I have mentioned before that I have been without a car since the end of October. Donna has been driving me to work and home, shopping and occasionally to church.
It's all been very inconvenient for everyone concerned.
I got my tax refund on Feb. 15 and went car shopping. I had checked out various dealer websites, but wasn't having much luck in my price range. I'm not willing to get into a loan situation and don't want to give my friends' contact information for the application in any case, so my search was limited to what I could do with the cash on hand.
One dealership had a car that was okay, but I only drove it around the lot a little because the brakes seemed a little squishy and it didn't move for a few seconds when I pressed on the gas - leading me to think there might be a transmission problem.
Another dealer didn't want me to test drive the car further than "around the block." The belt was screaming, so it needs to be replaced, which I could live with, but there was no way I would buy the car without driving it at highway speed. His suggestion that I drive it at 55 behind Walmart (speed limit 35 mph) was laughable. I had nearly all the money with me and would have gladly bought the car if I liked how it drove on the highway. But I told it I would be stupid to buy it without a thorough test drive.
On Saturday, Donna and I went to look at a minivan. The owner, Belinda, had posted on her Facebook about it. Donna is Facebook friends with her daughter. I drove it to Otho, where my friend Tonya gave it a quick once-over. I turned it off and it didn't start right away. I also drive it to Jim's service station, to put some gas in it and ask them what they thought about what Tonya had told me. (She said don't buy it.)
I ended up buying it. I know the belt needs to be replaced (yes, just like the other one). And now the starter has given me problems a couple more times. I'm hoping that can wait 3 weeks, but if not, I'll manage. But it has just under 147k miles - the least of any car I've owned. So I hope I can keep this one for awhile.
It's an adjustment driving a minivan after a car for so long. It's significantly higher up, so coming out of the driveway at our apartment building it's easier to see oncoming traffic.