I hate car shopping and I bet you do too.
The end product, the car, usually makes you happy… but the process is a grind. I compare it to riding a roller coaster. You get strapped in and most of the time you feel like throwing up. You pretend you are enjoying yourself, but mostly you just want to get off and sit down, happy that your bladder didn’t explode.
After 10 long weeks of carpooling, taking city transit, borrowing and bike riding, we finally found our car. This article won’t teach you about the process of buying a car, I’ll leave that to the experts. What I want to write about is the human side of car buying.
1.You will experience all of the emotions you can imagine. You will move from excitement to disappointment so fast that you swear this is just a way for life to get you experience the full range of emotions in one sitting.
2.It’s more like therapy than shopping. In fact, it’s the most expensive therapy you will ever get. Each dealership, salesperson, and car owner will make your trust issues come to the surface. You will question your judgment and wonder if you should even trust yourself. You will question human nature, other people’s honesty, and whether humanity is heading down the hole. Hold on. When this happens, you are on the right track because the car buying god wants you to stick with it. You will come out a better person on the other side, or at least you will have a little more patience. Look in the mirror, you need it. Be gentle with yourself.
3.You will spend most of your time on what is least important. Literally, there is a lot riding on your purchase: cash, your life, your future, other people who drive by you and maybe even your job. Big stuff. But you will choose your vehicle over the way the seats feel and how the stereo sounds. I turned one car down because it didn’t have Bluetooth, “Who would buy a car without Bluetooth?,” I asked. Amazing. Did I even think about safety? Nope.
4.You will feel manipulated. When I want manipulation, I go for a massage. Or I go car shopping. I choose massage, you will feel better and it’s way cheaper.
5.Sorry to say it, but I have to be loud and proud: You will be disappointed. You will go from excitement to disappointment in under 8 seconds so often that you swear you are in menopause. I probably shouldn’t say that, but car buying has driven me crazy.
6.You will become more Zen. The Zen of car buying says, “When you begin to hate the process, you are closer to getting what you want.” I literally told my family that quote on Thursday, after 10 weeks of car shopping and what happens? Friday I found my car.
“Car you will find, when surrender you do.” Yoda
7.Most times, you end up taking on a car with someone else’s problems. It’s true, but everything in life is like this, except childbirth. Sorry to ruin your parade, but every new vehicle was built by a crew of people with personal problems. That’s why acceptance is so important. Acceptance is part of the lessons that you need to learn along the way of buying your new, or slightly new, car.
If this piece has inspired you, you will want to read about the car accident that started the car buying process 9 Great Things About Car Accidents, or you may want to read about one of my experiences riding city transit, When Life Becomes Difficult, Maybe it’s Time to Get Off the Bus?
I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain.
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Photo by Markus Spiske