Last week Lisa and I had the pleasure of going out car shopping. Our seven-year old Toyota Camry with 140K miles needed repairs costing more than we were willing to invest, so it was time for something new. It was nice not having a car payment for a year, but it’s one of those good things that comes to an end. While we had abandoned domestic make cars years ago, a lot has changed in the industry since we last shopped, so we ended up at a Chevy dealer. Plus, you can do a lot of your shopping online even before you get to the showroom. You can read reviews and recommendations, get an idea of what you’ll pay, and even check inventory before you step out the door.
Though stressful in some ways, our experience was a positive one. It just took a long time. Looking at models, driving some, conversations between ourselves and the salesman and his manager, checking out the trade in, credit checks, and an amazing amount of paperwork to sign took about five hours. I think I had to sign some papers attesting to the fact that I had signed other papers and knew what I was doing when I signed those first papers.
We also got to see generations of technology all in the same place. Everything from a car computer that can tell me how much air pressure is in my tires to the poor finance manager who is still using a 1990’s era dot matrix printer for his multi-part forms! (They keep a batch of old one in the back room for when they have to replace parts.)
We’re happy with what we purchased, feel like we got a decent deal, like supporting local business rather than having to drive to the next town, and made a few new friends, too. Not a bad day.