The Family Car

The thing about discovering you are pregnant with twins is that it changes your vision for what you expect your life to be. My husband and I were very likely going to stop at two children but now that I am cooking twins, there is no question that we are done. All the fun family vacations I envisioned with a preschooler and an infant seem logistically or financially impossible now that we'll have an extra child. The home I plan to birth these Turtles in will very likely not accommodate three adolescents without a serious reconfiguration of space or an addition. And then there is the car...

We currently own a Toyota Prius and were quite saddened to discover that it simply can not fit three car seats in the back seat. We did the seat check soon after my "diagnosis" with twins but somehow, in my late pregnancy brilliance, I wanted to wait until the babies came before we bought a new car. My reasoning was that I am going to be too tired and overwhelmed to leave the house with three kids so what's the point of buying a new car that is just going to sit in the driveway? In the odd event that we ALL needed to go somewhere, we would just have to take two cars (our backup car is a 1996 Corolla) until I was feeling more confident in my role as a mom-of-three.

Now, in my REALLY late pregnancy, I wonder what the hell I was thinking. I don't want to be buying a car when I am too tired and overwhelmed with baby duties! I want the nightmare of car buying to be over so here I am 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant trying to negotiate the process of NOT getting ripped-off. UGH! I've given up my naps to do internet research and call dealerships with the express purpose of not showing up on a lot looking like I am in desperate need of a car. I want a price settled in advance and then I want to go and sign the papers. I don't want to sit with some sleezy salesperson who will inevitably make my blood boil.

So, fair readers, any tips on getting a good deal? We are in the market for a 2009 Subaru Forester.


  1. Oh, Mama!

    1) My husband says "the fair price is the price both parties agree upon without coersion." He is a lawyer-former-mechanic.

    2) We have always shopped for cars with the attitude of "go there being ready to walk." And we have gotten up to walk out, only to have them miraculously come up with a compromise. So maybe it's good that you're not visiting the lots in person, since "getting up" and "walking out' might be a little...challenging right now!

    3) I say get a Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey (both minivans.) My husband says he likes the idea of the Forester. There you have it.

    4) Have I yet sung you the praises of that other ESSENTIAL piece of twin parenting equipment, the recliner? Ours is made by LaZboy, and we love it love it love it! We never expected to. Our twins love it too, even at the age of 7. It was totally necessary for nursing, napping, cuddling, rocking and sleeping when the baby's head needed to be elevated because of a cold. These days, you can get models which look relatively decent and don't stick out in your living room scheme.

    Wishing you smooth and lovely final pregnancy days!

  2. Thanks so much for the great advice.

    We definitely thought about getting a minivan but when I sat in a few, they just felt *too* big. The Forester fits the three car seats so we are thinking that will work for a while and then when the kids are bigger and our Prius has pooped out, we'll get the van (and the Forester will become the backup car.) By then I'll be used to being a mom of many and it shouldn't be such a mental leap for me.

    Thanks also about the recliner. I never thought of that but I could see how it would be really handy!

  3. Hey there!

    You are totally on to something: DO IT ALL ON THE PHONE. When John and I bought our 2004 Forester, we called all the dealerships in greater Boston (8 or so), told them exactly what we wanted, and asked for their best price. We told them what we were doing and said we'd be buying from the dealership that could give us the best deal. Once we were down to the two best offers, we told the almost-lowest dealership that we were ready to buy from their competitor, and asked if they could beat our best offer. We ended up paying well under invoice for the car, and got exactly what we wanted without ever leaving our living room.

    Granted, it was a stressful day to spend the whole time calling dealerships and playing them off each other, but I know we got a good deal on the car and once we went to the dealership to get it, it was all business and paperwork and no haggling and driving around.

    So those are my tips! Also, I absolutely love my Forester.

    Good luck. With everything :).


  4. I'd have to agree with Snickollet, 100%! We bought our van the same way...all on the phone. Well, mostly. I went to one dealership and they wouldn't give me the price that I wanted so I walked. I then decided that I'd email or call every single Toyota dealership in the area and ask them if they could beat the price I was given. Sure enough, one of them finally came down to a price that we agreed on and the whole experience was so much easier than what I had done in the past. Sounds like you are already doing this though : )
    Also, definitely a good choice on the Subaru Forrester. My husband had one and LOVED it... it was fantastic in bad weather and we always felt very safe in it.

  5. Thanks for all the great advice. We are doing everything on the phone and e-mail now which is making things much easier. One question though-- how did you deal with the sales tax? One dealer gave us a good price (below invoice) on the model we want but then when you add in all the tax and "fees", it was a couple thousand higher. Snick, if you got it below invoice was that after sales tax?

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  7. Hi, I'm delurking to let you know that I have a Subaru Forester and LOVE it. However, there is NO way that three carseats can fit in it. My two boys sit in the back in carseats and there is about 8 inches of space between them. Just a heads up. =D

  8. Hi Keri,
    Thanks for looking at my blog! Actually, the redesigned 2009 Foresters do fit three car seats across. It is wider than older versions. We schlepped to numerous dealerships with three car seats in tow and tested them to be sure. (That's an experience I won't soon forget.)


  9. Oooooh! Thanks for letting me know! I'm thrilled that we don't have to buy a mini-van! When our current Forester dies, we will just get a 2009 Forester-perfect for when our 3rd kid is born later! =D

  10. I'm a day late and a dollar short, but our price was pre-sales tax.

    I hope the Turtles stayed in for the snow day! FYI, I was out with our mutual friend E. on Saturday night, which was lots of fun. She makes me feel like I'm still a little bit hip :).


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