Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Once, I bought a car in America, while I was in Bahrain.

This has been a very long adventure.  But, the new car buying experience is finally at an end.  Teh Dad picked it up today from the dealership and he delivered it safely and in one piece to his garage.

We started with price quotes from USAA and other various places on the web.  LOTS of hours of research went into this.  

You remember ALL CAPS GUY?  I do.  Teh Bear suggested I visit him while I'm home and show him my new car, but I'm not sure he's worth my limited time.  

Every time I got a new USAA price quote, a plethora of car dealers would email me.  I'm sure that by now they recognize my email.  I actually responded to the automatically sent emails once and said I was just getting an updated price quote for the dealer I was working with.  Someone responded back and said, well, can we try and find what you're looking for?  I said, sure, but you should know that I'm not buying this car till November and that I'm currently stationed oversea, but eat your heart out.  Never got a response from that butthole.  I considered emailing him back and thanking him for his time, and that I hope all his other customers were as successful at buying a car from him as I was, but I refrained.  Again, not worth my time.

Teh Dad also did his own inquiring about the Sportage.  He got several calls.. at which point he learned to NEVER give out his cell phone number to a car dealer.  He kept doing research, very diligently, he gave them his house number instead.  He received many calls and even more messages on the answering machine.  He test drove 2 different models at Paramount Kia in Hickory (where ALL CAPS GUY was located).  They were difficult to deal with and said that what I wanted couldn't be acquired.  We were quick to walk away.  But after dealing with ALL CAPS GUY, I was pretty bummed and frustrated.  Teh Dad was not to be deterred.  He trucked on, all for Teh Megan.  

One lady from Keffer Kia in Gastonia, NC (yes, that was my obvious plug for these guys) had left EIGHT messages on the answering machine about Teh Dad's inquiry.  Teh Dad told me about this, and I said, "It sounds like she wants to sell a car."  He agreed and he contacted her a few days later.  Tonya, a very patient and determined lady, worked with Teh Dad and myself throughout the process.  She would email me and talk to Teh Dad on the phone and through text messages (Teh Dad is pretty hip these days, sometimes he even "lol"s me during chats).  She worked with Teh Dad to see if she could find a 2011 EX model in the blue, but it wasn't to be had.  So, we bumped up the 2012 model.  Since I knew exactly what I wanted and still wasn't there, she made the exact car I wanted appear on the lot.  She even sent me photos of the day it arrived on the lot (which I promptly posted FB because I'm shameless).

Teh amazing Tonya!!!!
I'm sure that Tonya repeated many things between Teh Dad and I.  While Teh Dad and I were in contact often, sometimes he hadn't got a chance to tell me things before I would ask Tonya the same questions.  She always answered me with patience.  She never said the deal couldn't be done, and she never stopped communicating with us, which was super important to both Teh Dad and I.

While finding the car was fairly easy, talking about price over the internet is tricky.  At first, there was potential issues with giving me the USAA price because the car wasn't on the lot.  Then, we worked through that because when I purchased the car, it would be on their lot, and while they had ordered that specific car for me, it was on their lot.  Teh Dad did some talking with the manager and Tonya, and they agreed to honor the USAA price.  It turns out, the car they ordered had more added features than I had specified, and they were willing to give me that car at the USAA price that I had found, with the military discount.  We were in business.

Now the issue of paperwork and actually picking up the car came into play.  Tonya was willing to drive the car to Teh Dad so he could check and make sure that this Sportage had all the features I wanted.  After she sent photos of the itemized stickers, we were confident this was the one.  Teh Dad told Tonya that he trusted her and that he was willing to put money on it to hold it so it didn't get sold before we could work out the details.  Teh Dad worked out getting the hold payment to Tonya, and I told him I'd pay him back.  Easy day.

While Teh Dad had been doing car research, I had been doing financing research.  I was willing to go with the dealership if I was able to get incentives from them, at a decent interest rate.  I was pre-approved with USAA in the beginning of October, but I was still interested if I could get a lower interest rate than 3.25%.  I went by Navy Federal on base and applied for a loan, despite the credit hit I would get for applying for another loan.  A few days later, I was approved for 1.79% and they gave me a pre-approval check.. well, hell yeah, totally worth that 2 point hit on my credit score!  I air-mailed that baby off to Teh Dad so that way we could get this buying a new car show on the road.

Teh Sister picked up the check for Teh Dad, she had also went with Teh Dad to do the American test drives.  So this was quickly becoming a family event.  Teh Dad wasn't able to get down to the dealership right away due to work, but he and Teh Stepmom made sure to get down there the first day his vacation started.  While I harassed him for photos, he was signing away my monies and finalizing the deal we'd he'd been working on for 3 months.  

Who takes 3 months to buy a new car?  *Waves*  Teh Megan!!! 

I'm stupidly excited.  It's my first car that I've ever purchased on my own (and by own my own I mean with my own money more than I did the whole process myself).  It's a brand new car.  It's exactly the specifications I wanted.  Teh Sister posted the pics of the car arriving at Teh Dad's for me, since my hotel internet is complete crap.  Truly a family event.  There is new car porn smattered all over my FB page.  There will be more to come when I actually arrive in NC and get to drive this car that I've bought.

It's still kinda weird to me that I bought a car without having ever driven it... without even being in the same country!  Whew, talk about faith and trust!

I can't thank Teh Dad and Tonya enough for their patience with me and this process.  I really might have to get Teh Dad that cheesy ass shirt, cause he said he liked it...  I'm not sure if he was just kidding or not, but he wears all the other shirts that I've picked out/gotten for him, despite his opinions that they are heinous (he just doesn't know good taste).

How about some photos?  YAY!

Before: 1997 Honda Civic EX (aka Teh Kaar)

Giving Teh Kaar a goodbye hug.

Jassim and I the day we transferred ownership.

Jassim was at work!
After:  2012 Kia Sportage EX (yet to be named)

I'll be there for you soon, Baby!

So new and shiny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  /squeal!!!!!!!

I promise that eventually, the excitement will wear off.. but probably not anytime soon.  I'm only slightly sorry for that.  I feel like I deserved to do something big for myself and this was it.  I loved Teh Kaar.  But, she was on her last gaskets (even though they had been replaced).  Jassim is happy with his new purchase, and I'm completely happy with mine!

Now to get to America so I can drive it!!!!

PS.  What should I name it?!?!??!?!?!?

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