Before we talk about my car shopping experience – I’m sure you can tell what kind of car I got from the photos – I wanted to write this blog post because, being a first-time car shopper, I was nervous and hesitant about the whole process. To be honest, I even broke down crying at the dealership (we’ll get into that later in the post) because I was so stressed out. I’m not trying to convince anyone that they need to drive a Mercedes Benz. I’m not an expert in car shopping either. I wanted to share my experience and see what you can take from the process.
Recently, I had to sell my car, which was a 2012 Mercedes Benz C250. The process of getting the car fixed, after having so many issues, was so stressful. After selling my car, I was driving one of my dad’s cars for a while (thank goodness he likes having cars as toys). Unfortunately, he was planning on selling that car for a while, even before I started borrowing it. Two months into using my dad’s car, we finally found a buyer who was interested in it.
The question then became: do we keep the car a bit longer so I can use it until May when I graduate? Or do we sell it because we’ve been trying to sell it for 3 months now?
I Became Car-less.
A couple of things I learned from this:
- Turo is not cheaper than going through traditional rental services (especially if you’re under 25); however, it is more convenient if you need a car the same day.
- Renting a car isn’t always cheaper than using Uber or Lyft. Some days, I calculated that using an Uber or Lyft instead of a rental car would have easily saved me $30.
Hindsight is 20/20
Before this, I had never gone car shopping. I got my previous car back in 2013, and my mom was the one that dealt with finding it. I was nervous and I kept thinking to myself: “Am I making the right decision?”
Leasing vs Buying
One of the things to consider when looking for a new car is whether you should lease or buy. There were a couple conflicting issues with everyone around me. Some people said I should lease, while others said I should buy. In conclusion, I decided to lease.
The reason for this was because I owned my previous car and I wanted to see what leasing was like. Moving forward, I would have more experience with what fits with my lifestyle and what doesn’t. Does that make sense? Haha.
I think it really depends on the maker of your car. If you want a reliable car (Toyota, Honda, etc), your best option would most likely be buying the car, since they have incredible resale value. However, if you want to drive more of a luxury car (Mercedes, BMW, etc), your best option would most likely be leasing the car, since maintenance and repairs can be costly (and sometimes deadly, haha…just kidding).
Overall, I think it truly depends on what you’re looking for and what fits your lifestyle. I don’t know for sure if I will be leasing future cars yet, but we will see in three years!
Learn more about leasing versus buying.
My First Time Car Shopping
To be honest, I didn’t know exactly what type of car I wanted. I’m a very sentimental person and the only car I wanted was my previous car. However, Mercedes Benz stopped making the C250 a while back. I went into this whole car shopping experience pretty open-minded to any model of cars – given that it was in the Mercedes family. I’m pretty loyal to the Benz. To be quite frank, I simply wanted a good deal. I didn’t care what model of car it was.
- It has to be a Mercedes (I’m very materialistic, I know)
- Neutral colors, please! I wanted black or dark grey. White is okay, and no thanks to red, blue, or yellow
I realize that beggars can’t be choosers, so I couldn’t be TOO picky about the kind of car I wanted, especially if I wanted a good price. I wanted a simple car with low tech features, but still a Mercedes, lol.
With that being said, being a college student, it would be responsible to go with a more practical car. However, driving a Mercedes Benz makes me happy. I love their branding, and overall I love the look of their cars. I’m not trying to convince anyone that they need to drive a luxury car. At the end of the day, it’s up to you what you value. Some people love going out to eat at new and exciting restaurants, while I prefer to stay at home. Some people prefer wearing high-end makeup, while I get most of my makeup from the drugstore. To each their own.
Process of Talking to Car Sales Advisors
Did you know that, on average, Americans spend roughly 10 hours of car shopping? For me, I definitely spent around that same time. I started off my car search by checking all the Arizona Mercedes dealerships’ websites and spoke with the ‘Internet Sales Advisor.’ I spoke to probably 6 different people from different dealerships.
After a while, I received an offer that I liked, which was from JR over at Mercedes Benz of Arrowhead. He was incredibly nice, and I’m not going to lie – I did ask him for unreasonable offers and he still proceeded to entertain me, hehe. I’m sure most of the other salesmen probably deleted my number and assumed I wasn’t serious.
One night, I decided to go to Mercedes Benz of Arrowhead, which was roughly 50 minutes from my place. When I arrived, JR wasn’t there (I didn’t let him know I was coming, so it was partially my fault). I ended up with another sales advisor, and after telling him that I had worked out a deal with JR, he said he would pull up the text conversations between JR and me.
Having a Mental Breakdown at the Dealership
Long story short, the sales advisor was nice but did not give me the deal that JR and I had worked out – even with the text conversations pulled up. I eventually got really frustrated at the dealership because there were some miscommunication and misinterpretation. I broke down and started crying at the dealership. Causing a scene wasn’t my intention, but I felt rushed. I decided to leave the dealership that night, and I called JR first thing in the morning.
I’m not going to deny that what I did at the dealership was quite embarrassing and childish. In retrospect, two things I would have done:
- Notify JR that I would be coming to the dealership that night
- Not show up 30 minutes prior to closing time. I felt really bad for those staying late because of me, which made me feel rushed. No one was rushing me – it was self-inflicted
2019 Mercedes Benz GLC 300 4Matic
I got a Mercedes Benz GLC 300 and I love it so much. It’s such a drastic difference from the C250 sedan. I like to joke around that I have a ‘mom car’ because I’m not a mom. Hopefully, I’ll be a dog mom soon! I am, however, a cat mom, but it’s not like I can take the cat out with me. I suppose this calls for more trips to Tucson to visit my nephews, AKA my sister’s puppies!
Throughout my car shopping experience, I want to mention some people who have helped me:
- Glenn Davis from Mercedes Benz of Gilbert
I never met Glenn in person, nor did I have a phone conversation with him. We mostly conversed through text messages; however, he was incredibly nice to me and always got back to my questions and inquiries promptly. He also wished me much success with my blog!
- Craig Rusin from Mercedes Benz of Scottsdale
Craig was extremely kind, knowledgeable, and patient throughout the process. On top of that, he is the funniest car sales advisor ever. On his desk, you can find the weirdest coolest lava lamp. He used to work at BMW (for over 6 years) and he switched over to Mercedes Benz last year. I made a comment along the lines of: “Craig used to work at BMW for over 6 years and recently switched over to Mercedes Benz, you know what that means? Even after 6 years, you still can’t commit?” I thought I was hilarious – it was one of those ‘you had to be there‘ moments, crickets crickets.
- JR Iwanycky from Mercedes Benz of Arrowhead
In the end, I decided to go with JR since the car I wanted was located at the Arrowhead dealership. JR was really nice and patient with me throughout the whole process. He likes to call himself ‘OG’ since he’s been with Mercedes for almost two decades! Also, JR’s from New York, and if you know me, you know that I love New York.
- My Boyfriend
He’s the one that had to deal with me on the night I broke down at the dealership. He also drove me nearly 2 hours (to and from the dealership). I’m incredibly lucky for him and feel so bad that he had to put up with me through this stressful week of trying to find a car.
Thank you to everyone who followed along on this process with me through my Instagram.