Going Topless: My New Car is Exposed

Going Topless: My New Car is Exposed

All the hard work has paid off, as Amy Tokic picks a replacement for her 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier and brings home a Volkswagen Eos. To catch up on the Going Topless series, check out the full archive of Going Topless stories.

I had a weekend to make up my mind about the 2008 Eos. Yes, it’s “used” but “Certified Pre Owned” doesn’t sound so bad. And by all accounts it looked and felt new.

I knew my stuff – what similar cars were out there, what features they had and how much they were going for. If the Eos was a category on “Jeopardy,” I would dominate the board and dazzle Mr. Trebek with my mad VW skills. So what was it going to be?

Hells, yes – this was my car. I could wait to see what else was going to pop up on the market, but that was a gamble. And considering what I had seen, nothing was going to come close. I mean 44,000 kms (27,000 miles) and fully loaded? I wasn’t going to take any chances.

Crunching the Numbers

So let’s talk numbers, shall we? The dealership was asking $23,000 CDN – I got it for $22,000. Compare that to the $53,000 (with taxes) price tag for the brand new model with the same trim line. I also got the extended Assurance Premium two-year warranty (with two-year Roadside Assistance) on top of it, no extra charge. And because it was certified pre-owned, my Eos would be delivered to me in as-new condition. It went through a 112-point inspection. The interior was detailed. They threw in new tires, rims, wheel bearings and brakes. The bumper had a small scratch on it so it was repainted. It looked and smelled brand new. On top of all that, I got a sweet T-shirt and a chew toy for Oscar.

With my Volkswagen purchase, I received a slew of cool freebees. As a Platinum Plus member, I get some pretty sweet perks too. My first visit to the service department is on the house. I can also earn up to 10% toward the purchase of my next VW vehicle and I can present my Platinum Plus card to various stores around town to take advantage of discounts (I’m going to pass on the 20 percent discount on unlimited tanning, but I will check out the super-yummy gluten-free bakery).

Putting the Past Behind Me

I was nervous when it came to actually picking up my new car. I felt bad trading in my old Cavalier – it got me through a lot of miles over the past 12 years and I knew she was going to be put down. But I did get to keep a little souvenir of our past together – her licence plates. They were chipped and flaking, so I want to go with fresh plates for the new car. Maybe i’ll build a little shrine in my extra parking spot.

Dotting the I’s, Crossing the T’s

The process took longer than I thought — there were a lot of papers to sign and details to go over. A mechanic went over the changes and repairs as well as the maintenance schedule. He showed me under the hood – even that looked clean and organized. I then went over the financing information. I was putting down a sizable down payment and the rest was borrowed through Volkswagen’s financing program. Because of the amount I was borrowing, it was cheaper to go through VW than my own bank (3.99% vs. 5.14%). I also liked that I could pay down any amount over and above my monthly payment penalty-free. If I won the lottery tomorrow (very unlikely considering I never buy a ticket), I could pay off my loan without an extra charge – and I really want to pay it off before the end of my three-year term.

Features A-Plenty

Every feature on my Eos is new to me. Power windows, locks and mirrors, an alarm system, heated seats – I’ve never had them before. One of the features I like the most, which surprises me, is the satellite radio. It has SiriusXM and I have no idea why it’s activated in my car. I haven’t paid for it and I don’t want to ask any questions in case someone turns it off. I’m addicted to it already. I’ve only programed a few stations, including the Pearl Jam and Lithium stations, but I have no idea what other ones are out there. It looks like that will be my next weekend project. And, of course, you’re more than welcome to offer recommendations – just leave them in the comments section below.

Extra Perks

Since I run a freelance business on the side, I can write off the purchase of my Eos. I’ve kept all the papers in one folder, so I know where everything is and can pull them out at a moment’s notice. Whether it’s income tax time or I need to replace something, it’s nice to know that I won’t have hours of panicked searches in my future.

What surprised me the most was the change to my car insurance. I spoke to my insurance agent, he made the changes to the policy and the huge difference to my yearly amount was… $14. Less than my 2000 Chevy Cavalier! I asked him if he knew that the Eos was a convertible. He said he knew that. And that it was a 2008 model. Yep, he got that too. I couldn’t believe that my old rust-busted ride’s insurance was more than the shiny new convertible. But who am I to argue – I’ll take that $14 savings and spend it on air fresheners and fuzzy dice.

Driving my new Eos home was an unbelievable moment – it didn’t feel real until that moment (Note: it also felt pretty real the first time my car payment came out of my bank account.) I love how it stops automatically when I use the brakes. In the old ride, I had to plan ahead at least 10 feet in advance to ensure I eventually stopped. And although I’ve only driven with the top down twice (November is pretty cold here, even with heated seats), I take the top off to impress friends and curious onlookers. Every time it comes down, I sing the theme to The Transformers cartoon. I’m pretty sure that’s going to stick until the novelty wears off (which may be never). I can’t wait to show it off in the spring – I’ve already started thinking ahead with a play list of tunes worthy of convertible cruising… and once again, suggestions are always welcome.

Things Learned:

The next time around, I’m going to look for a car on my own again. It was an awesome feeling to realize that I don’t need anyone with me for such a huge purpose. And since there weren’t a dozen other car opinions coming at me from all directions, I am confident that I chose the car I truly wanted. It’s so amazing when someone admires my car and says “well done.” I can now respond with “I know, thanks!”

Have reputable resources available to help answer questions. I was lucky enough to have Anne Fleming of Women-drivers.com and LeeAnn Shattuck from Women’s Automotive Solutions in my corner. They were a wealth of information and always had great ideas to get me through the tough parts. And you can feel free to use them too – both sites have car-buying articles, advice and female-friendly dealerships.

If I hadn’t written this series of articles, I would have bought the first car I test drove. I realize that you may not have the luxury of being able to write for AutoGuide, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hold yourself accountable in other ways. Social media and blogging are both fantastic ways to share your experiences with the rest of the world. The possibilities are endless – just make sure you stick to them so you can achieve your desired outcome.

Next Up:

I’ll check back with you in the summer to fill you in on how my Eos handled winter driving and how much fun it is to cruise with the top down once it warms up.

In the mean time, start your own new car shopping experience in the AutoGuide.com new car shopping section.

  • Araghe

    Thanks for sharing that experience! I am up for a new car; now that my Saturn SL 2000 need ( as you mention) to be put down. That car really look great and I hope that I will experience the same as you did. 

  • MistyGreen

    So, how’s it been so far?

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked