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26 Sylvia Wants To Buy A Car

26. Sylvia wants to buy a used car.




a used car


afford: to have money available within a budget

eager: happy to do something

finance: to get a loan for the purchase of something expensive

gauges: displays that on a dashboard that show fuel, oil, rpms, etc.

mileage: the number of miles on a vehicle

reliability: trustworthiness; quality

take (something) for a spin: drive; try


 Sylvia wants to buy a used car. She needs a car to get to work. She also needs a car in order to pick up groceries and make short trips around the neighborhood.  She has been taking the bus the last few years, but now that she’s making more money from her job, she can afford to buy a small, inexpensive vehicle.

 Every weekend she visits car dealers.  Most car dealers sell used cars, so she visits the used car lots and checks on the prices of used vehicles. Her budget is somewhere between  $4000 and $6000, which limits her selection, but there are enough cars in that price range for her to choose from.

 When she finds a car she likes she asks a salesperson if she can drive it. She needs to know how the car will feel when she’s on the road. Is it comfortable? Is it fast enough? Does it make any strange noises? Is it easy to locate the controls and read the gauges?

 Salespeople are always eager to help customers, so they agree to let her drive a car that she likes. Sometimes they get in the car with her; at other times, they take a photocopy of her driver’s license and let her take the car for a spin by herself.  A salesperson who helps a customer buy a car will get a commission, which is a percentage of the sale.

 So, what kind of car does she want? German? Japanese? American? Sylvia likes the way that German cars feel when she drives them. She likes VWs, Audis, and Mercedes, but they’re really expensive. Japanese cars are much less expensive cars. She likes Toyotas and Hondas because they have good reputations. American cars are the least expensive, but she’s concerned about their reliability.

 Sylvia is also concerned about the age and the mileage of the car that she buys. If she buys a car that’s too old, it might need a lot of repairs. If she buys a car that has a lot of miles on it, some parts might have to be replaced. She’s hoping to find a car that has under 100,000 miles and is less than ten years old.

 Once Sylvia makes her final decision on a car, she’ll apply for a loan. She has $2000 saved for this purchase, but that’s not enough to buy a good, reliable car. She’ll have to finance the rest. She’s hoping to keep the monthly payments between $150 to $200. That’s an amount that will fit into her budget.

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Now you try it. Read the story above. If you have a microphone, you can record your voice.


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