Friday, August 10, 2012

Things I learned while buying a new car

Sometimes I miss Bug, but he was unreliable and I've got places to go. Maz is a much better vehicle for adventuring. The whole car buying process taught me a few things about decision making and life in general that I can probably apply to other areas of my life.

When Bug first died, I took a mini break from the whole car experience. Luckily I've built my life in such a way that it wasn't a big deal to go without a car for a few weeks. This break gave me the needed space to avoid making a decision based on urgency or emotional reaction.

Lesson: Sometimes it's good to take myself out of a situation and give myself time to reflect before moving forward.

Then I had to figure out what I wanted next. My dad and I spent a few weekends driving around to car dealerships so I could get an idea of the options out there, what I liked and disliked and to go on some test drives. As I walked or biked to and from work, I also started paying attention to the cars parked on the street. If I saw something I liked, I researched the prices and reviews online.

Lesson: Remain open to life's possibilities and seek out alternative options, then focus on the ones that will work best for me.

I thought I had decided on a Nissan Versa, but when I went to the Nissan dealership, I had a bad experience. When I test drove the car, I found it had some features I didn't like. Plus the salesmen were pushy and I knew more about the car and the dealer's current incentives than they did.

Lesson: Trust myself and my instincts. When I get a bad vibe about something, it's usually for a reason. It's helpful to listen to other people's opinions, but I still have to do what's best for me.

In the end, I'm glad that things didn't work out with Nissan because otherwise I wouldn't have gone to the Mazda dealership where I ended up finding and buying Maz. I never realized how nice it is to have a new car and not feel limited in where I can go and what I can do. I'm hoping that with regular maintenance and some luck, I can drive Maz for the next 200,000+ miles of my life.

Lesson: Sometimes the things I think I want don't work out, but they usually lead to something even better.

Zoom Zoom!

Lyric of the moment: "I guess you're just what I needed..."

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