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Buying a New Car, Part 3


Well, tomorrow is a big day (technically later today). I may have a new car under my butt by 3pm. That is, if the bank comes through.

I bank with VanCity. I like them a lot. They’ve given my business a hefty line of credit, even when we started up the Inc. entity. Back in the late 1990s, when my credit rating wasn’t so hot (student loan issues in the early 1990s), they not only signed me on for my second credit card (for 10+ years, I only had one card – a Uni level card with a high interest rate), but gave me a pretty high max AND a low interest rate. I even got gold card status in my second year with fees waived for two years. Today, my max is more than three times what it was when I signed up – each time I wanted it raised, they said no problems. I guess keeping a near-zero balance each month helps.

But tomorrow, I have to go in and finalize my “preapproved” loan. The problem is, they want to see my income statements. Err… that’s a slight problem. From October 2001 through September 2003, I didn’t make an official “dime” on salary. After 9/11, our company lost all our contracts and one of the first cost cutting measures I took was taking myself off salary. I didn’t draw a dime from the company in any form for six months, until my personal savings were exhausted. Then technically, I became a contractor to the company, until September of last year when I went back on salary, at a reduced rate ($5,000 less than I was making pre-9/11). In January I went back up to my old salary, but I’m still one of the lowest-paid employees in the company: don’t fret though, I get profit sharing and bonuses.

But this stuff usually doesn’t matter to a bank. They don’t usually care if you make personal sacrifices to keep a company going. They don’t care what your bonuses are, or what your profits are. They want to know your base salary when doing loans.

VanCity isn’t a bank. I’m counting on that. I told them my salary, my bonus payments and my profits from last year. While they didn’t count those as my monthly income (because it’s variable), they did pre-approve me for as much as $32,000 in loans for a car. Pending my T4 or my income statements from last year. Gulp. What I have to bring to them tomorrow is my salary statements fo the last six months, plus my salary statements from the same company from 2001. I hope it will suffice. I only need $23,500 from them – I’m paying the rest of the car out of my own savings.

I do have a sweet rate: prime plus 1.6%. A bit higher than the 3.9% fixed rates some dealers are offering, but I have a lot of loyalty to VanCity – if they’ll lend me the money, I’ll pay the 4.8% variable rate to them. I plan on doing bulk payments to the principal down the road, so it won’t cost me much more in interest anyway.

So there’s this last step. Yes. I’ve decided on the car. Here’s the details:

2004 Volkswagon Jetta TDi Sport Edition
Platinum Gray (I was leaning towards Spice Red, but Jeanette says I’m too old for that colour)
Automatic / Tiptronic Model
TDI (Turbo Direct Injection Diesel) model, 1.9l, 100hp, 177 ft/lb torque at 1900rpms
Sport tuned and lowered suspension
16″ Bugatti Rims and Sport All Season H wheels
Auto everything (doors, remote entry, windows, mirrors, cruise control, the works)
Sport seats with upgraded cloth
Power Sunroof
ESP (Electronic Stabilization Progam)
6 airbags
8 speaker CD / Casette (who uses cassette?) premium sound system
3 spoke leather wrapped steering wheel
A whole whack more
and the best part:
4.7l highway, 5.6l city driving (pe 100kms). That’s loosely 61mpg (imperial) highway, low 50s city.

Price? Oh what the hell. List for all this and the full options was aound $36,900 including all taxes. I did quick negotiations for $33,750 for everything, taxes, charges included. I could have gotten it for less (a buddy got a TDI from Guilford VW, same as mine but in Silver, for $33,300), but I’m happy with the roughly $3,150 drop from list.

They better give me a full tank of deisel though. 🙂

More tomorrow. We’ll see if VanCity comes through….



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