Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


it never hurts to ask


My husband and I have had a whirlwind week. He has been on vacation since Monday, which started out with us dropping our car off to the dealership to have an ongoing problem fixed. Back in March 2005, before our third daughter was born, we bought a Chrysler Seabring. It was great - - leather seats, radio and CD controls on the steering wheel, temperature and electronic compass on the dash, sleek exterior.

No complaints, mate. Until summer 2005 arrived. Seems there was a problem with the air conditioning that was unknown to the dealer until last week.

Use of the air conditioning caused water to leak underneath the front passenger's seat. So much water would leak, while the air conditioning was in use, that the carpeting under the seat was saturated with water. As you know, sitting water will cause an unsightly mildew smell. We went round and round with the dealer in 2005 and in 2006. They always feigned ignorance and told us because they could not "recreate the problem" it was impossible to fix.

Until this Monday. Suddenly, this is a known problem (with a solution) that has plagued many a Seabring owner. So while they toiled away fixing the problem for free (as they should have two years ago), we also considered the fact that the driver's side window of our minivan needed to be fixed.

It was then that my hubby caught The Lease Bug. After a few hours on the internet, a couple more hours on Quicken and a phone call or two to area dealers, we found ourselves sitting in front of Brian at the Chrysler Jeep dealership.

I just have one tip for all the ladies out there. When negotiation the price of a new car, it never hurts to ask for what you want.

I had so much fun with Brian. We did the classic pen and paper dance. He wrote down a number, pushed the pad of paper toward me and handed me the pen. I crossed out his number, wrote a new (lower) number, pushed the paper back at him. We declared each other's names back and forth.







He went away to "talk" to his sales manager. I gave exaggerated looks to my husband and then back at Brian. I postured. I had so much fun! In the end we saved $27 per month over 27 months, which is $729 over the life of the lease. Not too shabby and huge amounts of glee in the process.

Best of all, this was a no money down exchange with no hidden down payment rolled into the lease. The inception fee (dealer destination fee, tax, plates, etc.) was covered by the trade-in of our old van. We just handed over the keys and drove away in a 2007 Chrysler Town and Country (with leather seats, a DVD player in the ceiling, Sirius Satellite Radio and Stow 'N Go seating, to name but a few of the amenities). Our first payment is at the end of September. This is how leasing a new car should be.

The best part was when Brian declared my new nickname. He calls me "Sledgehammer." I love that.

Oh, but the saga does not end there, my friend. I told you hubby was infected with The Lease Bug. After crunching some more numbers we decided we could lower our payment on the Seabring by leasing a second car. Brian did his best, but he was not able to help us with the second deal. I'm not holding it against him.

The next day hubby ended up at a Dodge dealership mulling over a 2007 Charger. Since the kids are out of school right now, hubby did the song and dance alone with Jim at the Dodge dealer. When they arrived at a price he called me and I had the babysitter come over so I could talk to Jim.

I had to laugh when I got there. My husband and I walked into Jim's office and Jim said, "Does your wife want to see the car?" Hubby said, "No, Jim. She wants to talk to you." The interesting thing about Jim is that he was very bottomline with my husband. He gave him a computer print out with dealer costs and the monthly price, told him there was no room to negotiate. Period.

Jim collapsed like a house of cards. Again, all I was asking for was no hidden fees, no money exchanged between us, covering the inception fee with the trade-in and a reduction in the monthly price. After "talking" with his sales manager the price came down $13 per month for the 39 months of the lease which is a savings of $390. We're not talking thousands of dollars but hubby and I walked away with a lower payment and two new cars.

Not bad for a day's work.


My reminder which will go away on September 1, 2007:

Don't forget my goal of getting enough votes so I can donate money to Gilda's Club. You don't have to leave your name or your e-mail address, just anonymously click the the thumbs up icon at this website. That's all it takes!


2007-08-17 at 6:36 a.m.

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