by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
On last Thursday I finally broke down and bought a new truck. This blog will cover how that went. Of course I am going to bitch but know that I am fairly happy with my purchase.
I have been looking for a new truck for several months now. I had a 2002 Ford Ranger which I bought new and have enjoyed thoroughly. It had been fairly trouble free until the last year or so. Something happened to the engine and 2 of the heads had to be replaced. Chris had talked me into the repair and the virtue of not having a payment. I got behind the whole notion with gusto. I got the truck fixed and the repair job was lacking... after a couple of weeks the Oil Pressure gauge starting going crazy. No biggie. There were so many issues with the truck that I could handle this one. One day my boss with riding with me and he said I had better check the oil level. I had just had the oil changed and that's why I hadn't bothered to check it before. I went ahead and checked it and the truck was bone dry. Whatever they did during the repair was causing the truck to burn off the oil. It was then that I reverted back to my original argument for buying a new vehicle. I'd be much happier with a vehicle that I could trust than with no payment and vehicle that might cause me much sorrow.
I spent months looking at Rangers. I liked my little truck and decided to get another one. I learned that this (2011) was the last year because Ford was going to redesign the body in some new and drastic way. As it turns out they are only going to sell the new body style in Europe, not in the US. So Ranger is going away forever. I wanted to get this last model so I looked and looked. I never understood why Rangers were so expensive. I couldn't fine a really good deal even though this was the end of the model year.
In August I got a pre approval certificate from my bank and went shopping. I kept emailing and emailing and no one had a great deal. I wasn't going to pay 18,000 for a tiny pickup. The pre approval certificate was only good for 30 days and I was running out of time. I was getting disheartened with the whole process when I saw an email for September Specials from Grapevine Ford. It had an F150 for 18,500 which was about a thousand more than a Ranger I had been looking at at Cleburne Ford. I had 5,000 to put down down and if I traded my Ranger in I should have enough to keep the payment low.
I drove there and arrived at 5:30pm. I walked out of there at 9:20pm. I didn't do anything special and I already had financing. It was a total beat down. I made sure I let Ford know that too. Vehicle buying should not be a half a day torture session. I got a black F150 (MSRP 22,500) for 18,200 then traded my Ranger in for 1,300 and put 5,000 down so I have a loan for 13,400. At the 2.85% APR that brings my payment to 238 a month. Not bad. Now I will try to do split payment with my bank so I can pay it off a little faster as well as put a little more each month towards it.