Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yay! We found a Truck!

You get to this point: the truck has mega miles on it, and so does my beloved Rendezvous. About a half million between them, I think. And you know something is going to give sooner or later and you'll be stranded somewhere very un-handily (as I was last year when my transmission went out in my sister's driveway in Virginia). We knew it was time to shop.

I hate vehicle shopping. New cars, that's a pretty straightforward business. You haggle over the price and options, maybe buy the insurance and it's yours. Used cars, though, are a whole other ball game. You have to figure out who is telling the truth or how much of the truth. You look, crawl under, test drive, crawl under, rev the motor, listen closely to all kinds of weird sounds, try all the buttons and bells and then cross your fingers and pray that you're not getting taken for a ride. The price is almost a secondary consideration; it's the condition and care the vehicle have had that are most important.

So we looked, and we looked. Yesterday I thought, why not get a small car like I used to have? I went online, found one that sounded great and we drove over 3 hours to see it. Bummer. I mean major bummer. The car looked good all right, but once we got in it for a test drive, all sorts of warning bells went off in our heads. The other really odd thing was all the rust under the hood. I have never, ever seen a vehicle rust on the hood hinges, brackets, tubes and other stuff under the hood--have you? That just seemed weird. So did the door not closing right, the window going down as soon as I rolled it up--twice--and the odd thumping sound coming from the right front wheel.

I had two other vehicles to lined up to look at however--two trucks. Even though we got home after 11 last night we were up and out by 8 this morning. And then, as we were passing the local credit union, I spotted a red truck in the impoundment (aka repo) lot. So we turned around and went back to take a look.


Not our truck but kinda like it.

Long story short: we bought it. It's a nice truck, smaller than Burt (Big Ugly Red Truck) but a four-wheel-drive, extended cab with a third door and long bed, and it's in beautiful shape. The man that owned it passed away still owing on it, and the credit union finally repossessed it for the amount owed, which is what we bought it for. Larry is as happy as a pig in a tomato patch, and I am relieved that we now owned something with less than 100,000 miles on it.

I have to admit, I am shocked at what has happened to vehicle prices over the years when I wasn't paying attention. My goodness, did you know a truck can cost as much as $55,000???!!! What on earth could be under the hood of something costing that much? And this isn't something rare, it's just a Chevy Silverado! I looked at probably hundreds of sale ads and about fainted at the prices. $15,000 or more for trucks almost 10 year old wasn't uncommon, and it was the rare one that listed for under $10,000.

Now, I know they're built better these days. Mileage of 150,000 is considered low (and I can remember when 100,000 was such a benchmark that people would really get out and push their car a few feet when that milestone was reached). Over 200,000 is commonplace. We have become a nation on the move, and we move a lot apparently. Gas mileage doesn't seem to deter our traveling minds, nor does the high cost of fuel. We go anyway. And the cars and trucks being sold today are evidently capable of handling all these miles with ease. It shocked me to realize that my SUV still has its original spark plugs--we used to change those every 12,000 miles, remember? Oil changes are still 3-5,000 miles, but spark plug wires, batteries, and all those other parts that used to give us such headaches are lasting and lasting. Which is good, since we are driving more and more miles. But I do not think I could ever justify spending as much on a truck as I could buy a nice home with. It just boggle my mind.

I am still looking for a replacement for Rhonda (my beloved Buick Rendezvous) and considering all sorts of possibilities. A cargo van, so we can haul more junk (but winters would be tricky on this driveway)? A front-wheel drive van that's really not a cargo van but would do well on our road in bad weather? Another SUV? Or even another truck? So many possibilities, but one thing I think I've decided is it can't be a little car, as much as I would love good gas mileage. I have gotten used to sitting high enough up to see over the edge of bridges and to being able to haul a wild variety of stuff when needed. I don't think I'd be happy any more within the limitations of a typical car.

I will post pictures of the truck as soon as we get it home. Since the credit union just picked it up yesterday, the title wasn't there yet so we have to wait until sometime next week to get it. And then, I am going to have some fun driving this truck that is just my size.

Now, back to stories and gardens and antiques and the finer things in life.


Copyright 2012 Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

9 comments:

Jenny said...

We always buy used vehicles & haven't bought one in over 10 yrs - and no plans to buy one any time soon.

One reason there might be so much rust under the one you looked at is flooding. We've had so many major disasters across the country in the past few years & thousands of vehicles have been underwater. Now many of those are on the used car market. When we helped out son buy his first car a few yrs ago we looked very carefully for any sign of flood damage & let those go no matter how good the price was.

Love your new little pickup!

Nance said...

We bought a little Chevy 2 or 3 years back. Himself found it on the internet about an hour away from home. It has been the best little car. I drive it back and forth to work (about 15 miles a week) and take it on road trips occasionally due to the gas mileage. I'd rather have a nice, big macho pickup : ) to haul stuff home.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Very handy. For many years I had a little Toyota truck and it could haul an amazing amount of stuff in the bed and I could get 9 boxes behind the seat when moving stock too. Loved that truck.
Joy

Granny Sue said...

Jenny, funny you should say that. Someone else mentioned that it was probably a flood car. That would explain some of the odd damage it had, like a break in the bumper, a door that didn't shut right and a window that would go up and down all by itself. The first warning sign was pretty blatant--the guy was super-gluing the driver's door handle back on as we drove up! I had to laugh, it was just so comical. Who would buy a car with handles super-glued in place??

Granny Sue said...

Nance, I have loved my Buick, more than I ever thought I would. The gas mileage isn't great, but it's so versatile. I think I would buy another if they still made them, but the Rendezvous was discontinued about 5 years ago. Sigh. So I am looking for something similar, or perhaps a cargo van that is front wheel drive if such a thing exists. Or maybe another truck...can never have too many trucks.

Granny Sue said...

Joy, I think this is a little bigger than a Toyota, maybe somewhere between that and a full size truck. The bed is 8 feet long so that's longer than the old truck's. The space behind the front seats isn't very big, but it does have that third door which will make loading a lot easier--I needed that to be able to easily load storytelling stuff. Larry is in love with it, so no matter what problems I have with it, he's happy and I'll be looking for a replacement for mine to fit all our other needs.

Brighid said...

Sue, So excited for you, sounds like a good find. I Bought with cash, my used Explorer 20 yrs ago and she's still going strong. I have put some money aside for the day I have to replace her. She's hauled tons of stuff and only a few minor fixes. Yeah for Old Girls!

Sue said...

I am not fond of buying cars (or trucks) either. Glad you found a keeper!

=)

Quinn said...

Congratulations on your lucky find! Shopping for a vehicle is a special kind of headache in my book, comparable only to dealing with health insurance. Things certainly have changed, as you describe. I remember the first time a dealer showed me a "low mileage" car that had over 70K miles - I couldn't believe what I was hearing!
I hope you have many, many years of stress-free driving ahead with your new truck :)

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