Today my husband took a HUGE step in life. He broke one of his rules he said he never would do, but it was something that had to be done. We bought a new (sorta new) van today!
It all began yesterday when we took our explorer to get it's state inspection. It failed. It needed some new ball joints and the emergency brake was not engaging. You're probably thinking...okay seriously your car failed inspection and you go buy a new car. Well yes, because this particular car also had an issue with the timing chain. Something we new about and were basically waiting for the day it would die.
Yesterday we began our search. We checked out a Mazda5 and they brought down a Chrysler Town & Country today for us to drive. While waiting on that to arrive for test drive, we had the explorer looked at again to ensure that the timing chain issue couldn't be fixed cheaper than first quoted (about $4,000 - $6,000) or that it wasn't a different issue. The place we took it to is great. They checked it for FREE (which most dealers won't) and they really are HONEST too. The news...about $5,000 total worth of work to get it to pass state inspection and fix the timing chain issue (was the front not the back). Still $5,000 for a vehicle that isn't worth that much...well it was time to invest that money into something else. It would be debt no matter what as we didn't have $5,000 in cash to fix it.
After we found out that news we had a further chat with Lee (one of the head mechanic guys in the front office). He is a really great guy and will tell you how it is. We told him which vans we were thinking about and he flat out told us to stay away from the Ford Freestar we were just about to go see. He said they come with a lot of issues and we would be dumping money into it. Then we said we were thinking of the Town & Country. He said that is a great choice. It's a great van and we would love it.
We went out to the lot to see if they had any while we waited to see the one the other dealer had. They had several 2012's and a 2010 all for a bit more than we were originally thinking of going. We held out and waited for the other one.
Poor RC was a wreck. He had a rough two days dealing with car shopping, but considering he is 17 months old....he did GREAT! He drove Travis nuts, but he did pretty good. He wasn't having a great day today...until we got in the Town & Country. He LOVED the drive. Loved looking out all the windows as he could actually see out the vehicle!
We got back and started talking. Travis decided unless they came down a bit it was a no go. They wouldn't budge and he told them he wanted to compare a newer model first. After getting set up at the other dealer (which by the way we basically spent ALL day at since it is the first place we hit this morning) it came down to a 2010 and a 2012 with $700 between them. The only difference was 2 years, about 10,000 miles and the 2010 had a power lift gate (which I kinda wanted but wasn't necessary).
Are test driving the 2012, I was sold. Then I had to wait with RC as he napped in the Focus while Travis took his turn. I was praying that he would love it too....even though it is for mostly for me! LOL
When he got back it was a yes....if they came down in price. Uh oh. It of course had a sale price on it...blah blah blah. They wouldn't budge and wouldn't give us the same trade in value as across the street (well of course that's because this is the place that knew what issues the explorer had...sorta). The manager that does the trade in values actually had no idea his mechanic Lee had it looked at earlier this morning. Later Lee talked with him and said he got screwed with what he offered us! LOL
Anyhow, after a SUPER LONG day of looking at our options, we finally got the new van. A 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan with only 26,611 miles on it! It's the first car my hubby has ever bought with a loan and at a dealership. I think he did pretty good negotiating and these guys surprisingly were not super pushy either. Of course they might have smelt the deal! LOL
|woo hoo...finally leaving the dealership. Travis had to take all the boys home so it was just me! Isn't that a funky key?|
|at home in it's new parking spot!|
|Front seats and console (which has tons of storage space!|
|another view of back seats. Already doesn't look like this as RC's car seat is now installed!|
|tricked out light section. No DVD though the area is there for it. Perhaps down the road.|
|RC getting his turn to drive. He didn't get to check the van out as he was sleeping when we took it for a drive.|