That was the agreement Keds and I came to as we drove away from Findlay Chevrolet Saturday night. We had just agreed to purchase a car. We didn't want to be buying a car, but found ourselves needing to purchase one after my car was deemed a total loss by my insurance company.
The nice folks at the collision shop hooked me up with none other than Justin Findlay, son of Cliff Findlay of the Findlay Auto Group. I made an appointment with his Director of Marketing to come down to Findlay Chevy last week, especially since I was interested in pre-owned cars. He hooked me up with a great salesman that had a consultative style. Keds was smart and secured some financing through her credit union, so we knew we had that as a bargaining chip.
We met with the salesman on Thursday night. I was fairly open. My requirements were a 4-door sedan, good fuel mileage and a car that would hold it's resale value. I was open, after hearing good things about the new Ford Fusion and the Chevy Malibu, I wanted to ensure they were included along with the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and VW Jetta.
We came back Saturday, and test drove five different vehicles there. It was down to an '04 Accord or an '09 Malibu. I had ruled out the Chevy HHR and VW Jetta. We went to a couple of other Findlay lots. Test drove a Camry. Definitely didn't like that. Found two more Accords. Both were '07s with decent mileage. One had leather and GPS, the other was nice, but didn't have the extra bells and whistles. We negotiated a fair price on the later, and they were going to "Certify" it since it was at a Honda dealership.
We headed back to the Chevy dealership with an offer in hand. They couldn't get the other dealership to budge on the loaded Accord. They were willing to match the Accord offer on the '09 Malibu. At that point, we ruled out the Malibu. If a Malibu was two years newer and worth the same, I was better off with the Toyota. But still, something didn't feel right. We went back to the '04 Accord. Got them to knock $2K off the price which put it below Blue Book plus they added an Extended Warranty at no charge. At that point, the deal was done.
For once in our lives, Keds and I did the responsible thing. We knew the '04 Accord was the responsible choice. This is only planned to be a 2-3 year car. Why pay any more than we needed to, and we know it will hold it's value if reasonably maintained.
Even though we didn't shop on Craigslist, I'm sure Jennifer would have been proud of us...