Sunday, March 4, 2018

Auto correct

I wasn't really in the market for a new car (well, actually a used car, but new to me), because the one I had was still doing OK. Yes, the one I had was 10 years old and it was approaching 100,000 miles, which is kind of like a demarcation line for trade-ins. Everybody's antennae seems to go up at 100,000 miles.

But the power train on my daily driver was still in excellent condition. There had never been an issue with the engine or the transmission. And after 10 years of faithful service, stuff was deteriorating. We don't have a garage, so there was some sun damage on anything that was plastic. And because cars are essentially computers on wheels (even 10-year-old cars), there were some annoying electronic problems with remote door locks and express windows.

Even my sound system was getting a little staticky, and foam padding from the driver's seat was slipping out of the seams.

So while I wasn't really in need of a new(er) vehicle, that didn't stop me from looking. Sometimes, over the past year or so, we'd go to car lots on Sundays just to see what's what.

Then Kim, playing on the MacBook a month or so ago, found a one-year-old car with just 700 miles on it at a dealership in Burlington. I wasn't nuts about the idea of going to Burlington to look at a car, but then, we'd gone to Aiken, SC, two years ago to buy Kim's car – which she happened to find on the Internet.

So why not?

Anyway, we went to check out the car yesterday. One of the things I dread in life is buying a car, but this particular experience turned out to be doable. Our sales person was laid back and friendly, and we never felt pressured to buy. My ace card was that I didn't need a car and could walk away at any time. We'd already done that once at another dealership. They just didn't have to know that I might want a new car.

We did learn the car had only 700 miles on it because the original buyer, a woman, bought the car, kept it for like 14 days, then traded it in for an SUV because she felt the sedan was too small.

OK. That makes sense. Lucky me.

To make a long story short, the dealership had already knocked $4,500 off its asking price. After test driving the car, we decided to bite the bullet and buy it. After a round or two of negotiating, we'd gotten another $1,000 knocked off. We also got a reasonable interest rate. And there's still about 95 per cent of the factory warranty remaining.

The car is also loaded with more bells and whistles than a traveling circus, so there's more to driving it than just hitting the start button with the remote in your pocket. I figure there's a ton of reading to do and maybe watching a couple of YouTube tutorials about this car before I accidentally press the ejection seat button.

The only real stress of the day was that the whole experience, from first arriving on the lot to signing the final plethora of papers, took about five hours.

So, even today, I'm exhausted.

It's a nice day. Maybe we'll go for a nice, relaxing drive somewhere...

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