Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saying Goodbye To The Jeep

March 2016: Jeep at the scene of the accident. 
Once I heard back from the repair shop following my first accident this past March stating that the Jeep was going to be repaired my wife and I had an important decision to make. With the frame having been bent in the accident (and now having to be bent back) were we comfortable driving and riding in the car? More importantly, did we trust the car enough to have our son in it? In the end, it wasn’t the same car and we no longer had the confidence in the vehicle to continue using it as my daily driver (especially on those days when I have my son in the back).

While we knew that it would be a costly decision, we decided to start looking for a replacement vehicle (a process that I have written about before). The Jeep was a great car so that is exactly where I started my search. I went online and priced out the 2016 version of the exact make and model of my car. Once I input that information I added the features that I wanted in the new car to see where the price would fall. Seeing a replacement price within inches of $40,000 I quickly questioned whether I would be buying another Jeep. So, given the new price point, I searched for a few other options.

June 2015: The day I bought the Jeep. 
With a full roster of cars on my list (a compilation I never thought I would pull together in my lifetime) we dedicated a weekend to hopping from dealer to dealer looking at all the options that I had uncovered and determining whether or not there was any wiggle room beyond the USAA price. A few cars were eliminated because of the lack of fit and finish while others were great cars but simply not the right one for me. In the end, I had to decide between the Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and the car that I picked up today the Mercedes Benz GLC 300 4Matic.

May 2016: The Mercedes replaces the Jeep.
Once everything was factored in including price of the car, the options that I wanted, the interest rate on a loan, the cost of insurance, fuel economy, and other numerous factors the Mercedes just made much more sense. Believe me, I was shocked by this revelation too. While there are certain trade offs between the two (i.e. off road capabilities vs. highway comfort), I am completely happy with the decision that we made. On top of all this, in a bit of creative financing, we actually traded in my wife’s car and leased a GLA 250 4Matic with all the options that she wanted on the car. In the end, we both ended up in new cars and, considering all financial commitments before and after, pretty much broke even financially.

All that is left now, besides enjoying our new vehicles, is to complete the insurance claims which should, to put it nicely, be the most ‘interesting’ part of the whole process. We also still have to come to terms with the simple fact that we are both driving Mercedes which, at the very least, is one of the more surreal feelings that we have encountered in a long time. Just add one more thing to the list of changes over the past couple of years.