Paid Content

13 Emotional Stages You Experience When Buying A Car

13 Emotional Stages You Experience When Buying A Car

We go through a full spectrum of emotions when making a big financial decision like buying a car. It’s an exhausting and financially draining roller coaster, but at the end there’s a new car waiting.

We’re jumping in the front seat with Allstate to take you through the emotional stages of buying your first car.

1. The Initial Shopping High

You’ve been dreaming of owning a car since you were 16 and driving around the rusted, hand-me-down family van. “I’m going to look sooo good,” you sing aloud to yourself as you browse online for the luxury chariot of your teen dreams.

2. Cold, Hard Reality Sets In

If it was up to your imagination, you’d have the car of your dreams. But with dawning horror, you realize that your mind only prints imaginary money, which, as it turns out, is not accepted by any of your local car dealerships. Warning: at this stage, you will experience significant moping.

3. Steely Empowerment

Your delusions of a Lamborghini may have been crushed, but from the crumpled heap emerges something even stronger: the buzz you get from cutting frills. It starts small: satellite radio, then leather interior. Before you know it, you’re like a hardened venture capitalist, slashing away at entire brands and models.

Yet even through your Bluetooth-dropping frenzy, the fear still lingers in your gut like probiotic bacteria: will all this saving be enough?!

4. Overwhelming Dread

… It was not enough.

5. Mild Resignation

You continue cutting more extras off your list. You are going to get a car.

6. Panic

There is so much you don’t know. Time to cram! You read about depreciation, Kelley Blue Book values, excise taxes and “certified pre-owned vehicles.” There seems to be no overriding advice other than one statement: “Your car will start to lose its value once you drive it off the lot” -- which will haunt you, all of your days.

7. Swaggering Confidence

Armed with new knowledge (and a decent night’s sleep), you feel ready and confident as you head to the dealership. You know what you want and how to get it. You have intelligent questions, darn it, and you’re going to get some answers!

8. Abject Fear

… Until a dealer comes over to assist you. The words are tumbling out of the salesman’s mouth so quickly, you feel simultaneously enticed and terrified. You put your head down and walk around aimlessly for a while.

9. Completely Misplaced Paranoia

You’re finally ready to engage and drive a hard bargain. You’re not messing around here, and you weren’t born yesterday.

And you’ll show your driver’s license to prove it.

10. Cautious Exploration

You gingerly step into the vehicle and start her up. The salesman offers several words of helpful advice. The car purrs -- not too bad!

11. Hard-Nosed Negotiation

You like the car. She seems to like you back. Armed with days’ worth of newfound automobile expertise, you strike a hard bargain with the dealer. Rust-proofing? Nope. Spoiler? Heck no. Sunroof? Well … you take the sunroof, because you deserve it.

12. Complete Inner Peace

Take a whiff of that new car smell. Delicious.

13. Freedom

Time to kick the tires and drive off with your prize. Seat warmers ablaze, you literally feel like you’re sitting in the lap of luxury. You slide open that sunroof and bask in the chill of the frozen open road … and then sliiiide it back shut, because it’s still winter, you nut.

Allstate Agents understand that buying a car is big investment. Your local Allstate agent will get to know you and help you understand your insurance needs so you have peace of mind that you are protected.


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds