I bought a car.
There is an amazing amount of relief in being able to type that. It feels like it's one step closer to putting the accident behind me.
I went to the Kia dealer for the first time on Monday. I was looking at 2013 Kia Sportages. They were new! And shiny! And had so many bells! and! whistles! I went in wanting to replace the beloved Sportage I had crashed with an exact replica. But as I was looking at sticker prices and loan rates I was overwhelmed. At some point, my sales guy, Matt, asked "What are the features you really want in your next car?" I looked at him blankly. So he asked "What features did you love in your old car?" Uhm . . . it took me a minute to answer, and even then my answer (the sun roof and the key less start) was lame. I realized I didn't want a replica of my crashed up car, I wanted MY car BACK. And that wasn't going to happen.
Matt, being the great sales guy that he is, sensed my hesitation and went in a completely different route. He pointed out a pre-owned vehicle they had on the lot. It was a 2011 Sportage with all-wheel drive and 16,000 miles. It was a model "below" what I had owned before and didn't have nearly so many bells and whistles. I had not even considered buying a pre-owned vehicle. But I was intrigued. I told Matt I'd need a day or so to do some research, but I'd be back on Wednesday for a test drive.
This unexpected choice was really playing with my head. I don't know if it makes sense, but there was (is) a part of me that feels like I don't deserve a nice, shiny, new car because I crashed the nice, shiny, year-old car I had. I don't deserve nice things if I can't keep them nice. Silly, I know.
And I know I don't talk about my religion on my blog much, but I have to bring it up here. I prayed on this choice. I prayed a lot. I prayed to be led into the direction that would be best. And then, I listened.
As I walked into the Kia dealership today, I knew I was going to purchase that 2011 Sportage. First thing I did was take it for a test drive. It felt . . . right. I had written a "starting" offer on a note card and gave it to Matt. Thus began the game of offer/counter offer. I'm proud to say that not once, but twice I put on my coat and asked Matt if there was anything else on the lot I could look at. Both times he said he'd "check with his manager" one more time. If I'm honest, I have no idea what I'd have done if I had to go through with my bluff! When all was said and done, I got them to come down 13% from their initial offer. And if I compare what I paid to Edmunds.com and KBB, I fall right in the middle. So I may not have made the BEST deal, but I'm still pretty proud I didn't get taken for a schmuck.
It was interesting, as I drove off the lot, I had a moment that I acknowledged having to say goodbye to my 2012 Sportage. I'm going to miss the key less start (now I have to keep track of keys again!) and sunroof and heated seats. I had to, in a sense, grieve the loss of owning something so "special."
My new car is quite ordinary. And I'm absolutely gobsmacked that I'm OK with this. Driving this car feels safe. And I know I'm repeating myself, but it also feels right. I feel like I opened myself up to being led by God to this decision. And if there is a lesson to be had in this car-buying process, it is that I need to listen for God's answer more often.
One final note . . . one of the things that was quirky and cool about my 2012 Sportage is that it had a cooled glove-box. On long trips, it served as a cooler - which was the COOLEST (pun intended) thing. When I got home with my new car, I opened the glove-box to put some paperwork in it. Guess what . . . it has the same kind of cooled glove-box. A sign? I believe it is.