Thursday, February 19, 2004

Car Caveats

Buying a car is never, ever a simple process. But here in Massachusetts, it's doubly annoying. In most states, you can feasibly: A) Drive into a dealership's lot, B) Test drive and select a likely automobile candidate, C) Fill out financial paperwork, and D) Drive away the owner of said car--all in the same day.

Not so in Massachusetts. Here, you have to take one day to select and drive the car, fill out paperwork to finance the car, and go home with the intention of eventually being the owner of the car. A few days, or whatever the Powers That Be deem to be a sufficiently annoying time later, the dealership will call to inform you that yes, you are indeed "lucky" enough to have qualified for whatever ridiculous financing option they have signed you up for. So now, you get to make the trek back to the dealership to sign papers and become, in the eyes of Massachusetts, the "actual" owner of the car. Then you go home again. Empty-handed. Unless the dealer gives you dum-dum pop or something.

Now, why would you go home without the car you have effectively purchased? Well, boys and girls, that is because the state of Massachusetts does not issue temporary license plates. So the dealership cannot get plates for the car until you actually own it. (The good part is that they jump through this hoop for you...which also means you don't have to whip out the screwdriver to affix the damn thing, I suppose...)

So, in essence, I'm quite sure that Massachusetts automotive dealers lose quite a few customers to Buyer's Remorse. I mean, really; you don't entirely legally own the car till you "take delivery"--drive off in the thing. So you've got some pondering time there between the initial titillation and the legally-bound state.

Anyway, long story short, I bought a car the other day and I STILL don't have it in my possession. That's the only reason I care, really. I'm self-centered like that. We're supposed to be picking it up tomorrow, if you see a girl pushing a purple VW Beetle Turbo to impossible speeds on I-93, you can rest assured that you've likely seen the infamous Redpanda, in the flesh.


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