Question: Is there anything more fun than shopping for a used car?
Answer: Yes. In fact, many things are more fun than shopping for a used car. Even a root canal.
Even a root canal? Yes, because it only lasts a few hours and you can eat again. Buying a used car lasts for what feels like 3 years, and by the time you’ve signed everything, your food budget is down in “Snack Cakes & Jerky” territory. This assumes you’ll still have an appetite.
Of course I’m making light of something that is, from a worldwide perspective, downright luxurious. Given the economy of scale and considering the struggles of our fellow humans around the world, complaining about which car to get is a variant of a rich dude’s lament: “my toupee doesn’t even feel presidental… but evidently I still have a shot.”
Let the record show: adulting isn’t always easy. My kids sometimes say “I wish I were a grownup cuz grownups can do whatever they want.” Oh, sweet child of mine, don’t ever grow up. Take a moment to live the dream today and go do whatever you want.
But why is buying a used car so stressful? 1) There’s a reason someone got rid of it and 2) You’re paying a ton of money to find out why. Granted, that’s not always the case, but I can’t help but think that Emily’s car was castoff at 80,000 miles due to its all-wheel drive that pulls the car slightly yet without relent to the right. We had to spend a ton of cash to sleuth that one. Ah well. Her left arm is 0.005% stronger, I suppose.
That’s another thing buying a used car helps you do: find the positive. I remember when mom bought her ’84 Ford Tempo circa 1991. I was outraged as an 11 year old to discover that the dealership failed to mention that the passenger door didn’t properly lock. How could they! She laughed at my frustration as we drove home, not because I was sticking up for her (which I was) but because she enjoyed my innocence. As I look back, I enjoy it too. And miss it a little bit.
But all is not lost, friends and spambots. Soon a new set of wheels will be mine, and I will no longer get a ride to work from my lovely wife who already drives three children around in her station wagon, the muscles of her left arm slightly more defined than her right, her determination to take care of us in ample supply, her patience to haul people like a parcel service seemingly never ending. Soon I will have a “new” car, with “new” being in “quotes” because it’s all about “perspective”. Why is buying a used car so great? 1) Someone else paid the depreciation off for you and 2) it smells like new car smell, not because it’s new but because the dealer sprayed a bunch of new car smell and left it to bake in the sun.
I tell you: it’s almost as good as the actual new car smell. Just… cheaper.