Buying A Car

By: Christine Hersom

(3 min. read)

My truck engine blew on Labor Day weekend of 2022 while enroute to our final camping trip of the season. Luckily, because the truck was old, we had already started saving for a new car.

Have you had to replace a car lately? The choices are many and EXPENSIVE!

I do not like car payments. But more importantly, I do not like spending a lot of money on something as utilitarian as an automobile. Tried and true Yankee right here.

We had decided to buy something in the brand new to the five-year-old range. We figured that age group would be reliable, reasonably priced, and last the life of our camper.

Down the rabbit hole, I went. I looked at car dealerships, private ads, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. I cannot begin to tell you how much of my life I lost to searching for a vehicle.

Any automobile ad that suggests they are reasonably priced is lying. New trucks and large SUVs cost at least half as much as my home did. Not happening!

I know many of you will suggest that I move to a smaller vehicle, but there are several reasons why I choose not to. We use it to tow the camper, and cart around children from my home daycare, Beyond that, I love a truck or large SUV. I am more comfortable when I am sitting higher off the ground. That is important to me. But it’s not just about safety. I always say, “I want to see what’s going to hit me.”

One day into the search and I was turned off from buying a new truck. My next step was to look at information if you leased a truck and turned it back in. Again, down the rabbit hole. This search took at least a few hours a day for a week. My smartphone gives me a weekly report regarding how much time I spend on my phone. This report came in hot, and alarm bells rang like Fort Knox had been broken into. I could never get back that time!

Suffice it to say that I veered away from newer used vehicles, too. If I buy a new car and drive it off the lot, it would immediately lose about 30% of its value. Yet, if I were to buy a used vehicle off the lot, they would like me to think it had increased in value by 30%. Not happening. As my grandfather used to say, “I was born in the morning, but not this morning.”

I decided things were not going well, so I would drop my search for now. I work from home, and the camping season was over. I didn’t need a vehicle until Spring. Frustration and exhaustion had set in.

This whole vehicle shopping thing was giving me anxiety. I don’t know about you, but I work hard for my money and blowing it all on something that might last ten years is not for me. I know a vehicle is a necessary evil, but not a $40,000 evil. Welcome, December. I decided to take the “wait and see” approach. I was in no hurry to spend that kind of money.

Everyone around me was wondering what I was waiting to find. I needed a vehicle, there are vehicles for sale, and I have saved the money.  I think subconsciously, I was waiting to see if the automobile fairy would show up and give me one. (I am that cheap).

I was willing to continue plugging along until push came to shove and camping season arrived. My husband kindly pointed out to me that waiting until you are desperate costs more. WHAT? How could it cost more?

January came, and I was still empty-handed. I had decided to look for a Suburban between seven and ten years old. We both have things that are a hard NO when it comes to vehicles. My husband says no to red because they make him aggressive. I said NO if there were no tinted windows. The sun beating on my head through the glass is more than I am willing to tolerate.

Google read my mind (automobile fairy?). No sooner had I thought about it, Facebook Marketplace popped an ad up for a twelve-year-old Suburban. It is white (so no aggression), and the windows are tinted. The windows are tinted so dark that I had to remove some due to meeting New Hampshire inspections.

Finally, we did it. We can tow our camper and children around, and we agreed on a color and tinted windows. Best of all…no car payment! Thankfully it was a win/win situation.

Christine Marshall Hersom
All Things Wellness, LLC

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