There are things that you can buy online, like laundry detergent and paper towels and that cheap cat litter that only Amazon seems to sell, and there are things that you should never buy online: shoes, jeans and most importantly cars.
I understand why online car buying is a thing, there was a time when everyone was afraid of being around everyone, and also the fact that many of us don’t enjoy interacting with people. I am one of those people, I frequent restaurants that you can book a table online. I have spent the better part of a decade at work getting my office moved further and further back in the shadowy depths of the library, I don’t answer the phone except for three people and even then…
In November, as my old reliable Ford Escape was slowly leaking out its entrails all over my parking lot I decided to buy a car without speaking to or interacting with another human being. And you know what? It was remarkably easy. I found, financed and ordered a car to arrive at my house the day after Thanksgiving in a little under two hours.
I was elated and relieved that the Ford still started up when they came to take it away, I was even elated when they drove my new car off the flatbed and a piece of the bumper fell off (I can fix that!). I was even elated when I got into it and realized I was so low to the ground that I was basically laying on the pavement (I can get used to this!). I was elated until I had to take it to my mechanic that afternoon because on the way to a doctors appointment I started dragging parts of the car on the ground.
I became less elated when it seemed the entire underside had been spray painted to hide an excessive amount of rust.
Elation slowly turned to dread and panic as the more I drove my brand new (to me), low mileage, very dependable car (I’m keeping this one forever!) It became more and more obvious that it had been in an accident, or a flood, or both (probably both).
I spent several months trying to justify it (read trying to figure out how not to go back and have to interact with the seller and have conversations centering on ‘WTAF are you doing selling this car to anyone?!?’).
One day it occurred to me though that if I kept the Subaru I would eventually end up talking to my mechanic more often than I would a car dealer. I’d end up talking to him and to the people that administrated the “warranty” for the car. There were many phone calls in my future. Too many.
So, I took a day off work, put my big girl pants on, went to a car dealership. Assured them there was nothing wrong with my pretty, low mileage, dependable trade-in and proceeded to have conversations about adulty car things that I had googled the night before.
Several hours later, I purchased the prettiest and most comfortable car I’ve ever owned that makes me feel tall and powerful and will off road if ever I accidentally miss the road… And if I should ever lose my job, home and everything I have I’ll still have leather furniture and two skylights when I have to live in her (win/win!).