I recently purchased a new vehicle. Well, to be perfectly honest, Hubby did all the work and purchased a new vehicle for me. With everything that went on to obtain this vehicle I’d have been out a year ago and driving my old vehicle until it was just nuts and bolts on wheels.
Let me start at the beginning (a very fine place to start).
Buying a New Vehicle in 2023, Our Experience
In May of 2022, Hubby and I moved down to Florida. When we left New York State, hubby sold his old truck. It was very old and it was used to haul stuff to the hunting land and to let friends and family borrow to move stuff.
Sonny-boy ended up with Hubby’s Honda Element. I hated that vehicle and called it all sorts of names, but it is now referred to as the Lewmobile. Sonny-boy’s dog, Lew, loves that vehicle. Lew is a pretty skittish auto-hound, so we are very glad he enjoys it. (And I am very glad that Element is gone.)
Hubby brought down his Chevy Silverado figuring we would use it down here where everyone has a truck. I brought down my Range Rover.
It didn’t take Hubby long to figure out he really did not need his truck here. He wasn’t hunting, he wasn’t hauling, and we were not out buying stuff that needed a truckbed to transport.
I did not necessarily want a new vehicle. I loved, loved, loved that Range Rover Supercharged with uts 5.0L V8, 510 HP engine that went vroom vroom vroom. It was a 2016 though, so I figured I would order another one if only to restart the warranty.
In 2022 the new vehicle market was still extremely tight. All the car dealerships in this area that we went to (except Maserati) wanted a dealer premium (money over asking price). Hubby also called all over the country looking for a new Range Rover for me. The best he could find was a lesser model (one without the vroom-vroom engine) for $60K over sticker down in Miami! To order a new Range Rover would take 18 months.
Hubby was all over online looking for something for me, which morphed into looking for him, too. He wanted a smaller vehicle (he’s always liked his vehicles either pint-sized or super-sized with no in-between). The dealer premium was getting to him, though.
He ended up finding “close” to what he wanted at a dealership in Georgia. He settled on a BMW M series X3, paid them for it, and they had someone drive it here and pick up our truck trade-in. Last summer, the dealer premium was “only” $3,000, and he felt like he had won the lottery to get it that “cheap.”
In the meantime, he was still looking for me. I had found an Audi locally that I would have been happy with, but the local dealership would not come down to meet us over $200, so I walked away.
If I knew then…
Once Hubby ended up with that BMW – after looking at everything except Lexus – which I loved and owned one in 2015! – but I hate how the backdoor opens on the the mid sized SUV, which was the size I wanted and Mercedes (not for me) just to be completely thorough. So, it came down to a BMW or an Audi for me.
If we got the BMW it would be a larger size than what hubby purchased. One vehicle (his) is for running around locally (better gas mileage, easier to park downtown), the other vehicle (mine) is for road trips and if we have something larger to transport.
I also cared very much about this vehicle because it is probably “my” last vehicle. Hubby and I will know in another 4-5 years if we really do need two vehicles down here or if we can get by with just one. We might have gone to one vehicle now if he had not purchased that smaller BMW, but honestly? Going from four vehicles to one small vehicle seemed a bit restrictive within just a few months.
While the fees are one thing, the continued lack of inventory is another. To order the vehicle we wanted from BMW, we had to find a dealership that had an allotment! The local dealership might be able to get one in 6-8 months. Hubby found a dealership in Tampa that could get us one in “only” 4 months. And these are SUVs put together in South Carolina!
The vehicle we ordered back in the summer of 2022 finally had a production number in November of 2022. When that BMW finally came in in March of 2023, nine months had gone by!
Ok, so now it is in! Easy-peasy, we pay, and I have a new vehicle, right?
Not so fast.
Florida has a lot of good things going for it, but it is not all magnolias and orchids down here. In spite of the all elderly doing estate planning and all the people with money estate planning, apparently, some dealerships do not know how to deal with Trusts or LLCs in the state of Florida. Or at least that is the conclusion I have come to after dealing with that Tampa area BMW dealership. They made it a nightmare to register (and we had just registered two vehicles in May of last year with no problems), and so we had to walk away from that ordered vehicle.
Honestly? I think they had someone who wanted it and would pay the dealership premium. Since we had ordered it, there was no premium attached to the price. A premium equaled more profit for the dealership.
So now, we were back to square one.
Hubby decided at that point to go back to the dealership in Georgia that he had purchased his vehicle from and find out if we could order a new BMW for me via them. His vehicle purchase was a good transaction, and the guy we dealt with had great communication. They said yes, and so he sent in the deposit, the manager OKed the sale and acknowledged the deposit, and we “thought” we were golden and would only have to wait four more months.
The allotment was apparently still in effect with BMW at that time. Turns out someone else got one ordered there ahead of us, and the manager was like “what?” about our deposit… even though he signed off on it!
It ended up fine though, as we were the next in line and got the order in. However, I would be getting a 2024 model instead of a 2023 model. No problem, a few more dollars and a year newer vehicle. Sounds good… except… we wanted them to have the same controls, and the 2024 definitely had been redesigned. *sigh*
Hubby received a production number for us via email from BMW, and then suddenly, the dealership called about a week later that the vehicle was in!
Note I said “the dealership called,” not our salesman. They had fired our salesman two days prior, so the vehicle was on the lot for a couple of days before someone got around to calling us.
Getting a new vehicle went from a nine-month wait in 2022 to basically six weeks in 2023! Are the US chip factories that were being built in 2019 really up and producing now? Because that has been the hold-up for years now, no chips.
I received my vehicle in June. The dealership again drove it down for us to deliver it and then picked up my Range Rover to take back as a trade-in.
We got the new vehicle coated outside and inside with a protectant to prevent fading in the Florida sun. We also put in a bed liner – we did an OEM line since we will never use the third seat row; we bought it for the extra storage when that is flat, not the extra seating and the BMW liner was short, taking in the third row of seating.
This vehicle is beautiful. And it smells so good! Because it is a 2024 and a higher-line vehicle (X7 M60i), it does differ from Hubby’s BMW quite a bit. All the doo-dads and gadgets have been fun to figure out. The safety features are even better than the Range Rover’s were (which were pretty darned good). The doodad I like most is the automatic shades for the back windows! It’s the little things.
The color on this vehicle (that I picked out of a hat after deciding against the same color I picked for that aborted Tampa Bay vehicle) is extraordinary (my photos do not do it justice). It has received so many compliments I have lost count.
Our neighbor liked this vehicle so much that she went out and bought one! Our neighbor’s daughter is also looking at the same vehicle (her Mercedes is in the shop more than it is out), so we have definitely drummed up some business for BMW.
We took this new vehicle on a trip up to Buffalo and back, and at first blush, I was very happy with this new vehicle. I will miss the Range Rover (that was my favorite vehicle I have owned), but I am excited to see with this new vehicle can do.
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