What’s going on around here?
A couple of weeks ago Drew and I started talking about our vehicle situation. (Technically, we’ve been talking about it for months, but mainly in hypothetical terms.) Drew knows that all of that tends to stress me out, so it’s probably a good thing that we have been easing into it. The main goal has been to assess our options. We’ve talked, researched and even driven through car lots to browse. As if making big financial decisions isn’t stressful enough, car salesmen can add heat to the fire. We’ve tried to keep our browsing to after business hours, but once we got cornered by a pushy fella. He wouldn’t take “We are just looking” for an answer. His response? “Are you opposed to saving money?” Oh my goodness, dude. Really? That’s your sales pitch? Bullying us into spending $30,000 on a vehicle so that you can pay $1,000 of our sales tax? Really? He pushed his business card in Drew’s face and as we drove away I threw it in the trash.
So, the vehicle discussions were really to help me decide what I would like to be driving. My Tahoe is doing fine, but it is 15 years old with 172,000 miles. I sort of had it in my head that I would drive it until it died. It hadn’t really occurred to me that doing that would mean driving it until it was worth nothing. It could go another 100,000 miles, but who knows? It’s been very well cared for and maintained and I have been very grateful to have it this long. Still, it might be time to move forward.
After much discussion and indecision on my part, I came up with a list of what I really wanted in a vehicle.
1. The ability to go where I want to. That includes the reliability of the vehicle (i.e. Drew won’t worry that something has happened and left me on the side of the road) and hardiness (i.e. not afraid to drive over a speed bump or down a dirt road).
2. Room for car seats for nieces and nephews, should I have the need.
3. The ability to go to Lowe’s and get my own mulch and/or garden supplies without messing up my vehicle. (That, of course, extends to any large or messy stuff that I need/want to transport).
4. Much newer than the Tahoe… either new (and therefore under warranty) or a handful of years old with low mileage and good maintenance records.
5. Paint color? Black or dark gray.
So, those were my wants and wishes. I quickly marked a new Tahoe or Suburban off of my list. Those puppies are $50,000+!! I wouldn’t throw mulch in the back of it, living in fear of messing something up. Also, the new ones look like hearses. Not cool.
I also marked smaller SUVs off of my list. I want something rugged and tough and I want it to sit like a truck, not a car. That being said, I also decided I didn’t want any sort of car. Don’t get me wrong, I have this sensationalized love affair with Mustangs, but the list of good reasons to have that car begins and ends with this… I would look super hot & sexy driving it. (Now is when you giggle with me and then nod your head in agreement.)
You can imagine the smirk on my face when I realized that weeks of talking and thinking led me to the realization that the vehicle I was looking for was sitting in my driveway. Drew’s truck. He has put a bit more mileage on it than one would like (thanks to the Army with all those drives between home and Ft. Sill and then his daily drive to Bentonville for work each day), but he has also meticulously cared for it. It’s six years old, but it pretty well looks and runs like it just rolled off the new car lot. What’s that they say? It was right under my nose? Yep.
There would be an added benefit of turning Drew’s truck into Mandy’s truck… giving the mileage a break. I don’t drive nearly as much as Drew does and letting it “rest” for a bit would prolong the life of the truck we have carefully cared for. That decision left us with a new decision to make… what will Drew drive? We’ve done lots of researching, looking, talking and thinking and have a few options in mind. This next step will require us to actually drive a few vehicles before making any further decisions. The best news about this whole situation is that we are not in any sort of pinch and not in a hurry.
Whew. That’s enough car/truck talk.