My Green Hyundai Accent Hatchback Buying Experience Review - A Chick's Guide to Buying a New Car
How I ended up with an apple green Hyundai Accent.
Last year, I desperately needed a new car. My car at the time was
getting very old
as my parents had given it to me in used condition for my 16th birthday. My
believed that a first car should be "free", but the second one would be
something that I'd have to pay for by myself out of principle. Fair enough.
Day one consisted of visiting a used car dealership on my lunchbreak. Since my budget was pretty tight, I figured I could
afford around $10,000. That was my limit. I had on a suit because of
work and carried my trusty black leather portfolio. I brought the
portfolio because I know it makes me look professional; I'd look
good if I took notes in it as the car dealer tried to sell me cars that
I didn't really want. I didn't see a whole lot for $10,000. I kindly
thanked the man and headed back to the office where I played around with car loan calculators for a few hours.
"...I did go car shopping for a few hours before I bought my car that day. Ok, I admit... that's really bad. I've spent more time shopping for an outfit..."
He saw me coming a mile away that day. I was on my lunch break at work and was wearing a pink skirt, over-sized sunglasses and carrying an expensive purse. No suit today, no trusty leather portfolio. It was Friday and I dressed down. For privacy reasons, I won't tell you the car salesman's name. You probably wouldn't believe me anyways, it's one of those names that has a similar first and last name. Totally cliche for a car salesman! For the purposes of this article, I'll call him Rick Richard. I told Rick that I was in the market for a new car. I asked him about used cars first (to my surprise they did have a few that they used as loaner cars and as rentals). He showed me a few in my price range, a boring Ford Focus and some other car that I don't remember. "Show me something new, under $20,000, I said." Playing with car loan calculators the day before had given me some courage.
We walked over to a little lime green car and five minutes later I was driving it on a test drive around the city. "Doesn't this handle nice?", said Rick. I nodded. By the time that we had gotten back to the dealership, I was feeling very pressured to buy. I did like how it handled, I really loved the gas mileage of combined 30 mpg (my old car got about 18 mpg). I told Rick that I'd call my mother, as I'd like her to see it first. After I spoke with my mom and knew she was on her way, I called the office and told them that I wouldn't be back in for the rest of the day.
Rick invited me inside and the next thing I knew, I was actually filling out loan application. At this point, I agreed to it because I wasn't even so sure that I'd get approved for a loan for $20,000 at my age and with my work history. While we were working on the paperwork, I excused myself and walked out into the hallway to use the restroom. Some big burly guy approached me, introduced himself as the branch's manager and extended his thick hand and said "Welcome to the family". Ah....it makes me giggle just thinking about that line. I returned from the restroom and found my mother in the lobby. She looked alarmed as she said, "I was asking where you were and have been talking with Rick....he says that you've been approved for a loan for that?!?" (she pointed to the little lime green car outside). I gulped, and told her that I was buying it. I decided in that instant. It was impulsive and absolutely crazy, but I did it. I went back into Rick's office where he told me the good news that I've been approved and continued filling out forms and signed my life away.
"...I'd never tell my friends or co-workers that I impulsively bought a car like a pair of shoes..."
What's a Girl to Do?
Ok, over exaggeration. I didn't truly sign my life away. I haven't got it that bad. My car payments are a little higher than I would've liked, but I have a good, reliable car to get me to where I need to be. I save a fortune in gas mileage and all my girl friends love it and think it's "sooooooooo cute." I am very fortunate that I managed to purchase a good car, for its price range, on an impulse.
Tips for Chicks that Want to Buy a New Car:
- Do your research. I didn't read reviews on my car until AFTER I bought it. Go to Consumer Reports. What if it had a really poor rating?
- Bring a male friend or family member with you. Car salesman know that we have no clue.
- Set your limit. Stick to it. I wanted my monthly payments no higher than $200 a month.
- LEAVE. Never, ever buy a car on the first day. They'll tell you that they've had 3 other people look at it today and that it might not be there tomorrow. You know what? It will be.
- Save for a down payment. My mom gave me $1000 towards the payment on the car. If I would've waited a month or two, I could've saved another $1,000 and my monthly payments would be a lot lower.
- Don't, whatever you do, feel pressured into buying. The Rick Richards of the world are pros. If it can happen to me, it can happen to ANYONE. I work in a high pressure environment and even I caved to his sales pitch. (He wasn't even attractive! hehe) I am almost embarassed this happened to me. I'd never tell my friends or co-workers that I bought a car on an impulse like a pair of shoes.
- Shop around. I went to two dealerships before I found my car. I should've gone to at least 10. There's no excuse not to; they're usually all grouped together in areas in every city that I've ever been to.
- Again, don't allow yourself to feel pressured into buying. Take your time.
Oh, and just so you know, I did have one victory at the end of that day. I negotiated a some off the sticker price because I told Rick that I didn't like the color. Now, every time I look at my little apple green Hyundai, I think of the amount that I got taken off the sticker price and I smile.