Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Car!

Yes! We finally got a new minivan. The old one was just that - OLD. We bought the Dodge Grand Caravan when M was 4 months old. Not the best age kid to be test-driving cars with. But probably better than doing it with a 2 yo.

The Caravan had some good points. Like the built-in child seats. LOVED them. It was so easy. I always knew they were installed correctly, but when I had adults in the car instead, I could fold them up and no one was the wiser (well, unless they saw all the crumbs all over the seats). I had both kids in the built in seats until they were 6 years old.

But the Caravan also had its not so good points. Like the fact that it would not hold an alignment. just would not do it. 116K on the car and I had to have it aligned about every 18 months - and often a new set of tires too. I think I put about 5 sets of tires on that van - I don't think I ever managed to get more than 20,000 miles on a set of tires, even though they were rated for at least twice that. Ugh. And the AC. We completely redid the AC a few years ago - front and back. Had the van in the shop for the better part of 2 weeks. And then this summer the AC went out again. I've been living without the AC, but its not fun. And then lately, it was raining and fogging up the windows. Guess what - without AC, the defogger won't work. Definitely not fun and not too safe either. Combine that with a planned trip to visit the grandparents in VA over Christmas, it seemed like it was time to look at a new vehicle.

Evidently the timing was pretty good to be looking for a van. We got a great deal on a 2008 Honda Odyssey. It's silver. It's the bottom of the line, but it still seems pretty fancy to me. I guess not having a new car for 12 years gets you out of the loop as far as what to expect. We actually didn't want the fancier models. The kids wanted a DVD player (of course!), but I didn't. I know it would turn into arguments about how long a trip needed to be to use it. Easier not to have the thing in the first place. Our mechanic strongly suggested we not get the powered sliding doors. As he put it, "if you get those, you'll be seeing me to the tune of $1000. It may be sooner or it may be later, depending on the model, but they will break". Umm, yeah, with thoughts like that, I think the kids can open and close the doors themselves!

I'll have to get a picture and post it in a few days. Haven't managed to take one yet.

It was the easiest car buying I think I've ever done - though perhaps also the longest. I wished I'd taken a lunch. I was at the dealership for 4 hours. Internet quotes have done a lot to simplify the negotiating. Our dealers "best deal" was laughably higher than my internet quotes - like $4,000 high. So I pulled out a quote and they met it - though little did they know, but that they actually beat it by at least $450. The quote I showed them didn't include a documentation fee, but our local dealer didn't add one, so savings to me!

Labels: ,


Anonymous Sheri said...

We had to replace our 10 year old van last February, and I was surprised at how easy the process was. We found what we wanted online, took the printout and there was no haggling at all. Very simple.

We drive our cars til they die, so at that point we were just hoping the old van would make it to the dealership,lol. We got the bottom of the line too, just can't justify those extras. But it's so nice not to have to worry about breakdowns or repair bills. Enjoy your new van!

7:53 AM  
Blogger Carol P. said...

Wooohooo, congratulations! May you have many happy miles together!

We love our Odyssey (2001, going on 8 years old, but with only 57K miles on it). It feels estately though, especially after I've driven S's Honda Accord.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous MaryP said...

We don't have a vehicle right now, and don't plan on owning one for another five years or so. If/when we do re-enter the wonderful world of insurance and gas and repairs bills, I'll need to know more of this canny use of the Internet of which you speak...

12:09 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home