Yesterday, NBC's Brian Williams had a story on Nightly News that car sales had their best August in years.
And I'm happy to say that I contributed to that.
I have been on the car market for quite awhile, but I really didn't have the guts (or the money) to buy a car.
I kept putting it off and I decided now was the time.
I have my 2006 Hummer H3 that I love, but it is not a practical everyday car. The gas mileage sucks and I knew I wanted something smaller and a vehicle that got good gas mileage.
I was talking to KIRO (Seattle) News Director Bob Jordan a couple of months ago. Bob drives a Chevy Volt which is an electric car that you plug in and charge. The car goes for about 50 miles on a charge and then an onboard gas engine kicks in and keeps the car going after the electric charge has run out.
Bob urged me to go drive the Chevy Volt and he promised I would love it. I took the Volt for a test drive and Bob was right, I loved it.
You can't get over how fast these electric cars are off the line. I used to drive a Corvette and I'm telling you, from 0-40 these electric cars can hold their own.
The biggest draw back to the Volt, the car cost almost $40,000 (although the 2014 models will be about $5,000 less).
I also loved the idea of NEVER putting gas in my car. With the Volt you still put in gas.
So, I looked at the Nissan LEAF.
The LEAF is 100% electric, you never have to put gas in the car. It was also a few thousand bucks cheaper than the Volt.
I drove that car and I really loved it.
It was still more than I wanted to pay (or could afford), but then I looked into leasing the LEAF.
I went to 3 different Nissan Dealers and worked hard on getting the best deal I could. I was willing to walk away if they couldn't reach my "number." I did not want to spend more than $300 a month. Finally one dealer came in with an offer of $295 bucks a month (they all started closer to $400 a month, so you have to work hard to get them down on price).
I crunched the numbers....I was filling up the Hummer 2 times a month at a cost of $60 per tank full. That worked out to $120 a month.
So I took the $120 off the $295 and figured that really made my car payment about $175 a month.
That was a number I could handle and I leased the 2013 Nissan LEAF.
I have had the car a couple of weeks now and I flat out love it. The LEAF goes about 90 miles on a charge.
There is a popular mall near me that is so crowded it is hard to find decent parking. But they have spaces right up front for owners of electric cars. The parking spaces also have a charger and I can plug in and use their electricity to charge up while I shop and eat.
I'm really looking forward to Christmas shopping....while everyone is circling the parking lot looking for an open spot, I'll pull in up front, put my car on charge and head to the stores.
The car is so quiet that they have to put speaker on the front of it to send out a sound when you are going less than 20MPH, otherwise no one would hear you coming.
I will still have to drive my other car on longer trips, but my day to day around town car is the LEAF.
I SO love the fact that I never stop at the gas station anymore.
As a big "tech guy" this is the ultimate "tech car."
To start the car you push a button and the screens light up like you are sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet.
As I drive the LEAF more, I will give you the pros and cons of the car and let you know my thoughts.
But so far, so good. It looks like I have turned over a new LEAF.