My wheels since June 2003. YEAH fahrvergnügen!
Apparently my method of doing anything, from choosing a car to getting a new job to checking out a library book, is a first-strike shock-and-awe technique. I like to see something good, get in, and get out. In the case of the car, I spent a week complaining, a week rather lazily investigating local prospects along with random insurance quotes and vague bank investigations, and then a week swinging into super-effective action (for me).
Here's how the latter super-effective week worked out:
Monday: Grab car for a test drive and insert entire family, drive to favorite local mechanic and beg for an assessment. Done in under an hour, present list of minor issues to dealer who promises to fix them. By end of day I have bill of sale in hand and completed loan application, drop them off at bank.
Tuesday: Make sure the bank has the paperwork they need, wait for it to process.
Wednesday: Check in again on paperwork, have insurance binder emailed to bank and to myself for good measure, make sure an insurance ID card is also included so I can drive the new car once acquired. The bank guy tells me he's out Thursday but the loan can close on Friday.
Thursday: Send my wonderful husband over to the dealer during my work hours to ensure that the fixes from Monday were done, particularly the AC fix. Everything seems to be set. (Thanks, dear!) He also moves the kid seats out of my Jetta into the new car. I clean out my old car as a sign of respect before it's traded in. Right before I let it go, I photograph and then remove the stickers.
Friday: My car loan closes at 10am, I am there and ready and out with a check in about 15 minutes. I take last photos of my Jetta and drive it over to the dealer (who, by the way, is mainly a mechanic). He transfers my plates, does a lot of paperwork, trades keys with me, and I'm in my new car by 11am... About 100 hours after my first test drive.
I'm perfectly happy with my new-to-me Subaru Forester. Yes it has tons of miles on it and a few scratches and dents. But I think it will last the length of my car loan at least, it will be safe in winter with all wheel drive, and it will be comfy and fresh for my family to ride in. I have selected the following stickers to help it stand out from the other bazillion Subarus driving around Vermont. (Thanks KG for the perfect dim sim props!)