The one piece of advice car salesmen often miss
Whether new money or old money, don’t treat people like they have no money
One of my favorite things to do on Valentine’s Day is to hang out at Chicago’s Auto Show. I am no expert on car models nor can I have a lengthy conversation with a mechanic — if you exclude my godfather who builds race cars and my grandfather who was a master mechanic — but it’s just a fun place to be. One of the primary reasons I like to check out cars is because I love road trips so much.
I have minimal interest in calling shotgun. Give me the car keys, raspberry lemonade, sunflower seeds and an empty cup, and I’ll drive for at least six hours without tiring. Road trips are by far one of my favorite things to take and some of my most fun memories during my college years.
There was one particular year where I was going back and forth to my alma mater for a book signing, and I got a rental for a Suzuki Vitara, an SUV I was not initially impressed by nor had I ever heard of. However, I shamelessly only buy Simply Vera purses because I love seeing the “SV” on all of my bags and wallets, and seeing the “S” all over the Suzuki made me smile a little. But the way this truck drove was what really sold me. I was noticeably sad to return it after traveling from state-to-state for a few days. I got a “free test drive for a free gas” brochure on my way out of the door.
Although I hadn’t thought much of getting a new car after selling my older car (that constantly needed repairs) for four years before that, I knew that if I went to a car dealership for this test drive, I was going for far more than just a free gas card. Less than a week later, I lied to myself and said I’d get the gas card to give to my parents, but I knew after driving that Suzuki Vitara around all week that I was not leaving without a brand new car. So I headed to a nearby dealership, fully aware of my annual salary budget and that I could afford a car note.