Well, we didn't mean to do it so quickly, but we bought a car this morning -- a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. We woke this morning planning just to do a test drive, but we got there, were greeted, took the test drive and they the salesman was desperate to make sure we didn't leave without buying the car. Evelin is the master negotiator, mostly because she hates being pressured to make a deal and is so ready to walk away at any moment. We were able to almost play good cop/bad cop. I had a little fun with the haggling, because Evelin could say no no matter what and I wasn't going to have to look like the bad guy. The original plan for a Hyundai was no more than $12,000 for a manual transmission with the cruise control and keyless entry optional package. We ended up at a thousand more than that, but with ABS brakes and an automatic transmission. They even threw in the floormats. The market-adjusted MSRP was $17,000, so I think we did okay. Thanks, Anita, for pointing out the Motley Fool car buying site; that did have some good info in it.
I am a little disappointed that the gas mileage in the Hyundai isn't as good as the Honda Civic, to say nothing of the Civic Hybrid, but the Hyundai was a few thousand less and the Civic Hybrid has the batteries in the back seat, so you can't fold it down to expand the trunk space... Now we just get to hold out for the Honda CRV Hybrid or Ford Escape HEV to come out, then Evelin gets the new environmentally sound SUV she's wanted for four years now.
The one downer in the process was that the dealer suggested we take the old Mazda to Carmax to sell, but after the whole rigamarole and inspection they came back telling us that it was in average condition for its age ... and worth absolutely nothing. Oh well, it looks like we'll see if the National Kidney Foundation or someone else wants it.
Last night we caught fireworks in Rockville; not too bad of a show, although the musical segues were a bit jarring at times -- i.e., from U2's "Beautiful Day" to "Ode to Joy" to "Grand Ole Flag." We were picking cinders and bits of fireworks debris from our hair well into the night.