Well, not really. But we did have some annoying car shopping experiences. We had gone on Friday night to a Honda dealership across the street from us in Westminster, knowing what we wanted: a used Honda or Toyota, with under 60K miles, for under $12,000 (pre-tax & fees). These are fairly stringent requirements, it turns out, and they had exactly one on the lot: a maroon Civic that they decided to mark down from $13,300 to $11,800. We looked at it, we liked it, but we had Dante with us, so we opted to take our test drive the next day.

Trrish was booked to babysit for us that Saturday, in what’s supposed to be our monthly date, but we decided to use that time for this car-shopping instead. The across-the-street dealer was the first one we’d dealt with, so we decided to visit a couple in Boulder and then evaluate our options. One Boulder one had another Civic, but it was more money, with more miles, and unlike the local one, it wasn’t certified (meaning its warranty would last 3 days from purchase instead of 3 years.) The other Boulder one was an outright disaster. They couldn’t have done more things wrong. The salesman completely ignored everything we said, made an offensive comment, and kept trying to steer us towards things outside our requirements (starting with a brand-new Prius!) Plus, they had zero selection, and anyway they were playing country music over their P.A. All in all, we decided, it was time to go back and test drive that maroon Civic.

So we headed back home, ate a bit of lunch, and returned to the dealership… only to find that the car had already sold in the interim. Aaaargh! We were so disappointed. They didn’t have anything else on the lot that even came reasonably close to that car. Our salesman (who we liked well enough) told us, “You know, I debated whether to say, ‘You’d better jump on this, because this car could sell really fast,’ but I didn’t want your first impression of me to be as this high-pressure sales guy.” I told him that was still the right choice.

Then we returned to the Boulder dealership and drove the other Civic, and it turns out Laura felt pretty uncomfortable driving it. Now, she’s been driving her old Ford Escort pretty much exclusively for the last 15 years, so it’s hard to say whether she’d be uncomfortable in any other car. Consequently, our next step is for her to test drive some others, not necessarily within our cost/miles requirements, just to get a feel for some various models. Meanwhile, we’ll be watching the web for the arrival of the next car that fits our criteria, and scrambling to find childcare for Dante so that we can test drive it the very next minute.

It was a major bummer to sacrifice our precious childcare time and end up with nothing to show for it.

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4 responses »

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why not keep Dante with you?

    That way you can then also see how the car seat fits, check to see if you can reach him if need be, etc.

    If you really want to run through a full test drive, maybe he should be there as well!

    • paulobrian says:

      Re: Why not keep Dante with you?

      That’s an option we’re considering. It seems like a big pain in the neck to haul the carseat out of Laura’s car, install it in the new one, then put it back into Laura’s car. I’ve been basically assuming that we can fit the carseat into whatever car we buy, but it’s true this theory is untested. I think if we can’t find spot childcare, then we will use the carseat on the test drive.

      You didn’t sign your comment, but I’ll bet a dollar that you’re Alan. 🙂

      • kansasjenny says:

        Re: Why not keep Dante with you?

        Another option is to bring Dante along, but have one of you stay at the dealership with him while the other test drives, and then swap roles. Of course, it means you won’t both be in the car at the same time, but then it’s not like you’d both be driving at the same time anyway.

      • paulobrian says:

        Re: Why not keep Dante with you?

        Yes, we’ve thought of that too. In my mind it’s more ideal for us to do the test drive together — I want to be discussing all the various intangibles as we experience them rather than trying to describe them to each other. I’d probably try to juggle the carseat before I tried driving separately.

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