A lot of energy has been spent in the last month or more in finding and acquiring a used car for my daughter, who has been living in Africa for the last six months. She will be coming back State side soon, about to enter graduate school at Cornell. Ithaca is a very cool small city, that caters well to it’s large college population, but is still enough of a small city, that having a car will be quite useful for little things, like finding ones way down the hill to the other side of town to shop at the “Green Star”, local food co-op, and making the hour long trip home every now and again.
Many lessons learned in the process of purchasing this car. First and foremost, just because the car sales man who happens to be representing a private seller, isn’t selling the car through his dealership, doesn’t mean he isn’t still basically a car sales man. Second: If you are going to buy a car long distance, make sure that the third party mechanic you hire sees the car a minimum of two weeks before you fly so that you won’t be stuck with a non-refundable plane ticket the day before you travel to pick up the car! Third: Remember the first lesson, and don’t be fooled into thinking that guy that is still basically a car sales man is a nice guy just because he has a friendly sounding, almost southern drawl. Fourth: Recognize that even if you get a good deal, which is difficult to truly do when you are buying a used car, NY State will make sure to worsen the deal when you go to register the car and end up paying an additional 8% to NY State in sales tax! Can’t touch all the corporate and wealthy America tax breaks and loop-holes, but let’s tax everyone who finds themselves buying a used car; at 8%. Fifth: If you happen to find yourself in the Dept. of Motor Vehicles on the Tuesday after a long holiday weekend to register your used car, bring a small novel to read, and expect to finish it!
All’s well that ends well. It is a nice little Gulf TDI, a perfect grad student car. And will blend well with all the throw back hippies still living in Ithaca!