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Auto Shopping

I've finally begun automobile shopping in earnest. What ended the procrastination? A deadline. If I haven't purchased a new car by June, I'll have to renew my current auto insurance. That might not sound like a very meaningful deadline, but please don't talk me out of it. I've been saying I wanted to buy a new car for over a year, and it's time to actually do it.

This will be my first experience buying a new car. The one I drive now (and have driven since I was in college) was bought used. I've spent a lot of time this weekend reading about car buying, but not much time comparing specific vehicles. I'm not sure what I want yet.

I want a sedan. (The body style is one of the few easy decisions.) I want it to be an above-average vehicle, but nothing excessive. I simply don't need it — last year I only put 3200 miles on my current vehicle. A fancy car wouldn't be worth the money. You get rich by saving, not splurging.

Unless fancy cars really are babe magnets. Seriously, I don't know, but if you do you should tell me. It may be shameful to admit, but that factor could influence my decision. (Nonsense; it's not shameful to admit, honesty is never shameful. Having the inclination in the first place can be shameful, but in that case I can feel it even without telling anyone…)

The median price of a new car is $25,500, or at least it was in 2002. That page also used the same figure as the average price, so this data is both old and innumerate. But it's close enough for my purposes. I'll set my base price range at $25,000-$30,000 and do a sedan search at Yahoo! Autos. After adding options, this search should put me comfortably in above-average range.

Thirty-three models. Sigh. This might take a while.

Tiny Island