Wheels and Deals


Settle in, kiddies. It’s story time. This is the time where I tell you how I became a use car salesman. This is the story of two cars and one person who sucks at negotiating.

The good news is that I now have a brand spanking new one of these:

The littlest Jeep. Daaaw. (jeep.com/renegade)

I didn’t actually spank it or anything. That would be weird even for me, but it is a brand and it is entirely new. It had 7 miles on it when I drove away from the dealer.

That’s the newest new car I’ve ever owned. I’ve owned four brand new cars in my life including this one. That sounds like a lot until you realize that I’ve owned roughly two dozen cars. The next newest new car had 11 miles on it. The last brand new car was way back in 1997, which I then drove for a dozen years and over 200,000 miles.

This car is a few firsts for me. My first SUV (although, it’s so little, it can hardly be rightly called that), my first lease and my first Chrysler product even though I’m from Detroit. We Detroiters tend to be loyal to the big three automakers, but typically only one of them. My family always drove GM products. Even when I worked at Ford Motor Company, I drove a Chevrolet. The tiny Chevrolet and Buick SUVs were also on my list, but this one has better ratings. It’s also cheaper than the baby Buick.

This also marks the first time I’ve bought something at a dealership that I actually went there to see. The other times, I went to test drive one car and was sold something else.

Much like how I went to buy cat food and came home with a puppy, I just wanted to test drive this one to see if I even liked it and I ended up buying, or rather leasing, one the same day. I did the whole get rid of one car, get another thing backwards. Whoopsies. They had all sorts of incentives that, of course, expired at the end of the weekend. I got $6,000 off the asking price of $26,000. Six thousand dollars is worth doing things all cattywampus.

But, because I hadn’t actually planned on buying a new vehicle on Saturday, I hadn’t even cleaned out the old BMW yet. The plan was to take it to a detailer and pay them to deal with a year’s worth of muddy dog, but since I now had two cars and I couldn’t find a detailer on Sunday, I did it myself. I just wanted the old albatross gone.

My old car was a goddamn mess. This was sort of intentional. Every time I cleaned my car and my muddy dog got in it, I’d get mad at her for, you know, being a dog who enjoys life and being dirty. So, in an effort not to be angry with my dog for her continued insistence on being a dog, I simply gave up and drove a filthy car. It made us all much happier. Still, that left a very filthy vehicle to deal with in a jif.

Pro tip: If you have filthy leather interior and the car leather cleaner you have is being very lazy about doing its job even with all the scrubbing in the world, use Scrubbing Bubbles.

After the failure of the leather cleaner, I said to myself, well, maybe I have just a regular household cleaning product that will work. I looked and the only household cleaner I had without bleach (I don’t know for sure, but it seems like bleach and leather wouldn’t mix well), was Scrubbing Bubbles. Well, it’s worth a try.

So, I tested it on a little invisible section of the leather. Dude. Dude. Spray on, wipe a year of dog grime off. You don’t even have to wait for it to do its job. It is so on top of that shit. Easy peasy. They need to change the label. Bathroom and Dirty Leather Cleaner.

Seriously. Who knew? (scrubbingbubbles.com)

When the Bubbles dried, I applied a liberal dose of leather conditioner and I had brand new seats. They didn’t even look that good when I bought the car. I posted it online and immediately got hits. About 12 of them. Most of them tried to lowball me by at least $1,000. Why would you call someone who literally just posted a car and offer less than half the asking price? For serious? Does that ever work?

While I had lots of calls and texts, only one guy came out to look at it and he came back with, “Let me sleep on it,” which is a polite way of saying, “Yeah, nope.”

Well, shit. You see, the problem is that I had given the Jeep dealer a post-dated check for the down payment on the new car, which I was not at all good for until I sold the old car. They gave me two weeks and I had already wasted one.

This morning, I deleted my old ad, which had fallen down to the bottom of the listings after a week, and reposted it. Not even ten minutes later, I got a call. “Can I come see it this morning? I live 20 minutes away.” Sure! He came, he drove, he gave me a fat stack of hundred dollar bills. I ended up selling it for less than I had hoped, because world’s worst salesperson, but it is enough to cover the post-dated down payment for the new car, which is really all I cared about.

I signed over the title and we signed “as is” bill of sale receipts that I downloaded off the internet, so even if the BMW broke down on his way home, not my problem. The piece of shit BMW that has been nothing but a pain in the tuchus for the three years I’ve owned it is no longer my problem forevermore and that, my friends, is a damn good feeling.

Also, did I mention that I have a new car? It’s got four doors and four windows, two just for my dog to stick her lolly head out of so she never needs to be in the front at all. Way better and safer than my old coupe in which she constantly blocked my mirrors, rolled the windows down or turned the hazard light on. One time, she even shifted me into neutral while I was on the freeway. The designers at BMW have obviously never owned dogs.

The new car has the bigger of the two available engines (which is still only a petite 2.4L inline 4) and gets a combined average of 26.5 mpg (42.6 km). It has a backup camera (the coolest thing ever), it tells me when someone is in my blindspot and it beeps at me when someone’s stupidly driving behind me while I’m backing up (why do people do that?). It even came with the upgraded Beats stereo system, which is nice for an audiophile like me. I also paid $595 for huge 18″ tires, because, you know, I’m way into enormous tires (it came with themโ€“I didn’t have a choice).

The best thing though? I have to do naught but oil changes for the next three years. If I’m driving down the road and the engine falls off, not my problem. It’s a lease.

So, that, my friends, is the story of two cars and the world’s worst salesperson. I’m sorry it wasn’t more of an exciting story. There wasn’t even an explosion or anything. Well, maybe the old BMW exploded on the way home.

I’m hoping I won’t miss anymore weekend posts now that the car thing is all sorted. Did you miss me?