It’s Been Done

Yesterday was the day I drove up to Lafayette, IN to talk to the guys up there.  Unfortunately, when I got there, I was informed that they didn’t have the car yet.  I was quite bummed about that, especially with the prospect that I’d have to drive back up there to get it later.  While I was there though, they checked out my truck to see how much the’d be willing to offer me.  They seemed much more competent about figuring out the trade in value.  Here in town, the first value they gave me, they didn’t even enter the car, the guy just walked around it.  Then, the second time, he drove it around the lot.  Well, up at Mike Raisor Imports, they actually took it into the mechanic and did a once over on it.  Of course, they found out that, yes, the cars as A/C, but in fact it doesn’t work.  It really hasn’t worked that well since the car was new, but oh well.  Mike Auth (the salesman I delt with), was straight up with me.  He said that they’d probably be able to get $1500 for it the way it is (broken windshield, a/c not working, etc).  However, since I was given a trade-in value here in town of $2330, it was obvious he didn’t want to just give me $1500.  In fact, after talking with his boss, he’s giving me a trade-in of $2500.  Plus, he can give me the car for less than sticker price.  This is the point, I’m thinking there’s no way I can go wrong. 

So, I wait a bit to talk to the money people.  Actually, it was quite awhile, but that’s ok because Mike sat around and talked with me to pass the time.  Since I had talked to Mike earlier and given him all my info, they had already gotten me approved at various banks.  That definitely saved some time.  However, when I started talking to Jaquie, she was quoting me prices starting at over $400!  That was over $100 more than what I was going to pay here.  Granted, that was with all the extra slapped on, but even the base price of the car, without any extras, was still quite a bit higher than what I was told here.  For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why either.  I mean, the car was cheaper, the trade-in was for more, and the taxes were a quarter of a percent lower.  Well, it turns out she was using quotes from the local banks there, and their apr was 7.9%!  Obviously this was quite a bit higher than the 3.9% that I was given here in town.  Needless to say, I ask her why I wasn’t given quotes with the 3.9% that VW was offering.  Well, for what ever reason it required more paperwork, so she hadn’t even gone through that.  Well, I was very frank with her, if she couldn’t get it to the price that the place in town was, there was no way I was going to purchase from them.  Especially since by buying it out of state, I’d have to do more legwork after the purchase; I’d have to go to the DMV, and get setup and pay for the title, license, and pay the extra quarter percent of tax. 

Needless to say, she wanted me to buy the car.  So, she priced it out with 4.9%, apparantly the best she could do, since I wanted 72 months (that way I didn’t have to worry about high payments, but can always pay more which I plan on doing).  She got the price below that of what was offered here, and then threw in some extras (like the extended warranty) to make up for the fact I have to stand in line at the DMV and pay extra then.  At that point, I really couldn’t say no.  The people there were way to nice, and they had beaten the price, which is what I wanted. 

Unfortunately, like I said earlier, they didn’t have the car on the lot, so I couldn’t drive it home.  Instead, they are going to deliver it to me.  Actually, we’re going to meet half-way, because I’m such a nice guy πŸ™‚  With everything that I delt with here in Champaign, I’m so glad that I happened to have called up there and talked to Mike Auth.  Talk about a great guy to deal with.  Heck, everybody that I talked to at Mike Raisor was great.  Unfortunately not all dealerships are like that, but as far as I’m concerned, they should be.  I’m almost tempted to have my service work (if I ever need any), done up there.  So, sometime this week, I’ll be driving a Spice Red Jetta GLS TDI.  I can’t wait!

Categorized as car

So Close I Can Taste It

Yesterday over my lunch I went by Obrien Automotive to talk to them about the TDI.  Tom (the guy that brought me on the testdrive) had actually called me and wanted to get me in and to talk to me.  I figured it wasn’t a big deal, and I wanted to wheel and deal with him anyways after the original quote was given to me.  I left work around 11:30 and drove home to get the paperwork that they had printed out for me on the original deal.  I then get to the dealer only to find Tom busy with another customer.  No big deal, how long could it take, right?  Well, and hour later, he’s still with the other customer.  He finally comes back and says he’s going to pass me on to another guy (Julian) to help me with this.  I walk over to the other building to talk to Julian.  When I get there he asks me what I want.  I tell him that I want to get the price down off sticker price.  He pretty much flat out tells me that it’s not going to happen.  He then says, he may be able to work with my trade-in however.  He drives it around and ups the trade-in value $500. 

The reason that he won’t budge on the sticker price is because he doesn’t have anything comparable on the lot to trade with another dealer, so he’s going to have to get it from someplace else, and pay to have it delivered, etc.  So, naturally, I ask him, “Well, with that sort of thinking, wouldn’t it just be cheaper for me to go someplace else that has what I’m looking for, or something comparable to trade?”  Of course, I get some bs answer about how, no, it wouldn’t end up being cheaper.  I tell him I’ll think about it, and come back to the office.

Now the great thing about the internet, is that many dealers have their stock online.  Makes it easy for me to find who’s got what.  So, I went to the VW Website, did a search for dealers within 200 miles of my zip code, and started looking.  Turns out in Lafayette, IN there’s a dealership that has something similar to what I want.  I give them a call, and find out exactly what the one they have has (the website only lists so many features).  Turns out it’s not really what I want, but the guy wants all my info anyways.  I give it to him, eventhough I know I shouldn’t have. 

Forty-five minutes later, I get a call from him asking if there was anything else he could help me with.  I tell him that the reason I called is that I’m looking for a specific car, and that I was calling around trying to find it.  He asks if he could help by scanning the full midwest in one-fell-swoop.  I figure, what can I lose, and tell him I’m game.

I get a call back about an hour or two later, saying that he’s found 1 in the midwest that fits what I want (spice red, black leather interior).  Unfortunately it’s currently on it’s way into the country, and he’s not sure if it’s been sold or not.  I told him I’d be interested in it, if he could infact beat the price that Obrien was trying to sell it to me for.  He got all the info on my truck for the trade in value, and said he’d give me a call later with details.

Sure enough, I get a call later, and he’s excited to report that he should be able to beat Obrien’s price by “a bunch.”  However, he wasn’t able to get in touch with anyone at the Chicago that is receiving the car.  So, instead he wants to have a bit more of a commitment than me just saying I’ll be there.  Plus, there’s the fact that I can’t get out there till Saturday, and he can’t garauntee that his trade car will even be available until that time.  This is totally understandable since they’d be stuck with that car, and the price to get it there if I decided against it.  He also said he’d get all the paperwork set for when I get there.  They just wanted $100 deposit, which, if for whatever reason I then didn’t like the color or whatever, I could get back.  It also turns out that I still qualify for the recent grad discount (something that never came up at OBrien).  I’m not exactly sure what all it entails, but any little bit helps. 

So, on Saturday I’ll be driving out to Lafayette, and hopefully returning in my new car πŸ™‚

Categorized as car

One Step Closer

Last night, after work, I headed down to the VW Dealership.  I wanted to get some numbers straight from them.  Well, since I had been there previously and worked with a guy, the guy that Nick recommended me got me back in touch with him.  Actually, he wasn’t there, so I was given to someone else.  Talk about a tool.  I told him what I was looking for (knowing they didn’t have any), and he about walked off.  I asked him if they could trade with any other dealerships, and he said yeah.  I was definitely not happy with this guy, but I brought my truck around for him to look at and give me a trade-in price, and what the payments would look like.  Well, the Out the Door price he quoted me was actually above sticker price with the trade-in price he gave me.  Needless to say I left saying I’d think about it. 

Now, I’m using and trying to talk to another guy about the car.  The incentive deals that have right now are ok, but nothing special (3.9% for > 36 months).  However, these expire on the 6th of July.  I’m hoping that there is something better, but we’ll have to see.  I was quoted for $300/month for 72 months, but I’m looking at $300/month for 60 months.  If they can do that, then we’ve got a deal.  It out to be interesting to see what they can do for me.

Categorized as car

Zoom Zoom

Well, lately I’ve been looking at new cars.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m not really sure.  All I know is that I want something different (more sporty, and more efficient) than my truck.  I can’t imagine that gas prices are going to get any cheaper, and, currently, I’m getting a max of 20mpg.  Plus my truck is horrible for driving anywhere other than in town.  The A/C doesn’t really work (it probably needs a recharge), there’s no cruise control, and it’s just a pain.  Over the last year, I’ve looked a various different cars.  I’ve always wanted an Audi TT.  However, I’ve definitely gotten a lot more realistic over the last year.  Granted, I would still love to get a TT coupe, it’s definitely not in the cards.  So, I started looking at something like an Acura RSX Type S. 

However, after going to the Telluride Film Festival that came through town, I’ve been infatuated with Biodiesel.  This has been furthered by the article I saw in wired (talked about in a previous article).  The wired article is really nice because it gives you multiple ways of making it.

Well, this has gotten me thinking about a diesel engine.  In the US, that leaves 2 manufacturers: Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.  Needless to say, a Mercedes is a little out of my price range, and the problems that my Dad has with his, alone was enough for me to look elsewhere.  This left me with a VW with a TDI Engine

I swung by the VW Dealer here in town last weekend looking to test drive a Jetta TDI.  Unfortunately, the only ones they had were still packaged up.  Apparently they had just gotten there Friday night, and hadn’t been touched.  The guy I was working with told me to swing by early in the week to take one for a spin.  Well, I never got around to it until today. 

The only had 1 of the 2 that were still packaged left!  However, they did have a used one that someone had brought in.  It was a 2003 model, but nothing has changed between the 2003 and 2004 models, so I took it out.  I was very impressed with it.  The turbo is a nice change from my 4-cylinder truck, that’s for sure πŸ™‚  It’s amazing how crappy my truck felt compared to it, but that really wouldn’t take much.  So, I brought it around the block, and onto the freeway.  I was easily able to get up to speed, and the cabin noise (which most reviews complain about) wasn’t bad at all.  It’s a little bit noisier than a regular car, but nothing really noticeable.  Even with the windows down, you could tell it wasn’t a regular unleaded car, but it didn’t growl at you, nor did it sound like a semi truck.  Plus the louder noise was only really noticeable when going from a stopped position. 

All in all, I was very impressed.  Plus making biodiesel would be fun.  In a way, it’s a lot like when I modded my xbox.  It’s definitely the engineer coming out in me.  I gotta have something to tinker with.  The only thing, though, is that I really don’t want to give up my truck.  I do enjoy having it for when I want to move things.  Plus, if I were to make biodiesel, I’d need a way to get the used cooking grease from restaurants to my place.  I don’t think I’d want to stick it in the trunk of a jetta, but my truck would be perfect.  Plus, there’s the fact that I’d need a place to made the biodiesel.  Currently I don’t have anywhere. 

I think I’m going to wait for awhile, though.  Currently my truck works fine, and I did just put a lot of money into it because of its recent problems.  Plus, this way I can wait until there’s some customer incentives, like 0% financing.  Hopefully by that time, I’ll have figured out if I really want to do this, plus I’ll know how much living without a roommate will put a damper on my finances.

Categorized as car

One Way Around $2 A Gallon?

So, I was reading my RSS agregator today, and I stubled upon this article over at Wired.  Now, upon closer examination, I was amazed to see how easy it actually was to make biodiesel.  And to think that using straight biodiesel is better for your car, better for the environment, AND is less than half the price of a gallon of unleaded. 

It was great to read more about exactly how to make biodiesel in your house from one of the links in the above article.  Definitely a possibility as I’ll be looking for a new car sometime in the future.  Hopefully my current car will last until I turn 25 though.  That way I could get a new car AND have lower insurance rates!

Speaking of my car, I walked out this morning to find my windshield cracked.  The other day I saw some of the neighbor kids throwing around a baseball near where it was parked.  It looks as if something hard hit it (while it was parked no less) right below the windshield wiper.  I’ve sort of deduced it was probably them, but I don’t know them, and anyways, how would you approach somebody about something like that?  Especially if you don’t have any proof?  Argh.  What really bugs me is that the windshield on my hella cheap truck, is very expensive.  I’m not looking forward to replacing that.  Maybe I just won’t, who knows.  I’m thinking about putting a mark where the fingers of the crack currently are to see if it’s actually growing.  However, it has split my windshield right in half, since one of the fingers goes all the way to the top.  Oh well, another perk of renting.