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Buying a New Car

When you go down to the store to buy a shirt, pillow or even a carton of milk, you can look at the price on the item or shelf and know how much it costs. You can then weigh whether the item is worth the price, or if you have the amount of money for your purchase.

But there are a few items such as the purchase of a house or car where this ease of knowing your exact price ahead of time just don’t exist. These are major purchases, and for many they don’t happen too often. We have purchased two houses in our 22 years of marriage. In that same time period, we have purchased nine automobiles, including the latest over Thanksgiving weekend.

We are a two-car family. So even this divides out to a car every 2 ½ years, it has been seven since I have had a new car and four since we bought my husband’s Dodge Challenger.

Buying a car has never been one of my favorite activities. Since we only do it every so often, it isn’t something we have a lot of experience with. Buying a car involves haggling, something I don’t do well. I like going down and knowing what I am paying and then paying it. This is what led us to buying a car from a Saturn years ago. (Sadly, that car manufacturer is no longer in business.)

Kia Sorento

My last car purchase was seven years ago when I moved from my Toyota Camry to my Kia Sorento. I wanted a car that could hold more kids. I wanted a vehicle with a third row as my son was in a private preschool where the parents drove the kids to their field trips. Of course, the year after I bought the car, the preschool stopped doing the field trips.

But I have loved my Kia. It has been a great car. And while we only used the third row maybe 10 to 12 times a year, I like having the option for more seating. We like the Sorrento so much that we seriously considered just going with the same car when we bought a new one.

And my son was all for that. He is resistant to change and vowed that we needed to get the same type car in the same color. I, however, wanted to look at a few other cars. I researched them on Consumer Reports. In addition to the Kia Sorento, I wanted to see the Toyota Highlander and the Hyundai Santa Fe. The latter one is what my brother had recently purchased.

Lexie in the 2nd row captain’s seat

Once we went to the dealerships, my kids both declared they liked the Highlander best. Of course, the Highlander they liked wasn’t the base model. They fell in love with the captain seats in the second row. To get those, you had to buy an SE, XLE or the highest model – the Limited. These models were all a little more than we originally planned to spend.

To save us money, and cut down on some of the haggling, we opted to go through Sam’s Club’s car-buying program. This is supposed to get you a couple thousand off your car. Of course that doesn’t mean you don’t have to haggle about the amount they want to give us for our Kia Sorento that we planned to use as a trade-in.

My New Toyota Highlander

Lucky for me, my husband is an attorney and good at negotiating. With the information I had from my research, he got them to go up on the Internet discount and on the trade-in value. Then by putting some additional money down, we got the car payments down to the rate we desired.

And that is how I got my new Toyota Highlander. It had every feature I wanted. The only negative was that it came in black instead of silver. But we are getting over that.


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