The cars we drive say a lot about us.” (Alexandra Paul)
I knew my wife and I would finally need to buy a new car after undertaking our 5th arduous road trip this spring. You see, my 2008 Honda Accord was pushing 190,000 miles and showing signs of wear. The engine rattled oddly now in idle, tire gauges went on and off randomly, the seat/side panel fabric cracked and tore easily and the exterior paint showed signs of flaking. Yet this amazingly durable vehicle had carried us safely through our latest marathon road adventure of over 12,000 miles without incident.It seemed I would need some therapy after experiencing the potential trauma of giving up this prized possession.
Last week, I read that imposed tariffs in our country would raise car prices significantly by the end of the year. Thus, we reasoned that a better deal for a new vehicle could be made if we acted now. Gathering research online, SUVs jumped out as our most enticing purchase option. I now began the search in South Florida for our favored choice, the Honda CR-V. Over the course of the entire week, I busily assumed the role of prospective buyer, committing myself alone to fending off anticipated high intensity,sales encounters. Fittingly, the “emotional drain” of this experience lingers on in several thoughts below.
1. The Vanishing Cost Paper
During the course of the week, I listened to a multitude of pricing deals presented verbally yet unverified by written estimates on paper. I was told by one dealer that they would beat any price for my Honda CR-V given at their competitors. In addition, written pricing estimates were quickly pulled away from my view after being given little time to look at them carefully.
2. Technology Glitz
A prized “hook” of the dealers in my visit were the added amenities of technology to distract my mind. Did I really need to test the “Bluetooth” capacities of digitized sound systems in a simple test drive of the driving performance a vehicle? Was I- Phone syncing with the control panel truly understandable at the time?
3. Safety Conundrum
For our road trips west, we frequently encounter extreme weather. Thus an all wheel drive SUV seemed a logical bargaining choice for us for safety in our new vehicle selection.Yet, I did not have an opportunity to test drive such a vehicle being told that such vehicles were not available on the lot.In addition to availability, the added cost of “all wheel drive” to the final price, further dampened our purchasing will for such a vehicle.
4. Macho “Uncertainties”
It seemed difficult to imagine bargaining for a new CR-V when my wife was not present. After all, my needs for a car seemed to be an extension of my masculine, “controlling” nature. Hearing thus a family car pitch by the dealer would likely fall on “deaf ears” as I envisioned myself as a confident driver rather than a more passive passenger in this vehicle.
5. The True Value Of A “Trade In”
My 2008 Honda trade has been a testament to efficiency and reliability for the past eleven years. Observing the dealer show little interest in providing just “trade in value” for the car, I would thus sadly question any prospective, new car deal given. Can you blame me?
On the following Monday, my wife would join me in a more relaxed buying effort. With minimal haggling at the dealer on our mind as well as approved, pre-financing for our loan, we would more confidently proceed in our search for the right SUV vehicle then. In the end, a silver 2018 Honda EX Model CR-V with Satellite Radio and only two wheel drive would thankfully become our purchasing choice. Sitting higher in an SUV with a greater bottom clearance and more storage space than our previous car would make our road trip travels practical for us as two seasoned travelers. Do you like the look in the picture of our CR-V?