13 Stages of looking for a new car in GIFs

Jun 29, 2015 at 6:00 a.m. ET

Let's face it: Browsing for a new car can be as stressful and fraught as online dating.

The emotional ups and downs are totally worth it, though, when you head to the car dealership to purchase your new ride with a flawless game plan in mind. You just might need to put up with the internal upheaval first.

1. The stark realization

uneasy

Image: Giphy

"My side mirror is hanging on by a thread and the epoxy that's holding up my back windows is no longer working. It might be time to look for a new ride."

2. The mental preparation

mental-preparation

Image: Giphy

"It's time to open up the old laptop. You've got this, girl."

3. The online browsing

online-shopping

Image: Giphy

"Oooh, this might actually be fun. It's like looking for a swagged-out purse, only better!"

4. The first wind of excitement

for-the-win

Image: Giphy

"A new ride is exactly what I need. These cars I'm seeing are spectacular, just like me. Corvettes and Teslas, FTW!"

5. The thrill of your top pick

thrilled

Image: Giphy

"OK, dial it back a little bit. A sports car is probably impractical, but this luxury SUV looks like it was made for me. Yes, this is the one."

6. The utter horror of your actual budget

budget

Image: Giphy

"Nope, shut it down! Car payment calculators might be a spawn of the devil. I can only afford a scooter and/or a bus pass."

7. The wary return to the computer screen

suspicion

Image: Giphy

"It's just you and me, classifieds."

8. The tenuous and confused perusing

alliance

Image: Giphy

"I suppose this process must run its course. Online classifieds hold the keys to my new scooter, after all."

9. The indecision

indecision

Image: Giphy

"Oh, my God; I haven't felt this confused about my next move since my dating debacle of 2007."

10. The delight of a reasonable first choice

car-selection

Image: Giphy

"Yes. Yes, this might be the one."

11. The mirror pep talk

negotiate

Image: Giphy

"The best negotiation plan is always created in a woman's bathroom mirror, obviously."

12. The confident computer shutdown

walk-away

Image: Giphy

"A purchase is nigh — time to shut this down and get to business."

13. The smug and confident car-buying game plan

smug

Image: Giphy

"Who has a plan to purchase the best car at the best possible price? Who managed to avoid purchasing a scooter? This girl, chumps."

This post was brought to you by Autotrader.

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