I want an SUV, now what?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t sure how to answer this question. And as I drove around in my Regal, (Which I loved by the way and still kinda miss to this day for reasons I can’t fully explain.) I pondered how I would achieve my SUV dream.
But alas, a college student can only dream as far as her dollar would allow and frankly, mine couldn’t even pay rent, let alone make a car payment. No matter how small. (I’m one of the ‘spoiled kids’ who received their first car for free. Unrelated, I feel like this is a good time to remind my parents how much I love them!)
It’s also probably important to note that my parents were good at planning their financial future. They had created a college fund for me that was paying my way through school. I worked too, but I didn’t have to pay for tuition or rent out of my own pocket. (Needless to say I have picked up on their future financial planning habits!)
Ok, back to the point. After college I began an internship in Colorado. (I should probably mention that I went to school in North Dakota.) This internship meant my ’99 Regal needed to traverse a few hundred miles in order to get there. As it was in need of major repairs every year (Like $1k+ repeatedly) and the power steering had a leak (The Fargo auto body knew me quite well…) neither I, nor my parents, trusted my car to make it to Colorado without breaking down. And even if it did make it, the Colorado mountains would certainly kill it.
Side story: Since my power steering had a leak, that meant that when the fluid reached an air pocket my car would essentially no longer have power steering. What does this mean? It means that while backing up I was using two arms to drag my steering wheel as hard as I could to turn my near sedentary tires. (This made for a LOT of back and forth motion as I could never turn sharp enough to back out of my apartment parking spot in one fell swoop.) It also meant that sometimes, I’d be turning onto a road with my steering working fine and dandy like a normal car, only to have it randomly cut out and I’d suddenly be going strait. My personal “favorite” was when the power steering wasn’t working, so I’d be using all of my strength to pull the wheel to turn onto a road, and then SURPRISE! The power steering would kick back in and I would turn sharply in the direction I was going… fun times.
But back to the main story!
Luckily, I had a friend from high school who’s dad was in love with my vehicle.
I don’t blame him. That car was totally decked out (For a ’99) . It had leather seats, and all of the latest radio features, but the best part? The engine was supercharged. That car could move. It was a wonderful “sleeper car” that I promise I never raced (seriously, I didn’t) but it was really fun to shock fellow drivers as I accelerated at pace with, or right past them (all while saying ‘Weeeeeee!’).
Thanks to my car’s awesomeness, every time I went to my friend’s house, her dad would off-handedly mention, “If you ever wanna sell that Buick, let me know.” So that’s exactly what we did. He bought it on the spot for $1,000.
So my friend’s dad bought my car, and fixed the power steering. He then re-sold it to a gentleman who was gifting it to his son, who was starting school where? Fargo! I pitied my car having to return to that decollate place, but hey, at least the auto shop would recognize the vehicle…
Before my car was sold, my mom and I had been on the hunt for a new vehicle. Lucky for me my family is friends with the owner of a car dealership. We gave him my budget ($10,000), told him a few desired features (power windows, can make it to Colorado) and sent him on his way.
He quickly came back with a 2007 Chevy Impala, and personally delivered it to my house with the statement, “Here, test drive it for a few days and let me know what you think.” As this was a new and exciting thing for me, I immediately began investigating all of the features and compartments. Like my Regal, it was leather. But as it was an ’07, I said goodbye to a tape player and hello to a 6 CD changer (moving up!). It even had a tow hitch! (A plus when you need to move to another state. Hello U-Haul trailer!)
At this time, I had some friends over who were helping me check out every space that opened. One of the important things for me was large trunk space, so I moved to pop the truck. Upon opening it, I had a thought that I felt was maybe best left unsaid. Luckily for me, my friend walked around, took one look and said, “Wow! you could fit like, 3 bodies in there!” And I was quickly reminded why we were friends.
So I drove this car around for 3 days and was sold! At my sister’s next lacrosse game we met up after the game, in the dark. And under the light of a parking lot lamp post, on the tailgate of a pick-up truck, I signed the deal for my new car.