Buying a Car in the US When You Are Still in Switzerland

Ah, to be car free for nearly an entireScreen Shot 2015-06-15 at 2.24.12 PM year! It’s been sublime, and I will blog tomorrow about how much I will miss the trains and trams here.

But all good things come to an end, and we must think about how we will get around Southern California since trains and trams and busses just won’t do for everyday travel.

Before we even came to Zürich, H had thought a lot about what kind of vehicle to get. We are the odd sort of folk who buy a fairly new car with low miles and drive it into the ground, or for over 10 years. We have not bought a car since 2001, so we are not overly experienced at the buying end of things.

Our list of desires? First, and most important, we want fuel-efficiency. Then I want a car that doesn’t sit too close to the ground so I can get in and out easily. We want a hatchback so we can occasionally bring home something large from Lowe’s. No black/dark interior for those hot So Cal days. Those were the priorities. The frivolousness that we imagined was having a red car.

For the past several weeks H has been working with a dealer in California via phone and texts, filling out forms online, waiting for forms to come via DHL. He’s been dealing with the insurance agent (who doesn’t work on Sundays, although the car salesman does – so we know he’s not in Switzerland!). It all seems to be coming together, with some great help from daughter, C, who took a check over to the dealership and will then drive the car to our house where it will wait patiently for our return.

The beauty of this plan lies in the fact that our first days and weeks back home will not be filled with car shopping, and we can hit the ground running (or really, driving).

We have opted to get a Ford CMax Energi Plug-in Hybrid. We’ve never bought a new car before, but we didn’t want to buy a used one without test driving it, and there are tax advantages to buying a new plug-in, as well as the warranty advantage.

And yes! It’s Red!

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