She said she’d break up with me if I didn’t buy a car.
The dealership wouldn’t let me leave without buying an extended maintenance plan for several thousand dollars. I kept saying, “I’m willing to accept that risk. In fact, low maintenance costs are the reason I chose Toyota in the first place. Just let me buy the car.”
They were willing to sit for hours. I felt like I was being interrogated. I should have just walked out and found another dealership.
They also tried to convince me to make a smaller down payment. “At your age, you should be playing the stock market with that money,” they said.
“Show me a stock that guarantees 10% interest, and I’ll buy it. Until then, paying off this loan is the best investment I can possibly make.” That shut them up.
The car works great, and has allowed me mcuh more flexibility in where I live, work, and shop, but I think it wasn’t worth it overall.
I feel guilty about my share of global warming. Worse, the expense and hassle of owning a car and paying off the loans, insurance, fuel etc. have put a dent in my quality of life.
A month or so after I bought the car, I remembered advice a high school teacher had given me:
Decide on a make and model. Call a dealership, and get a bid. Call another dealership, give them that bid, and ask them to beat it. If you feel like it, give the first dealership an opportunity to beat the second bid. Be honest about what you’re doing the whole time. I would add: be clear that you aren’t buying any services, just a car. Be firm about that, and willing to walk out if they won’t listen to you.
I’ll probably have to buy another car in 10 years or so. That’s how I plan to handle it. I sure wish I’d remembered it in time for my first car.