Monday, March 28, 2016

Does Buying a Smart Car Make You Smarter?

We bought a car this weekend.

We didn't know we were going to buy a car. We were just going to "look for a car."

Fred's car has been on its last wheels for quite some time now. 

I've just been waiting for that call at 6:30PM on a work night, that I need to to go rescue him from some point on his route home from work, because his car finally died.

Since I'm in my pajamas with a glass of wine in my hand by 5:30, that would be terribly inconvenient for me.

For that reason, I've been pushing encouraging him to get on the "let's look for a wagon" wagon. He finally agreed it was time.

Car shopping for Smart Cars. How do you know when a Smart car is right for you.

It began with an online search (as most things do). We didn't want to spend a lot and didn't want a huge car payment so when I ran across a nearby dealership that had some Smart cars for sale for about $7000, we decided to check it out.

The hubs has a fascination with Smart cars. You know, those tiny little two door things that look like a shuttle pod or something?

Is a "shuttle pod" a thing? I don't know. But the fact the car looked like something related to space was a definite selling point. He can imagine he's blasting around the universe like Luke Skywalker while on his 30 minute drive to work.

Los in Space pod model
Apparently, this isn't real. My first clue was that the site it came from was called Mr. Whiskers. I think it's a kit of a contraption from Lost in Space.

Anyway, See the resemblance?

Smart Fortwo car two seater

Okay, so they look nothing alike. The point is, the hubs likes compact transportation as much as he does compact living quarters. It's why he loves RVs and trailers so much.

The funny thing is my husband is 6'3". I told him if we do get a Smart car, his license plate needs to be YESIFIT.

He was amused, but said it wasn't very flattering.

He was not amused when I suggested CLWNCAR.

We decided to buy the car in the picture, which was the first car we looked at. I'm sure that breaks all the rules of car buying, but Fred liked it, it was the right price, and we didn't want to spend our Saturday driving all over the place, looking at a bunch of cars, only to come back and buy the first car we saw anyway.

Then the real fun started. Why does it take so mother flippin' long to buy a car?

There wasn't really any negotiating at our end. According to google, it was priced fairly so we didn't try to talk them down, and we qualified fine. Yet, it was five hours later before we drove off the lot.

That gave us plenty of time to hop on this and pretend we were aging hippies on a road trip.

Can-am three wheeler
For a mere $17,000 this could have been ours.

I would have got a picture of us on it but about that time a manager and salesman came over with a "You sit on it, you buy it" look on their face.

I wanted to ask if they could supply helmets and a wind machine and snap a picture of us, looking like we're racing down the highway, but they didn't look like they would play along with that.

Aside from planting our butts on things that didn't belong to us, we had to entertain ourselves however we could while we waited to get into the finance office. The TV in the waiting room was showing Ridiculousness, so hubby Fred was happy.

While I waited, I googled for more information about the car and found out it's a Smart Fortwo, which I told Fred.

Only I pronounced it FORT-WOE. It's supposed to be FOUR-TOO. As in, a car built FOR TWO.

I felt pretty stupid.

But not as stupid as when I was explaining to Fred that the reason they came up with the name "Smart" is because Mercedes and a company named Snatch, that makes watches, decided to make a car together.

When he gave me a really weird look, I realized I said something wrong.

It's Swatch, not Snatch

I'm not sure how Mercedes + Swatch = Smart, but it's better then Mercedes + Snatch. Because I'm pretty sure that's what got Hugh Grant in trouble 20 years ago.

I was glad when we finally finished everything and could go. I have to say that as car buying experiences go, it wasn't bad, other than taking forever. Our salesman was a cute young guy with aspirations to be a boxer. He was very polite (and don't I sound 70 saying that?).

At one point we made small talk about Breaking Bad and the new prequel spinoff, Better Call Saul. This is relevant a few paragraphs down.

As we were leaving the finance office, I realized neither the salesman nor the finance guy ever answered my question about where we can take the car for service, since it was still under the manufacturer's warranty.

"Who do I call if we need service?" I asked the salesman.

"You better call Saul," he replied, obviously very proud of his joke. "Bwahhahahahahaha!" he guffawed at himself.

It didn't help matters that my husband guffawed right along with him (because Ridiculousness).

Ummm. Seriously, guys. Who do we call for the warranty?

I never did get an answer. Since it's a Mercedes product, I suppose we have to bring it to a Mercedes dealership for service while it's under the warranty.

That should be interesting - the girl who's dream home is a travel trailer trying to fit in at a Mercedes dealership.

Rich girl and Clampett at a Mercedes dealership
If you aren't picking up on it, I'm the one in the hat.

In case you're wondering why we would buy a tiny little two seater car for my 6'3" husband, here are a few reasons:

1.  It's inexpensive.
2.  It's super great on gas. Like, 50 miles to the gallon or something.
3.  He fits in it just fine. Once you're inside it, it feels like a regular sedan. You forget it's so small.
4.  Why have a backseat if you never use it? I mean really, if it's just you in the car, how often are you aware that you even have a back seat? It's wasted space so why pay for it?
5.   We can have a newer car for a tiny payment.

So I feel pretty good about our decision. It's supposed to be 60 mile an hour winds here today, so this will be a good test of how it drives in those conditions.

Hope Fred doesn't blow off into space on the way home.

Then again, he'd probably like that. was your weekend?


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