Buying Miss Daisy

I’ve come to that wondrous time in a gal’s life when she needs to buy a new car. I love my Suzuki Swift (check my avatar, y’all), but it is time to move on.  

Why, people ask me. What’s wrong with your car?

Well, nothing at all, I reply. Then they look at me askance. I usually shrug and say “eh, I just feel like a change!”  leading them to suspect I’m an overpaid, shallow princess. Somewhat similar to their reactions to my outbursts of “my Daddy is buying me a new caaaaar!!!!” four years ago, when in fact I had to pay him back every last cent*.  

The whole story is a little harder to explain. For a start, I’ve done a little research and found that three to four years is the most economical time to trade in a new car, when you take into account services and reliability. Yes, I’m paying a little extra for the ‘reliability’ factor, but in my world it’s a price worth paying.    

Additionally, my car is so much more to me than a vessel for travelling from A to B. Firstly, I LOVE cars. I love the throaty burble of a V8, I love the sleek squatting outline of a nicely fitted Skyline GT-R,  I love knocking the gearstick back into third, planting my foot on the accelerator and feeling the heartless, brainless piece of machinery in which I sit respond to my every move like it’s an extension of my body. It’s magic to me.  

Secondly, I was dirt-ass-poor for a really long time. When I first moved out of the home paddock, a good five years elapsed before I could even afford a new pair of jeans, let alone a vehicle. My shiny, over-adored car is a symbol of the road I’ve travelled. When I see it in a parking lot, my heart gives a little sigh of contentment. When there’s a new car in my garage, I feel that despite my lack of property, bunny rabbit and fulfilling job, I’ve accomplished something.  I suspect people feel this way about their children, albeit on a less profound scale of course.

So I’m off to trade in my beloved Suzuki Swift for a Ford Fiesta.

Check out that ass, yo.

Don't buy car just because of the snazzy interior! Don't....oh god, I want this car.

And if any of you ladies (or men, for that matter) find yourself in a similar predicament, here is my advice:

Inga’s Tips for Buying a New Car When You Have Boobs

  1. Leave the bloke at home. Seriously girls, you can do this by yourself.
  2. Know your trade-in price. Use the internet and newspapers to find out what dealers and private sellers are charging for you vehicle. Knock off at least $3000 from the private seller amount, and flat out ignore the dealer prices because they’re depressing. You can bring it up in the haggling later: “Hey, I know your dodgy ass is gonna be selling this car for $xxx the second I walk out of the car yard, so throw in some floor mats or a t-shirt, biatch!”  However, do remember to take into account your mileage. I’ve driven to Canberra a million times in the last three years, therefore I can’t expect as much as the Nanna who drove to Safeway once a week for her pack of Depends.
  3. Research. If you’re anything like me, this will involve a bunch of Excel spreadsheets. Know exactly what make, model and options you want. Know precisely what is standard and what is optioned on your chosen vehicle. Remember that even paint colour can affect what is ‘standard’. For example, metallic paint can be charged as an extra, and different coloured vehicles can come with different coloured interior trims.
  4. Agree on the price of the vehicle before agreeing on the trade-in value of your car. This prevents the dealer from tweaking his “dealer delivery charge” to make up any ground they’ve lost in trade-in haggling.  Stamp duty and registration are fixed prices; dealer delivery is where each salesman has room to move. Bear in mind that “dealer delivery” involves printing out the invoice, peeling off some tape and bubble wrap, polishing up the chassis and screwing on the licence plates. If $1500 seems excessive to you, then say so.
      
  5. Know your stamp duty and registration prices down to the last bloody cent.
     
  6. Don’t give your money to a shithead. If you don’t like the way they treat you, don’t give them your commission.
  7. Know what your best feature is, and flaunt it. There’s nothing wrong with exploiting the salesman’s ‘other’ head to knock a few hundred bucks off the price. Commission based profession or not, men are still men and will be distracted by your epic cleavage or knockout thighs.  

*almost every last cent. He let me buy a digital piano with the last few hundred. Both of us are yet to see any return from that particular investment.

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18 thoughts on “Buying Miss Daisy

  1. Are you getting the XR4? Those things have some vroom that a girl of your interests would, I’m sure, find delightful. I love a good hatch. I have the Polo GTI and it makes me so fricking happy. Every red light is like I just got lucky.

    Ok… Maybe not that awesome, but it does give the heart a lil flutter, that’s for sure!

    Enjoy!!

  2. God, I LOVE the Polo GTI – brilliant car. The 2011 model is a thing of beauty too…132kW!! Eeee!! …unfortunately I just can’t justify it when I’m trying to afford a house at the same time. Boo.

    They dropped the XR4 model, so I’m getting the Zetec instead. Enough oomph to keep me happy, nice lines, and Ford to boot 🙂

    • Yes, the guts of the new Polo GTI are very hot, hot, hot (not so sold on the exterior though – I like the menacing grill on the previous model). Also, I hear there is a 1 YEAR wait on them at the moment, so don’t feel you’re missing out there!

      I hadn’t realised the XR4 was no more. I test drove one when I got my polo about 4 years ago and it was a bucket of giggly fun.

      I’m sure the Zetec will be oodles of fun!

  3. I whole-heartedly agree with #6. I’ve walked out of more than one dealership after looking at my wife and loudly saying, “Apparently this guy cannot hear me when I talk.” Amazing how just as I reach my car the price drops! The last time I look at the salesman and said, “Too late” and left anyway.

    That is a nice looking car … even if the steering wheel is on the wrong side. You should get a BIG discount for that design flaw.

  4. Excellent advice. When I got my Toyota RAV-4, I went in to the dealer armed with a newspaper flier advertising $1,500 off their RAV-4’s. I picked out a nice one with a manual transmission – a deal-breaker for me – I HATE automatic transmissions. Turns out, their ad was intended to be only for automatics, not manuals, but they failed to specify that in the ad. They had to honor it, so I ended up getting the car for $300 under invoice. Yay!

    • Yeah, nicely done! I’m also a manual girl, I just don’t feel like I’m driving unless I’m changing gears and struggling with hill starts. The RAV-4 is a sweet car too.

    • Thoroughly sage advice Mike.
      Sounds like she must have a rather generous sort of Dad…..perhaps she could reward his years of sacrifice by buying him one of these pianos for his next birthday (or sooner if she thinks he might kark it before then)……then Inga could buy an upmarket bicycle from K Mart with whatever money is left over.

    • I get the distinct impression there is a consipiracy afoot here.

      I don’t think there’d be enough left over for even half a bicycle if I buy one of those. Does it wash dishes too?

  5. I got a brand new Fiesta a few years back. In Harlot Scarlet. Lord I loved that car with every fibre of my being, it was shiny, it had only ever been mine and it had air conditioning. Air conditioning is sent from the gods as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t afford the extra £500 for metallic paint but I loved the scarlet anyway. Enjoy your Fiesta, it’s a gorgeous car.

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