Pictures to follow when it's nice enough to snap some photos, but I actually bought my first real car today. I had always hoped that I'd be living a bit more of an adult life by the time I turned 30, but my debt issues kept me from having a bit more independence until last year. Slowly, but surely I have been correcting my past wrongs...and that led me to finally being able to buy a NEW vehicle.
I was still actually looking at used stuff on dealer websites because I thought that was all that was really in my price range. Luckily, Dad came down to assist me on my hunt. Much like Goldilocks, I tried multiple cars at the first dealership we stopped at. Their used inventory had several cars I was curious about, so I tried a Pontiac Vibe, Chevy Cobalt (4 door & 2 door), Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevy Malibu, Saturn Astra and Saturn Aura.
The only two that even worked at all were the 2 door Cobalt and the Pontiac Grand Prix. I would have been able to get that car for under $15,000 and I liked it a lot. It was a 2008 but it had 26k miles on it, so it wasn't perfect...but was staying at the top of my list.
I wanted to go hunt for a new Cobalt to see what kind of pricing I could get on that with Dad's discount, but the Saturn dealer was closer so we stopped down there. I had printed out details on 2 used Vues that were in their inventory. I test drove a white one, which was a 2008 Vue XE. It didn't have much get up and go, but I LOVED it. It had ample headroom and legroom for my 6'5" self.
We went to leave the Saturn dealership and go to try another car or two at Tom Gill Chevrolet when Tammy, the Sales Manager there approached us and asked if we had any interest in pricing out a new car vs the used car I had test drove. I was curious, because Dad's GM Discount wouldn't apply for the used car and there are different interest rates and incentives available on new vehicles.
She ran a few numbers and showed me several options in their inventory. We looked at 2008 vs 2009 and the options available on their in-stock models. She was really great, helpful, and no pressure. It was sort of the PERFECT scenario. After digging into one particular Vue that I was interested in, she crunched the numbers to show me that she thought she could make my monthly payment on the new one with hardly any mileage on it to be only about $20 more per month for me than the used one was going to end up.
Dad & I had a brief chat about everything and then I called my insurance agent to get a quote. I wanted to make sure that the monthly payment for the car combined with a more expensive insurance bill wasn't going to kill me. AMAZINGLY, because the new car has a million options, an alarm, and OnStar service I get a better rate than I ever expected. Basically, my insurance will rise about $40 over a 6-month period -- $80 for the year. That is not bad considering I have been driving a car from 1995!!!
So, I am now the proud owner of a Ruby Red 2008 Saturn Vue XE. I can't wait to get to drive it more and to actually not be afraid to take a road trip for fear that my car will explode. Tammy and Matt who helped us out there at the dealership were great and it was just about as perfect of an experience as I could have hoped for. Fingers crossed that things stay that way over the years. Without a doubt, it's the best car I've ever driven so far...