Monday, July 13, 2009

Buying a car isn’t always logical-Part 1

About three years ago I found that my Volvo wagon wasn’t cutting it. With three kids, a dog, their friends, camping, and sporting gear, it was just too cramped. So we opted for an affordable 6-seater Ford. It’s not much to look at so the kids and I have stickered-it-up and made it our own. I’m pretty recognizable around town.

Then on a recent trip out to DIA the cruise control started acting screwy and then finally quit. I took it to the dealer for repair last Friday. Later that day we got a call from the sales department. They wanted to buy it back.

Now, I had no intentions of getting rid of my now beloved vehicle. It’s not a great car, but it hasn’t been bad. If a car runs and doesn’t leave me on the side of the road, I’m happy. But, my husband was open to the idea.

I’m still wary of the dealer’s intensions. They said they had a several customers looking for this type of vehicle, but no inventory. I suspect they wanted to upsell us to increase their sales volume. Or maybe it was a combination of both. After talking with them further it was true that they didn’t have inventory. My Freestyle was discontinued a few years ago and they only had one new Flex, the Freestyle replacement, on the lot at a much higher price.

My husband told them we’d be interested if they could give us a Volvo XC90 at not a penny more than we are currently paying for the Ford. They did, sort of.

The dealer had a 2004 XC90 for “just a bit” more. We found the Volvo similar, but bigger than the previous wagon. But I still wasn’t convinced. Anytime something broke on the Volvo the expense was outrageous. This 2004 XC90 wasn’t as well equipped as my Ford—no GPS, no Sirius radio, some other incidentals. And “just a bit” more was $30 more than our current loan per month without warranty. Plus, the loan was over 84 months. We’d end up paying much more in the end.

Then we found that the Volvo was priced $1,000 over book value. They took the price down. I still wasn’t comfortable, so they raised our trade-in-value. So now we are down to just $5 more per month.

Now with the thought of possibly saying goodbye to my Ford we decided to look at other Volvo dealers. We’ve found a few others in the area that have the same year XC90 that we were looking at, but with added features and lower prices.

Complicate all this with the fact that I am irrationally attached to the Ford. (When we bought this my son was playing football, the economy was just beginning to slide, and I felt like I was completely apple-pie American by buying a Ford.) AND, we are preparing to leave next week to drive to Yellowstone dragging a pop-up camper (more horsepower would be nice).

I’m sure there will be more developments throughout the day and week on our vehicle situation.

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