cars and dealers

so the twins will be 4 weeks old tomorrow, that means that our new car is also almost 4 weeks old.

when we first found out we were going to have twins, one of the first things that went through my mind was that we were going to need a new car. i mentioned this at church a couple of months ago to some of the leadership team. some of them started laughing and said things like, “oh, yeah. no wonder abe’s excited, he just wants to get a new car.”

but i wasn’t thinking that at all. i was actually dreading the idea because we don’t do debt. we never finance our vehicles, we always pay cash for the things we buy, and we were going to need something BIG to fit us all! so for the last few months we were saving up as much cash as we could spare each month towards the purchase of a new vehicle. i even put a “donation button” on the bottom of the main page where people could contribute to our “new vehicle fund”.

originally our idea was to get a SUV that seats 8 or 9. there are quite a few that do, but i was surprised how many big SUV’s only seat 7. (and some SUV’s only seat 5, seriously what’s the point of that?)

but then about the middle of march gas prices went to about $3.40/gallon and i began to think that maybe a SUV* that only gets about 12-15 mpg wouldn’t be a good idea. so we talked about it and realized that perhaps a car and a van would be better than a SUV.

our rationale was that with gas prices as they are we don’t make that many big trips with the whole family anyways. and most of the time i’d have one car at work and deb would have the other vehicle to run errands is she wants. she’d usually have the 4 youngest kids with her to go to dr. visits or such. and for unusual occasions that she would have all six kids and have to leave somewhere they would all fit in a mini-van. our thinking was that it’d be better for deb to run errands in a minivan that gets closer to 20-23 mpg than a SUV** that gets 12-15 mpg.

my white ’95 ford escort was not in the best condition and i’m not mechanic, plus we really wanted something a little nicer. so with the money we had saved plus some from my mother-in-law that we asked her to help us out with*** we bought a 1999 oldsmobile intrigue.

the twins were born on a wednesday night. on thursday i drove home (w/o deb) to be with the other girls. on the way to grandview i called rebecca (my mother-in-law) and asked her to loan us some funds; she agreed. by friday she had deposited the funds and i had already visited various dealerships. at one of the first ones (thur) i went to i found a 2001 Saturn LE2. nice little car with only 65K miles, price $3,500 OTD (out the door).

friday morning i went to a dealership in prosser and they tried to push me to get a 2002? ford freestar. it had a couple of dents on the bumper but only 70k? miles, price $4,500 OTD. they said we should test drive it. so i did, but by that afternoon i knew we didn’t have enough funds (didn’t want to borrow or finance) and in actuality we weren’t looking to get a van then. we just wanted a better car than the 95 escort.

so i took it back that evening (well before the 24 hr time period) but when i got there i realized i forgot the keys to my ‘95 escort that i had left earlier. so they seized the opportunity to have me take a different car for a “test drive”. that was our ‘99 intrigue. it had 104k, so more than the saturn that i was leaning towards. but it was roomier, and i was able to get them to give sell it to me for $3,000 OTD. so in actuality they sold it for $2,634 (?) plus tax and license!

anyways we’re very happy with our new “date” car as deb calls it. it’s a much nicer car to take on a date when it’s just me and her than a minivan or our old ‘95 escort.

and one point deb said, “i didn’t know it was that easy, or they were so eager for people, to test drive vehicles. if we knew that maybe we should just test drive a new SUV every time we need to go to yakima or tri-cities.”

we plan on upgrading our ’94 mercury villager to some newer mini-van (hopefully with dual sliding doors) when our stimulus package rebate check comes. we’ve also given the ’95 escort to my brother-in-law (who was planning on buying it w/his stimulus check) and just told him to give us what he thinks it’s worth to him when he’s able to.

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// today i'm thankful for:
1. new bars of soap
2. our date car
3. twitterific
4. deb’s home-cooked meals
5. all my lovely little ladies

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* that we could afford.
** i got this far into the post when i realized that the noun SUV should be prefaced by “a” instead of “an”. so then i started thinking why would i be saying “an SUV” when i know that “an” is only used for words that start with a vowel. i decided that it was because when you verbally say SUV it sounds like it starts with the short e sound - “essss”
*** so yes, we are a little in debt to my mother-in-law, but we have really good credit with her. :-)