New Whip


toyota rav 4, foreign service cars, good cars for jordan, diplomat carWe bought a new (to us) car: a 2012 Toyota Rav 4. It is nearly identical to our previous car, except it’s a newer model. We loved it so much, why make a change? In El Salvador, our Rav 4 took us off-roading in the mountains for a camping trip, to an accessible-only-by-beach-or-boat beach house, on an 11-hour drive to Nicaragua and countless other places.Buying a car for Jordan was the number one item on our list of not-fun home leave errands. We could have opted to buy a car locally — either from the local market or a departing Foreign Service family — but given that we’re arriving toward the end of transfer season, the pickings are slim. And neither of us felt comfortable buying a car sight unseen based on a newsletter ad.After consulting with the CLO, friends and friends of friends who live/lived in Amman, we decided to buy the same car we had in El Salvador. Similar to El Salvador, it’s not necessary to have an SUV, but it might be good for road trips (or off-road trips). We love Rav 4s because they are four-wheel drive and have a high-enough clearance to make it over big potholes or through sand/mud, but they’re not huge so it’s easy to navigate in a rav 4, foreign service cars, good cars for el salvadorOur 2010 Rav 4. When I say the same car, I mean the same car.The dealer where we bought our previous Rav 4 didn’t have any in stock, so we visited a couple other dealerships in Northern Virginia and settled on Ourisman Fairfax Toyota. While I wouldn’t describe car shopping as “pleasant,” we had as close to pleasant an experience as possible. And even though car dealerships these days say their internet prices are “no-haggle,” we were able to bargain down our price. I credit haggling over Afghan carpets with our success.We were deciding between two cars: the one we bought, which was less expensive but had slightly higher mileage, and one (same make, model and year) at another dealership, which was more expensive but had slightly lower mileage. I surprisingly turned out to be the bad cop of our bargaining team.Our strategy involved looking at cars at one dealership, leaving, looking at cars at another dealership, calling first dealership to negotiate a price while still at second dealership, leaving second dealership, waiting it out at Starbucks, calling first dealership back to push for a lower price and waiting some more before first dealership called us back accepting our lower-price offer. We probably could have negotiated a lower price, but we were several hours into the ordeal at this point and sort of just wanted it to end. Not to mention that we needed to buy a car that day so we could get all the paperwork and ship it to Jordan a few days later.What kind of car do you drive?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

2 thoughts on “New Whip

  1. We have a RAV4 as well. Not especially necessary in Jerusalem, but a definite blessing when we’re on the Jordan side, which is once a month or so….


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