Skip to main content

My dad was truly a master of all trades, especially when it came to cars.  He always had one or two in the shed that he was working on at any given time.  His favorite 'tinkering' machine was the cantankerous and finicky Corvair.  As a little girl, I spent hours watching my dad tinker with old cars, and I learned a thing or too.  He planted early seeds of appreciation for a well-maintained, sparkling clean ride that anyone could be proud of.

When it came to buying a car, my dad was no less thorough in teaching me the salient points.  An event that occurred very rarely, buying a car was a really, really big deal.  He took me with him, and coached me on how to do my research and be prepared before I ever set foot in a showroom.

1966 Corvair

For some odd reason, salespeople always sell differently to women than to men.  They don't expect us to have done our homework. Women buy 60 percent of all new cars and 53 percent of used cars, and spend $300 billion on buying used cars and keeping them repaired. Polling by CarMax finds that many car-buying decisions by women are prompted by life events, with a new job cited by 37 percent, retirement by 23 percent, and pregnancy/having an additional child by 15 percent.  

Buying a car shouldn't be a scary experience, it should be FUN!  Just because we don't think with our 'small head' when we're buying (like some men do), doesn't mean it can't be an enjoyable experience.  I've bought six cars in my lifetime, and my advice:

1) choose price range you can afford
2) choose features you absolutely must have, like size (sedan or suv), driving style (sporty or luxury), gas mileage, interior design (is it easy to operate inside, easy to reach controls, etc)
3)choose dealership/brand with location near you or work for servicing (do they provide a loaner)
4) determine how you'll pay (trade-in, finance, lease, or cash)
5) if trade-in, know the value of your car
Once you figure these things out, narrow it down to 4 or 5 vehicles that you like.  Then go test drive them.  NEVER buy a vehicle on the first visit!  You will pay the highest price on that visit.

Once you narrow it down to the car that you must absolutely have, then go and look, drive, and discuss pricing. Again, DON'T buy it yet.  Let the salesman sweat it a little.  Leave the showroom and come back.

For an all-around great vehicle with great gas mileage, I have several friends who like the Honda Fit. It comes with great features, like navigation, and sports handling for around $20,000.  I'm currently looking at the Lexus CT 200 Hybrid, with 43 mpg!

So, ladies, how do you buy a car?  

Good Luck!

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site