Meet the new car, same as the old car 🎼

Many people love their cars and spend A LOT of time comparing models and prices before choosing the next one. Not me. I have a funny relationship with cars. I see them “primarily” (i.e., strictly) as a necessity to get me to work and back. For me, car shopping is a real drudgery. I’ve leased Volkswagen Jettas the last two cars. The Jetta is a basic, relatively inexpensive compact car that gets the job done. I had zero service issues with my two Jettas. Granted, they’re not the ideal car to drive in Rochester snow, but I’ve had worse.

The three-year lease on my 2017 Volkswagen Jetta (photo left) expired back in October, but I was unemployed at the time and you can’t get financing when you’re unemployed. However, I was able to extend my lease with Volkswagen Credit for another six months. Phew! In the interim, I finally did get a job. Early last month, with my lease extension set to expire in just a couple of weeks, I called my VW sales guy and set up an appointment. The following week, I drove the convenient 1.7 miles to the VW dealership, walked into the showroom, and sat down with the salesman. I got right down to business and immediately asked Nick, “What are your cheapest Jettas on the lot?” There was a 2020 model on the showroom floor (photo right) and a 2021 on the lot. The showroom model had a sunroof and was a little snazzier overall so I opted for that one. Badda bing, badda boom. In less than one hour, my car shopping drudgery was over with. I must be Nick’s easiest customer.

I don’t know why I’m so blasé about cars. My Dad loved cars and enjoyed maintaining them, although he was more of a wanna-be mechanic than a bona fide one. He would make me help him (hold the flashlight, tighten the bolt, etc.) as he worked on his cars on Saturday mornings. I had no interest and hated it. My Dad would inevitably become angry about a difficult repair and take his frustration out on me. “Hold it (the flashlight) steady!,” he would regularly yell. I eventually developed a strategy of sneaking out the back door early Saturday mornings and staying away from the house all day.

My wife loves cars and could easily make choosing the next car a month-long project. With my wife on long-term disability, we’re now down to only one car and she had a vested interest in choosing the next one. She desired that our next car be an SUV, which is what “everybody” is driving these days. I argued that an SUV is not practical for us. We certainly don’t need the extra room or the higher monthly payment. My wife accompanied me to the VW dealership with the notion that it was going to be only the first of several stops in the car selection process, but she liked the 2020 Jetta showroom model and conceded that we didn’t need to spend additional money each month for a bigger, fancier car.

Nope, there aren’t any deep spiritual lessons to be culled from this post other than I’m grateful to the Lord for the needed transportation!

30 thoughts on “Meet the new car, same as the old car 🎼

  1. Guh! I have the same feelings about cars! My dad was a police officer but before that he was a car salesman-that was back when you could bring cars home as demos-we had a yellow and black Mach One. My brother and I decided in our boredom of having to sit on that car while my parents shopped to have a gagging contest… well let’s just leave it at that!
    My dad also raced cars- soooo my brothers and I have scraped paint off of many a car for cheap labor ( actually that was what we thought we were born to do for him) so he could have it repainted!
    When we purchase a vehicle I run it til it just won’t run anymore- I detest car shopping!! And cars 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can understand why you detest cars after all of that. In contrast, my wife rolls the window down when a muscle car passes to hear the engine rumble.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Is it manual?! I miss my VW GTI all the time! The GTI is predominantly 4 doors now and automatic, not my gig! My dad and Nathan loves cars. I know about cars by default. They are not my passion. The more expensive the car, the more expensive the parts!! Glad this was a painless experience for y’all!!!

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      1. Corinne is truly a saint! I hope this won’t disqualify me from being y’all’s friend: This is shallow and I admit this is SHALLOW! I said to God (don’t recommend this), “I will not marry a man who can’t drive a standard vehicle!” That was my only non-godly requirement! I have an issue that was like, “ok, if you can’t drive a manual, what else can’t you do?” Anyway, Nathan’s a mechanic/auto body technician/retired Army so he can drive (and fix) literally anything from semis, to tanks to a little GTI hahahaha!!!

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      2. RE: a man who can’t drive a standard vehicle

        It’s very interesting how the ability to drive a standard is a mark of masculinity in our culture. It would make for an interesting sociological study. I’ve always readily admitted that I can’t drive a standard (and have no desire to), but I imagine many non-shifting males keep the “shameful” secret to themselves. I sometimes like to revel in my norms-defying quirks.

        It occurred to me after writing the above that a sociological study examining a particular gender “norm” would not be well-received in academia these days.

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      3. Most cars are automatic these days so it’s really a moot point. Very few people today, especially in the States know how to drive standard. I am amazed that in your European outings you did not have to drive a manual!!!! I only meant this as a joke and I do not think it came across this way!

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      4. Yup, I knew you were joking. I have gotten incredulous attitudes from people when I tell them I’ve never driven a stick. Yes, I was very grateful they had automatics when we rented cars in Germany. I would have been stuck.

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      5. Meaning that the issue was with me not with someone actually being able to drive a standard vehicle because like I said, very few cars come in manual and sometimes they actually want you to pay extra for a standard transmission (which is the opposite of how it used to be!!!).

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      6. I remember when I was a young teen back in the 60s, MANY of my friends’ parents cars were standard, but my Dad always drove an automatic beginning at least with our 1960 Impala station wagon.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Cathy! The word, “mundane,” describes my estimation of cars. It’s silly to me how many people make an idol out of cars, but of course there’s things and activities that I’ve gotten carried away with.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Great! We’re on the same page once again! I think people get waaaaaaay too wrapped up in cars. The extent of my car mechanical skills was changing the oil, but I stopped doing that myself decades ago. Leasing a car means there’s always a monthly car payment, but those payments are much lower than when a car is purchased and mechanical problems are generally not a part of the picture in a car’s first three years. Back when I bought cars I tended to drive them into the ground and the repair bills were very expensive.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yup, Crissy, I really do resent the arm-twisting hard sell at car dealerships. Leasing eliminates some of that as the monthly payment is usually non-negotiable. Also, our sales guy, Nick, is incredibly easygoing. We don’t know how he’s stayed in the profession so many years. My wife even said she wishes he was more enthusiastic and willing to push different model$. But, nope, he’s the perfect salesman in my book, always ready to sign me up with another leased Jetta with no attempts to try to get me to “upscale.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yup, he’s the opposite of most salesmen. My wife and I have wondered several times how he keeps his job. Maybe other people are also attracted to his zero-pressure approach.

        Liked by 2 people

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