Saturday, January 18, 2020

My New Car

It was an absolutely paralyzing week for me but it ended well with a new car. On Monday my 2002 Chevy Suburban SUV was declared not fit to drive. My mechanic said he could fix the current problem so I left it with him. About 4 hours later he called me and said he would love to make the money on the repair but he feared for my future safety and thought it would be best to get a different automobile. I certainly appreciated his honesty and will hold him in high regard forever.

On Tuesday I was so traumatized I stayed in my pajamas all day wondering where to start. It is very hard to buy a car when you don't have a car, right?

On Wednesday morning I was up with early and started my Internet search. What should I buy? Used or new? I really didn't want to have to learn a new car at all. I looked and looked and looked. Sometime in the late morning, I called a girlfriend who always knows what to do. She said I should least a brand new car for three like she and her husband have been doing. They are on their third lease after owning cars outright in the past.

So I called the closest car dealer, the Honda dealership in Madison. The girl I got was so very helpful and she helped me narrow down my choice by asking me questions and listening to my wants, needs, and wishes. I was mostly interested in cargo space for open house real estate signs. I certainly did not need the third row seats that came with the Honda CRV I initially thought I wanted.

We narrowed it down the the HR-V and they were running a special on the 2019 unsold inventory to make room for the 2020 models. She even brought one to my house for a test drive. WOW, talk about customer service! I drove it back to the dealer ship and loved it. It took a couple of hours in the office for all the paperwork but I drove away with a 3 year lease with 10,000 miles per year allowed miles. I don't think I will have a problem with this since there are days I never leave the house and I never go very far. So on Wednesday late afternoon I had a new car. Since then I have driven on one nice day, one rainy day, and today I drove it in the snow. Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be ice and rain.

This is a photo I found online in Google Images. Click to enlarge.
I got this color, Modern Steel, with black or very dark gray cloth seats and interior. I have all-wheel drive and a back up camera. My car has a key instead of that button start and I'm glad. The key has buttons to lock and unlock. The back seats go down very easily for a full flat cargo space that is huge. It has been trial by fire all week but I am confident I made the right choice. It was pretty painless too. They took care of everything for me. Plates, insurance card, registration, etc. All those things you usually have to do yourself when you buy a new car. I am donating my old car to the local fire department. 

Sorry I have been absent for a while. Now you know why. xo

This is Baby Shark on Sunday after I shoveled the snow on the driveway and moved her so the front could continue melting in the sun. She was so easy to clean off!

Detail of her shark fin with my cottage in the background.


Pam said...

Rosemary, I'm sorry about your old car, but so happy that you've come up with a solution!! I have a Nissan Rogue in the same color as your new one, and love it. I've never thought about looking into you've piqued my interest. Enjoy your new wheels!

SuSu said...

I am so glad you decided to lease. When my Lexus dies (not for another 100K miles I hope!) that is exactly what I will do. At our ages, we do not need to invest our dollars in a non-investment - just a necessity at a very good price. Good for you for making such a great decision!

Mizzy said...

How exciting for you to have a new car!
We also lease but have to have much higher mileage due to trips south. I have one suggestion that I read about on the internet. When you leave your car lock it manually from the inside. The reason being people, not good people, are stealing your code to get into your car when you walk away and locking it from your key fob. You will know if you hear clicking sounds. This actually happened to me at the Short Hills Mall a few years ago. Enjoy your new car! It sounds perfect in every way.

Mama Pea said...

Whew! "Little" things like this can turn your world topsy-turvy, for sure. What is more important in this day and age than safe, reliable transportation? Sounds as though you made a very wise choice and have a good, helpful dealership (and mechanic!) upon which to rely. Now back to your normally well-ordered life which I'm sure will be all the more appreciated having surmounted the "new car" dilemma!

Content in a Cottage said...

Pam -- Don't wait until your car is worthless to trade it in like I did. Technology in cars is changing so quickly. I am already planning my next one -- I hope there will be a Hybrid for me!!!!!
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

SuSu -- A car is nothing but a depreciating asset. Leasing is the way to go and it forces you to be conservative in your mileage if you are a road warrior. I was already that way, planning my outings with several tasks accomplished in one trip. I am not a car person. I can't tell one brand from another. I don't visit in my car and friends always tell me they waved or beeped at me but I ignored them. All I want is for a car to start and get me home safely. I hope your next 100K miles go uneventfully so you can get your first leased car.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

Mizzy -- Thank you SO MUCH for that great locking advice. I always locked my SUV from the inside before getting out so that will be an easy thing to do. The Short Hills Mall isn't that far away from me either!!! I am going to spread the word among my friends and tell them your story. Yes, there are bad people out there but somehow I don't think they are looking for a BABY SHARK. That's what I am calling my car because it has a tiny fin sticking up near the rear windshield. Good to hear you are pleased with leasing too.
xo, Rosemary

tammy j said...

oh my goodness! this has been a great eye opening post!
I'm coaxing an old Toyota that still uses a KEY! imagine that. and it doesn't talk to me or guide me in how to park it! and I LOVE it.
I'd rather do anything than buy a new car. so your experience was so helpful when I have to. I think leasing might be the way to go for sure! THANK YOU dear heart! xo (I like your Baby Shark!)

Content in a Cottage said...

Mama Pea -- I am blessed to have a good local mechanic and a car dealership nearby as well. My car was due for inspection in December but the Universe wouldn't let me take it then. Every time I planned a trip, I just couldn't go for some reason. I never had a pre-inspection either but for some reason I did this time. Having a good friend who TOLD me what to do was a huge plus too. Her husband even came over to give me instructions on how to negotiate the deal too. I cannot tell you how stressful it was for me to come to my final decision which proved to be a good one. Thank you for your well wishes for me and my Baby Shark.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

tammy j -- Oh, I am glad my experience was helpful to you. I kept honing down my future car based on the monthly lease cost. I turned down leather seats for cloth ones. I didn't get the full package because I was accustomed to nothing. I had a key entry too on my old car. And guess what? The 2019 Baby Shark has a key too and I love that. It has a CD player too. But that is something I will probably never use. Right now, I can't even stand to have the radio on as I learn how to do the wipers and heat and defroster. I am so Old School. The back up camera will be useful. I really wanted that camera on the passenger side mirror but this car doesn't have it. Boo Hoo. I think that is the only thing I had to sacrifice. Take everything with you when you go to a leasing place. Take all your insurance information because they will have to contact your agent on the spot to get your insurance card. Your will have to pay the taxes and fees up front. I added a bigger down payment to get a lower monthly fee. That part is up to you. I also paid extra up front so the required service visits will be at no cost. All I have to do is pay for gas! This is a good time to lease a 2019 vehicle because most people wanting a new car want the newest model. Good luck and let me know what you end up doing.
xo, Rosemary

Leslie said...

Congratulations, Rosemary! New cars are always exciting, but, as a car person who knows what she wants, I had to replace a car I loved for 14 years not long after it turned 210,000 miles. I knew I did not want an SUV, not even a small one, because I loved my station wagon (a European make, no longer in production - it was my first wagon but 4th car from the maker since 1986), so I found the identical, but hard-to-find model nearby (what were the odds?), but two years newer with less than half the mileage of the one I had to replace. I actually had wanted to buy the newer car nine months earlier, but the fellow I bought it from privately a year ago had beaten me to it earlier, so it was totally serendipitous that he needed to sell it only a few months later - just when mine had to be replaced - because his wife didn't find it comfortable (she'd had a back injury that made it hard for to get into/out of a passenger car).

There was no question I would buy the car when I saw it again, and I will continue to drive it for a number of years because they have always been well built and have great longevity if well cared for, but it definitely will be my last of this make since they haven't been made in 10 years, so it will be impossible to find another one that isn't too aged, even for me.

The key for me is having a reliable and trustworthy mechanic, and, fortunately, I have had one for many years, so I knew he could fix anything that was in need and also would tell me when it was time to find another car. At that point, I'll probably consider leasing, too, as the up-front costs of buying and maintaining a car just isn't appealing any longer after many years of owning them.

Good luck with your new one!

Content in a Cottage said...

Leslie -- Great car story. Your stars were aligned!!! Isn't it funny how the universe works. You start channeling something and it suddenly appears! You really did find a needle in a haystack.
xo, Rosemary

Karen said...

Congratulations! I just bought a Honda CRV and love it. My previous car was quite old and my independent mechanic said I was headed to some quite pricey maintenance work. I too appreciate the honesty of my mechanic. I love my Honda and it's the right size for me.

Content in a Cottage said...

Karen -- My HR-V is known as the little brother (or sister) of the CRV in the Honda world. I didn't need the third row of seats. Glad to hear you like yours too.
xo, Rosemary

Betty said...

I had to replace my 13 year old car last April. I got a Toyota Highlander and really love it. My first SUV.

Content in a Cottage said...

Betty -- I LOVE Highlanders. I have a friend who is on her second one. They are great cars and I love the way they look. Congratulations. I am glad you are happy with it.
xo, Rosemary

The Queen Vee said...

Rosemary dear....I feel your stress but am so grateful and happy that you had a good friend to lend advice and support especially after a day in your pajamas worrying about the situation, what a blessing to have such a good friend. So glad that you love your choice, in my opinion it was an excellent choice and perfect for your situation. I love Hondas, our family has owned too many to count over the past 30 years.

Guess what, you and I have been going through the same process. I too purchased a new car last week, another Honda, the Pilot in Sapphire blue. I wanted silver but my boys said, "Boring" and talked me into the blue. I traded in a Honda mini van and an Accura RDX (Ken's) that didn't even have 40,000 miles on it. I know that sounds crazy but my stress wasn't buying the car, my stress is that we had to tell Ken he could no longer drive, that happened the first Sunday in January. Needless to say he was not happy about it but it was long over do and I know a real blow for him. I was ready to down size and we needed to just make his car disappear so hence the trading in of both cars and getting the new final car for sure. I guess the Pilot doesn't sound like a down size but it is smaller than a mini van and I've already driven it with 6 people, all family, in it. Ken is tall and finds it comfortable. I'm now his Uber driver.

I'm have a learning curve for sure in the new Honda Pilot with features we didn't have in the other two cars like Apple care and other things that I'm going to have to spend a day or two learning. I don't have a Key, just the push button which I don't like. I'm like you, I prefer a key, but I realize that one has to keep trying to learn and change with the times.

I'm sorry I haven't been commenting. The past three months have just been crazy. Ken is having more challenges which means I have more responsibilities. Just trying to figure it all out. I check your blog almost every day but most days have been too weary to write a coherent comment. Hoping by the end of January I've sorted my situation out and will be better organized and in control.

I also had to buy a new iPhone and MacBook Air, everything seemed to go at once, it's been an expensive start to 2020.

Content in a Cottage said...

The Queen Vee -- Victoria, My mechanic suggested the Honda Pilot and that was the model I started out with on the phone search with Karen, my salesperson. As I kept talking about things such as not wanting or needing the third seats, the models changed. Next was the Passport, and finally the HR-V. Talking to her on the phone with my laptop tuned in to the website made shopping quite easy. I think you will love your blue Pilot. Making that decision for Ken was surely not an easy one for you and the family. I am so glad you have a son and a daughter with their families nearby to help you.
xo, Rosemary

JudyMac said...

Congratulations, Rosemary! Your Honda is a great choice and I like the color very much. I didn't read all the other comments in great detail, but you should know that most Hondas are great about retaining their value over the years--and the car should last you for many years if it is taken care of properly (I'm positive you will do that!). I've been driving Hondas since the mid-80's (either a Honda Hatchback or Honda Fit) and during all those years only two people have ever serviced/worked on them for me, one of whom was a prior Honda Service Manager, and the other one worked for a Honda dealership as well--both of whom left dealerships and went into business for themself. Honda is the only car my daughter has ever driven as well. I leased a couple of the cars and then when the lease was up I purchased them outright. I did that just to get the affordable monthly payment I needed at the time as I had no need for the tax write-off as a business expense. I love my 2011 Fit and everyone I talk to who owns one loves it as well. Expect it to last many more years as it still runs and looks great. I can get nearly everything but the kitchen sink in the back when all the seats are positioned correctly. That helps, you know, for us "collectors." Yes, it is a nerve-wracking experience buying a car. Kinda like my shopping for an iPhone. (HaHa) Congrats again. Judy

Content in a Cottage said...

JudyMac -- Judy, It's great to know you are a devoted Honda fan. I looked at the Honda Fit online and to my eye, it looks a lot like my car. I can't tell models apart and have never had any interest in cars except for getting me from point A to point B. It was a hectic few days but I'm happy with my final decision. When my three year lease is up, I might do what you did or I might lease a new one. Who knows? You daughter is smart to follow your lead since you've always been happy and haven't had any trouble with your various Honda cars. Thanks for the positivity about my purchase.
xo, Rosemary

Shewhokissesdogs said...

Drive it in good health! I have a 2016 HR-V (the first car I've ever purchased new) and love it. The gas mileage, the storage - oy vey it's a wonderful car!