Auto Adventure

Continuing the car saga from last week’s post:

My friend/coworker called me Monday morning after reading my blog and said he had a family member who ran car auctions here in KC and I might be able to sell the Jetta that way. After a few phone calls to coordinate, we dropped the Jetta off at the auction Tuesday morning. By noon, the auctioneer called me and said we had a bid that met our minimum requirements. SOLD!!! I was shocked, relieved, excited. How easy was that? He cut me a check and I was ready to go make the payoff.

That evening I went back to the dealership where we’d visited on Saturday to look at vehicles again. They’d already sold the one we drove and liked on Saturday (a 2005 Saab 9-7x), so they showed me an ’06 GMC Envoy XSLT. It was lovely, and met all my requirements for a new vehicle: 4×4, leather/heated seats, running boards to help my short legs get up into it. It also had only 25,000 miles, and a whole slew of other nice features, but was a few thousand above my price range. The salesman said there’d be some room to work on the price, and I said well there has to be or I’m not even considering this car.

We got back from the test drive to talk pricing. Let’s just say that apparently I’m a force to be reckoned with when it comes to negotiating cars, because I got them down nearly $4,000 to meet my price. I even pulled the whole “well if that’s the best you can do, then I’ll just go home and look online for all the other Envoy’s that are for sale in my price range around town.” That did it, and they agreed to my offer. We waited to see if the dealership could get me financing equal to or better than what I’d already been approved for at my credit union, but it was too late in the evening to get a response from the banks. So they sent me home in my soon-to-be new ride, to be back in the morning to close on the deal.

Not ten minutes away from the dealership, I got a very unexpected phone call. The auctioneer said the sale of the Jetta fell through, based on mechanical reasons. The buyer said there was engine noise and the transmission was messed up, and with the terms of the sale, they were able to back out. These problems were news to me, as the Jetta has always driven the same since we purchased it three years ago. First, I was very upset, and realized how awkward I felt driving this vehicle that I thought was mine, and thinking how sucky and kind of embarrassing it would be to go back to the dealership in the morning (since they were now closed for the night) and have to back out on the deal. Of course then I realized how incredibly lucky I was that we couldn’t get the deal done that night, otherwise I would own two cars!

In the morning at the dealership, they went ahead and gave me their word that they’d give me what I needed for the Jetta as a trade-in, upon seeing it in person. I was nervous they’d also find problems with it and there’d be no deal. The auctioneer suggested we run the car again in Thursday night’s auction, but just sell it “as-is” so there would be no chance the buyer could back out. We agreed to wait and do that.

Meanwhile, I’ve been without a vehicle since Tuesday morning, and the auction is Thursday night! I did a good amount of praying during this whole thing, wondering if I’d end up with the Jetta that needed tons of engine/transmission work instead of getting a new car, or if it would all work out somehow.

The dealership called me Thursday before the auction and suggested I put a deposit on that Envoy because someone else was interested, but I just couldn’t commit. At home on Thursday night, I tried to keep myself occupied while I waited for the call about the Jetta. I just knew that even if it sold, it wouldn’t be enough to payoff the amount we still owed. But the phone rang, and the auctioneer said we got a bid and I’d be happy to know it’s only $100 less than what we needed. SOLD!!! And I double checked that there were no strings attached this time. Plus, he said the new buyer drove the car and said he didn’t notice any issues with it. Relief!

Friday morning I called the dealership to see if my Envoy was still available. They said someone else had paperwork started on it but no money to hold it, so they’d come pick me up to finish my sale! They also had already gotten financing to match my credit union, so all the paperwork was ready for me. After signing my life away that morning, I drove away as the proud, new but broke owner of the Envoy I had driven Tuesday night. And I was proud – I had negotiated down the price for this vehicle that was worth more than I bought it for, all by myself!

We’ve been all over town this weekend in the new car, and loving it! It rides so smoothly, and is easy to get Skyler in and out of. She fell asleep in it three times yesterday! The only thing we don’t love is that we cut our gas mileage in half going from the Jetta to the Envoy, but we knew we’d have to take that step if we wanted a bigger vehicle, and we’ll get used to it eventually. Skyler even likes it, and when we get out of it to go inside, says “Bye-bye Mommy’s new caw!”


  1. WOOOHOOO! Congrats on the new car!!

  2. Yay, Lori! After a negative car negotiating experience in the past, I’m dreading having to do it again in a couple of years. Its nice to hear about a story that worked out, and gives me hope that it might be easier the next time around.

    Congrats on the new purchase.

  3. GG Kelley says:


    Send us some pictures!!!

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