I’s car has been dying a slow death for about 6 months now. And by slow I mean the death happened when Chicago decided that negative degrees was the new thing. We literally jumped it 4 times to get to the four places we went to look for our next ride. She was a good old 10 year old gal with lots of spunk and a *nearly* kidless interior. She was basic (not in the modern sense of the word #targetandstarbucks) but in the sense that you didn’t need a college degree dating later than 2008 to operate her.
Enter Bertha. She is a lovely preowned T&C (not to be confused by T&A for all you 90s folks). We are unsure of whether she is blue or black- it depends on the sun. She is fully loaded with the entertainment, leather, power doors, and cup holders/consoles that moms DREAM of. We found her after looking for new, used, and non existent vans. She. Is. Glorious. Here is what I learned about shopping for minivans (or any car when you are in a crunch, on a budget, and need something different).
RESEARCH. One of my longest soul sisters, M, has the exact car that we now bought and its mainly because we know the power in word of mouth. Chrysler should hire that girl because she made it a no brainer once we found our unicorn car.
Who isn’t on a budget? This girl is on a b.u.d.g.e.t. We came up with the idea to write out our bottom (desperate or I isn’t going to work on Monday) line. Before we even got to the dealerships (4- yes 4). We walked away from 2 Town and Country’s, one Pacifica, and an Odessy (that we couldn’t even buy because they are recalled until March). We FINALLY got that bottom line to work at the final dealership. SIDENOTE: we had S and B with us for 3/4 of these nightmares… er… experiences. I was sweating for all of the negotiations in which I was a COMPLETE B*tch which is a whole other post). ASK FOR #allthethings. Get that car certified, gas, weather mats, headphones, their firstborn- whatever it takes to make you get the feels when you leave in your new beast.
WALK AWAY. Just. Do. It. If it doesn’t feel right, walk away. We kept finding that when we pre-emailed about a used vehicle (we looked at new too), we got the B-team of salesmen. At one place, we had a man that was literally BURNING the time clock as my 2 year old licked her hands after playing in sleet water from the shiny tile of the showroom floor. GET IT TOGETHER DUDE! We are a family of 4 with kids who hate us right now. JUST RUN THE NUMBERS. We should have left after he had no idea what the difference was between 2 models.
GIVE IN. My mom had a minivan growing up. Her name was Gumby. She was, yes, green and had gold hubcaps. Not rims. Hubcaps. She was the opposite of cool, and even in the 4th grade, I knew it. I swore I could never want one of those. And then I had two kids who act like drunk wet noodles when you put them in the car and I’m like #givemealltheslidingdoorsandTV.
At the end of the day, I love my sweet, sweet Bertha. She is big, beautiful, and I didn’t have to lift my BOB stroller 4 feet to get her put away after Stroller Barre class today. I love her. She loves me. Alas, I can listen to Bone Thugs N Harmony on 104.3 while B says “bone” after each verse in peace while feeling like a good mom.