Sunday, June 28, 2009

You never forget your first

I decided this week that I must, despite appearances to the contrary every now and then, finally be a grown up. This realization came as we were heading back into the city, having just signed my life away (or for the next five years, anyway) to a car dealership. And earlier this week, I ordered my wedding band. A car and wedding ring, in the same week? Feels pretty grown up to me!

So, the car. I have been admiring the Toyota Matrix on the roads for a couple of months, and had pretty much decided that unless a test drive revealed major problems, it was what I wanted. Wednesday we went and test drove one at a local dealership, which shall remain nameless. We got a bad feeling about them from the start -- too smarmy -- and while I loved the car I didn't particularly want to buy it from them ... especially when the saleswoman quoted a final price $1000 higher than the figures she was adding up in front of us would indicate. Not sure if she couldn't do math or was deliberately padding the price, but either way, not something to give us great confidence in that dealership. And when I received a phone call from a "customer service representative" from the dealership not 12 hours later, pushing me to make a decision, I knew this wasn't the kind of company I wanted to deal with. Meanwhile, Serdic had been in contact with another dealership about an hour's drive out of the city, and they offered us the same car for $3000 less. We decided the $3000 was worth driving out to see them, and so yesterday morning we did.

I had a better feeling about this place right from the start, and the sales representative we were meeting with seemed to be on the up and up. I thought to myself at one point: "He's going to play fair." I did a second test drive and still loved the car, and so decided to go for it. Gulp. It's not a cheap step to take, but I have a sizable down payment and financing it over five years makes the payments manageable. Of course, now comes all the other expenses that go with owning a car -- parking and gas and insurance and all the rest of it. But this is hardly a decision I made lightly or spontaneously, so I know it'll work out. They didn't have the colour I wanted (electric blue) in stock, but one is expected in on Tuesday so they promised they'd have it ready for me Friday after work. I am SO excited, I can't even tell you. Also a little scared. But mostly excited.

It's weird to be approaching my mid-thirties and buying my first car. It feels like something I should have done by now. The financing guy at the dealership was a little taken aback that I didn't have a previous car loan on my credit report ... is it really that strange? But in a way I'm glad that this will be my first car -- exactly what I want, and something I am finally in a position financially to afford. I think this is the beginning of a long and prosperous friendship, me and my car.

Pictures to follow once the car is actually in my possession. It's going to be a long week!