Ask Denise: Should I buy a new car? | The Zebra Blog

Ask Denise: Should I buy a new car?

Denise Lones

Q:  I am embarrassed by my work car and am trying to talk my husband into purchasing a new one. It isn’t too old, but as a family car it is “decorated” with crayons, dog hair, and smells funny. I clean it all the time, but the messes just come back. My husband feels that a car should just be functional and that my clients will overlook these issues. But, I have seen my buyers’ grimaces … Do I keep cleaning or should I just go buy a new car?

A:  While I would never advocate doing something like buy a new car behind your husband’s back, I can understand why you are so frustrated and in need of a solution. Therefore, I suggest you approach your husband like the personality type he is – most likely an analytical controller. Analytical controllers need information in order to make a decision. So, I would present the facts to your husband in terms of exactly what the car will cost per month (or outright, depending on how you will pay for it), what you will get for the trade-in (and if you are a two-car family, what is your husband driving that won’t fit all the family members in it?), and what the potential business tax benefits you may receive by purchasing a new vehicle.    

While this is may seem like a lot of work to convince your husband of something that you see as a necessary part of doing business, I guarantee this will be a lot more effective than you just going out and buying a car, or making passive-aggressive statements about the mess.

And if all else fails, remember this is a situation that requires conflict resolution, so stick to the formula –

  1. Present your facts (not emotion)
  2. Ask questions
  3. Tell your truth and offer solutions

Good luck!

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