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How I Bought a (Almost) New Car on a Budget

In the fall of 2014, I knew it was past time to buy a new car. Honestly, I didn’t have much of a choice. At the time, I was driving a 1992 Ford Ranger, which I am so thankful for. That car got me through high school, college, and graduate school all the way in Charleston, S.C. It got to a point to where I was putting more money in the car than what it was worth. I had just graduated from grad school and landed my first “big boy” job in Charlotte, NC. It was time to make moves!

When I first started looking for a car, I had two requirements. The car had to have air conditioning and it had to be FAST! My truck didn’t have air conditioning, which made those summer days in Charleston miserable. All of my friends in Charleston had fast cars that had been “modded” out. One of my friend’s took the engine out of his Dodge Ram and upgraded it to a Corvette engine. There was nothing like taking that truck out on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge late at night.

Finding a car was exhausting in the beginning. I was mainly going to dealerships. I was seeing plenty of cars that I liked, but my problem was that I didn’t have any credit from being a broke student all those years. You have to have credit in order to get credit. My best friend offered to co-sign for me but I didn’t want to mix that friendship with business and I wanted to do this myself.

I started researching used cars. I wanted something fairly new but I also wanted something affordable as well. I was talking to my mom and she told me I should look into buying a car from a rental car company. Enterprise was the first company I checked out. I looked on their website and I found a Dodge Charger that I immediately fell in love with. I could have gone to any Enterprise but I decided to go to the location in my hometown so my mom could go with me. I didn’t know what I was doing and I wanted someone knowledgeable with me.

So this where my story gets crazy…. I go home to pick up my mom so we can look at this Dodge Charger. When I get home, my mom has a stroke. Our trip to Enterprise Car Rentals turned into a trip to the emergency room. I will write another blog on this later, but my mom is fine. Thankfully, I was there to get her help. I saw this as a sign that I was meant to have this Dodge Charger. If I had not found that car then I would have never came home and my mom could be disabled or dead right now.

The next day, my mom told me that I should go look at that car. She was in the hospital so I went by myself. Everything just lined up perfectly. The car wasn’t even a rental car; it was a company car for Enterprise. Their regional manager would drive it on business trips. The car was almost new and in perfect condition and it had just enough miles on it so I could afford it. We had the same problem of finding a company that would finance my loan, but they worked with me. I ended up getting the car financed. The interest rate was terrible but I refinanced the car a year ago and my monthly payment dropped by $100.

If you are looking for an almost new car at a good price, I would highly recommend buying from a rental car company. My experience has been great. I haven’t had any problems with my car. My next car will probably come from Enterprise as well.