So, yes, as I alluded to in my last post, we finally took the plunge and did it: we bought a new car. And not just any new car, a 2011 Honda Pilot, dark gray exterior ("polished gunmetal" is the official name), gray interior. I know! Look at us, all grown up and buying new cars, not inheriting them from our parents or finding them on Craigslist! But it was time: with two car seats, we couldn't even fit one additional passenger in our sedan, and our stroller was a tight fit, too. Modern parenting requires a large vehicle, sadly.
Lessons learned while car buying:
1) Taking kids along for test drives is a great idea. You can see how your life will really fit into a vehicle, how your car seats will work, how far away the kids will be, etc.
2) On the other hand, taking kids along to discuss inventory, pricing, and credit checks is almost the worst idea, second only to taking kids along when you actually go in to do the paperwork to make the sale. We did both. It was horrible.
3) If there is even the hint that you might want to trade in your old car, clean it out before you go in because you never know when they will say "well, why don't we just take a look at it?" and then come back in with a firm trade-in offer. Ooops! You mean cheerios and a box of tampons aren't what you were looking for?
4) Buying a new car involves almost as much paperwork as buying a new house. It's shocking, really, the trees that died just so I could drive out of there. And MAN, does a lot of upselling go on when you are finalizing the deal! Even more shocking!
5) Turns out I have latent OCD about cleanliness when faced with a brand new vehicle, something that never, ahem, bothered me before. I have become the crumb and dirt Nazi, purchasing seat covers for the second row of seats to protect against the car seats and to protect the backs of the driver's and passenger seats from children's dirty feet and shoes.
6) Buying a new car also makes one (read: me) paranoid about security, in a way that having someone break into my house never did, funnily enough. The only part of the upselling that I was sold on right away was LoJack, because if someone cared enough to rob my very modest looking home, I was sure they might be tempted by my pimped out ride!
7) Though, of course, this being a new car but still a car within our budget, our ride is not very pimped out. Shocking, too, how many extras you COULD get along with your new car if you wanted. We got the basic, basic, BASIC model, which still has more bells and whistles than I have ever had, but I think our dealership was shocked at our modest aspirations. The only option I am even vaguely wishing we had now is a running board, because the car is so tall I literally have to jump out!
So far, we have loved this car. Last night we headed over to some fireworks with some friends of ours and filled it to its 8 person capacity and everyone was comfortable and happy, which is all we ever wanted!