How I Bought a Mini Cooper – Part II

In my first article I described how a simple test drive led to the purchase my first Mini Cooper. I focused mostly on how much I enjoyed the actual driving experience of the car. While it certainly is a fun car to drive, there’s just so much more to the story of why I love my Mini Cooper.

Buying or leasing a car is one of those tasks in life that most people hate. Root canal is often more pleasant than a trip to the car dealership.

Buying a Mini Cooper is completely different animal. I really, really enjoyed the process.

I leased one in 2004 for three years, returned it at the end of the lease to get a new 2007 Mini Cooper S. Both buying experiences were awesome. Here’s a handful of reasons I attribute to this.

The Mini dealership I went to didn’t have any other cars on the lot, just three or four demos. Unless you are buying one of the demo cars, you will be creating and customizing your very own Mini Cooper. Therefore, I wasn’t about to be pushed into something immediately available on the lot that might not be the exact color I wanted or have some of the options I desired.

Configuring your own personalized Mini Cooper is hella-fun. Try it out. There are bazillions of different combinations that go well beyond the typical options most cars offer. If I wanted a Mini Cooper with a American or Canadian Flag on the roof, not a problem! Try finding that on your Toyota Camry.

So that’s fun. Now you have to wait a few months for your car. Normally, this really sucks. But there’s something really comforting in knowing that the exact car I specified will be built just for me. Exactly the way I want it.

Disclaimer: This next paragraph sounds really, ummm, odd, but it made a huge impact on me. I’m fully aware of how gimmicky it is, but it personalized my car in way that wasn’t so corporate, bullshitty, or salesperson induced and I certainly didn’t feel like I was being force-fed Marketing crap.

Here goes. I would get emails from my Mini. Yup, emails. Postcards too! Get out the straight-jacket, I’ve officially lost it!

I received a postcard with a picture of my car just after it had been painted that read, “Look at me! I look awesome in silver!” On another occasion I received an email letting me know, “I’m at the shipyard docks in England, they’ve just stamped my passport so I’m heading to the USA. You speak funny over there and drive on the wrong side of the road. That’ll take some getting use to. Can’t wait to meet to you!”

It was a fun way to send me notifications of where my car was that didn’t annoy me.

About the author

Terry Blanchard

I'm the Vice President of Engineering at Readdle, ex-Apple, design evangelist, drummer, and gadget junkie extraordinaire.

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