The Pony has new wheels!
Make that new used wheels. Here's his off-to-college car.
It's a 2013 Nissan Rogue. The Pony took that picture last evening, in the waning twilight, after he drove it home. If you look closely, you can see his leg reflection, and little long Puppy Jack. Let the record show that they both appear stretched out by that Rogue. It's a handy little hatchback, front-wheel drive, not too big, not to small. Goldilocks herself would approve. But she'd better not eat porridge in there!
We had been looking at this one, and a Ford Escape, which was newer, with fewer miles, red instead of black, and of course a higher cost. We could have swung it, though. The Pony expressed no preference either way. Hick had an amount he was ready to spend, but was swayed by the low miles on the Escape. He and The Pony took a test drive Tuesday night.
Hick called me Wednesday morning and said we'd go work a deal Wednesday night. That did not sit well with Val. I wanted to ruminate on it a bit more. Run the numbers on both cars again. Choose the better value. Hick was not pleased, but agreed to go Thursday night instead. He called the Rogue guy to tell him he would not be bringing the 2002 Ford Ranger trade-in for him to look at until Thursday. I almost changed my mind. I considered texting Hick to say I would be ready and we would go Wednesday night. But at 3:30, Hick sent ME a text saying he was tied up at work with a personnel matter, and would be home late.
Hick left work at 3:00 on Thursday. The Pony and I met him at the antique mall next to the dealer where we were going to talk turkey about the Escape. That's so Hick could take out the can of Freon he had put into the Ranger and stash it in the back of T-Hoe. Also remove The Pony's Garmin and the car-buying printouts Hick had been studying.
We parked up front by the showroom and went inside. Hick asked for the salesman he had talked to before. A Not Particularly Friendly Fellow said it was that guy's day off. So Hick asked to speak to anyone who could write up a deal, and said he was there about the Escape that he drove Tuesday night. Well. The Not Particularly Friendly Fellow said, "We sold that car last night." No skin off our nose. We had a backup plan.
"Okay. I'm going to buy a car today, and since yours is gone, I'll go to my other dealer." Just to rub it in to the Not Particularly Friendly Fellow, who had asked if he could show us something else.
Off we went up the road about a half mile, to the Rogue guy. Hick parked the Ranger in front, and we went inside. He asked for his previous salesman, and another guy said he had asked him to take care of us. But then there came the other guy out of a back room. I guess he had been planning to leave early, because there seemed to be a teenage boy hanging around waiting for him. We were there at 4:00, and they close at 5:00. The Original Salesman took the keys to the Ranger and went off for a test drive. He returned shortly, and he and the teenage boy looked over the outside of the Ranger. We chatted with the Extra Salesman.
The Original Salesman came back in. He told the Extra Salesman he'd be right back, then came out of the back room again with a big smile and the Rogue keys. The Extra Salesman left the desk, and the Original Salesman reached across and shook The Pony's hand, Hick's hand, and my hand. "You got a deal."
Let the record show that when Hick first stopped by to look at that Rogue, he had told OS about the Ranger he wanted to trade in, and that if he could make the deal for X amount of difference, he had a sale. OS said to bring the Ranger by and he'd take a look, but that he could probably make that deal. Hick took The Pony to test-drive the Rogue, and The Pony gave it a thumbs up. Hick kept in touch, letting OS know that he had to change the day he was bringing in the Ranger, and also telling him that we were looking at the Rogue and one other car, and that we'd take the best deal.
So...when OS shook our hands, we at first thought he was kidding. Hick said, "We'll write that check if you can do what I told you."
OS said, "It's a done deal. You can start writing. The amount of the check will be X." Which was the amount Hick had told OS he was willing to trade for. But I jabbed Hick. He was forgetting one important item. The printout I gave him that said to show it to the salesman and get $500 off that Rogue. Hick took it out of his pocket, unfolded it, and gave it to OS.
"Oh. I DID put that on our website. Quite a while back. Okay. So the amount of the check will be X minus 500." See there? Val instantly saved $500 on that transaction.
OS went off to get the paperwork started. I filled out the check. We were thrilled. It's never this easy. But Hick had told OS on a previous visit, "When I say X, I mean X. Total. Don't go saying you have to charge me a couple hundred dollars for paperwork. You have to do the paperwork or you can't sell me the car. My total offer will be X. Nothing more. Write it however you write it. I don't care what you call the trade-in, and what you call the sale price. I'm paying a difference of X, and not a penny more. I won't sit here haggling. My offer is X. If you can do that, you've got a deal."
Well. We were all celebratory, the check already written out, when OS came back and said, "Oops! I need you to sign this. I forgot about the paperwork fee. This shows I am subtracting the amount for the paperwork. So the amount of the check will be X minus 500 minus the paperwork."
You can bet Val didn't mind one whit to tear up that check and write another. That's a stand-up guy. In 10 minutes time, we had slashed that agree-upon price difference by over $700. Don't go tellin' Val that the salesman must have really made a killing to be able to do that without rancor. Hick and I looked at those car values seven ways to Sunday, on Edmunds and KBB and NADA. We shopped our trade-in and the Rogue. Compared differences in values. And came up with our bottom-line offer.
That savings covered the tax and license fees today when I went to the DMV!
Anyhoo...we were in and out of that dealer in less than 45 minutes, Thevictorians satisfied, the salesman satisfied, and The Pony pleased as punch. The Rogue had been pulled around to the front, all shiny and clean. They took The Pony's picture beside the car, and put it on their Facebook page.
The Pony hopped in his Rogue, with Hick riding shotgun. I had to fend Extra Salesman off T-Hoe. We headed, in our separate vehicles, to have a celebratory car-buying, Mother's Day, valedictorian-graduation dinner at a local catfish house.
I almost felt bad about the Freon.
Let the record show that my mom would have said, about the purchase of the Rogue rather than the Escape..."Honey, everything happens for a reason."