I recently picked up a used car, a 2003 Impala. I needed a vehicle and I wasn't about to buy new. I had ran across a 2005 VW Golf with a five speed manual transmission on a local car lot. I asked to take it for a test drive and a salesman brought it around and left it running. I assumed that a salesman would be tagging along. When I asked if anyone was joining me I as told I was fine to take it and come back.
Never let an opportunity go to waste. I drove out of sight, turned up a road, pulled over and popped the hood. Everything looked fine. Now for some fun. I came close to redlining it through the gears on a secondary highway, looped around, caught the main highway back, then just before returning it, checked reverse and the turning circle. Fun car and ran like a top.
I came in to make an offer. I listened to the spiel that said I had to pay a document fee and buy their protection package on top of their list price. I politely told him that document fees and protection packages are nonsense and in return I was informed that this is standard at all dealerships and it is non-negotiable. Regardless, I was willing to offer a certain amount in cash factoring the fees I was not willing to pay. Cash here and now, I would go to my bank and come back with a stack of legal tender. For some reason that was not acceptable, I had to give them a deposit via credit card, then the sales guy would take a formal written offer to the sales manager. So I voted with my feet.
I ran across the 2003 Impala on another lot on a referral from my employer, great guy by the way. Less money and more car. I offered cash, they accepted. I dropped by my bank, withdrew the money, came back and traded it for a car, bill of sale, and a mechanical inspection. No rust either. The prior sales guy contacted me a day later via email. I replied that I found someone willing to do business on my terms and thanked him for his time.
So far the Impala is a rock solid car. I have a sunroof, air, a huge trunk, power everything, leather interior, and heated seats. The VW had none of those. The prior owner took good care of it except whoever it was was a bit of a slob and smoked. A good cleaning will solve that. Weird thing is that I have a cassette player and a cd player that was original from the factory.
I have a kind of utilitarian view of vehicles. I really do not care too much about image when it comes to a vehicle, all I want is that it is reliable and dependable. My father always used to tell me is that all a vehicle does is give your ass a ride. I would have liked a truck but everything in due course. I also refuse to wash a vehicle I own. I have helped lots of other people wash theirs, I just can't be bothered to wash my own. It rains eventually, problem solved.