Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hello, Minivan!

We have said our good-byes to our faithful Ford Escape in order to better equip our family outings. We have upgraded to our very own Swagger Wagon {please watch the video, it won't disappoint}. Ever since Julie was forced to sit squeeze between two car seats once Belle was born, we were itching for a new van and it we finally saved up to make it happen! Introducing our new 2005 Nissan Quest:

I was going to post this as a Wordless Wednesday post, but then I realized I had stuff to say about it. So this has become a Not-So-Wordless-Wednesday post! 

Seriously, buying a van {or any car, I presume} is stressful business. First of all, I really thought minivans were so much more popular than they really are. Turns out, in *my* world, I see them everywhere! Like I pull into the parking lot for MOPS and it's practically a used minivan lot! But it turns out, minivans take up only a few spots on any car lots. I still felt that we had a good selection and I love the one we chose, but they weren't overflowing. 

Second, comparing used cars is like comparing apples with oranges and picking between them was kinda tricky. You pick from what's available and you have to decide what matters most. Mileage and year were our top factors. I guess this wouldn't be an issue if you were buying pricier vehicles. 

And then there is the task of figuring out the "real" numbers. My gosh, used car lots are confusing. On paper, our sales guy bought our car for more than it would sell in private sale so that when he added our cash, it looked like he sold the van for more. That made it confusing when trying to look at other vans to compare and it took awhile to figure out why the other vans in the same price range were newer and lower mileage-- it's because we didn't really pay that much for the car. If we look at what others would have paid, then subtract the difference from the van, then our van actually stands out as a much better vehicle than it's "real" price range. Confused? Yeah, me too. But it comes down to this: we paid the same amount in cash, no matter what he wrote on the sales slip. And we are satisfied with the deal after shopping around. No regrets.

Lastly, is the talking numbers. I do feel as if this is a strong suit for me. I'm not too shy and I don't mind playing the game. I wasn't afraid to ask straight out what we wanted and to be persistent, but making sure I did so with respect so he'd take me seriously. I sure am glad to be done with it though. It's tough always have a game face!

So here's a list of my favorite things about the van, in no particular order:
  1. Keyless Entry {my escape was equipped for it, but since it didn't come with a remote and it's super expensive to replace, we never got it. My car was unlocked about 99.99% of the time because it was such a hassle to lock/unlock with kids in tow and that drove my husband CRAZY!}
  2. Automatic back hatch open/close {Derek should be happy too as it will prevent me from hitting him in the head when I close the back hatch-- it's only happened twice but I will never stop hearing about it}
  3. Oil change {and other maintenance} reminders- the non-husband, non-father kind. 
  4. The Look-- the body style doesn't seem so van-ish and we love the color {it's a sparkly navy blue}.
  6. Digital display. I don't have to choose between radio station or clock display. It's got the temperature and the MPG and all sorts of gadgets.
And the very best thing-- we got this van Dave Ramsey style: trade-in and cash. No payments {despite CarMax guy promising me a *million* reasons why having a car payment and getting a much more expensive van is better and safer}. It was tempting, not the CarMax guy, but a different van. But we are satisfied with ours. It's used so sure there are marks here, signs of use here... but it runs good {we have a warranty for awhile}, it's clean, it's what we need, and we can afford it! Now, I just want to go drive it!


1 comment:

  1. Yay! Pretty! And I'm so excited for you! You're right - buying a new (or used) car is totally stressful. But totally worth it once you've done it!


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