We left off where our intrepid couple had embarked on a mission to find a suitable vehicle to replace the 2016 Ford Edge they’ve been not driving all that much over the last three years. Hilarity and boredom ensues. Continue at your own risk.
Having taken the Murano for a test drive, my wife and I, and our salesperson moved into the dealership building to discuss dollars and sense. We’d still not been completely open with him about our budget, and since we had test driven the top of the line (Platinum) edition of the model, he was thinking we might need to consider going for something less pricey. Well, we’ve been ‘settling’ for less pricey for most of the last 20 years of leasing, and my wife was in the mood for spending a little more to get more, and I wasn’t about to stop her. One doesn’t often get the opportunity to ‘own’ something that’s way outside of your own personal price range, so why not do a little ‘mad money’ sort of thing once in your lifetime when the opportunity arises?
Finally coming clean with the salesperson (Doug), we informed him that we were interested in the Platinum model, but the color scheme didn’t really appeal. I told him that I had looked on the dealer’s website a few days prior and saw that they had the aforementioned Gun Metallic Murano, and after checking my phone, I saw it was still listed as available inventory. I gave him the VIN and dealer #’s and he was off to the races to see if indeed it was still on the lot. Now if it had been me? I would have used the terminal sitting on his desk to see where it was. The dealer just happened to have a satellite lot about 40 miles away, and it could have been there, since the dealer’s website list didn’t specify which lot it was on. Just that it existed, and it was available. But being new, Doug was trying his best to do it right, so he looked in this place, then that, and I think he finally went to one of his superiors and asked if they knew about it, because soon after I saw him leave the building and go out to where they were all parked and start looking at individual vehicles.
Upon his return, he said that indeed it was on the lot, we had just missed it when we were looking at the cars initially. Although as I recall, I had looked at one that said something about “Graphite” and the color seemed to be about right on the outside. At the time I had dismissed it thinking the reference to graphite meant the color of the car, not the color of the interior, which is what it turned out to be. So I actually had looked at it, just not realized it was the one all along. Regardless, we were delighted to find it was there, so we directed Doug’s energies towards securing it for us, if possible.
Soon after the sales manager came over with numbers and a couple of questions about credit. My wife, being the careful sort, had set up a ‘freeze’ on hers so that no one could open a new account in her name without her knowing about it. The only problem was, when she had set it up initially several years ago, the company had requested a username, and sometime since, they had gone to an email address/password combination and she was unaware of that. Consequently, she was trying to use a username to access her account and getting frozen out (no pun) from being able to access her account to unfreeze the account, so the dealership could check it. It took about 45 minutes before we left for her to get someone to fix it, and even now at the dealership they were having a little trouble accessing it. One reporting company they could access, but the other (Experian) was still showing the freeze. So they were only able to get some of the information they needed. The company she was doing business with had given her a PIN # over the phone, but neither she nor the sales manager had any idea where to input it. So again there was a small impasse.
Even so, when he ran the credit on the available reporting company, the results came back so stellar they were immediately aware that we weren’t going to be a credit risk at all. Consequently, things could move forward. Now came the big question. How much to put down? The sales manager had run numbers in the down payment/monthly payment ratio based on the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of the vehicle and our initial suggestion of amount created a monthly payment that was pretty steep. Of course that can be changed if one puts more down initially. Since we’re not buying the car, just leasing (borrowing, essentially) the sticker in the window that gets you in the door is based on purchase, not lease. So what you may have seen as being a possible $21,000 car is actually a $28,000 one, since the sticker on the windshield is for purchasing purposes. That was something I’d forgotten, I was working under the assumption of what the windshield said, not the sticker on the side window. Oops.
But fortunately, my wife has no debts at the present time with the exception of our mortgage, and the Edge’s lease was paid off earlier in the month. Too, she makes more than I do, even in retirement, so she’s a bit more flexible in what she can spend at any given time. In that vein, she was able to toss a number to him that worked out well on both sides and kept the monthly payment from being too astronomical. Armed with that information, the sales manager left, and we Doug took that opportunity to call our insurance agent to make them aware we were getting a new vehicle and our insurance needed to be adjusted to reflect that.
However, once he had talked to the secretary at the agency for a few minutes, then handed the phone to me and walked off, the conversation with the secretary took an interesting turn. She asked me if we were adding the vehicle to the policy in addition to the Edge, and I said no. She then asked if we were getting new plates for the new vehicle. Again, I said no, because we were just going to be transferring the plates, since it’s not a commercial vehicle like a pickup, which has its own requirements for plates. In New York, if your pickup has no cover on the bed, it’s considered to be a commercial vehicle and requires that sort of license plate. With a cover, its folded under the umbrella of a passenger vehicle or SUV. Even a Tonneau cover will do, anything that semi-permanently covers the bed of the truck allows this distinction.
(continued in Part 3)