My Very First Big Girl Purchase.

Good news — I survived the holiday office party with no hangover, no having to talk to boring married couples (guess what – most were fun and doing shots at the bar!), and doing lots of this:

But perhaps the most exciting news of the weekend was that I bought my first car all on my own. As a single woman, this was more terrifying and overwhelming than navigating OkCupid.

The time had come to retire my 15-year-old Honda Accord as it leaked on me when it rained (and in one instance, leaked on one of my dates when he sat in the passenger seat) and the driver side window decided it didn’t want to open anymore. So I did months and months of online research and finally test drove a certified, pre-owned Sonata and fell in love.

But if there’s one thing I loathe in life, it is negotiating. Thank goodness I work in advertising and not litigation. I actually walked out of the dealership on Saturday because they were pressuring me far too much and gave me a crap offer on my (granted POS) Honda. I spent a night doing further research on Kelley Blue Book and talking with a friend who used to work at a dealership and who had all sorts of tips. The next day, I walked back into the Hyundai dealership much more confident and negotiated the price of my trade-in up and the price of the new car down. And now, I have a car with Bluetooth AND it doesn’t rain on me when it rains outside.

I learned a whole lot over those two days:

  1. Confidence is key. In life, on a date, in a car negotiation. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to walk away from something if you feel overwhelmed or pressured. A night to sleep on it is sometimes all you need.
  3. Research, research, research. I spent months reading car reviews and talking to friends who owned cars I was interested in before I even test drove.
  4. Visit Carmax for a quote on your trade-in. I didn’t wind up using them but their quote gave me extra ammunition in negotiating the price of my trade-in.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend for advice.

By the way, some Los Angeleno jerk driver scratched the rear bumper on my 4th day of ownership and didn’t leave a note. Typical.

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