The last time I bought a new car I was 32. A solid fifteen years ago that on reflection, seems more like a lifetime.
We’d only been in our newly built home a short time when Baby #2 arrived…and soon after, Babe #3. Our tiny car no longer suited our needs and it was time to grow up…get ourselves a mini van!
We bought a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan.
I hated that thing.
It sat in my driveway…a tonne of dark green with light grey fabric seats and enough cup holders to house a sippy cup for every child…the oldest, taking the place of distinction in the very back row as the bucket seats were needed for the car seats that would hold our growing family.
My children grew up in that car. We drove to Newfoundland twice to introduce our little beings to my wonderful family back home…they spent many hours napping in that car while I drove in circles…happy to have the moment’s peace! They watched videos from a small TV I’d purchased and propped up between the bucket seats…fighting over whether or not Caillou or Dora would fill the screen. Our dog Pumpkin loved jumping into that car to go on an adventure…always fighting to find a little floor space where she could curl up…happily vacuuming up the crumbs on the floor…sticking her head out the window as her ears flew back and her jowls flapped in the wind!
I took her to the vet that one last time…from the back of that car.
We moved that van to another driveway when we outgrew our first home…and then to another when we outgrew that.
Once, I forgot a case of pop in the trunk during a cold winter’s night and only remembered the next morning as I was driving a child to school and the cans started exploding from the trunk…completely terrifying me and making a gigantic mess!
Another time, I knocked myself out when I slammed the rear hatch while camping…completely forgetting the metal bars from the bike rack attached to the back…until they landed on my head.
And yes…there was a time I went camping…all five of us, a dog…a couple of bikes…and friends.
In the end…I loved that car…it saw us through some crazy times as we continued through our plan to get the most out of it…to drive it to its death.
Which I did…a few months after my marriage collapsed. Dragging it to the dealership…spitting and sputtering and spewing smoke and gas and oil…it was filled with Cheerios, coke stains, dented seat cushions that showed the impressions of long-gone car seats…and a whole lot of miles and memories. (Read Post: Death of a Mini-Van.)
With the help of my childhood friend, Randy, at O’Regan’s on Robie, I bought a second-hand car that would “do for now”…a speedy little thing that I quite enjoyed…the feeling of flying down the highway…freedom from the mini-van. My new life as a single women.
A year later, it met its fate between a pole and a fire hydrant.
I arrived at the scene of the accident…just happy my kids were ok. (Read Post: It’s only a car.)
I bought another car…another “do for now” as I was just about to head back to school. A Hybrid…hopefully saving me gas as I’d drive across the bridge to the opposite side of Dartmouth every day for two years.
It was practical…not really my style…but it was bought in a pinch and it did the trick.
And then last week…this happened.
A trip to the garage for some work had me counting far more dollars than I’d wanted to spend…when only last month, I’d spent for a completely different issue. I’d been hoping to get a more grown up car within the year…something more suited to who I am…a little more professional. However, I was a solid year financially from where I’d hoped to be.
And so…began my panic. (Read Post: When stress comes a knocking.)
As luck would have it, my Brand Ambassador relationship with O’Regan’s KA Dartmouth put me in a position where I could call on a favour…I called the manager, told her I needed room to breathe…room to think…and could I grab a car I hadn’t driven before to do a little social media on it while I figured out my next step.
Over the couple of days, Amanda gave me a great amount of information and her personal advice…she made it clear that blogging relationship aside…I was to do what was right for me….and she’d help me make the decision no matter what brand I ended up buying…whether new or used. I had some thinking to do.
And today, after days of thought and research…running through finances and taking a good hard look at my company…where I am now and where I’m going…what I’m able to afford…I pulled away from the KIA dealership with a brand new 2016 KIA Sorento…ironically, the car I test drove last month on the blog and fell absolutely smitten with. (Read Post: 7 things I love about the KIA Sorento.)
I drove away…tears stinging my eyes and staining my cheeks for yet another new Chapter in my life. One that’s just a little more grown up…and a little more professional…and a lot more of who I want to be.
Amanda Morvan…the manager at KIA who’s turned into my friend, Kim in finances for working miracles and Amanda Jamieson in Sales who’s simply fantastic…you guys made it so freakin’ easy! O’Regan’s KIA Dartmouth is filled with the most amazing and helpful women (and yes men as well) who kind of “get” me…and I appreciate every bit of help you’ve thrown my way in the last few days. I’m incredibly pleased to represent your brand!
My son Noah…aka Spiderman, who…in the first few days of realizing we were getting a new car (which happened TWO DAYS after be became a new driver)…began scouring the used car sites and car deals…hoping beyond hope I’d get something fast and sporty and awesome! Despite all of his begging and persistence…trying to convince me to get a car more suitable to his needs than mine…he was with me every step of the way…coming to the meetings, test driving, researching used cars…looking at new ones…comparing values. It reminded me how completely different getting a car in your teens is, to getting one in your early twenties, buying one as a new mom, a single woman, a person about to return to school in their forties or an entrepreneur…whose business is just taking off. I appreciate my son wanting to be part of the process and his willingness to learn and support…but mostly, for understanding that I needed something suitable for ME! (As I write this…he’s currently off trying out the new wheels for himself!) In a few years, maybe I WILL purchase one of those sporty cars he showed me…with leather seats, and two doors…but for now, I’ve exactly what I want.
To my girls…each of them hugging me and congratulating me when I made my purchase…knowing this was a great big deal.
To Donna…for cheering me on!
But most especially…to Mom and Dad for their ever-present guidance and help. For going through all of the details with me…for convincing me to buy the model up from what I was considering. As I pulled away from the lot today with tear streaked eyes…the irony got us laughing as I turned to Spiderman and said “Just give me a minute to get my head together…I just bought my very first ‘grown up’ car” followed by “I think I need to call my parents!”
Buying a car…no matter what age or what circumstances…it’s exciting and terrifying and daunting and a whole whack of emotions all wrapped up in one.
Here’s to growing up…to life’s many changes, to people who support us along the way no matter what we’re facing, to those who cheer us on and lend a helping hand.
Here’s to my brand new 2016 KIA Sorento.
I truly am…a KIA Working Mom!