Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Oh, how I love/hate car shopping

I love car shopping, but I hate shopping for cars. Does that make sense?

Here's the deal: I like being on a car dealer's lot, looking at window stickers, taking test drives, and kibbitzing with salespeople. But I hate the mechanics of buying a car: detailing my trade in (see photo at left), making a final decision on model and color, and all the paperwork that goes with this sort of purchase.

Still, as much as I admire the Saturn model--which promotes a no-haggle, customer-friendly experience--I really do enjoy negotiating a deal. (And I would feel cheated somehow if that part of the process was removed and all I had to do was write a check and drive off the lot. It just wouldn't seem right.)

So I am beginning to look at cars again, after a long hiatus. I work for a division of GM, and I would dearly like to buy a GM vehicle. But the "everybody gets the employee price" deal is actually a worse deal for employees than you might think. When they started this "sale" they cut back most of the rebates on GM vehicles. That means that I actually end up paying more for a GM vehicle now--as an employee, anyway--than I would have before the sale. So I might end up waiting until the sale ends on September 5 and hope they reinstate the rebates and other promotions. Stay tuned to see how this turns out.


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