The New Car Smell
Originally uploaded by fallenposters
Today, Cheri and I purchased our very first, brand new vehicle. We bought a 2008 Honda Civic LX Sedan.
Since I’ll be starting a new job down in Quantico a week from Monday, we realized that I would need a car to get down there (we live in Fairfax, and we only had one car — I previously used the Metro to get to work). For the past month or so, we did some researching and decided that the car we wanted was a new Honda Civic.
We decided this because Hondas are reliable, have little maintenance costs, and get great gas mileage (something I’ll need on my hour-long commute). Once we decided what kind of car we wanted, we went through Edmunds.com and e-mailed a number of different dealers throughout the area asking for quotes for the 2008 LX Sedan model. I made the mistake of giving them my phone number and subsequently was hounded by dealers for at least two weeks.
After sorting through all the quotes, I found that Koon’s Honda in Manassas was offering the best price (almost two thousand less than we were budgeting for). So I e-mailed them and asked to set up an appointment to come in today around noon.
Before we decided to come to the dealership, we wanted to go to our credit union first to get pre-approved for a car loan. All the articles I’ve read online have recommended getting pre-approved from a credit union or a bank before going to a dealership. This typically will give you a better APR than the dealer will be able to offer — plus, you’ll already have the money before you go get the car, thus it gives you a maximum you’re willing to spend. Our credit union gave us a great deal, so we were now ready to head to the dealer.
When we arrived, we perused the cars on the lot before asking for the salesman that gave us the quote over the internet. He was a real nice guy (I would think he would need to be). We were shown the cars they had and we took the one I liked for a test drive (a nice dark blue model). The test drive went well (of course) and then we went inside to discuss the cost of the car. Our salesman immediately offered us the car at the quoted price. We were happy with that price, so we agreed and got the paper work started.
After filling out some paperwork and calling my insurance company to get us started with a new policy for the car, we were introduced to a couple of different people at the dealership. The first person was a woman (who’s name escapes me) that sat us down trying to sell us things like an extended warranty, undercoating, Teflon paint sealant, and a bunch of other crap we didn’t want nor need. We politely listened to her sales pitch and declined her immediately. Cheri and I could see on her face that she was pissed (she probably works mainly on commission). After we declined her offers, she said some snarky remark to us and left the table.
At this point, I think we should have left because we didn’t appreciate getting attitude from some over-tanned spinster. But we decided to let it slide and just cooled down before meeting the business manager. He tried to once again sell us an extended warranty and he tried to get us to finance through them instead of through the credit union. Once again we politely declined, but at least he was nice about it and let it go.
Finally, after all the bullcrap, we were able to write the dealer a check for the amount we agreed upon from our quote, and then we were out of there. Overall, the whole experience only took about 2 and a half hours.
We’re extremely happy with the car and look forward to taking it on plenty of trips along with taking my butt to work. The next step I think will be getting a new car for Cheri sometime in the next year. Now that we know how to buy a car, I think we’ll be much more comfortable with the process next time.