Well, it took me long enough to post about this. 🙂 I bought a new car on Friday. Well, technically, it’s a used car, but it’s new to me. I’d fallen in love with the PT Cruisers a year or two ago. I kept ending up with a PT as a rental car, and I really loved the versatility and feel. It had a very comfortable driving position for me, due to the raised seats. I also liked the ability to basically change it into an open van in the back when needed and to use the shelf as a privacy guard, shelf, or picnic table. When Chrysler said they were discontinuing them and that 2009 would be the last year, I was heartbroken. I’d been hoping they would do a hybrid PT.
As y’all know from the news, Chrysler isn’t doing so well, and as it happens, the PT isn’t selling so well. Plus, dealers get a glut of high mileage PTs from auctions since they are popular rental cars. I decided to take a shot at getting a good deal on a PT given the economic situation. Also, my Sentra, my Terimasu, was coming up on needing some not-insignificant maintenance and repair. I initially looked at buying a new PT, but, after research, I decided I could get a much better deal on a used PT, to the point that I could practically just buy it and re-sell it and make money on the deal.
I started scouring the internet for PTs. The problem with buying a used car is that, if you want a particular trim level or feature (as I did), it can be a bit of a hunt just to find a car that fits the criteria. But, lo and behold, I found an ad on eBay for a 2008 PT Limited Turbo that was above my needs and was priced (on the eBay ad) just at blue book, below NADA. I did as much research on it as I could do online (Carfax, etc.), and everything seemed good. Then, I made an appointment and drove down to the dealer (who was a good 30 miles from my home). I test drove the car, and it sounded fine. The oil had been recently changed. The tire treads were reasonably and evenly worn. There was some minor rust on the exhaust (pretty normal and unavoidable up here) but no rust on the exterior or undercarriage. The interior was in excellent shape. There were some dirt stains in the cargo area but nothing major. Also, there was some minor chipping around the Chrysler logo on the hatchback door.
I went into negotiations with the dealer. I started out, as recommended by a few places, by putting a time limit on our discussion. I said I was meeting a friend for lunch (true) at noon (not true) and that I would be leaving then unless we had reached an agreement. I also said that I wanted to separate my car from the discussion of the PT, that we could discuss a potential trade-in after we agreed to a price. The salesguy whinged a bit at this, but I stood (sat) firm. We eventually came to an agreement on a price that was 1K under what was posted online. In retrospect, I should have pushed harder on the price, probably could have gotten another couple of hundred at least, but I was intimidated by the fact that I was already well under blue book, so I couldn’t really point to anything and say, “match that price.” All I could do was repeatedly point out that there was another PT with the same trim and same miles in Milwaukee that was selling for less (but which I knew was a 2007, not an ’08, and which I knew was not in as good shape as this one, nor as loaded with options) and point out the few cosmetic flaws I had seen. (side note: I ended up about 1K above the ’07 in Milwaukee.)
Then, when we’d settled on that price, we started on the trade in. They offered $3200. I laughed. I asked for $5300, pointing out that it is a fully loaded limited edition in good shape that they will be able to sell far easier than the car I’m buying. The salesguy pointed out some minor damage on my car. I pointed out that the parts would cost them around $100 and offered to buy them the parts myself if they disagreed. I showed them my maintenance slips that proved that I’d just put some work into the car (stupidly, but I wasn’t 100% on selling it at the time). Long story short, we ended up at $4200. I accepted this because I ended up saving $300 on sales tax via the trade-in, plus it was much easier to just sell to them than go sell it myself (though I was willing to do that had they not come in with a decent price).
And…here’s the best part: I bought my PT in cash, outright, no financing. 🙂 That’s a huge win for me. I’ve never bought a car outright before. (Well, in fairness, this is only the second car that I’ve bought.) I’d made a promise to myself that my next car purchase was going to be outright, and I did it.
In the past, my cars have generally been named based on the nationality of their make. My Sentras were named Terimasu and Terikumo. (My Tracer was named Kobee, which is American-ish, I suppose.) In choosing a name for this one, it needed an American name that fit its retro-chic appeal, and I wanted celebrate my accomplishment in buying it. So, I decided to call it the Victory PT. (Euro gamers may catch the pun. 🙂 )
In other news:
- DH is doing well, mostly. He did get a chest X-ray on Friday because he feels like he’s getting fluid build-up. His thoracic surgeon has been bloody useless, by the way. He won’t return calls, not even to schedule the mandatory follow-up appointment, not even when DH left a message saying he felt like he was having a problem with fluid build-up and occasional chest pains. Once we’re done dealing with this guy, we’ll be leaving an extensive negative review on Angie’s List. But, thankfully, our bridge-playing doctor friend did DH a solid by reassuring him that while it’s worth getting checked out, it’s nothing emergency-worthy yet. (Thank you, you-know-who-you-are!) It’s worth noting that this problem stopped DH from going geocaching with a bunch of us on Saturday, but it has not stopped him from working a 12+ hour shift today. In fairness, VP is far less strenuous than geocaching…and far more profitable.
- DH bought a netbook! We got it from woot. It is tiny and red, and he is thrilled with it, mainly because he doesn’t have to play second fiddle to me to use a computer on the 1st floor. 🙂
- Pancake has a twitter now, and his own page. I decided I was posting too many tweets on his behalf, and also it’d be fun to have his Catbook page get updated more frequently. He’s doing just fine without those 9 teeth. He’s on a wet-only diet now, though he can chew and bite when he needs to. I got him some dried salmon treats to use for training purposes, and he is able to bite through the chunks. He’s so finicky. He won’t touch most treats. He’s never liked things like Pounce treats, but he loves the dried salmon chunks that cost 3 times as much. 😛
- I took this past week off of work to be with DH. I was glad for it, too, because he only started to feel comfortable driving on Thursday evening. Thus, he needed someone around to chauffeur and to generally help him out during the day. We had a really fun week being retired together. We played daytime bridge, and we saw a movie during the day. If this is what being retired together will be like, I can’t wait. 🙂