I Bought a New Car! Part Four: The Deal

Oh. My. God. I do not like buying cars. Do not like it in a box, do not like it with a fox.

I found the car I wanted at a price that fit my budget at a Subaru dealer in the suburbs that also sponsors a lot of events and things at the animal shelter where I volunteer. These were all important considerations to me, so I packed my husband into the Baja. I was buying the car to fit my own budget, but he has a regular, steady, salaried income, the kind that lenders like. I have a nearly random, hard to prove freelance income, the kind that gives lenders fits. Because I haaaaaaaate waiting around in dealerships, I brought my taller half along in the hope that his pay stub would reduce the amount of time we had to sit in uncomfortable chairs on a warm, sunny spring day.

I test drove the Subaru Impreza I had pretty much decided on, and it drove just as I expected it would. It was a couple of years old, but the light tan interior was very clean, and it had all the things I wanted. I ended up trading in the Baja’s sunroof for the Impreza’s rear window wiper, but given that I live in Oregon, that seemed reasonable.

We went back into the dealership and filled out our financial paperwork, which backed up what we had told the sales guy: we have stellar credit. Just give us the loan and get us out of here already.

But no. We had to wait for the guy in the back, the financial guy, to get around to us. We had to wait our turn. I am terrible at this. I didn’t negotiate, I accepted their trade-in value (which was pretty great), I brought the guy who has actual pay stubs to present despite the fact that it’s my car and I’ll be paying for it. Please just give me the keys and release me. I squirmed in my seat like a five-year-old. I complained quietly. I sighed loudly. I pulled the dog card, pointing out that we’d been there for hours, and the dog would probably be on the brink of peeing on something valuable, like one of the cats.

And still we waited. Nothing I did or said or whined about made any difference.

When it was finally our turn, we whipped through the paperwork, signing everything with our messiest signatures. The finance guy offered us a maintenance agreement and an extended warranty, and I said no, thank you. He said okay. Then, somehow, this fat dude showed up in the doorway making sure we didn’t want the extra coverage. He said, “I’m just asking because I always get the phone calls, two days, two weeks, two years later, and somebody’s not happy.” That is a terrible selling strategy, by the way. I’m supposed to pay a couple extra thousand dollars so that you don’t get angry phone calls? You’re not going to explain to me the potential benefits of spending that money?

We were finally free five hours after we’d arrived. I felt good about the price I paid and my monthly payment, and I loved my new light blue Subaru. Because I am me, I fretted all the way home that something was wrong, or broken, or I’d messed up, but no. It all went down the best way it could. But holy shit, I hate waiting in the dealership.

The day we -- finally -- came home

The day we — finally — came home