smart financially. We had poured a lot of money into paying it off.
Anyway, we decided to get a jump start on test driving and so we went to look at the Mazda2 on Monday. We had sat in the Mazda2 at the auto show and I had gotten a really strong ‘feeling’ that it was the car I wanted. We went for the test drive and the car salesman was super, super nice — stayed quiet for the majority of the ride and let us talk things out. We were listening for noises we had read about in reviews online and were checking to make sure the review mirrors and such were okay. There was no pressure and we looked at the Sport and Touring options. When we got back to the lot, the salesman asked if we wanted to talk about buying the car that night.
I immediately put the brakes down. I had never bought a new car before, and was immediately suspicious of buying a car right away when we had to still pay off the Subaru. It all seemed too good to be true. We agreed to sit down and talk about what was happening next, but we made it clear that there was a lot of issues with the Subaru and trading it in was maybe not something the dealership would want.
We sat down and laid everything out. We had the money to pay off the Subaru, we just hadn’t done it yet. The manager took the Subaru for a drive and we talked about monthly payments. Truth out, we were paying $363/month to get the Subaru paid off and so were looking for a car payment closer to $200. Numbers were tossed back and forth, 0% financing was secured (yay!) and we made a deal about the Subaru. Basically we only “rolled over” a couple hundred leftover from the Subaru (which will get paid off with our first payment anyway). I talked about it with my parents later, who are like my financial gurus, and they agreed we did everything exactly right. Our down payment pays off 40% of the car, which was so, so exciting to do.
I feel really good about this. I had been worried about it because the Subaru was such a hassle, between the large financial burden and the fact that I couldn’t drive it. So many options are open now that we have a reliable car that we can both drive.