Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pimp My Ride

I know this post is long. Ninety-percent of my posts have been a tad verbose as of late. But paying attention to this one could win you a prize!

I need to buy a car.

I know what you're all saying: Hasn't she needed a new car for, like, half a decade now?

This is true. My car was a junker even when it should've been in its prime, and time hasn't been too kind on the ol' street beast. But after pumping loads of money into it year after year, these past few months have been without incident. I mean, it's actually running quite well. Aside from gasoline and oil changes, I've only spent about $400 on it in the past six months.

[Not to mention every time I've attempted to car shop in the past three years, I've been annoyed by how the salesmen — and their managers — have treated me.]

But also within the past six months, my driver's seat was broken (it's now almost fully reclined, so I literally have to hold myself up by gripping on to the steering wheel); the passenger side window hasn't successfully rolled down and back up in over a year; and the A/C hasn't worked in about four years (I've had countless mechanics look at it, all of them repairing everything short of some weird device they'd have to remove my dashboard — very expensive – to get to).

Suffice it to say I was hoping to get something new by late-May, thereby delaying the stress until after the move, but still saving myself from the onslaught of summer heat.

But the good state I live in has other plans.

You see, they require random emission tests (based on what I've seen of their practices in general — not to mention the puff of smoke that trails every public bus — I suspect this is purely for financial and not environmental reasons). You have no idea when they'll call you up for a test, but if you don't do it within a month of receiving the notice, you could lose your license.

I know of some people who've lived in the state for years before they're actually called in for a test. And I only just registered my car here a few months ago.

But when, do you think, they've scheduled my test?

The end of April.

What else am I doing at the end of April?

That's right. I'm moving.

Why not just suck it up, take my car in, and get back to the moving process?

Because I know my car won't pass. The engine light has been on since before I titled my plate here, and I've been told I need a $600 repair. At the time of the quote, it was a repair that I was told wasn't necessary unless I noticed a sizeable dip in my gas mileage (I didn't). I also didn't live in this state at the time, where that repair is required if you fail an emission test.

Now, before you think I'm not eco-friendly, you should know when I was first quoted on the repair, $600 wasn't easy to come by (not that it is now, but I'm certainly a tad more comfortable). Add to that I still get OK gas mileage, I recycle, and I often take my own (canvas) bags to the market... and I like to think I'm still doing more for the environment than does the average commuter.

That being said, I simply don't have the time to car shop right now. It's not possible. I leave work too late in the evenings, and weekends for the rest of the month include Easter, out-of-town visitors, packing and moving.

So I've decided to let you all find the perfect car for me.
I'm serious. Consult this site if you need to, or visit your local automotive dealer.

Here's what I want in my next vehicle:
  • Big enough for road trips, but small enough for city-parking
  • Good gas mileage (I'm thinking hybrid, but I also think the Civic Sedan hybrid and the Toyota Prius both leave a lot to be desired, aesthetically)
  • I'm willing to lease, but only if the lease allows for 15,000 miles per year (versus the standard 12,000)
  • Sunroof
  • Automatic
  • CD player (iPod jack a plus)
  • 2007 model with a handsome warranty
  • Low-interest rate (under 3%)
  • Cars I Like and Can Possibly Afford: Honda Civic Coupe; Honda Fit; VW Golf (I'm open to anything else; this list is just to give you an idea of what I like); VW Rabbit
  • I also like the Cooper Mini, but it may be out of my price range
Anyway. I expect a full report in a week or so. If the information you dig up for me significantly cuts down on the time I spend car shopping, you WILL win a prize. Bonus points will be given to anyone who delivers the vehicle directly to me.

And if you actually buy the car for me, I'll be your best friend forever.*

Thanks! And... have fun with this.

*Stalker ex-boyfriends need not apply


Anonymous said...

I actually have been looking for you......what about three old used vechicles? Get the major depreciation out of the way, and still have a few years before things go catiwumpus?


thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

WA - I want to avoid getting a used car if possible, as I'd like to delay the usual headaches (i.e. repairs) of car ownership for as long as possible. Though if the used car comes with a great warranty, I might make an exception.

Matt said...

Now, did you mean ALL stalker ex-boyfriends in general or just those specific to you?

XOXO said...

Not sure if you realize this, but I have major connections. Let me know if you'd like to use them.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Matt - Just those specific to me, so you're more than welcome to apply.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

XOXO - Let me know if you find out anything re: state penalties.

Stacy said...

Go to a bank, get a loan for as much as you can, if you have any credit. Go to the Cooper dealer. Make sure you have some paper towel rolls duct taped to your waist. Carry your cell phone in one hand and a check from the bank in the other and deal with the dealer. It worked for me.

Woodrow said...

I like stacy's plan. I hate car dealers.

michele said...

Well I suppose you've heard my car buying story, so I won't repeat it, but as a woman, I've found car shopping goes a lot smoother if you can go with someone else. It makes you look like a couple - even if you aren't - and salesmen like double incomes.

The problem is that sometimes you get ignoramuses who will only talk to men, and there's usually nothing you can do about them but tell them no thanks and go over to another salesman. But if you are the first one to talk in the encounter, the all-but-brainless salesmen get the hint that you're the one buying and will talk to you.

I gotta say, except for our salesman being really, really anxious to close the sale, he was really good at recognizing whose car we were shopping for... ;-)

I'd recommend you buy something like I did, 'cause I LOVE it! But it wouldn't be a great road trip car even though it's great for parking!

MelO said...

I love love LOVE my Honda! I have an Accord, but drove the civic as well, and I've heard nothing but good things from anyone who has ever owned a Honda.

I just bought mine... well, actually it's been three years now. But that's probably a good thing that it feels like I just bought it when its been three years!

I give Honda two thumbs up!

MelO said...

I just posted a picture on my blog of the new car I want ...

Couldn't help but think of your predicament-check it out! ;)

disgruntled world citizen said...

I cringe at the thought of buying a new car, I know I did just that very thing last summer, but it was a trumatic experience (six hours of dickering). I really like my Cobalt, though and I'm glad I got it. If I could do it over again I'd have looked a bit more. I dig on the V-dubs myself.

Happy hunting and good luck.