The Five Stages of Car Buying

I need a new car.

For clarity, you should know that in Lori-speak “new car” never means an automobile with less than 50 miles on it that is being sold in the year it was manufactured. Never.

Because amongst my charms is my cheapness.

I hate car shopping.

I detest it.

Despite being several degrees of longitude east AND west of svelte, I would rather buy a bikini.

My problems are thus: I’m never really willing to pay the amount that the car I want is, and when I get to the back-and-forth part between the sales guy and finance guy I want to chew the showroom’s all-weather carpet into little bits and force the fragments under my own fingernails because that will actually be a more pleasant experience.

I’ve realized that there are stages to dealing with buying a car. I went through them all this week.

Denial. I don’t need a new car. This car is fine. I like being adhered to the upholstery by stale ketchup and that grinding in the transmission only happens when I shift into gears one through five. Or reverse.

Anger. WHY ARE CARS SO &%$#ING EXPENSIVE??? I could feed a small far east country for a MONTH with this! This isn’t a car price, it’s the downpayment on a house in Cancun!

Bargaining. Can’t we get this price down a little more? How about if I dance? Or throw in a coffee maker? Or a kid? More cleavage?

Depression. I can’t do it. I can’t sit at that little table. Hair gel makes me break out in hives. Please don’t make me.

Acceptance. Fine. I’ll sign. I don’t care what the interest is. I don’t care what the payment is. I don’t care if I’m agreeing to shuttle the dealer’s mother-in-law to her monthly foot callous scraping. Just finish and be done with it.

But after all that, I did not get a new car this weekend.

Because there is still my charming cheapness to consider. And for all the shiny bumpers in the world I’m not letting go of that.



Filed under Humor

27 Responses to The Five Stages of Car Buying

  1. I share that cheapness…it drives my husband crazy.

    Car shopping is the absolute worst.

    You could just buy a house in Cancun and call it a day. Then all your readers could take turns coming to visit!

  2. Klz

    You know the absolute only thing that got me to sign for our last car? The fact that I had a child past bedtime with me and I was delirious and just needed to get home.

    Want to borrow Alex next time you go? I bet you’ll get a car out of it. Or at least some cuddles

  3. The last time I purchased a car was when I was breastfeeding twins. I think I literally squirted the sales guy in the eye when my little guy pulled away suddenly. They couldn’t wait to get us out of there. In my new SUV! : )

    • *snort*

      I SO didn’t think of the boob-flashing option.

      Also, It’s been many many many years since I breast-fed, so I’d have to hide a squirt gun in my decolletage.

  4. 1) Amy’s comment made me spit my Diet Coke, and then choke a lil as I was laughing! 😛

    2) Pre-owned is the way to go! But, not any easier to buy. I’m not a fan of car salesmen, either.

    3) Good luck!!!

  5. I didn’t get the East and West thing at first. And then the joke made it from my dinosaur tail all the way up to my tiny dinosaur brain. And I laughed. Heartily.

  6. Elisabeth Black

    You think that’s bad? Try carshopping with my just ever so slightly OCD dear sweet husband. He made me car shop for a mini van in the last trimester of the pregnancy of son #3 (aka. Mr. 10 lbs 9 oz. at birth). Now to be fair my other half did not know I was carrying 2 feet of baby that was plumping up daily inside me, but he should have known after all his nick name as a baby was Moose.

    His idea of carshopping is to test drive EVERY single BRAND and MODEL on the market that even comes close to the pretty picture I show him in a magazine or point to and say “Hey that’s not a bad looking minivan.” Really? No seriously, because remodeling an entire house after a major housefire DURING your wife’s pregnancy wasn’t enough “danger” for you Bub? Really?

    Yes he is THAT daring. 🙂

    PS I’ve bought 2 cars with the man now. We repeated the drive every brand/model when I said “This minivan really is ugly, I need out now.” I’ll die driving my 2008 Acura TL, Hell they can bury me in it, if it means I never have to buy another car with him! 🙂

  7. I am really good at buying cars!

    I do research, I decide on what we want, and then I figure out the price we are willing to pay. Seriously. And then I just drive from dealer to dealer until someone makes the deal I want to make.

    And I NEVER let Mark talk.

    Mark is a car salesman’s dream. He can be talked or shamed into ANYTHING by a salesman. It’s embarrassing.

    Mark and I pretend he is a deaf-mute when we go car shopping.

    He is out of the conversation until it is time for signatures.


  8. Cheapness is a virtue, Lori. Unless you’re standing on a corner at 2am in hooker heals.

    Your “new” car will find you. I promise. One that you can get fresh ketchup all over. It’ll be so fun. Maybe you’ll have it in time for our roadtrip and then I can get ketchup all over it!

    I’m sorry. That was insensitive. Maybe coffee, but never ketchup.

  9. This had me laughing, because there’s no fresher Hell than buying a new car. It strikes fear in my belly.

    Also: WHY does it take so freaking long to buy the car? I practically grow cobwebs sitting in the dealership.

  10. Car shopping at 7 months pregnant, worst experience ever.

  11. I have a love/hate thing with getting a new car.

    I love new cars. Because I love getting something that IN THEORY will work perfectly and I don’t have to worry about.

    I hate having to pay money for a car. I also hate that new car smell. I really hate buying a car and realizing that I’m just basically throwing money away, because it’s never going to be a good deal. Never.

    I love that you have explained the 5 stages.

  12. I don’t know Lori, I may have to disagree with your readers about buying a car pregnant. We bought the car that I drive now when I was at 8 months. And let me tell you it is one sexy beast. I may have been sold on the growl alone.
    Having also recently gone through the nesting ritual, I knew just how thick or thin our wallet was.
    Doesn’t help, does it?
    I’m available to go shopping if you want my PG mojo along for the ride. I’m sure we could use my incredibly small bladder to some advantage during the sales negotiation.

    But I can’t guarantee you won’t drive away in the sexiest car on the lot.

    Don’t get me started on car porn and the pre-shopping selection process. RAWR!

    I may or may not be part male.

  13. Sounds like when we went car shopping two years ago. “we can pay $X”, how about I do this thing & it’ll by $Y” “we can pay $X”, or “over here with this and this & it’ll be $Z” “we can pay $X”. Took forever to convince the shop that really, we meant $X. It wasn’t a negotiation scheme, it was the bottom line.

    And yes, we had the temerity to expect a decent working vehicle for $X

  14. Yes, more cleavage and a little leg. And wine. Nothing else works. I hope your new car finds you. It’s such a horrible process. xo

  15. liz

    You aren’t even going to tell us what you bought?!?!

    I shudder at the thought of the bargaining process. It makes me uncomfortable just thinking about it.

  16. I got twitchy just reading this post. I hate hate hate shopping for cars. But I’d rather drive than fly. So I have no choice.

    Every 150,000 miles or so. Whether I like it or not.

    Godspeed. And good gas mileage to you, too.

  17. I’m thinking … sleigh.

    On Nimbus! On Topaz!

  18. Oh man…after all that you didn’t get one?!?!?!! I say you need to use your cleavage more. Get that price down!!!!!

    I really need a new car too, but I am going to drive my bitch into the ground.

  19. The Chalupa is right.

    Except the standing on corners in hooker heels thing – that is awesome.

    – B x

  20. Move to the city. We’ll ride the subway and take taxis together!

  21. I too only buy old vehicles. The older the better in fact. That way I can expect terrible things to happen to them and I’m not disappointed. So go for the worst lemon on the block. You will know exactly what to expect and the price will be right. I figure better spending money on repairs than on payments : )

  22. Lori, I’m pretty sure you are in an awesome position with that cleavage AND spare children to give away.

    And I’m totally with you on the hate-buying-cars thing, which is why we still have a 1992 Ford Explorer gracing our driveway in all it’s faded glory.

    Good luck, and I hope you get to keep some of your sanity during this ordeal.

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