I recently got an offer in the mail from my car dealer to buy back my car. Apparently a lot of dealers want to do this because there’s a demand for used cars that are still pretty new, and they need to get their sales quotas up so they’ll give you decent value on a trade in. I thought about it for a couple days and then realized, no thanks, I embarrass myself every day without spending thousands of dollars.
As a man (using this term loosely), I’m theoretically supposed to know things about cars. As a failure at everything in life, I don’t even know enough to pretend. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a piston and a caliper. In fact, I had to google at least one of those just to make the comparison. Apparently I don’t know more than one car part, but I’m supposed to invest at least $20,000 in one of these things? Sure I did some research before buying a new car. I read reviews, skimming all the technical stuff I couldn’t understand (mostly everything useful), trying to avoid the draw of the shiniest ones, but you might as well sell me a car with a lawnmower engine and I wouldn’t know the difference.
Of course, you get there and they give you the benefit of the doubt that you know what you are talking about because you’re a male human (quasi man?), and remember all guys know cars. But then they start prying into what you’re really looking for….what do you mean sedan or hatchback? Do i want a V6? The juice? Sloooow down buddy. Too many blanks stares later, and its game over. They now know that you are a moron whose only thoughts are: sky blue mica is really a nice color, could I sleep in that back seat when the wife kicks me out, and oooooo moon roof. After a bunch of crap (important details) and mindless nodding you pull out your phone, look up that review online and tell the guy, I want this model. After some guesswork and phone peeking to determine if it’s S, LS, X, R, t12, whatever goddamn letters they want to throw in to confuse people like you (Seriously couldn’t they just use normal terms like standard, deluxe, or Xzibit models?), you make your choice.
Almost begrudgingly, you pick the car you want to test drive and hit the road. Or drive tentatively while some weasely sales guy rambles on about more specs that you have not the slightest clue about. Calm down slimeball, I’m trying to see if I can stick both arms through the moon roof and you want to tell me about the engine. Come on! You drive around for 10 lousy minutes and all you can think is “well this car doesn’t make that terrible noise like my old car….and these window go down with a button not a handle…and it has a CD player, people still use those! I am sold.” Write up that paper work sleazy, I don’t need to see anything else.
If the lot and the test drive are for questioning your masculinity, then the office is for questioning your intelligence. You sit down and they ask how much can you pay each month. I’m not a negotiator, but I think I’m pretty smooth and I’ve worked up a budget beforehand, so I play ball. Throw out something low, expecting some other comparable but higher number and find the middle. Instead I get a barrage of numbers and terms thrown at me that I should know as an adult, but again, failure at life. MSRP….blah blah warranty…rabble rabble I’m screwing you right now tax and fees…interest rate…oh I know that one, that’s what stops my credit card from ever being paid off. They just keep throwing math at you that doesn’t match anything you came up with while preparing online. But if you’re being honest with yourself you were just making shit up and have no faith in your home calculations because you did them while drinking an entire bottle of wine. Also, at this point you’ve made it abundantly clear to the salesperson that not only do you not know anything about cars but if you had to do this again at another dealer you’d probably just give up after 20 minutes and lie down in the lot until someone ran you over and ended your misery.
Somehow you get this fixed. By fixed, I mean they convinced you that they’re bending over backwards to give the car to you at this price and you should be stoked. Hey, you got the car you wanted, even a bunch of other crap you didn’t know you needed (what the hell are alloy wheels?) All you have to do is pay more money than you can afford for 6 more years! But fuck it, you got, a new car, and the way the salesperson was sweating it really sounded like you got a great deal…until you go home and realize you could’ve paid an extra $500 bucks upfront and saved $4000 over the next 6 years. Oh well, I can’t math. Wait, why wouldn’t I want to do that again?