Some people, I hear, go car shopping for fun. Apparently they actually enjoy going for a “test drive” and chatting it up with the salespeople. They like “looking under the hood.”
I don’t like car shopping. I don’t even enjoy driving — I tolerate it. I can tell that my Volkswagen handles better than my Plymouth, and so some people would say the VW is more “fun” to drive. It isn’t more fun, it’s just less bad. Let’s face it, driving sucks. If I knew for certain I could safely teleport anywhere within, say, 50 miles of here, I’d no sooner own a car than a rocket ship.
If my teleporter’s range was limited to 50 miles, I might still need to drive sometimes, but in those rare instances, I’d rent.
Unfortunately, I can’t teleport, and our public transportation system out here in the suburbs is practically worthless, so I own a car. One of those cars (unfortunately the “less bad” one), is dying, so I have to get a new one. Today is the appointed day.
Here’s the problem. I’d like to get a high-mileage car. The highest-mileage car sold in America is the Toyota Prius. Priuses are starting to get a reputation as “show cars” that rich suburbanites use to publicly proclaim that they’re “ecologically correct.” I think it’s a shame that we don’t have more high-mileage cars to choose from in America. In the rest of the world, you can get high-mileage diesels for much less money than a hybrid costs. But since diesel fuel is so hard to come by in the U.S., they aren’t available here.
I don’t especially care what sort of judgments people make about me based on my car. I happen to know that my car isn’t even my worst ecological sin — it’s my travel bug. My family adds many more greenhouse gases to the environment each year due to air travel than due to driving. But what the heck, it’s a start.
What really sucks about going to buy a Prius is that the salesperson knows they’ve got what everyone wants. They’ve got you over a barrel. There’s no negotiation, there’s their price or your reputation as an ecologically correct modern American.
On the other hand, it does mean I don’t have to kick myself about not negotiating a better deal with the salesperson. I know there’s no dealing to be done. Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.
P.S. Yes, I know about the Civic Hybrid. It doesn’t get as good mileage and doesn’t have as much room as a Prius. But I might hint to the Toyota saleperson that I’m also looking at Civics.