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In The Market...

When I registered the Monty last week, it almost didn't pass the safety inspection, the concern being loose bearings in the front wheels. So first thing yesterday I went down to Les Schwab, with a quick stop at Starbucks first to grab some breakfast, and settled in for a long morning wait.  Strawberry-banana smoothie, blueberry scone, and repacked wheel bearings. Mmmm, delicious (except for that part about the bearings). Two hours and $200 later, I was on my way.

Now, as you all know, I love my Monty. The old guy has treated me very well over the years, and I've tried to do the same for him. And other than my job at IHG, it's the longest committed relationship I've ever been in. But lately, Monty is beginning to show his age. In the last 6 months, I've spent about $2,000, which if you were to work that out per month, it's more than the cost of a monthly car payment. Granted that bills like that don't happen very often, but when they do, it puts a serious crimp in budgets.

So, as much as it pains me to say it, I've decided that I'm in the market for a new vehicle.  I had hoped to wait another year or two and save up more money, but the more I think about it, the more the answer seems to be to look for a new car. Something that will be affordable, last a long time, perform well in the snow, and make me look cool while I'm driving it (oh - and heated front seats are an absolute must).

As I ponder the process of purchasing a new car, I'm kind of wishing that it was like buying a house. A Realtor goes with you, you look at different models together, and they advise you on what to put an offer on, and how much to offer and what to negotiate. But alas, that is not the case, and I'm quite nervous about it. Going to dealerships and talking to high-pressure salespeople is not something I'm looking forward to.

Here are a couple of models I'm considering so far:

The KIA Soul - It's kinda cute, and you can get a pretty blinged-out one for about $20K. And KIA's come with a really great warranty.

The SUBARU Crosstrek - A little more rugged, and you can get a really nice model for about $23K. And SelectHealth employees get discounts at some of the dealerships. 

So far I've not test-driven either of these, and other than some online research, I haven't put a lot of effort into the process. To tell the truth, I'm a little bit of a chicken.


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