I think I’ve written in the past about how I’m a truck girl. A pickup woman. Whatever. I’ve just driven trucks since I learned to drive. (Except for a short stint in high school when I drove a Ford Taurus.) At this point, its what I feel most comfortable and confident driving. Never mind how handy it is to have when you need to do just about anything. Except park in a garage downtown. Luckily I do that less than I haul things. So there’s that.
And if there is a truck I KNOW, its the Ford F-150. I’ve driven so many models of that truck through the years, I know them. Well.
In 2018, I was ready to trade out of a 2013 and back into a new one with warranty, etc. and so forth. My beloved 2013 was showing signs of needing repairs I wasn’t prepared to budget for… so if I could slide over into a new one with payments remotely close to what I’d been paying I knew I could budget for it. Heck maybe my insurance would even shift in my favor for this to be a positive move.
I decide to try a different dealership than the one I’d used for literally every previous truck purchase. I had along-term goal of settle down in that town, and figured I could go ahead and start a relationship with that dealership. The salesman that greeted us literally admitted he didn’t know anything about F-150s. LITERALLY SAID HE DIDN’T KNOW. I tried to school him on various features and how it had progressed through the years. Blank stare. Nonetheless, I test drove the new model. I didn’t love it, but I could live with it. The price seemed right for what I was getting, so lets roll with it.
The salesman came back with a monthly payment almost double what I’d been paying, and he severely lowballed my trade-in worth. (See, I don’t go into these things without full knowledge of the worth of what I have and I was already prepared for his offer being skewed when he said he knew nothing about trucks.) We walked away from the truck. More importantly, I walked out angry.
My dad recommended checking out a Chevy dealership that he had just purchased a vehicle from the day before. We drove over to their lot after hours, and I instantly (and shocking to everyone, especially me) fell in love with the Silverado out front. That was MY truck.
And one day later, it was. They gave me more than I hoped for my trade-in. My payments stayed within $25 of what they’d been. And I was getting a truck that had more features than I ever dreamed of having in any vehicle. SCORE of the century. And, again, shock of the century to everyone who knows me.
Three and a half years later, I had to put my truck in the shop. THREE TIMES it had to go back for transmission problems. (I even had Chevrolet sniffing around when I asked on Twitter if any other Silverado owners had the same problems.) With supply shortages and staffing issues, I basically was without my truck for two months. I drove my husband’s 1999 F-150 back and forth the work. It drove like a champ, but its also not at this point meant to be used as a daily driver. It also drinks gas and with gas prices rising it was getting hella-expensive to do.
When I got my truck back, I was disappointed to say its just fine. It’s still not what I think it should be, but its fine. The worst part is I’ve lost a lot of faith and confidence in it. I don’t get excited to drive it any more. Now I just feel defeated and disappointed. It’s just “fine.”
For a week, my husband and I bandied about the idea of seeing if we could trade back into an F-150. Because at heart, I’m not just a truck girl. I’m a Ford girl… who just happens to be driving a Chevy right now.
What would be the right thing to do? Get into a Ford I know and feel confident in again? Or roll with the Silverado that I know the work that’s been done. I also have an extended 125,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on it. BUT, could the transmission finally completely give out and leave me on the side of the highway at 10 pm one night on my way home from work… What’s the right answer?
After a lot of thinking and agonizing, I suggested we just go talk to the Ford dealership here in our town. We couldn’t REALLY make a decision without more information. I’d used their service shop for maintenance on my old 2013, and they’d always been good to me. Let’s see what their sales department could do. And I was flexible. I could go new, or I could go used — with my only real demands being lower milage than I was trading and newer than a 2018. I wasn’t going to step backwards in making a trade.
We found one I really liked on the lot. I was borderline feeling about it like I did the Silverado when I saw it. That could easily be my truck. It ticked off every single box I wanted, and then some. And the price was right.
See, once again, I was walking in knowing exactly what my trade was worth. I was walking in knowing (pretty close — I was off by .2) what the percent rate would be financing it. I was walking in knowing Ford, and specifically F-150s. What I wasn’t walking in, though, was sold that this was the right option and that I really wanted to trade at all.
This was all heart over head. My heart still loves the truck I have, but also loves F-150s. My head was saying, “Do what makes the most financial sense.” So I wasn’t going in prepared to sign on any dotted lines. I was prepared to get information to digest and then decide.
We walked in and was first asked if we had an appointment. Uhm. No? That’s a thing now? But we were directed to a salesman who took us to his office to start crunching numbers. Perfect. That was what we wanted the most.
Let’s just say, we walked out of there keeping our Silverado and not going back. His payment estimate made zero sense. I still can not for the life of me back into what he quoted us as what our payment would be. Especially when we would be financing LESS than we did on the Silverado — even with TT&L added to the sticker price — at a lower percent rate for the same length of time. I mean, I know the economy is quickly going into the toilet right now, but that’s some seriously fuzzy math. (Also, he claimed F-150s are way more expensive than any Silverado without knowing what I was bringing him.)
He tried to talk us into a truck with higher miles than we would be trading in because it had a lower sticker price and then asked if we had any money to put down. I quipped back, “On top of the $16K equity you’d be getting out of my trade-in?! Absolutely not.” He then brought in his manager who read the room fast (that’s why he’s manager, I guess) who just said, “We can work the numbers to get you exactly the truck and payments what you want. We can do this.”
But I just shook my head and said, “No, this is head over heart for me, and I’m not seeing it. We weren’t even close on numbers from the get-go and I don’t have it in me to fight that hard.” He understood and didn’t press any further. Mad respect for him. Seriously. He reiterated that they want our business, but put absolutely no pressure on us.
Do I think I’m going to eventually trade my Silverado in on an F-150? Absolutely. I have nothing against Chevy. Heck, the way they asked about my truck woes gave them mad points in my book. I’ve just been a Ford girl too long to not always want to go that way. But now isn’t the time, and that isn’t the dealership to do it. Truthfully, I’d love to hold out while they continue working on the F-150 Lightening. I’m REALLY excited about that one. I just need a charge to go further than it does now.
Anyway, I guess I share my story to just encourage people to stand their ground. Saying no is sometimes the absolute best and only answer to look out for yourself.
Ironically this can be pretty hard for me to do. I’m a people pleaser, and I’m way too quick to give in sometimes to make someone else happy… even if it costs me. I guess you could say I’m battling head over heart in countless situations.
And y’know what? It’s a battle I will never apologize for fighting… because both so, so important to listen to always. Always.