Stranded In The Southland

Monday, February 19, 2007

Buying My Geeky Beater Car...

My poor Miata has been faithfully carrying me to work, 50 miles each way, four days a week, for the last year. It's kind of ridiculous to take a car with such wonderful handling on such a boring, straight-line drive every day. Especially since it is kinda loud, and the stereo has seen better days.

So I decided to buy a beater, to take the load off it. A geeky beater. Well, a geeky, expensive, silly beater. I bought a Prius. Hopefully I'll be able to nearly double to 25+mpg I see in the Miata, and ride in something approaching quiet and comfort for all that distance.

I went ahead and bought my Prius with options package number two -- stereo, trick Security Key, and traction control(!?). It's pretty much the base option package. The idea is that this is going to get me to and from work for a few years, and that getting Bluetooth and a navigation system and the rest is sort of silly.

Usually, I do months of research and drive a whole bunch of cars, but there really aren't any other hybrids that get this kind of mileage (that are still made -- Honda Insight, we barely knew yah!), and the used options are really expensive. In this case, I just drove a couple Priuses, and went down to my local dealer and made an offer.

I got a great deal, since the Income Tax credit just got halved, and there are no more car-pool stickers available -- I paid just a few hundred over invoice, and got 2.9% financing for three years. I suspect that if I'd been a tougher negotiator, and spent more time getting estimates on the Internet,I could've done a little better, but it is worth it to have the car and be done with it.

Now it's all over but a few weeks (or months) of second-guessing about whether I should've got the other option package available, option five, which had a whole bunch of useless features (who wants a six-disk CD player in the age of the iPod?), and cost at least $3,000 more. Woo hoo!