Saturday, March 24, 2007
Car Shopping Fun
About seven years ago, my husband and I bought our very first brand new car. A black-as-pitch, Oldsmobile Alero. Soon after the warrantee ran out, we embarked on an adventure of sorts, involving wheel bearings, suspension systems, air conditioner compressors, coolant systems...and the list goes on and on. Essentially, this car gave us nothing but trouble for the past 5 years. As anyone I speak to regularly can attest, I have been in and out of the shop more times than I can count in the last 2 years. To the point that the owner of my preferred mechanic shop recognizes my voice on the phone, "hey Melissa, sure, bring it on in, we'll take a look at it..." So, this week my husband finally tires of the adventure and suggests we shop for a vehicle today. He prefers Saturn, so we set out on a journey to the 3 Saturn dealerships in the tri-state area: Florence, Tri-County, and Mason. Oh yeah, folks, we put over 100 miles on our ailing Alero today. The first place offered us a vehicle slightly out of our price range, the second had just sold what we were looking for, and at the third we dealt with a man with a forked tongue. Well, he may have had a forked tongue. And rubbed against rocks to shed his outer skin...and the cars there were not exactly clean and ready to drive. I know, everyone has probably had to deal with his or her own variety of snaky salesperson, but I chose to document my experience for you all to read. One thing that amused me, however; we were offered a rather decent trade-in value for the Alero at the Florence dealership. The guy in Mason offered us less than half the amount. When we mentioned what the Florence guy offered, he responded, "Really? Did they drive it?" I held in the laughter until we left, because honestly, that was exactly what I thought when the Florence guy offered what he did. At any rate, the kicker is this: I was due to go to a friend's today for some cropping fun with the daughter and Mom. So my plan was to car shop in the morning, then crop in the afternoon. Well, by the time we got to Mason, it was clear we were not going to be done anytime soon. And we ended up purchasing first car we drove in Florence, anyway. It is lovely, though; a blue Saturn L300. We were driving it home as I noticed all the things that worked on this vehicle: the air conditioning. The power windows (yes, the air conditioning didn't work AND only the front passenger side window opened.) No huge rust marks on the front of the car. IN other words, do NOT, under any circumstances, purchase a black '99 Alero from the Florence Saturn dealership.