Thursday, April 17, 2014

Live & Learn Thursday :: Things You Shouldn't Do When Buying A Car

You all know what time it is! Time for another Live & Learn Thursday link up! This week I will be sharing the lessons I learned when I tried to buy a new car.

Life As Always

This lesson begins about a year ago when we decided it was time to replace my car. There was nothing really wrong with my car, it was just old and our needs were changing. Joel and I needed something that would work well for our outdoor, adventure filled lifestyle, but could also be a good family car, should we make that decision in the future. So we did our research, saved our pennies, and last January we made the big purchase.

The bad news was that we would have to wait almost three months before the car was ready for us to drive it home. There wasn't a single vehicle in the entire country in the color I wanted, in the trim level I wanted, or with towing already installed. I was determined to get my car just the way I wanted it, so we didn't settle, we placed our order and waited for it to be built in a factory and shipped to our dealership.

Months went by and at times I had forgotten that we had even bought a new car. But then, one day, when Joel and I were out buying him a new pair of shoes, we got the call! The car had arrived and was ready for us to take it home! I told Joel to buy whatever shoes he wanted, get them all, who bleeping cares, we are out of here! We immediately got in the car and drove 90 minutes north of Seattle to the dealership where we bought the car. Hooray for neighboring counties with lower sales tax rates!

As we were driving north, Joel told me to get the paperwork we needed for the purchase of the car out of the glove box. I couldn't find it. I looked everywhere in the car, EVERYWHERE. Joel was trying to help me look, which caused him to drift lanes a bit, which made me yell at him. "Can you please try not to kill us! You are in enough trouble right now, don't make it worse!" After looking in every possible nook and cranny, I had to give into the reality that our paperwork was not in the car. I wasn't very happy.

It was about this time that Joel shared with me that we might not have enough money in our account to cover the check we were about to write. WHAT? We are 45 minutes from the dealership, and you are just now sharing this with me? Needless to say, I flipped out. Joel had a feeling the car might arrive soon, so that morning he had moved the money from one account and into another account. Sometimes it can take a day or two for the bank to move the funds and make them available to you, especially when funds are moved over a weekend. Are you kidding me? We have to walk into that dealership and tell them that not only are we missing paperwork but our check might bounce! I wasn't very happy at all.

Lucky for us, we have the most amazing brother-in-law ever. Chris drove from his house to our house, about a 40 minute drive for him, to look for our paperwork. Chris found it, took a picture of it, emailed it to us, we printed it out at the dealership and voilà - we had our paperwork. Phew! That was one bullet dodged.

Just when I thought things were looking up and I might actually drive this car home tonight, Joel did it again. We were filling out the mountains of additional paper work and I got to a question that I didn't know the answer to. And Joel didn't either. We panicked again.

So we tried everything to find the information we needed, discreetly of course. I didn't want to have to admit to the dealer that we had another problem. We tried everything to locate the information, websites and emails; nothing. Finally I remembered that Joel's paystubs were emailed to him, so he looked one up and we had the information! Bingo! Another bullet dodged!

Now all we had to do was explain to the dealer, he might not be able to cash our check for a few days. Super embarrassing. The dealer said not to worry, this happens all the time and he assured me that I was driving my new car home that night.

And I did.

I love my husband, dearly, but he will not be living this misadventure down for a long time.


So, please, take it from me and don't learn this lesson the hard and stressful way. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you arrive at the dealership when buying a car. You will look less like the mess known as Joel and Jess Odell!
Be sure to stop by Life As Always and see what other lessons are being shared today!
P.S. Chris, we are still thinking of a way to repay you! You are the best!!


  1. Congratulations on your hot new ride!! Getting a new car is so exciting. And the process is always a nightmare for one reason or another, so don't get too down about it. I've probably done the same type of thing to Stew on more than one occasion!

  2. All of your troubles must have evaporated when you got your car! It must be one-of-a-kind, considering it was "custom built" for you! Well, it's true at least on the colors and other features. It's great to see that your dealership adjusts to their clients very well! I hope you get to drive around the city with your new car often!

    Rhonda Burgess @ Bob Dunn Hyundai