About a month ago Paul's little commuter car started giving us problems. It lost all power when going uphill. Our mechanic told us the engine needed to be rebuilt. We didn't have the $2000 to have a rebuilt engine put in so we decided to try it ourselves. After a month of frustration we got it running only to have a few other things go wrong. $500 later we still didn't have a running car and it was going to take more money to fix.
After much discussion and $1000 in gas spent while he was driving my truck to work, we decided to buy another car. Used cars are expensive! We found that newer used cars were only a little bit less than new cars. Not only that but it is really difficult to find vehicles that don't have lots of options which add to the overall price. We contemplated purchasing a new car but, just like with the used ones, it was impossible to find a stripped model and none of the others were within our price range. We have 2 small used car dealers here in our valley. After searching the lots in the big city and checking out the lots here in town we decided to buy something locally.
We financed the vehicle through our credit union and did all the paperwork in about 1 hour, most of that time was spent at the bank waiting for the paperwork to print. The transaction was the easiest and most pleasant car buying experience we've ever had. The car was priced about $1000 below what the dealers in the city were asking for a comparable vehicle, there was no haggling, and the money stayed in our valley. Paul got a 2008 Chevy Cobalt and I got a hug from the car dealer owner who sold us the car :) I can't say I'm thrilled with having a car payment again but the amount of money we will save in gas will more than pay for that payment and the extra insurance!