We bought a new car this week and it was quite an experience.
First, all of our cars have been used. Some were only a few years from being new, but the only new car we ever bought in 36 years of marriage was the first year. We’d just returned from our very first ill-fated six-month sailing trip and were car-less.
For this purchase, Capt. Mark did a spreadsheet comparing several cars, had financing in place when we arrived, and we’d already had our test drive. Four hours later we drove home in our new SUV.
First was the paperwork…a big stack. It reminded me of buying a house, only the papers were fewer because we weren’t applying for a loan. Next came options. Most we knew about in advance and had decided on a long list of add-ons: lifetime oil changes, extended warranty, anti-theft tracking (we live in Las Vegas), and safety features. All had to be explained in detail.
I can comfortably say I won’t drift into another lane, I won’t get lost (navigation system), I won’t hit the car in front of me, I won’t run out of gas, I won’t back out of parking stall at the grocery store and hit a shopping cart or the person pushing it, I won’t change lanes if there’s a car in my blind spot, and I’ll never have to adjust my headlights (the car knows how bright they should be).
I don’t have to lift the tailgate if my hands are full, the seatbelt doesn’t strangle me, and my buns will be nice and toasty in the winter.
I’m waiting for a scolding voice to say, “Pamela, the seat is too low. Adjust it please or I won’t allow you to put your coffee in the console.” As it is, the car is going to do everything it can to keep me safe, including beeping at me if I forget to use a turn signal.
I don’t think I have to worry about speeding. And I do have a chuckle on that subject. Driving home—after paperwork, a tour of the building, several offers of food, a technician in the car with you making sure you know how to operate everything—I noticed the car seemed to be a bit sluggish. I decided it was just that it only had 22 miles on it.
When we got home, Capt. Mark got out the manuals and went through them. It seems I had the car in low gear all the way home. Won’t do that again.
Hmm. I guess I do needed all that instruction.