Thursday, October 18, 2012
A little bit of car talk...And, a lot of Vodka!!!
When I think about shopping, I envision a nice long day with friends. Usually window shopping, strolling the Ginza, lunch at a quaint little restaurant where we can't read the menus but the pictures sure are nice... Ending the day sitting at Starbucks people watching....
I do not think about CARS! With the realization that we are moving back home staring us in the face, I have spent the past few weeks perusing the Internet for a car. My first thought was "we will just do what we did in Japan".. Purchase a nice used car for CHEAP, with low mileage and enough room for our Hockey team. In keeping with the spirit of shopping I made the best cup of Blueberry coffee, grabbed a throw, curled up on the sofa and got down to business.... Within an hour I realized something.... People in America think WAY TO HIGHLY of their vehicles... Sing it with me OVERPRICED!!
But, I am not a quitter, so I kept at it. Certain that I would find the perfect car for our family. Day 1 ended and I was still optimistic. Enter day 2. This is where reality set it. We are stuck. Back in the maze of paying way to much for something that we MUST have! Finally I gave up the car search and declared us a public transportation family. We would all just take the bus! Yeah, that was short lived. Imagine getting all 6 of us on the bus, sanitizing the seats, all the while trying to maintain some sense of sanity was not a good picture.. It did horrible things to my hair.. Back to the car search.
I tried approaching it from a different angle. What if we get a used car that is only a year or 2 old. We all know the theory.. Let some poor sap drive it off the lot and depreciate it for us. OK! Still in the game. So...... I began to look at year old models. This is where I should have broken out the Vodka.
At first I was finding wonderful deals on nice used vehicles. Crossover's is what they are being called in the US. Something not as big as a bus, yet bigger then a car. Hallelujah!! We can do this. I checked several web sites, building and rebuilding crossovers to my hearts content. Staying within an amount I thought we could swallow.. Ian came home from a hard days work, and I had all my pretty, built cars saved to show him.. "Look honey... We can have a Journey, Mazda5, or Encalve... I was SUPER excited! Heated seats, a nifty little button that will start the car from our house, and the most important thing, a camera. The camera is a MUST. I have been driving on the wrong (well our right) side for 7 years. I will need all the help I can get.
So, my amazing husband starts looking at my hard days work, and BAM! Crashed all my dreams with one sentence... "Um, yes, babe these are nice, but whatever we get has to have AWD (all wheel drive)".... "Oh, OK! I can do that, its easy, see all I have to do is go back to the home page and add it onto the car"..... GULP!!! ITS A SHAM I TELL YOU! A RACKET! We are all in the wrong business. Do you know how much adding AWD adds onto the price of a car. Roughly $8000. Yep, that is 8 GRAND! Well, as you can imagine I immediately blame Ian.. I had a car. A nice one all picked out with my camera... And, yep it's gone!
Enter financing.. A reality to most. You put a bit of money down, sign your name on the dotted line and promise to make payments until you own whatever it is you are financing... I hear people in the US are taking advantage of this to get their nice new shinny I POHNE5's.. Something about a better battery life and camera. Anyway... Let's look at financing.
Now say we find a nice, OVERPRICED, used car that suits our needs. The bank will give us a loan for 4.75% interest.. Most websites even give you access to a calculator, you plug in the numbers and have a rough estimate of your monthly payment... I plug in the numbers and YIKES! Heartburn sets in (and no it's not the coffee, by this point I have moved onto Vodka)... I sit starring at the screen, shaking my head and once again declare us "bus" people... Judging by the amount of Vodka being consumed being bus people might not be such a bad idea.... I hear they have 44OZ big gulp cups in the US. That can hold a lot of juice....
I began to read the page on the banks website, and found myself confumbeled once again. If we choose to purchase a brand new car they will give us a financing rate of 1.75%, and 72 months to pay if off. After doing some not so quick math I realize that is 7 years.. To pay off a car? Um, WHAT? Let me make sure I understand this. If i were to buy a used car.. Something already built, thus saving our precious resources. Believe me resources are precious, every time I sit down in a public bathroom on base in Sasebo, I wind up starting at a nice little flier explaining how we are in a water shortage... OK, back on course... Should we buy a used car to try and save a bite of dough, in the end we wind up paying MORE because the bank says nope, hold on there, you will pay a higher interest rate and no way are they giving us 7 years to pay off some overpriced used car! I am so confused..
Once again the car shopping has gotten the better of me. I decide to just leave the issue, lower my blood pressure, and stave off liver failure from the Vodka. Things will look better in a week or 2. Surly I am missing something. Let me talk to my friends and family stateside and get some much needs advice.
Well here I sit writing this blog, and facing the realization that we are now the poor saps that will probably be driving off a car lot with a brand new car... And, Oh, what's that I hear. That is the value of said car dropping by $8000.. Probably the $8 grand we will be paying for AWD!
Those of you living states site that read my blog (all 3 of you) any info would be a great help... It must be able to seat 6, and have a 44OZ big gulp holder for my Vodka.... :)
Have a great day... Tomorrow chat will be all about gas prices !!!