Today, we bought a new car -- replacing Julie's aged Ford Escort. Here they are.
Shadows indicate a 3 hour time difference.
This was the first time I've ever bought an actual new car. There were surprises.
My biggest surprise was the sales people. I've dealt with several now and I have a very different view coming out than I did going in. They are, in fact, exactly as sneaky-seeming as I expected. However, I came away thinking that the ones I dealt with were actually relatively honest, good-natured folks. I think the sneakiness and truth-bending are mostly just clumsily executed attempts to build a rapport. They just don't want you to furrow your brow, stop answering their phone calls, and go shopping across the street.
Obviously they want you not to take a swing when they offer you 60% of the value of your trade-in, but that's just the playbook. Ignoring the plays for a few extra scraps here and there, they just wanted me to be really happy with my shiny new car. My salesman seemed much more calm and normal when, after three weeks of strong opinions weakly held, I finally said I'd buy a particular car.
My other big surprise was how difficult a decision really was for me. The two cars I've bought before were $4,000 and $6,000. Now that I've got grown-up money, the field was so wide that even once I knew exactly what kind of car I wanted (down to each feature), we still couldn't decide on a color. But wait! The exterior colors have an impact on the interior colors. Oh no, if we want color X, the car needs to be moved here from Missouri! It was a mess.
In the end though, I'm happy. Some people say the wheels are goofy but I think they're cool. I do miss the Escort. My driving probably contributed less than 50 miles to the odometer, but I'm super nostalgic and it was a great car for us.