18 December 2008

Car update

The details of my car trade are firming up nicely.

I now know the exact vehicle that I'll be getting; I have the vehicle's VIN now. And yes, the VIN starts with a K, denoting South Korean assembly; I'm old fashioned, and like my cars to be built in the manufacturers' home countries. Sure, Hyundai now builds the Santa Fe and the Sonata V6 in Alabama, and I can support fellow Americans and their jobs by buying those vehicles, but I'm not a fan of Alabama Bible Belt culture, unfortunately. Most of my vehicles have followed this program, except for my driver's ed car, a Toyota Corolla from Fremont, California, and the car that I'm retiring now, a South African BMW.

I also know where the car's sitting right now. It's at a dealer lot, and the dealership is kind of far from me. However, it's within walking distance of a CarMax lot, where I can get an appraisal for my BMW that will hopefully be less pathetic than what the Hyundai dealerships are offering me. I do think I'll take a bath on the BMW trade-in, as the sour economy results in a glut of luxury cars, both new and used; this will probably wipe out the savings from the good price I have on the Hyundai. CarMax will buy my car even if I don't buy one of its cars, so it'll be a nice option for dumping the BMW, and given that I'm trying to do the trade as a secret, and therefore am not asking anyone for help, I do need the ability to get from the CarMax lot to the Hyundai lot easily.

I may even drive my BMW to a CarMax closer to me on Friday, while on lunch break at work. That CarMax can certainly give me an appraisal, which is written, locked for 7 days, and valid at any CarMax location.

When I take delivery of the Hyundai, I'll also ask if it's possible to order vanity plates right away. This will be the first time I get vanity plates in California, so I need to know the drill. In normal cases, I have vanity plates delivered to a designated DMV office, where I show up to turn in my old plates and get the new plates. I hope I don't have to wait for a normal plate (which itself takes up to 2 months) then wait another 2 months for the vanity plate. I have five possible vanity plate configurations that are available according to DMV.

It looks like I'll be breaking the new car in very fast. I'll drive it to Las Vegas after all, right after New Year's Day, just a week after San Francisco. Looking forward to many photo ops - especially with my new Canon!