We brought in the new year buying a car. A lovely Kia Sedona.
This was my first experience getting a car without my parents being involved. My parents bought my first car from a friend of Mr Boots. I test drove it and my dad sorted out the details with the friend. A few years later, my parents surprised me with a brand new car when I was in college. No test driving, no input from me (luckily, it was one I had my eye on so I was happily surprised), I was completely left out of that decision.
But it turned out to be a good decision. My Cavalier was the car I drove until my accident in November. When I first started driving it, I thought I was big shit with my CD player. It was a step up from the cassette player in my first car. However, as my friends started getting their own cars, it was obvious that my little car was NOT big shit. For 13 years I had to tell people to lock the door when we got out; I didn’t have automatic locks. Trying to roll down the passenger side window so I could talk to someone was a pain because my windows weren’t automatic either.
No, the fanciest thing on my Cavalier was the CD player. It lasted 13 years. It lasted my last two years of college, three jobs, and two babies. I was a little sad to clean it out at the repair shop once I was told it was in fact totaled.
But not too sad. You see, my Cavalier was silver. Like a magnet. In fact, I called it a magnet because it suffered all sorts of body damage through the years: a Christmas tree damaged the front bumper and headlight while I was at work one day; a kid who wasn’t looking as he was backing out of his parking spot hit the driver side door; one morning a deer was frantically trying to get across the street and ran into the backside of it; there was the morning I walked out of my apartment to find someone had ripped off my side mirror; and, finally, the kid who finally totaled it because he wasn’t paying attention while he was driving and hit me while I was waiting for the car in front of me to make a left turn.
Mr Boots and I had spent some time at Carmax at the beginning of December looking at cars. I sat in so many I lost track of what I had sat in and hadn’t. I decided I liked the Kia Sedona, although if you ask Mr Boots, he’d tell you it was a Kia Sentra. Either way, I left knowing I wanted an SUV with three rows and hands free Bluetooth capability. The rental I had for a few weeks had Bluetooth capability and that was a huge life changer for me!
People told me when I found the right car I’d know. But I sat in so many before I test drove anything I thought I was destined to be stuck with a mediocre vehicle for the next (hopefully) 10 years.
Fast forward another month, we went to a different CarMax about 45 minutes away. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might recall seeing some pictures and tweets of my experience.
I found a Kia Sedona I liked — two sun roofs and automatic everything! — but it had a lot of miles on it. I considered a minivan and had my eye on the Honda Oddessy, but after I sat in one, I learned I was not tall enough for that one (#ShortPeopleProblems). However, I could see out the Chrysler Town and Country wonderfully. I sat in one of those for a bit, contemplating being a Mini Van Mom, but I really didn’t want a minivan. I wanted an SUV. And I kept leaning towards the Kia Sedona.
After Carmax we went to test drive a 2016 Kia Sedona at an Enterprise up the road. I wasn’t fully aware that Enterprise sold cars until I had to rent one after my accident. We were told that a lot of Carmax cars were previously Enterprise rental cars, but Enterprise kept the better rentals to sell. This Sedona was okay; it had three rows and Bluetooth capabilities, but I couldn’t see out of it as well as the one at Carmax. We began wondering if the automatic seats went higher than manual adjusted ones. They didn’t have any Sedonas with automatic seats so we left with the intention of grabbing lunch to talk about what to do next.
We were about to drive right by a Kia dealership, so we went in to see if they had any used Sedonas with the options we wanted.
At this point I knew what I wanted. So did Mr Boots. We asked to see a Kia Sedona with three rows, automatic seats, 6V, was AWD, AND NOT SILVER that was at or below what our monthly allowance was.
We asked and they said we could receive.
I was skeptical. The car with everything we wanted was a brand new 2016 Sedona. The saleslady (Dayz as in “Daisy”) kept saying the MSRP was seven thousand above the price of a car we felt we could afford. I didn’t want to test drive something we couldn’t afford and fall in love with it, but Mr Boots kept telling me they said we could get it for what we wanted. Dayz kept telling me she didn’t want to crunch numbers until I knew I liked it.
Ah. Dayz's (or is that Dayz'?) real name is Dorothy. #cars hopping
— emma (@bootsndiamonds) January 2, 2016
I drove around the car lot a few times and decided I did like it. But I just didn’t know how we’d afford it. It was brand new. Only 10 miles on the odometer brand new.
We filled out forms. We waited as Dayz crunched numbers. She made the comment that the car info on the key tag stated it was front wheel drive, not all-wheel drive as what was on the car. Okay…We saw “AWD” on the car so whatever.
She came back with two offers and left us alone to discuss them. We chose, also noticing that the car color on the offer was black. I drove a white car.
We chose a deal and shook on it. I couldn’t believe this was happening.
Then we pointed out the discrepancy in car color on the paper. The sales lady looked it up it be computer and went to see her manager. They came back with bad news.
Due to a clerical error, the car we test drove was not inventoried correctly. The crunched numbers were based on a totally different car. A less expensive car. They handed us a piece of paper with the new offer based on the correct sales price of the car I test drove. It wasn’t even close to what we were previously offered and agreed to. They went back and crunched more numbers and threw in free oil changes for two years. But the monthly payment was still far off from what we could pay every month. We said no deal and walked out. I was extremely disappointed.
— emma (@bootsndiamonds) January 2, 2016
I don’t think we even made it half a mile from the dealership before Dayz called us and said they had another offer for us, one that was very close to what our first one was. We grabbed a quick lunch (I could have considered it dinner by now) and went back.
The term of the loan was longer than we wanted, but they gave us our originally quoted monthly payments, and still gave us the free oil changes for the next two years (at their location, which might prove to be a pain since they aren’t local). Mr. Boots still doesn’t understand why they couldn’t have offered us this deal in the first place, but I know they were just trying to make money. I doubt they thought we’d walk out since I was obviously digging the car.
All in all, they knocked off about $10,000 off the MSRP, making it cheaper than the 2016 Sedona we drove at Enterprise, which already had 20,000 miles on it. I drove the car off the lot with the odometer reading 12 miles. When we got home, I wreaked of new car smell.
Ahhh, new car smell.
I love being higher off the ground. (It turned out that automatic adjusted seats do rise higher than manually adjusted ones.) I love not having to bend over or climb up into the the car to get the boys into their car seats. I love the fact I can get the strollers into it without crushing them! (My poor double stroller took a beating in my old car; it’s all out of alignment now.) OMGOODNESS, I love getting ALL the groceries into the back of it – I no longer have to put bags on the car floor, in car seats, or the passenger seat, or stack them on top of each other. I was so giddy when I took it grocery shopping for the first time!
I’m still in complete awe we got a brand new car at all. It wasn’t what our intention was. Buyers remorse will certainly set in when the monthly payments begin and money becomes even tighter than it is now. But this car has everything our family needs right now — with a little room to grow should it need to.