The Daily Ping

We've only had four major designs over our 11 year history.

February 8th, 2006

Buying a Car

My wife and I have accomplished a remarkable feat: we both still have our first cars. Well, sort of.

Mine is a 1998 Kia that I bought right out of college. It’s got 120,000 miles on it and is starting to show its age. Plus, it got a tad dinged up last week… I’m still crossing my fingers that the door can be fixed so I can get another year out of it.

Hers is an 89 Mustang that she got about ten years ago. It’s now got 125,000 miles on it, but the transmission is dying, so we finally replaced it.

Not bad, considering we’re both 30 (or nearly 30). Neither of us are the “buy a new car every year” type and I learned my habits from my dad, who owned a yellow 1979 Toyota Corolla that my friends used to call the “l’il lemon.” The thing is, that “lemon” ran for 210,000 miles, at which point he drove it to a junkyard on fumes and got enough money for it to buy mudflaps for his new used car.

So, anyway, this past weekend we went car shopping. We had already decided on a Prius in a nice blue color with a specific option package. The purchase was somewhat urgent since Huyen’s car had indeterminate life left in it and my car wasn’t terribly usable in its post-accident state. As you may know, though, there is often a several week (or month) waiting list for Priuses, even now, so we jumped on the opportunity to buy one from our local Toyota dealer when we saw that of the two sole Prius’ on their lot, one of them was the exact color and package we were looking for.

Now, I went in knowing I’d hate the whole process of buying a car. Dealers give me the creeps and even though I knew wouldn’t be able to haggle the price, I figured I had to at least try (I got a token $250 off). Fortunately, after I sent in an inquiry through their web site, I got a call back from a nice woman at the dealership who answered my questions. We said we’d see her later in the afternoon for a test drive.

When we walked in the door of the dealership, as soon as we looked the least bit like we didn’t know which way to go, I saw the salesmen start to swarm. I avoided eye contact and quickly spotted a woman who I figured was the sales rep I had talked to on the phone. I was right, and she showed us the car.

I have to say that she made the experience very pleasant. Sure, she used phrases like “more nicer” and repeatedly referred to an awning as a “yawning,” but we could sense she wasn’t out to screw us.

We told her we were interested in the car, but that our credit union was down for the weekend as they changed systems, so we couldn’t get the loan until Monday. She told us we could put $500 down to hold the car until then. A few minutes later, her supervisor came over and informed us that, actually, no, they couldn’t do that. “These are in such high demand, we can’t promise we can keep it for you until Monday.” This really pissed us off — he was essentially telling us that our sale didn’t matter because somebody else would come along. Ass. If our purchasing was a bit more casual, I would have walked out right there and not come back. Unfortunately, he had us by the cashews and we had to go through with the purchase that day, using their financing and a “hold contract” that we could buy out with a check from our credit union later in the week.

The process, including the test drive, took about three hours. By the end of it, we were grumpy, hungry, and feeling broke. But we had a new car, which was a new feeling for us. And after the initial annoyance with the sales manager wore of, we actually started to enjoy it.

I still hope I don’t have to go through it again within the next month.

Posted in Miscellaneous

jk September 26, 2006, 2:36 am

September update: I was downtown on Friday and parked at a meter. I am notorious for NOT parking at meters because I often forget to re-feed them. This time I didn’t forget, and as I scurried down the street I saw my car and thought, “Crap! I sure parked far from the curb.”

As I got closer, I realized it was not my car but was an actual Corolla and my car was 2 cars beyond.

And then I thought of the Ping. How it has affected all of our lives….

Marcus Mackey September 27, 2006, 2:26 am

LoL jk…

I hate to say it, but the new Jetta is the best looking Corolla that Toyota never built, as while it has some of the traits… it takes those elements to their fullest form whereas the Toyota looks underbaked in terms of design. 😉 It also is probably the most costly version too, considering the cost of the rear suspension in the new Jetta/GLI’s. I was going to go VW with my next car, can ask Paul, but when the GLI and GTI came in at $23k… all I can say is… meh. VW’s loss, not mine. 🙂 LoL

jk September 27, 2006, 2:36 pm

Just drive one though….you might not be able to say “no” afterwards.

Mine is the 2.0T which is essentially the GLI without the sport suspension and sport seats. Excellent gear box….a continual joy to drive.

What is this then?

The Daily Ping is the web's finest compendium of toilet information and Oreo™® research. Too much? Okay, okay, it's a daily opinion column written by two friends. Did we mention we've been doing this for over ten years? Tell me more!

Most Popular Pings