When I was young, I thought car shopping would be fun. But that was before I understood about things like budgets and car insurance and gas mileage. And before I realized that I had married a researcher and a planner.
Now I dread car shopping. I know it will take weeks or months not only to find what we want but also to decide to actually plunk down the money for it. At least that’s how it’s gone for five of the six cars we’ve purchased in our married life. But there was that one . . .
When our van, which we loved, developed issues almost overnight, expensive issues, more money than we wanted to spend for the age of the car issues, we had to make a decision—and fast! We drove to the dealership to look at a van exactly like the one we owned. But we couldn’t decide. So we drove, on a whim—and we don’t do anything on a whim!—to another dealership. And there was a just-turned-in two-year old Suburban, loaded with amenities! Given the ages of our children at the time, we knew this was the last moment in our lives we could justify buying a Suburban. We looked at each other, locked eyes, and decided. We wanted that car!
We bought it in a day. Signed, sealed, and almost delivered. (They had to clean it up first.) And we’ve never regretted it. Then again, we’ve never regretted any car we’ve purchased. So I guess as we begin round seven, I’ll rest in that. Slow or fast, we’ll do what we’ve always done: set a price limit, look around and pray hard.