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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Car Smart: My Personal Opinion

  As you know, we have been in the market for a new car. We have a budget and we are sticking to it. By we I mean my husband and I. 

  We are only able to go shopping for vehicles every other Saturday because during the week my husband works and we only have a truck therefore we can not take our children (the truck only has a front seat.) 

  Yesterday my mother wanted our children to spend the night, we used the opportunity to go look for vehicles once again. I have to tell you, I have been getting a little restless and discouraged. I have been searching online for a great deal and have only been able to find a couple scams (which I will talk about in another post) so I wasn't feeling great about the Saturday car shopping journey. 

  My husband had to help his brother move some steps so he could build a deck before we went shopping, and in the process of doing that Michael was referred to a place called Car Smart located in Fort Madison, Iowa. We live about 30 minutes away from Ft. Madison, and again I was skeptical, however I am also almost to the point of desperation with softball season just around the corner so I agreed to go check it out. 

  I was pleasantly surprised as we pulled into the parking lot, Car Smart has the look and feel of a larger car lot (Shottenkirk, Deery Brothers) without all the hassle. I was sure that we would be badgered by salesman. I have to tell you I don't mind salesman in the least bit, I find them entertaining however my husband wants to be able to look around without being bothered and then talk to a salesman when he is ready. I could go shopping either way. 

  At Car Smart they didn't come outside, they didn't follow us around, and they didn't BS us about buying a car. We found something we were interested in, (a Buick Ranier) not really to buy we were just curious on the price. There weren't any prices on the vehicles. As we walked in we were greeted with a hello coming from a man sitting at his desk. He asked us to come in and upon entering his office he stood and shook our hand. (Very firm handshake by the way, which is a good thing because my husband is one that does judge a man by the firmness of his handshake.) 

  We then told the salesman (John Arthur) which vehicle we were interested in and found out that a car would be much more realistic in our price range. That is exactly what my husband had been telling me all along. I asked him some questions as to why, and of course he answered telling me registration, gas prices, insurance, and upkeep are all very much cheaper for a car than a crossover or SUV. At this point I am willing to compromise with my husband and I ask John if he had any Kia's in his parking lot. (While I was looking I was not looking at the cars.) 

  He had a Kia Optima. John asked if we would like to test drive it, and of course I did so he gave us the keys. The best part of the test drive: (besides that the car is an answered prayer) John didn't ride along. He said that at Car Smart they don't go for the test drive with you, they allow you to drive the car and fall in love, then come back and talk about it. YAY!!

  That means you can go for a drive talk about what you like and dislike without being badgered into buying the car. Once we were finished with our test drive I was hooked. I wanted the car, and I wanted it bad. I do know that telling a sales person that is not a good idea so of course I tried to look and act nonchalant. We then went over the numbers, but the system was down so John let us take the car home over the weekend and we have an appointment (loosely) on Monday to sign the papers. 

  Would I recommend Car Smart? You bet! If you live anywhere near Ft. Madison, Iowa and are in the market for a vehicle that's the first place I would recommend. All of the guys (and there's only 3 in the office and one out back) are extremely nice and helpful. They are not pushy and John is hilarious. He is also very laid back, and I would definitely do business with him again. 

  Now for the car: 

2007 Kia Optima - $11,900 
fully loaded

Our budget - $10,000-$12,000 

Therefore it fits :) and I am one happy mama! Let's just pray everything goes through tomorrow or there will be one mad/sad post! 

Oh and I will post pictures if the car becomes mine.

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