September 5, 2009

Late Friday Apollo

Guess what?

Apollo got a new ride.
About time, he says!
It's an old-ish jeep, but overall, it's in pretty good shape - other than the weird scratches and a couple peeling spots on the hood. But that's just cosmetic and a decent spot-paint job will fix that (an expense for another day). The engine is good, the tires are new. It's been maintained very well. It'll last me a few years, at least.

Yesterday I went to look at cars, and the Jeep dealer, which was second on list of dealers to go to, made me feel so comfortable that I wanted to buy from them. I felt that I was getting a good car, despite the cosmetic blemishes and they also offered me an extended warranty, which other dealers wouldn't do.

Extended warranties, especially on new cars, are largely a rip-off. But for a car that's eight years old, it's an excellent investment if you can get it. Especially on a car that's known to have pricey repairs. While I was waiting for the paperwork to be done, I chatted with the salesmen who were loitering around, and found out that there are a couple parts that are prone to breaking at about this age, and they cost between two and four thousand dollars to fix - depends on what type of jeep. Ouch! Definitely a good investment.

Anyway, after talking about Jeeps, about that particular jeep, getting questions answered, I felt they were not trying to rip me off, that they would take care of me and the car. The original sticker price, I think was either 10,995 or 11,995, and I had actually found a week-old sale ad for that specific car knocking it down to 9,999. I asked if they would honor it (yes). Then I negotiated it down another 2k to 7,999, citing the paint damage as the reason.

For some reason, I didn't check KBB on this car - I usually do before I go check cars. I probably thought I had already done it. I had a little notebook full of scribbled info about various cars at various lots. Anyway, it turned out I didn't, so I didn't know what its value was rated at. After I got home with the jeep, I found out it was rated at 7200 for "Excellent," so I could've negotiated least another 1k off.

Although it's a lot of money, it doesn't distress me too much because, again, I feel very comfortable with this car, and feel I got a good bang for the buck. And I'm just relieved to be done with this car hunting. It's a lot harder than I expected to find a decent car on a tight budget. I was very determined to do it without having to finance it - with unreliable income, it's a bad idea for someone in my boat to take out a loan.

One thing that surprised me about this whole ordeal is that I turned out to be a pretty good negotiator. I sometimes have a hard time saying no to people - it's the Irish guilt - and when I decided to start looking at cars, I worried a little that I would not be smart enough or strong enough to negotiate. Happily, I was wrong about myself and that feels good.

The End!

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