It’s that time of year again for the usual “are you trading your car in?” Talk with my husband. 

Cindy Daniel (Mitsubishi) Wendy Wortham (Hyundai)

I’ve driven just about every “brand” of vehicle under the sun from Cadillac to Mercedes and I’m pretty picky about what I drive because I live out of my SUV when travelling to weddings and events.  After years of deciding what I enjoy best about my vehicle, it becomes apparent that I no longer want a car- only an SUV will do! 

Cindy Daniel with our Texas Twins Events/Pawning Planners Vehicles

I love my Hyundai Santa Fe and although it is 8 years old and has 140k thousand miles on it- this vehicle has never left me stranded.  The seats are comfortable and I have a third row that comes in handy when loading the team up in only one vehicle.  Every year I “look” at the new Hyundai suv’s and decide that I can’t find anything better than what I already have. 

 From cars to bikes to sneakers- my team all have their “favorites.”  My son, Robert Hafele and my niece, Leigh Ann Blais both drive matching VW Jetta’s.  They also wear Ed Hardy sneakers or Converse and love Panama Jack bicycles. 

 Loading up my team when we have floral designs and decorations to bring with us requires two suv’s.  Cindy and I can’t imagine trying to cram everything into a car.  We would need four cars to do what two suv’s handle which is why it was easy for me to switch from my fancy black Crossfire to the Cadillac Escalade and later to my Hyundai Santa Fe with my only complaint being they didn’t have a black one with the features that I wanted. 

Leigh Ann Blais with her beloved black Mitsubishi suv and wedding bouquet I designed

When my niece, Leigh Ann Thomas had trouble with her Mitsubishi SUV that was out of warranty- she trades for her VW Jetta.  If you asked her about it today, she would tell you her heart was with the Mitsubishi.  Going from an SUV to a car is a step down in comfort and convenience.  When I traded out of my sporty Crossfire, I was trading up with comfort, convenience and enough room to haul most of our trades in my SUV without needing a trailer.

While I will spend a few weeks “looking” to appease my husband who believes my SUV is “getting too old to be reliable,” it will take a real “wow” factor to win my heart.  I drove a Buick Enclave while in Los Angeles last year and loved it but would I love it for everyday use?  Probably not and its an American vehicle- I’ve had nothing but problems over 50k with American vehicles and if I hadn’t, I would (of course) buy American! After all, I’m from a military family who complains that Cindy and I (along with our kids) drive “foreign” cars and SUVs.  We never hear the end of it but at my age, I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

My twin sister has loved Mitsubishi for years and has had nothing but good things to say about their company.  Cindy drives a crossover SUV with a turbo and loves the power her vehicle has.  Years ago, I had a Volvo with a turbo that gave me nothing but problems.  Years later, I stay away from any vehicle with a turbo.

My husband loves his Toyota truck and is loyal to the brand because even after over 170k thousand miles- he’s not had any real problems and never been stranded. He’s quite a bit older than I am (12 years) and very opinionated about what he drives and wears from Nike 4.0 sneakers to his Levi jeans.  He won’t try other sneakers or other jeans because he knows what he likes and hates changes.  I know because I’ve bought tons of other jeans that don’t meet his expectations of comfort and durability.

Earning a loyal customer base isn’t easy.  Consumers make buying decisions based on cost, quality and convenience.

Since I’m in the wedding and events business and also take trades, word of mouth along with blogging and banner advertising help build my business with happy clients who benefit by borrowing inventory (unheard of in the wedding industry) and by “gifting” wedding photos when they can’t afford to purchase them.  You see, I’ve learned what impresses me as a buyer and I’ve also been in sales and understand what entices a buyer.

As I consider which dealerships in planning to barter and bargain with, it becomes apparent that I’m not even going to look at Buick.  I’m happy with what I have and to find the same or comparable features on the Buick- it will add 9-12k to the price tag without a certified 100k mile warranty.  The Enclave is a beautiful vehicle but, pricey and since my Hyundai is tried and true- I will be basing whether or not I trade in this year on whether or not I find something I like better than what I already have.

Many consumers think December is the only time to buy, it isn’t.  January and February are often great times to buy last years model. You may not find the exact color you like or the trim package but you can save thousands by waiting or buying a pre owned and certified vehicle which is exactly what I plan to do.

Buying trends are based on getting a good deal and having a great experience with your purchase and your investment.

While I’m certain that everyone on my team would love an SUV over their cars- we truly only need two suv’s to “get the job done.” 

Will I find something this year? Probably not and besides I just put $879 in new tires last month.  What’s the hurry?

Wendy M Wortham