Another lesson in "do not sign till you sleep on it."
My 2001 Subaru Forester that I love dearly just had the clutch replaced last month. Driving home from the mall on Sunday, I was passing a big new and used car lot and I heard „pop!“ from my motor and lost all power. I coasted the Subaru into a parking spot at the car lot, and called the partner to come get me.
While I’m waiting, I was approached by a salesman who reminded me that a 2001 car is 16 years old. He showed me a Kia that was similar in shape and size to my Subaru. The price on the windshield was just over $10,000.
The husband showed up, diagnosed the Subaru as a busted timing belt, and got into the conversation with the salesman on the Kia. I hemmed and hawed, we did the math, yes I could afford it, but going $10,000 in debt was not what I had planned for a Sunday afternoon. My down payment was going to have to wait for my bank to open on Monday anyway. I got the guy’s card, took pics of the vin # on the Kia, and headed to the husband’s car.
At the last minute, the credit manager runs out the door and puts a piece of paper in front of me. He says „60 months at $178 and you drive away in this Kia tonight.“ I said „Why would I sign something without having slept on it? I’ll be back tomorrow with my down payment.“
I went home and did the math on his offer and discovered that he didn’t calculate my down payment. I was not happy about the offer at all. I read some low reviews on that make and model of Kia. Then I read some shitty history on the VIN search about that particular car. Still, however, I had no car to drive, and I need to commute from the ‘burbs to the city every day.
The next morning, before the bank opened, I called my mechanic and asked him „What do you think about this model Kia?“ His response was „What happened to your Subaru?“ I told him that my partner diagnosed the timing belt issue. He said „That’s a $500 fix. The valves don’t get bent on that motor. Tow it over here.“ For another $200 he’s going to replace the windshield that picked up a crack recently. Plus the tow bill, the whole thing is less than $800. Less than the down-payment I was going to pull out of savings.
So now have my old Subaru back, I’m not $10,000 in debt, I don’t need full coverage insurance because there’s no loan on it, and someone else can buy that POS Kia. Dodged that bullet.
Don’t ever sign anything that big without sleeping on it.
EDIT: I will trust my mechanic long before I will trust a stranger’s advice on the internet, so you can stop telling me how stupid or wrong he is. Edit 2: I also admit that I left some info out of this post, such as my history in the auto insurance industry, which means I know cars and I know insurance. Edit 3: The point is not that I kept the Subaru; the point is that I did not buy the Kia. Read for comprehension, not for response.