Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shopping for a Car in the US via Indian Standards

I say Indian standards because primarily in Indian culture things are not financed. You don't make payments. You purchase outright. This is what I wanted to do. I had no intention of coming back to the US and getting a bunch of bills for myself. It's not smart and it adds a lot of stress to your life to be living on the payments system. In the US this pretty much means you have to purchase a used car unless you've been saving for a long time. I had not been saving that long because I didn't know I needed to until a few months ago.

So I began looking. Let me just start by saying I hate Craigslist. There's been 2 Craigslist killers and there's a ton of scams running rampant on the site. Still, I didn't completely discredit it while searching for a car. I checked eBay Motors though quickly stopped looking there. eBay has become such a bore lately with all the businesses running there. It's no longer such a great place to look for bargains.

I searched the local newspaper and watched for cars as I drove around with my mother. Nothing looked good. Then one day I spotted a car while driving to my dads. That car turned out to be crap but there was another nice car on the lot that just wasn't ready yet. I really liked it lol. It was a 94 Pontiac Grand Prix in excellent condition inside and out. It ran so good too....very smooth riding. Then I realized it didn't fit the needs of my job.

My new job requires me not to stand out in any way. That includes my car. I have to drive something no one would pay any attention to and the Grand Prix didn't fit that description very well. It had Virginia Tech stickers in the windows and was very shiny and sporty looking. So it was back to shopping around I had to go.

I wound up finding an older model SUV. I'm not completely happy with it but it will do until I can save up for something else. My biggest problem with it is that whoever owned it was nasty. I can't stand nasty - you all know that. The inside of the car was filthy - even after they cleaned it. UGH! The carpet is soda brown and there's some matted down areas where drinks were spilled and never cleaned up.

They obviously had kids because 2 of the seatbelts in the back were so gummed up they wouldn't latch. I had to replace them. But the fact there was black crud stuck down inside of them was just disgusting. I spent an entire day spraying carpet cleaner on that car and digging into all the grooves in the interior with cleaning wipes before I could stand to sit in it. And I'm not done. As time permits I still need to get in there with a steam cleaner and salvage the carpet. It still grosses me out just thinking about it.

(Just a side note for those people out there who think Indians or Mexicans or any other brown nationality are nasty people...I just got a comment from one such troll person the other day....This car was owned by a white couple. I know because they left personal photos in the car along with some empty Viagra packets and receipts. Never in my life have I ever seen a car so nasty and I know plenty of people with kids. None of them care so little about the fate of their car. Not only that but my Indian family cleaned their car every other week or more depending on how often it was driven. So suck it. White people can be just as nasty as anyone else.)

Why did I buy it if it was so dirty? Well, it has some great features. One being that the back seats lay down completely flat and there's room enough for me to lay down in it and hide. That's going to be great for my job. It had some amenities I liked as well...like a place to put my sunglasses. Yes, I can be a little shallow but considering I will spend most of my life in this car for my job, I wanted some nice amenities lol.

Time it took to find a suitable car - 2 months
Time to purchase - 3 days (I had to be sure and have it checked out by professionals)

If you've never purchased a used car from a private owner in the US, make sure you don't forget that you have to pay tags, taxes and title fees after you purchase it. I remembered them but it's not something you would think of if you're not familiar with the process here. When you purchase from a dealer, these fees are added on for you automatically.

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