Buying a Car Online

I love shopping online. Recently, I lost the battery charger pack for my digital camera. Thanks to Amazon.com, I was able to replace this item for about $12. I picked it out, placed my order, hit the “purchase” button and waited. I didn’t even have to get dressed. Less than a week later, I had my new battery charger. Quick. Convenient. Painless.

There are, however, certain things I really don’t like buying online. Shoes and clothing, for one, since I’m at a place in life where things just don’t fit automatically. I also like to try them on, see the colors, feel the fabric, check out the garments closely before parting with my hard-earned Moolah.

Buying a car is another item I really don’t like shopping for online. A car is something you inspect closely before you purchase. You kick the tires, you look under the hood, you drive the thing, then you buy. It just isn’t done.

Except, this is exactly what I just did.

Buying anything major, which you must finance, is an ordeal when your credit score is in the “Really Sucks” category. You get charged crazy bad interest rates, which jacks the cost of your purchase up, and you usually have to come in with a pretty hefty down payment. Plus, smaller, local lenders with better terms and interest rates usually won’t give you the time of day. This means you’ll likely end up shopping at a dealership where you can get the financing. It also means you’ll be paying a lot more money for much less vehicle than a person with a credit score in the “Doesn’t Suck” or “We want To Give You Money” categories.

We all know what an impossibility it has been for me to try to scrap together any kind of extra savings, let alone a down payment for a car. When my daughter got in her little fender bender, I was at a loss as to how I was going to repair my vehicle. I considered not having it repaired. I delayed getting the car into the shop for an estimate, because I was trying to drag things out until I could figure out how I was going to finance that deductible.

Once I realized the vehicle was going to be a total loss, things kind of got worse for a bit. I had no idea what I was going to do. My car wasn’t going to bring in a settlement offer that would allow me to purchase a replacement from a private party and pay cash. I knew this. I also knew my options might be limited as to who I could finance through. Plus, car shopping, haggling over prices, etc., is just not something I’m good at. I don’t do the poker face thing very well. Plus, I had no idea what I wanted. Any number of vehicles would have thrilled me. But, I can’t afford any number of vehicles, so after spending a day browsing the local car lots, I was no closer to figuring out what I was going to do and I was very discouraged. The options weren’t great. Items in my anticipated price range were much older models with higher miles. I’m really tired of driving old cars with scratches dents and dings.

Enter Enterprise Car Sales. I had to get a rental car after my insurance company took my car for evaluation. My insurance company works through Enterprise. Over the course of owning my Dodge Durango, I’ve had to submit three claims. Each time the service from Enterprise has been fantastic. The cars have been a joy to drive and were immaculate. This time, they put me in a Nissan Altima. I fell in love with the car so much I bought it.

Well, I didn’t buy that exact one, but I did buy a Nissan Altima. And…I basically bought this car online. Here’s how it works. You pick out a car online. If Enterprise has a sales lot near you, you can go there and look, in person, but I didn’t have that option. So, I worked with my salesperson to get the financing started. I filled out the online credit app. I waited to hear back. I was stunned when she said, “I’m really going to try to get you into an Altima.” I was even more stunned when she came back with the numbers on a 2012 Altima.

Then I went to work. I spent hours online looking over their inventory. I researched cars, gas mileage, reliability measures, makes, models, customer reviews. All the while, I’m driving a 2013 model, and feeling more comfortable in a car than I ever have in my life. I decided on the 2012 model. It was just four days from the time I started talking with my salesperson to the time I picked up my car and drove it home.

Enterprise Car Sales drove my car to me with no transfer fee. I then had the option of test driving it, looking under the hood and banging the tires, before I signed anything. Had I not wanted the car, they’d have taken it back, at no charge to me. I now have 7 days to drive the car around. If, in this next week, I decide I’m really not all that thrilled with the car, I can return the car for only $200 detailing fee. The best part? Enterprise worked with my ugly credit picture and got me into a late model vehicle with low miles and no dings dents, or scratches. I will be getting over 30 mpg. I will have to replace or repair the license plate holder, but that is minor. There is a definite difference between the 2013 and the 2012 models, because Nissan completely redesigned the vehicle in 2013. None of these differences, to me, reduce the value of the car. My experience with Enterprise Car Sales was wonderful. Their customer service is great, and they really worked hard to get me into a reliable car that I can actually enjoy driving for many more years. They surpassed all my expectations and I’ll definitely be a return customer.

Quick. Convenient. Painless. Works for me.

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About Miz Insomniac

Usually, it's the kids who grow up and leave home, but Miz Insomniac switched it up. When her kids grew up she decided to make her dreams come true so she flew the nest. After making 12 trips across the pond and back to Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East in 2014-15, Miz Insomniac now qualifies as a world traveler. She hasn't quite mastered the fine art of traveling light, but she knows how to manipulate travel plans to avoid missed flights and jet lag. A former hopeless romantic turned realist, she's stateside now reinventing her life in a new city, with new opportunities, and all the challenges that come with leaving a career, traveling abroad for a year, and then returning to a world that's nothing like she left it. Her overseas travel is by no means over, it's just not as frequent. She's different now, but remains a night owl. She writes when she should be sleeping...and while you probably are.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Finances and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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