I've taken to scanning Craigslist a couple times a week for anything I think might be useful on the farm. Tools. Vehicles. Compost. Livestock. All of these things will be needed. On Tuesday morning as I did my perusing with a hot cup of coffee in hand, a Chevy van jumped out at me as looking like a good deal. I knew it had to be a Chevy, because that's the engine Mickey prefers on American-made vehicles. He was a used car mechanic for 17 years. And it was a 6-cylinder, so that gave it a star, too, with regard to better gas mileage. Now, if it was just what the Craigslist ad said it was. I jumped over to the Blue Book website to see if the price was in the correct range for it's age and condition. It was. Now to call the phone number listed in the ad.
Yes, the van was still there. It had just been listed the day before. The gentleman gave me the address and was willing to give me directions, but I told him I had a GPS and would call if I got lost. Oh, I forgot. The van was in a used car lot in Valdosta, Georgia. Actually, Valdosta is only 60 miles away from the farm, about the same distance to Gainesville. And from what I can tell, prices for lots of things are cheaper in Georgia. At least vehicles and gasoline. Similar vans were averaging $2000 more in Gainesville. So I talked handyguy Charlie into making the trip with me, just in case I needed someone to drive the van to the farm, and off we went.
It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get to Valdosta, a straight shoot up I-75. And just as the salesman promised, the van was there and waiting for me. He even let us take it for a spin without asking for my license or first child. It was exactly what he said it was. What do you know? A truthful salesman. I still insisted on him running the Carfax report for me, just in case he had not been told the truth by the owner. But even that turned out well. One owner, 1 small fender bender, no frame damage. The only thing that could make this better would be if I could get the salesman down in price. And I did just that. A whole whopping $300, which equated to a 7.5% drop in price. Not too bad for my first time negotiating a car deal on my own, huh?
The end result? Why, our first farm vehicle, of course.
It'll be used first and foremost for delivering produce and setting up for market, but it should prove useful in many other ways, too. Now for van driving lessons for me.