So, remember how I was all stubborn and stiffnecked and ready to fight to keep my old Vibe going?
The day after I got the registration paperwork reissued at the DMV, my insurance called and told me they were declaring it a total loss.
I had kinda expected that. Enough so that I was already researching how to go about keeping a “salvage” vehicle and whether I could still insure it and everything.
Then my insurance company offered me a payout of over double the Blue Book value.
It wasn’t going to get any better than that and I wasn’t going to have any more time than I do right now, so the day before I left for NYC with the kiddos I bade farewell to my old car and started researching options for a new one.
Naturally, aside from reading a super-helpful car shopping magazine my dad gave me upon arrival at the airport, the car shopping went on hold while I was in New York. When I came back, though, I went into full research mode. I mean, sticky notes, highlighters, multiple sources, spreadsheets, the works.
Once I had a list of potential cars, I spent a day test driving. In the end, I drifted away from the hatchbacks that were more economical towards those of higher quality. Specifically, I am now an owner of a hybrid subcompact SUV.
A hybrid SUV. Goodness. Am I from Colorado or what?
Honestly, it’s pretty great. It wasn’t hard to step up from my old car, but this one is pretty fun so far (all 3 miles of what I’ve driven). Plus, I got to try my hand at negotiating in America.
I was pretty stressed out about that. I compensated by doing a ton of research once I decided which car I wanted. Prices, offers from other dealers, incentives, fees to avoid, I had multiple lists.
I also spent the entire negotiation chanting “WWJD” in my head. Not What Would Jesus Do, as that wouldn’t be terribly helpful here, but What Would Jason Do.
It was a bit disorienting. I mean, I was negotiating with someone who spoke English as a primary language. We weren’t sitting in the back of a shop filled with incense and textiles, there was no offer of rose tea, he never once pulled out a binder filled with photos of the ladies in the countryside crafting each part of my car by hand, and he didn’t once offer to take me to his cousin’s spice shop after we finished up.
He did, however, call my job a “noble profession” and started off his answer to every question I asked with “Excellent question!” That part felt familiar.
I stuck with it. He went back to the manager three times, then the manager came out to negotiate with me. In the end, I paid 11.5% below sticker price (8% below invoice) and I got the tier two model for less than the “fair market price” (according to multiple sites I checked) of the base model. Essentially, I got a good deal and walked out having paid what I went in wanting to pay. IDWJWD!*
It feels strange. I don’t have a new rug. I do, however, have a new car. And that’s pretty nifty.
*I Did What Jason Would Do
Congratulations! I hope you love it.
Yay! Way to win at negotiating in America!
And I bet he didn’t even call you a Berber.