Sunday, July 12, 2009

Search engines

The search for a new car is on, and by new I mean used (or "pre-owned", per the industry parlance now).

To be perfectly honest, this is not something I consider fun in the slightest. Aside from a college education, cars are the most expensive things I've bought, yet there's always the niggling sense that the buying process is rigged against the purchaser and that the hidden expenses can't be anticipated. (The more cynical might suggest the same is true of higher education, but we'll part ways there.)

Let's face it, if the stereotypes have a seed of truth in them, we expect to get screwed over by whoever is selling the cars. In this country how often do we go to buy something while arming ourselves with a protective shield and combative attitude? More information than ever is available to the consumer these days, but that way also lies madness. Reviews, reliability reports, online comparison shopping...there's more data to sift through and make sense of before even getting behind the wheel.

I know what I'm willing to pay and what I value in a car, but the point where those qualities converge can be difficult to find. I've driven myself a little bit crazy poring over car searches and discovering what is (or isn't) available. It's overwhelming.

Per my request my dad is coming over later this week to help with dealership visits and car evaluations. I probably overestimate his knowledge. He's suggested as much. Nevertheless, when I'm getting ready to spend more than I've ever spent on a single item--something that is necessary for getting me where I need to go--I could use a second opinion. It won't eliminate the stress of the choice, but hopefully it will ease it.



At 11:47 AM, Anonymous LittleWit said...

For me, I don't mind paying a little extra for a car I know I can run into the ground and then it will still continue to work. ;)


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