A month or so ago, mr. strivingcynic faced the dilemma many of us face….his 10+ year old car needed repairs, so many that he began to do the “repair or get a new car” debate. He took stock…weighed his options…and three days later came home with a new car (a Hyundai Tucson…).
I watched his grappling with interest. My car is about 11 years old and has about 127,000 miles on it. I haven’t thought twice when it came to repairing it the last few years because I never considered the “get a new car” option. I’ve always said I wanted to drive it until it could be driven no more, but the fact is, there will be a tipping point where I probably make the same decision as mr. sc.
The problem is, watching him in his new car makes the idea of a new car very seductive to me.
1. The new car smell. It’s been more than a month and it’s still there.
2. The upgrades. Mr. sc had a 10 year old honda civic. My car is a two-door ford focus*. I was thrilled to have cupholders and a cd player, but now mr. sc can play music from his iPod, can somehow hook his phone up to the stereo system and tell his car to call me (freaky). The ac is strong and plentiful, unlike mine, which plays hide and seek.
3. The free three month trial to Sirius radio. I’m getting such a kick out of the 80s station with its original mtv veejay djs. I love that there’s good music/radio to be found readily rather than having to hunt around for five minutes for something I want to listen to only to have it go to commercial.
4. The car looks nice…inside and out…it hasn’t been dinged up or had gum wrappers (some with gum) wadded up and stowed in various places.
5. It’s fun to drive around in it…and to experience the “firsts.” Oh..it’s raining…first windshield wipering! First gas tank filling! And one day in the not too distant future..first turning on the heat.
But then I remember…the downsides. My focus is paid off…all those new car perks literally come with a price (and I don’t think my payments for future car will be less than what I paid for the focus). I don’t look forward to another monthly bill. Also, I am thinking about something a little more in the crossover/suv territory for the next car…meaning gas will cost me more (something mr. sc has run into). And that Sirius subscription? After the trial period is over, you start to pay for that too (I don’t remember the cost, but it’s still money that isn’t necessary to spend). So, as much as I’m seduced by the seductive bits…I figure I will wait and see what goes on with my car, and with offers for cars, before I take the plunge.
Although now that I have cars on the brain, I think it’s possible I could be driving something new in one year’s time…but by then I will have come up with a plausible account of why it’s more practical for me to have done so!
*I liked the two-door hatchback because it was sporty…but these are really long doors. I have to live in fear of me or a passenger hitting another car with them when trying to get in or out. It’s a pain…also, when I got the car I lived alone and didn’t really have potential backseat riders.
Also, I got the focus because the lease was up on my previous car, so I didn’t have to agonize about the “right time.”
What have your “time to get a new car” experiences been like? What “seduces” you the most about a new car?