Saturday, May 28, 2005

Adventures In Car Shopping

Somehow, K & I got a bug up our collective butts to start looking for a new minivan to replace our 7-year-old Grand Caravan.

We were quite disappointed that, even with 0% financing for 60 months, payments for the Grand Caravan that we want were still creeping up towards $400/month. Compare that to our current $235/month and it just equals a jump we're not prepared to make.

So today in the paper, we found an ad for a 24 month lease deal with advertised monthly payments of $199/month. So I called for more info and asked what the residual was...$14,700.

I thought this sounded like a great deal to be honest. We could lease with the intent to buy and not spend every moment worrying if the kids spill their fries on the seats or that kind of thing. Because I really think the van will hold its value at least that much over 24 months.

Well...I need to learn to read the fine print. Turns out there was $1,500 in rebates that we weren't eligible for becauses we weren't Farm Bureau members (moo!) and we didn't have an existing Chrysler lease. Well folks...when you tack $1,500 on to a 24 month lease, it jacks up those monthly payments a bit.

We haven't given up yet...even at that price, I still think it's a decent deal....just not as stellar as originally thought. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the finance application point, it was 7:30 at night and there were no responses from Chrysler corporate and now we have to wait until Monday.

We've NEVER owned a brand new car. I'm hoping we will come Monday.

Another annoying thing is the sales guy. I talked to one salesman at the dealer on the phone before I headed out there and asked for him when I arrived. Unfortunately, he was busy with another customer. So I got stuck with some yahoo who was young (maybe 24) and arrogant as could be. If the lease deal hadn't been that good, I would've walked away just because he was annoying.

And actually, a different dealership is open tomorrow and our neighbors were looking at a van there too today. We're thinking of going in and seeing what kind of 2-for-1 type deal we can get. But I'm not looking forward to spending another 2-1/2 hours in a car dealership.

Wish me luck!

Until Next Time...