Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Take My Money, Please!

I'm sure you often find yourself wondering "What does Willoughby do in her spare time?". You don't? I guess I just assumed.....

What I have been doing with every waking second of free time is looking for a car for my son. Saturday is his 16th birthday and he'll be getting his driver's license (shhhhhh, if you're really quiet, you can actually hear my hair turning gray).

I can hardly believe that our little boy, our first born, is old enough to drive. It seems like only yesterday that he was five years old and driving his battery operated Jeep through the backyard. He mastered a three point turn and could back that baby into it's parking spot in the garage after the first week (I'm not kidding!).

After the Jeep, he graduated to go-carts, dirt bikes, and 4-wheelers. I've been aging at warp speed ever since. In fact, I think I may have even jumped ahead a few years the time he decided to show me that his dirt bike could do 70 mph in six seconds.

Back to the matter at hand, Mr. Willoughby and I decided that we would buy him a car for his birthday this year. We're not looking for something new (have you priced a new car lately?), or extravagant, just reliable transportation that looks sporty. And because we live in Michigan where snow is an issue, 4 wheel drive or front wheel drive is a major plus. We haven't kept this a secret from him, he knows all about it because we wanted him to have some input.

We have a few different models in mind, so we've been searching all the usual places; local car lots, the classifieds, Craigslist, autotrader.com, etc. There have been a handful of cars that meet our criteria, but we've run into a few problems. One of the worst of them being people that don't call you back!

It is generally accepted that the economy is sagging right now, so you would think anyone selling a car would be falling all over themselves to take your money. You would think that, but you would be wrong! My husband called a woman about a car we were interested in. She told him she was at the store (it was her cell phone number) and that she would call him back when she got home. That was two days ago, we've left two messages since and still haven't heard from her.

Yesterday, we found an ad for a car at a dealership, but there weren't many details. Mr. Willoughby called for more information so we could decide whether it was worth the drive to go see it. The salesman he talked to said he wasn't aware that they had that car on the lot (or had ever had it), but he would check and call back. He never did! I know that car salesmen work on commission, so you would think that even if the car in question wasn't available, he would have called back and tried to sell us something else. Not so.

The ridiculousness goes on and on to include people who don't remove online ads once their cars are sold (this wastes our time and their time), sellers who take an exterior photo of one car and an interior photo of another and try to pass them off as the same car, people who want to meet you in odd places to look at their vehicle, dealerships that won't give you a price over the phone, it never ends.

So where does this leave our son? If you see a 16 year old driving a battery operated Jeep on the road, you'll know!


Lissaloo said...

You would definitely think people would be alot more excited to sell you one! Weird. Good luck with the search.

thamesarino said...

how funny! but probably not ha ha funny...
sorry you are havung such a hard time... you are nice...who doesn't want a car with a bow on thier 16th!! : )
good luck!

Gracey said...

It sounds so frustrating! I hope you find the "right" car soon - what a nice present, btw!