Note: Before I begin, I’d like to provide some good news in terms of my current insurance scenario. Though it’s more expensive than what most of y’all probably pay, I was able to get a new insurance policy last night. This policy starts in two weeks & is much cheaper than my other options. Insurance will be a discussion in this post, too, so let’s get started!
In early April, I was in an awkward place in life. Not only was the news filled with gloom about the coronavirus and the falling stock market, but I was bothered by the decisions my school was making. I wasn’t a social person down in Milly Vegas, but the fact that USG canceled in-person instruction & activities for the remainder of the year made me feel terrible. I was one of the least affected people by this decision, but I knew it was brutal for a lot of my peers. I tried bouncing between Milly Vegas and home, but my new time in Milly Vegas was marked by barely eating, getting mad about the media’s reaction to the coronavirus, and pacing around my apartment.
There was something great for me about the coronavirus: the car deals. The idea of interest for a car loan was something that didn’t occur to me, especially because I have pretty good credit (thanks Mom!) However, 0% financing, AND no payments for SIX MONTHS, AND a massive discount off sticker, on a car I like, close to me? There was no way these discounts were real. If I went the Tacoma route, I was gonna wait for something towards the end of the summer & make it a road trip with my dad if the truck was far away. Shoot, this serious car buying search I was gonna save for the end of the summer was starting now!
On April 4, I began my search for car insurance quotes. I received some terrible news: because of my driving record, I couldn’t get my own USAA policy. There was no issue staying on my parents’ policy, but I needed to look elsewhere if I wanted to be independent with car insurance. I spent the day looking at quotes for my 2012 Toyota RAV4 Limited and a 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. In fact, I made a post about this insurance search, and the rates I got appalled y’all. $500+ per month or companies that wouldn’t accept me. The cheapest rate I got for the RAV4 and the Alltrack, separately, was around $250/month with Allstate. At least I had an idea how much insurance would cost for the car.
On April 6, I headed to the Volkswagen dealership, Jim Ellis VW Kennesaw, to take a look at the green Alltrack. This was a brand new car with lots of features, well under $30,000 (my personal budget), and had cool incentives. Upon arrival, I learned that the green Alltrack was the showroom car. There were two other Alltracks for sale: a white SE DA&A and a red S. With the green one in the showroom, I asked to drive the white one. The white one had identical equipment to the green one, so it would be more accurate. To practice “social distancing,” they sent me out on my own for a test drive. Looking back, I highly appreciate them for trusting me, a younger guy they knew nothing about, to drive a car with a sticker of $35,000. I’ve since learned that most other dealers would grill people, especially younger ones, before going on test drives. I don’t even think I filled out a credit application before driving.
I didn’t like driving the Alltrack alone, so I just drove on 41 a bit, did a u-turn, and came back to the dealership. The controls were very different than the RAV4's, so it was harder to get used to. However, I liked the car. I told the guys at Jim Ellis about my current scenario because it couldn’t be explained by a credit application. I believe I did fill out a credit application, and that’s when they told me I may need a co-signer. Though my credit is great, I was making maybe $300/month at the time. This was some important stuff to think about, but I was just getting started.
Once I got home, my dad made it clear that I couldn’t get a car until I graduated & got a job. Though I had the fund as a cushion & had money to make insurance payments initially, he still wanted me to be earning a full-time income. My parents would gladly co-sign if I met those requirements. I tried telling my dad that the deals were very good & the car was likely going away soon, but he wasn’t budging. My mom, however, seemed to have a new idea: you can get a new car, but you must sell the RAV4.
During the week, I thought about the Alltrack some more. I moved almost everything out of my apartment, utilizing one of the best features of the RAV4 for the last time: the expansive cargo space. I was now back home for good.
I was planning on keeping the RAV4 & the new vehicle together, but my parents thought it was stupid for me to have two cars. With that new wisdom from my mom, I decided to visit the dealership again on Saturday, April 11 to discuss the Alltrack further. This is where the search went from casual to stressful. Very stressful.