I made a decision that this year I will not hit my networth goal in order to purchase a quality car. I test drove dozens of vehicles to determine the best make and model for my needs. I determined that I’d like to spend under $15,000 on the car, but $18,000 maximum if I found someone I loved in that price range. My goal was to purchase from a private party, but I felt it would be easier to buy a car from a dealer.
After test driving everything from a 2007 BMW 328i to a Volkswagen Passat, and a brief interlude where I was convinced I wanted to buy the Volvo S40, I settled on the Hyundai Sonata. I didn’t think the car’s 2.4L engine would be enough power for me, but I was pleasantly surprised by the power the vehicle had. The Hyundai dealership had two 2011’s in stock to test drive — I decided to try out the one with more mileage (60k) since it was ticketed at $18k vs $20k of the lower milage model. I really didn’t want to spend $18k on a car, so I figured if I could somehow talk the dealership down to $15k I might buy it. I really needed a car and my boyfriend was getting tired of driving me around, so purchasing a car today was my goal… but not overpaying.
I actually went out to test drive a 2007 private party V6 camry and thought it might be the right choice. It was priced at $16.5k, fully loaded, but I figured I could talk the seller down. But as I test drove the Camry, I remembered why I didn’t like the car. It just felt bulky and heavy. The knobs inside the car looked cheap. It was a fine car but not something I wanted to spend over $15,000 on.
So then I test drove the Sonata and fell in love. I figured I had nothing to lose saying I wanted to pay $15k for the $18k car… and expected the sales manager to drop to $16.5k at the lowest. But through my “sophisticated” negotiating powers or sheer luck I got them down to $15.5k. It was still more than I really wanted to spend, but it was a really good deal for the car – which was loaded with many features. With the $15.5k price tag, I couldn’t turn down the deal. I ended up paying an extra $1.7k for a 4 year, 60k mile warranty, which puts me a bit at ease since I’m worried about buying such a pricey used car… though it kind of has me paying the same amount I would have paid without negotiating. At least everything is covered for four years.
It feels good to have a car with all working features! However, it’s sad that I won’t be able to reach my $250k networth goal this year. I guess that’s not such a big deal, I’ll just have to focus on saving a lot next year and for the rest of this year to make up for it. But it will be hard to see my networth drop from $225k to $205k. I might be able to save $225k for the year but not $250k. Oh well. I needed a car and I decided that I’m going on 30, and deserve something nice… and that I can grow into as I potentially have/start a family in the next 3-7 years.