Worry not, more letters are in the offing. Please be patient with me as I deal with my chaotic weekend. Again, please note that if you'd like to vote again, go for it. You do not have to be a commentor to be a voter! Currently it looks as though I'll be writing that letter to my neighbor... or publishing one that I have already written and delivered to him!
So... K2 has my old Honda Accord. She acquired it when I bought my car in 2004. Bottom line, the car is 13 years old, has a 175,000 miles on it and last weekend it treated us to the ever popular "melt the wireharness" spectacle under the hood. This resulted in some electrical issues that have yet to be fixed. As I was telling her fella, I worry that "Old Smokey" is gonna strand her somewhere, and despite my best efforts, K2 remains remarkably unmechanical! That, and her car is the one they take when they go on their trips over the mountains. It's been considered the more reliable of their two cars and it gets great gas mileage!
So here's the plan they came up with... bear in mind that he's at the very end of his electricians apprenticship and she still has a year and half of nursing school left and works pt as a barista. They'll find her a decent car. He'll make the car payments until she can take over. We'll buy the car with her and as a jointly owned car, she can still get dirt cheap insurance through us. After she finishes school, they plan to move out and marry but that's still a ways off and they're not picking out flowers yet or anything. I spoke with her guy about things like them imploding and then what and he just felt like they'd never have a problem resolving the car if it didn't work out between them. In the meantime, she'd have a reliable car and they'd have something decent to drive when they go to visit his family on the other side of the state. He'll take Old Smokey and rehab it and either drive as a commuter car or sell it to recoupe the down payment he'll put down on her car.
So we went car shopping. I hate car shopping. I hate talking to salesmen and making the same points over and over... "reliable, low mileage, reasonably priced. That car is not reasonably priced" or "Charactor yes, that car looks like someone beat it with a chain and it's only two years old. That's beyond charactor". And why do they act so damn puzzled when you ask about maintenance records? I've never sold a car that I didn't provide all the reciepts for work done in the glove box. I cannot be the only person on the planet that does this? Can I?
Finally we came home and the kids napped and ate tacos and came to a conclusion. The first dealership had the best prices, the least psychotic sales crew and a couple of cars we were interested in. So off we went again, only this time without TOG. We looked at both cars, test drove one and then went in and I told them what we'd pay for the car. They got cheeky with me and told me I was being silly. I was clear... this is what I will pay, this is my down, this is the payment I want with this length of loan. If I can't get that, that's fine. We'll look at something else. They came out with a counter offer and it wasn't what I wanted. We talked amongst ourselves and decided to move on. They had another car we were interested in for less money.
When we declined, the booth filled up with people, the sales manager, 2 finance guys, the sales person. "We really want to sell you this car, what would it take"? I let k2's fella take it for a minute then barged in.
"We want the original length of loan and payments no higher that this." (I made it even lower than than the kids were thinking)
"If I can do that will you buy the car"
"You already said this was your best offer. (points to offer sheet) In order to get the payment and loan term right, you'd have to significantly cut the cost of the car"
"What if I could do that"
"Lets see it in writing"
They left to go talk amongst themselves and I told the kids "You are about to see a deal. There's no way they can do this without a significant reduction. You have to be aware that you will not see a better deal than this. Do not hesitate" They came back with a hell of an offer. The kids took the deal and it's over. Thank goodness.
The car is a 2007 Accord LX. Not a lot of extras, but it had 51 miles on it. Yeah... 51 miles. Being sold as a used car. It WAS cheeky of me to negotiate down a car with 51 miles on it that's in perfect shape! The dealer bought it as a loaner car, but never used it and they had been making payments on it since October 07. They wanted it out of there. They originally had it at 24,999 then had it on sale for 21,999. I told them I wouldn't go over 21 flat. Blue book retail was 21,435. They came back with 21,500 and ended up selling it to us for 20K. It still has all of it's warranty. Life is good!
K2's new car and old car sitting side by side. And our boy cat, The Slayer.