Car Shopping

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Back in April, Carli hinted that when we come back to Florida in the fall she would like to get a new used car. The car she’s been driving, her Candy Apple red 2002 Honda Civic, for the last two years is reliable, it’s just “old” and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles a newer model has that a young driver likes.

So while we were in Chicago over the summer we did our homework. Browsing Chicago and Orlando Craigslists we narrowed our search to 2 or 3 models. From there our criteria in considering a car was: one owner, newer model(2013-2015), low miles, clean title. With these we could easily filter through hundreds of cars.

We went to dealers, we went to individual sellers, we test drove a few Hondas that had no maintenance history, we almost bought a 2013 Honda Civic with very low miles but had a rebuilt title and sketchy history. But the price was very low. Our takeaway: Always buy a used car with a clean title.

The Key to Carli’s “new” Car

After four months of searching, we saw an ad from a dealer in Orlando with a 2013 model Honda Civic with 1,936 miles on it. When I called to ask if this was a typo, Steven, the man who sold us the car, said to us in his thick southern accent, ” Nope, our loyal 77 year-old customer, Miss Diane, drove this car once a week to church and BINGO and thought it was too sporty. She traded it back for a better fit, a new Honda Fit. 

Story too good to be true? Nope, this used car salesman was telling the truth. We fact-checked him. Just goes to show that not all used car salesmen carry the “scam” bait and switch stigma. Not only will we continue buying one of the most reliable cars on the market, we would go back to Steven to buy one should he be there in 15-20 years when we need one.

Carli and her Silver Miss Diane

We’ve also learned from this car shopping experience that the best time to shop for a car is when you don’t necessarily need a car. And as customary in the Pope Family, we name our cars. Carli’s new used silver Honda Civic, Miss Diane.

Hali and I would have liked the red VW van featured in this post but that one is NOT FOR SALE. Instead, we’ll be driving Carli’s “old” Candy Apple around until we see the need for more bells and whistles.

About Woody

We are a couple who took the first step toward a life of traveling in May, 2015. Staying within the continental US, we amp'd the adventure-factor by traveling in a VW Vanagon, circa 1985. Our mission is to share irresistible and compelling stories conceived from this lifestyle of travel.

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