Saturday, May 16, 2015

That One Time When It Took Me Two Years To Buy A Car

If you've had the pleasure of encountering me in the last two years, then you've had pleasure of hearing about how I have been in the process of purchasing a new car. The conversation probably went something like this:

You: Hey, Liz! How's it going? What's new?
You: (slowly backs away)

 Hey, by the way. Did I mention I was buying a car?

'Cause I am. And I did. And here's how it went:

Me and my first love. March 2005. 

March 2005
Me with my new (used) car! I am 17 years old and just discovered the hidden 6-CD changer under the passenger seat. This car has special features like leather seats, a sunroof, cruise control, and a cassette tape  player. THAT'S RIGHT. #Winning

June 2012
Fast forward several years. I'm flying down I-44 in Oklahoma City at 75 mph (approximately 20 mph faster than any other car on the road, because Oklahoma) when my car breaks down. Forty-eight hours and five hundred dollars later, I think to myself, Maybe it's about time to think about a new car.

June 2013
On a particularly plain afternoon--ALSO THREE DAYS AFTER STARTING A NEW JOB HELLO STRESS--I hear my car once again make a noise. Green Gatorade is gushing out the underbelly of my car into my crisp new garage. Seventy-two hours and nine-hundred dollars later, I think to myself, Maybe it's about time I think about a new car.

August 2013
After marinating on this blog's suggestion of budgeting, I start saving up for a new car. I figure out how much I can afford for a car payment, and decide to start paying myself that much per month so I will have some cash to put down on a car next time mine decides to break. Not that I had any clue what a real car payment looks like. APR? Oh well. Dave Ramsey would be proud.

June 2014
Knowing I am twelve months from saving enough to buy a car and that I will buy a slightly used 2014, I begin my test drives. I narrow down my list of possibilities:

Nissan Pathfinder (too bulky and not that cute).

Toyota Highlander (too Mom-ish. But the new interior shelf and purse-holder? Drool.).

Jeep Grand Cherokee (come to Mama!).

BMW X3 (It's kinda like, "you were almost able to afford a real Beamer. Here's a gold star for your effort. Now get out.").

Let's be honest, the Jeep is the only SUV I was really interested in. I promised myself I wouldn't buy another car until there was one out there as pretty slash prettier than my Infinity, and the Jeep is the only one to measure up.

March 2015
I find approximately forty-two Jeeps I want to buy. I take one home for a one-night stand, but I know it's too much money so I end up giving it back. I drive out of state to view two other vehicles but ultimately wimp out.

April 1, 2015
By God's good graces and some generous donations from various family members and friends, I meet my savings goal and begin the search for a car, of which there are none. Literally. Anywhere in the country. After months of research, decision making, mind changing, and test drives, I now know exactly what I want, and there are exactly zero gently used vehicles in the country that meet my specifications. I can feel the money burning a hole in my pocket and no one will let me spend it.

April 15, 2015
I think I've found it. Against my ego, I search the Carmax website, and there it is. It's in Georgia, but it's the right color (okay, it's my verysecondchoice right color, but I'm too excited to worry about it). It has all the fancy features I want. It has crazy low mileage. It's a little pricey, but I can come to terms with that. It has the bigger, V8 engine, and as much as my tree-hugging self scoffs at the extra gas I'll be guzzling, my ego is revving. I make the call.

April 20, 2015
I have one more day to change my mind. The car will ship out tomorrow, and if I don't find anything better today, my deposit will turn into commitment. I take one last look. turns up nothing. turns up nothing. No dealer has emailed me. It's 10:45. One last look at Carmax.


I make another call.
I talk to the wrong salesperson.
I'm in trouble with the first over an issue of split commission.
There are more phone calls.
Am I running out of time?
The inquiries come back positive.
No dings.
Panoramic sunroof.
Heated steering wheel (What?! Yes, this is a thing).
No scratches.
Clean history.
It was born in Hawaii. A-LOW-HA!
They might pick up the other car a day early.
Please don't be running out of time.
I get passive aggressive texts.
I'm unsure.
Did it go through?
I leave voice mails.
I call again.

And then.

It's done.

The perfect car has found it's way to me. I made a last minute switch, but I'm so glad I did. For less money, and handful more miles, a smaller engine, and the absolutely first place color choice, I've got the right car.

I'm so grateful for everyone who listened to me as I worked through this process. To my friends who supported my months and months of anti-social behavior so I could save money. To my parents for being excited for each new car I found and went to see. For my grandmother for her generous donations that made it possible for me to afford more than I should. For the endless supply of sources on the internet that piece-by-piece explained the process to me. For the guys at the bank for patiently explaining loans to me. For the salesmen who kept up with me and treated me respectfully. For the salesmen who were real pains in the butts so I'd know that their car wasn't meant for me.

And finally, a big thank you to my first car.
For taking me on countless adventures, detours, and road trips.
For keeping me safe through sun, rain, ice, snow, hail, and tornadoes.
For shuttling my friends and I through our formative years.
For being the only home I never had to pack up and leave.
And for lasting until I was ready to say goodbye.
I sincerely hope you don't end up with ISIS.

This concludes my chapter on "How Liz Bought A Car All By Her Big-Girl Self". Now, would someone help me figure out how to turn this thing on? #RemoteStart

New car. May 2015. 


  1. Good for you saving up! Lookin' good in that Jeep!

  2. It’s great that you finally found the car that fits your needs and budget. And it’s understandable why it took you some time to get a new one. There were certain things you had to consider, and a lot more that you have to account for once you finally decided on which one to get. Anyway, I hope your new car will serve you well for years to come. Cheers!

    Victoria Robbins @ Diviniti Auto

  3. I love it!! So cute! I'm sure it will be well worth the wait! :)

  4. I have to admit that the Jeep Cherokee was my choice when I was on the fence. I had tried just about every test drive and nothing really got my attention like the Jeep. I drove the Jeep with the salesman and I knew as soon as we got it on the highway that this was going to be my next vehicle.

    Jacob @ Bestway Autos