Fun at the Boston Auto Show as a Guest of She Buys Cars

January 15, 2016

As you surely know, my little car was demolished a week ago by a teenager. It was a 2010 MINI Cooper S and I loved it. Sporty and fun, the car was my midlife-crisis vehicle. So, after seeing the carnage I started to think about my next mode of transportation.

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What’s the best way to start the new car buying process? Visit a dealership, go online and do a bunch of research, or stroll around an auto show.

Funny, as so often happens in our universe, there was serendipity at work. In fact, less than a week after I got word that my MINI Cooper was deemed a total loss, I got a call from She Buys Cars and their partner Chevy. I was asked to take part in a Boston Auto Show promotion focused on how women purchase cars. What fun – I jumped at the chance.

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Along with a cool gift bag, access to the show floor on media day, and some tasty food, She Buys Cars and Chevy gave me enough cash to buy a few drinks at Starbucks and allowed me to give away two tickets to the Boston Auto Show. But that’s not what this post is about – we’re talking about my next car!

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Let’s first focus on a few things about buying a car…both the good and the bad.

Good stuff:

A new car is new. It smells great, drives great and is yours yours yours.

New cars have the best in terms of technology. From onboard wifi to safety features, cars that are rolling off the assembly line are safer and more fun than ever before.

Comfort features abound. In fact, from visibility to sound systems and leather everywhere, new cars are made with actual people in mind. It seems as if after 100+ years of making cars, the industry has finally taken drivers’ opinions into account when designing vehicles.

Bad stuff:

There’s pressure. Sales people are sales people (and they can’t help it). Most people feel anxiety and pressure when buying a car (that’s what makes an auto show so great).

The amount of money you’re spending is relatively huge. In only two other transactions do we spend more money – buying a house or paying for college. Dropping tens of thousands of dollars on a mode of transportation can make anyone skittish.

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There’s so much to know about automotive features and technology that anyone can be overwhelmed.

Now, let’s solve all the bad stuff and reinforce the good stuff about buying a car. By the way, take a quick look at this article to increase your knowledge of new cars.

At a car show – like the New England Auto Show or any exhibition – you don’t have to deal with pressure. While you can purchase a car at the show (I only found that out this year), you don’t get pushed into a corner by sales folks. They realize people are on hand to research and examine multiple brands and models in one place.

While the money doesn’t change – your options become more clear when you talk to folks at a car show. There are people and organizations on hand (banks, too sometimes) who can clarify the differences between leases, certified cars, used vehicles and brand new cars. With each type of purchase you might be spending a different amount. Further, the ways you finance or manage car payments will be made clearer by the experts on the show floor. Ask your questions there and then go to a dealer armed with that info. Knowledge really is power.

Following up on the knowledge is power comment, there’s no better place to learn about car tech than at a car show. From connected devices, new safety features and security, at the car show most of the vehicles are available for you to sit in and poke around. You can’t drive around the show floor, but at some shows (this is the case in Boston) you can schedule test drives with different manufacturers. This is the ultimate in figuring out if you really like a car.

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So, what went on during my visit yesterday? I got into no fewer than 24 cars. I learned that Chevy has technology that can disable the radio until seatbelts are fastened (great for teen drivers). I saw some cars I’ll never be able to afford (can you say or even spell Lamborghini).

On the whole, it was a fantastic experience. I’ve narrowed my choices to replace the MINI down to about four manufacturers. I’m certainly looking at another MINI, but the others include the Chevy Volt, one of the new Buicks (my grandfather used to have a Buick dealership…so I’m partial to the brand), a Nissan Versa Note, and maybe a FIAT of some sort.

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If you’ve bought a car recently – or are in the market now – what was/is the toughest thing for you about the search? Leave your comment here or tweet at me and at @SheBuysCars. We’d love to hear what you think!

If you like the photos here, the entire set is available here on my Flickr page.