Blitzen's lease is up in about one month. I want to purchase my next car. I have been ogling an uber-cute Jetta I found online. It has all the options I want, low miles, etc. Plus, it is red, with a tan leather interior.
Being the awesome father and tough negotiator that he is, my dad went with me to the dealership to see it today. We inspected it thoroughly. I found a couple rock chips on the hood, and he estimated that the front brake pads might need replacing. The tires were practically brand new. We learned, thanks to Carfax, that the car was originally a rental, and bought by the dealership at an auction (aka probably for nuffin'!). Its former gig as a rental did mean that all the maintenance was performed, but that it was potential victim to all kinds of crazy drivers.
The test drive was fun. The Jetta wasn't as peppy as Blitzen, but was no Mildred either. Mildred was my Chevy Cavalier who had the zip of a giant tortoise. The salesman informed my dad and I that it was because of its five-cylinder in-line engine. A five cylinder?! Those Germans think of everything.
Then came the part that is likely a beating for all parties involved: the price haggling. Dad was great. Not only did he get them to come down considerably from the price, he got them to throw in the 2-year warranty extension for free! However, the price wasn't quite where we wanted it.
We said we'd think about it, a move that prompted the salesman to get his manager. I knew that would happen! He told us this sad story about how he overpaid for it. Riiiiight. And that is my problem how? The salesman piped up, "It needs a new home!" I was thisclose to firing back, "Not that badly, apparently."
Then he tried to tempt me into looking at some other cars on the lot. I was getting hungry, and Dad saved the day with, "I've gotta get back to the office." We were out.
Dad and I left, and had lunch. During the course of our meal, the salesman left me a voicemail about an "identical" platinum-gray Jetta that was, well, the price I'd wanted on the red one. I did not return his call.
Today may not have yielded a new car, but it did provide me a lot of time with my dad: one of the smartest, funniest people I know. The drive to and from the dealership, lunch, and even the car-shopping process were great because he was there. It might sound cheesy, but I am so grateful to have a dad like him!