When I got back from my recent trip, my Beemer's front end was kinda shaky. So I took it to a Sullivan Tire, thinking it needed a front end alignment. Nope. It needed a new idler arm for the right side, front brakes, new front tires and an alignment. All told, over $500 worth of work. The Kelly Blue Book on the car was $238 because of its age and the mileage (186,000). I had planned on getting a newer car in May or June, when the payments on Chris' Jeep were done. But I called him and he said it was time to get a new car.
So I started looking online Friday afternoon at local dealers. I wanted to get another used Beemer. I'd had the 528e for 16 years. It served me well, so I wanted to stick with what works best for me. Plus tax, registration and insurance would be lower, not to mention the price of a brand new car.
Saturday morning I looked at a local paper's classifieds online and found a Beemer that was "it." And it was only 45 minutes away, at Land Rover Scarborough. A 1999 BMW 528i, 4 door sedan, leather interior, all the works, including heated seats with individual setting for driver and front passenger, heated steering wheel, and more goodies. . and just 41,000 miles! The color, Glacier Green, looked beautiful. I called and spoke to the salesperson, Kristin, asked her some questions, then took a shower. I cleaned out my old Beemer, got my title and headed to Scarborough alone.
Kristin saw me drive onto the lot and came out to greet me. She was in her early 20s, very cute and had only been on the job for two weeks. She was from Minneapolis. She got a temp plate so that we could go for a test drive. I walked around the new Beemer. Not a blemish on it. The color was even nicer in person. It was spotless inside. One previous owner, who turned out to be anally retentive (he underlined things in the manual and made notations in it as well and had all the service stamps put in it).
Driving it was like a dream. We chatted while I drove, playing with the various buttons, making sure the cassette deck worked. It was prewired to take a 6-CD changer, which was cool. Tried out the sunroof, the seat settings, tilt steering wheel. I felt like I was in heaven.
We got back and it was time to negotiate. The Internet price was $17,450. I waited to see how much I'd get for my old Beemer. I thought maybe I'd get lucky and get $500. They gave me $1200!!! Talked a bit more, negotiated and I ended up getting the car for $17000, including tax, title and registration, a $1500 savings. The blue book on it is $23K, so it was a sweet deal. Plus I get a full month warranty and it came with a CarFax report.
I put $5000 down, financed $12000 at 8.29% and said goodbye to the old Beemer. I did not cry. I swear. I was too excited to get in my new(er) car.
The paperwork went through quickly and it turned out the general manager, who wasn't usually in on Saturdays was a huge Clive Cussler fan. He saw my NUMA vanity plates and asked if they stood for the National Underwater Marine Agency. They do. We got to talking, I mentioned I knew Clive and he was ecstatic. I told him if he gave me a good deal on the car, I'd send him some Clive goodies. He treated me right, so he and Kristin are getting a thank you package from me.
When I got in the car, I called Chris and whooped. I was so happy! Got on the highway, set the cruise control, turned up the volume on the radio to a good rock station and rocked all the way home.
When I pulled in the driveway, Chris was waiting. He couldn't believe it. He got in the passenger seat and told me he hated me (ha ha).
Put a blanket on the back seat and a towel on the front passenger for the dogs to go for our Sunday ride this morning. Bandit was okay, but Guin was freaking. Too new! Too new! She had this worried look on her face the whole time we went for our ride. She flew out the door when we got home and raced upstairs. It was pretty funny. Bandit doesn't care because he's blind mostly. All he cares about is the ride and listening to the Blues Power Hour on Sunday mornings. Seriously. He is one weird little dog.
One thing I forgot to mention - this is the first time I've purchased a car all alone and on my own credit. I am one proud car owner.
Now for new car photos (I'll take some myself - these were on the dealer web site):