Friday, March 27, 2015

MINI of Clear Lake - 3/25/15

When we made the decision to downsize to begin our full-time, RV, retirement lifestyle in 2013; we sold our home, our 36' Trojan sportw211 fisherman yacht, 1982 Corvette, 2005 Harley Davidson Night Train, 2012 Toyota Tacoma and traded in our 2011 BMW for a 2010 Mini Cooper S. Wow, that was a lot of work!

We have loved our Mini Cooper. It is a great tow vehicle (on a tow dolly - 2-wheels up), lightweight, and reliable. In our first year of RVing we drove the motor coach about 4,700 miles and the Mini Cooper about 14,000 miles. It gets great mileage and we had purchased a 100,000 mile maintenance contract...perfect for our lifestyle.

The service light (and brake light) came on the Mini Cooper indicating that we needed to take it in for maintenance. We are in Galveston, TX, for a month, so we made an appointment at MINI of Clear Lake (about 35 miles away from where we are staying).

Because our second vehicle is the motor coach, we always make appointments to wait at the dealership. So when we arrived in Clear Lake, the car was taken in for service and we took a stroll through the lot to check out the new and used vehicles. Just for something to do!

One of the "motoring advisors" greeted us on the lot, asking if we needed help. We told her (Riley) that our car was in for maintenance and we were just walking around the lot with our dog. She was very low key and told us to let her know if there were any vehicles we wanted to check out. And she told us that they are a dog-friendly dealership and Sadie was welcomed to wait inside with us.

The short story is, we found a 2013 Countrymen (4-door, larger than our Mini) on that lot that caught our interest. Riley assisted us throughout and we both took the car out for a drive. Loved it!!

We ended up striking a cash deal to trade in our Mini for the 2013 Countryman Mini Cooper S. It's a 4-door (ours was a 2-door) and considerably larger than ours. Also, our car had about 50k miles and this one has close to 25k miles. The old on the left and the new on the right is shown in the photo below.

Because we are residents of Florida, there was additional paperwork that the dealership had to do to execute the transaction. We ended up finalizing the deal that day...never expecting to walk away with a new (to us) vehicle.

We love it! And the extra room will enable us to transport passengers when they visit us or we visit them with enough space for Sadie as well. As you can see in this photo, she wasn't sure what the heck was going on when we cleaned out one car and moved it to the new one!

Many thanks to Riley for making the deal happen. She was a real pleasure to work with and is younger than our kids! If you are ever looking for a vehicle in the area, seek her out! She knows the brand very well and was not, thankfully, a high-pressure car salesman (woman)!

One negative comment is that the finance manager was very busy and we had to wait to sign the paperwork. He did, however, have everything in order and once he got to us, we were able to sign off on everything pretty quickly.

Thanks to MINI of Clear Lake, and Riley, in particular. We are very happy with our experience there.


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