Drive Away

After some careful examination, I decided that getting that ’99 Civic would have been an awful $9500 mistake. Seriously. Luckily my bank would’nt’ve financed it; they turned it down because it was a year too old. After discussing financing with the dealer, they took my credit info, checked my history, and made me an offer: they “sweetened” the deal by dropping the sale price to $6650 + TTL, and “threw in” a 2-year service contract.

So, with $1200 down, about $230ish a month for 3 years, I took those numbers to my boss who plugged them into his spreadsheet. He calculated that the interest on the finance was a whopping 22.1%, and that interest charges would amount to over $2500 for the finance term. Sickening.

I turned the offer down, and the dealer offered to explain things in further detail, saying I’m operating on partial information and that I should give him and the business manager a chance, etcetera. I still declined, and he offered to let me test drive other cars and so on; I drove a Neon and was completely unimpressed. He showed me a “sample” spreadsheet with the offer terms: his sheet said 11%. It was then I noticed that the 2-year extended warranty was actually on top of the price of the car — a trump-up to increase the finance amount. Gracefully, yet fatiguedly, I declined the offer. I most likely will not be returning to that dealer.

I learned this week that I can go to my bank and get prequalified for auto loans; it was my assumption that I had to have a vehicle already picked and ready to buy. Not so. Thursday morning I applied with my bank for a personal, unsecured loan (Wells Fargo’s version of prequalifying). The banker left in her notes that this loan will be for a car, so there will be collateral. We played phone tag on Friday, so I don’t know the outcome of the application, whether I got accepted for my requested amount or if they’ve made a counter-offer, or if I’ve been declined. Knowing this bit of information will affect what I’m looking for.

Until then, I’m resting from the used car battle.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?