We bought a new car: a 2010 Toyota Rav 4. Although a few people told us we could get by without an SUV in El Salvador, most people we talked to said having an SUV was helpful — particularly for venturing outside the capital.
I don’t have a lot of experience driving SUVs so we didn’t want to get anything too huge; we were deciding between a Rav 4 and a Honda CR-V, as both makes are relatively easy to service anywhere in the world. And Koons Arlington Toyota had good deals on a couple used Rav 4s.I have to admit: This was my first experience buying a car from a dealership. Before I married Kail (and inherited joint ownership of his car) I hadn’t owned a car since 2007 — a 1999 Ford Escort that my parents and I had purchased used from the owner when I was in college a few years prior.I really was not looking forward to the whole car-buying experience, which I imagined would take several trips over multiple days to different dealerships. But Kail did all the research online ahead of time and we targeted two dealerships to visit Saturday and, if necessary, a couple more to visit on Sunday.Given that we don’t exactly have a lot of time before we pack out, we knew we’d have to make a decision pretty quickly. I think it also helps that neither of us are “car people.” I really don’t care about cars at all, and would continue to not have one and rely on public transportation/Zipcars if that were an option. Neither of us had our hearts set on one particular car; we just wanted to cross this off our long list of Things to Do Before Departing for Post.So off we went to one Toyota dealership, then another. Compared models and mileage and prices. Test drove a car. Came home and “slept on it” (I took a rather lengthy Saturday afternoon nap — Kail might have been doing something useful like checking out the Carfax reports for the two cars in which we were interested).When I woke up, he had made up his mind, and I concurred. A couple hours later, we were cruising around town in this bad boy:I feel like I was completely off in my expectation that buying a car would be a bad experience. Do you have any interesting car-buying stories to share?