Ok- let’s recap and give you some details about the story I’m about to share:
- My dad has always been the driver of the car in his relationship with my Mom. My Mom hates to drive and ever since they moved to New Jersey (which she hates) she really doesn’t want to drive. Something about Route 9 and jug handles gets to her.
- My Dad has been ill, has some mobility issues and was having trouble getting into his rather large SUV.
- If you’re about to ask whether or not my Father should still be operating a motor vehicle- right there with you.
- My Mother continues to let him drive because she said it’s good for his mental health, and he needs the win
- Yeah- I know…
- My Father was driving and had an accident with my Mother’s 13 year old Volvo (no one was injured but the car was not worth repairing)
- Yeah I know…
- My parents were left with a large SUV, with a lease that was about to expire and they would need a new car
So now you are up to speed:
So my Husband and I took a day and went out to New Jersey to car shop with my Mom. As my Dad chose not to be on the lease, and the car would essentially be my Mom’s, he did not come with us. This was the first time ever that my Mother would be buying a car without my Father.
First- we had to return the leased car. That was basically easy except for the having to go back to my parents apartment so that my Dad could sign tons of paperwork because old lease was in his name, he was allowing my Mom to return the car, etc… But at least it was straight forward.
Then we had to begin car shopping.
First thing you should know: My Mother only wanted to get a car from a certain dealership because it was close to the house and she would be able to easily get there to service it. The options were Subaru or Ford.
Second- my Mother loves Volvos and has driven a Volvo since 1985.
So for the first hour of car shopping, my Mother complained about how my Father shouldn’t have gotten into an accident with her car.
Seriously- for an hour we heard about this.
As you might be aware, there is a car shortage right now. There are not many new cars available. At this particular Subaru dealership there were six cars available. She ruled out three cars immediately because they were just too large for her to handle.
So for those of you who grew up before common core math and do not go to school in Oregon, this means there were three cars to choose from.
Three cars. Two were the same model, one was more souped up than the other, and the remaining car was very basic and one of the lower end Subaru cars.
They were all SUV’s. My Mother has never driven an SUV. She doesn’t like SUV’s- she likes sedans. The only sedan on the lot was the powerhouse Subaru that was about a million inches long- my Mother had already ruled out the sedan…
We then had another twenty minutes of grieving for the Volvo.
We asked if she wanted to go to the Volvo dealership. She didn’t. It’s a 45 minute drive and she knows she doesn’t want the service bay to be that far away.
So I reminded her that if she wanted to be close to home she needed to buy a car from Subaru or Ford. So we went over to the Ford section.
Admittedly, I fell for this really cool Mustang, Ford had less cars for sale than Subaru, and I could not entice my Mother to buy the Mustang.
Back to Subaru.
Where she walked around the same three cars over and over again.
I told her we didn’t need to buy a car if she didn’t like anything. She balked and said that they really needed a car, and I couldn’t argue that with her. They do live in an area where a car is a necessity.
Finally, I got her to eliminate the lowest price model, which although the smallest, (small is key for my Mom and cars) it did not have electronic seat adjustment, and as she has arthritis and hand issues, she would not want to buy a car with manual seat adjustments.
So now we are between the same model, but different features. I asked the uber patient car salesman what the differences were between the two vehicles.
One of the biggest differences was the safety features- and my Mom is big on safety. Frankly, it also helps that louds noises are made when something is too close. It seemed that one model was better than the other.
Except when my Mom sat in it she said the panel looked like a spaceship.
And then we heard more about my Father ruining her 13 year old Volvo which didn’t resemble a spaceship…
I sat in the passenger seat as she sat in the drivers seat. I pointed out the gear stick had the same controls that her Volvo did- R N D. I pointed to the odometer, the speedometer, the steering wheel, the turn indicator…I showed her that the basic things for operating a motor vehicle were exactly the same…
The salesman took her for a test drive…
She admitted it was a nice smooth ride.
She asked me what I would buy- I told her the Mustang. But my Husband told her he would buy the car that she was looking at.
After I believe six hours of being in the exact same dealership, my Mother signed the lease on her new car.
When we finally got home, I slept for about sixteen hours.