Monday, November 17, 2008

Adventures in car buying

Ryan and I first went to look at a dark gray 2006 xB that was listed for $11.6k. We took it for a test drive, and it shimmied like paint mixer at 65mph. We pulled it over on the way home to inspect it better. There were scratches all over it, holes and cigarette burns in the seats, and it was FILTHY. It looked like someone smeared mud all over the interior, let it dry, and then ran a vacuum over it. But strangely, as Ryan pointed out, the carpeting was pristine, which means they likely had to replace it because it was so damaged, and we speculated that it had been through about 2 feet deep (or more) muddy water by looking down past the engine under the hood.

When we got it back to the dealership, Shake (yes, that was really his name) tried to get us to put a price on it. I said, "$9000 out the door," and he was all but running to get the paperwork for me to sign. "BUT," I said, "I'm going to go look at the other cars I planned to today before I make a decision." Seeing his eagerness to dump a $12k car for $9k cash made the hair on my neck stand up and my gut flip-flop. I knew 100% right then I wasn't buying a car he was so eager to dump for so cheap. I'd like to add that Shake looked, acted, talked like, and even had the same mannerisms as Vince Vaughn. It was bizarre. And the whole time he was talking to me, I kept singing the Shake-zula verse of AquaTeen Hungerforce theme song over and over in my head.

So we headed to the next dealership. Unfortunately, I fell in love about 3 feet away from the car. You see, the key to getting a good price is to be able to walk away and not give a hoot if you get the car or not. So I was instantly selling myself short, and I knew it. I could probably have gotten another $500 knocked off the car, in addition to the $1200 I got knocked off anyway, but it was worth it.

It's beautiful dark blue, and it had some extras that xB's don't originally come with. It has the upgraded 6-disc CD changer, which I did NOT tell the salesman about. If he's not informed on his own vehicles, that's not my problem. It also has a remote starter, cruise control, dark tinted windows all around rather than just the back (again, I didn't tell the salesman about that), and it was pristine condition. It also still has about 11k miles left on the original warranty, which is nice.

I got a great deal on it, considering the same car is going for $14k-16k up here, and I'd never have gotten them down to the price I paid...