Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Car Apprehension

It finally happened.  My trusty 18+ year old car decided to spill it’s blood onto my garage floor.  Unfortunately, it is no longer worth fixing (it’s a long, expensive story).  Normally, I try to talk people out of buying another car, reasoning that it is much cheaper to fix and insure your current car than it is to buy a newer one.  But, sometimes, it’s just “time” to get something else.  That’s the point I am at.  However, I’m kind of depressed.


Getting another car is supposed to be exciting, isn’t it?  I’m not excited – I’m kind of sad and a bit nervous.  Maybe it’s because my little car and I have spent over a decade together.  We’ve gone to another country and other states.  We’ve wound our way through twisty roads and over mountain passes.  We’ve spent many a summer’s day with the wind in my hair and not a care in the world.  We’ve logged thousands of miles to and from work.   To say I’m comfortable with her would be an understatement.  But now it’s time for a change.

Change is often fraught with anxiety, especially when it is by necessity and not by choice.  When we get comfortable, we don’t like to be dragged out of our familiar boxes.  Why stir the pot when the waters are smooth?  Sometimes, we just need to.

So here I am, searching for another car.  I won’t be getting a new one, that’s for sure.  The used ones are expensive enough.  Craig’s List, Auto Trader and Cars.com are being trolled through daily.  I have come to the decision that I will attempt to limp along in my current car until I find what I want.  There’s no point in paying thousands of dollars if it isn’t something I truly want.  The dang things are expensive!  That’s where my nervousness comes in.  Handing over that much money is a big step for me.  I can’t describe how incredibly thankful I am that I finally found work, even if there isn’t much job security.  However, I am still nervous.  What if they don’t like me and cut me loose?  What if I get laid off next week?  Or next month?  What if….

Maybe I just think too much.


  1. yep...i feel ya..

    my yota finally was gonna cost 3x a decent down payment for parts alone... bearings hubs shocks...

    i found what i wanted on line...

    it still sucked no matter what...

    good luck!

  2. I think too much too but I bought the bullet and bought a gently used (part of a corporate fleet with only 8k miles on it) Nissan Rogue in September and while not having payments on my malibu was great I LOVE my new (to me) car.

    Its always tough when unexpected expenses pop up. Good luck!

  3. It's always scary buying a car. I bought mine brand new, and while I feared several months later that I bought my new home, everything worked out. And I love my car (Chevy Equinox). Hope you find something you like!

  4. I got my last vehicle at Carmax. Loved everything about the salesman, the vehicle, etc.
    Maybe it was more than we would have paid for the same vehicle from elsewhere, but we knew it was a safe, trustworthy vehicle so....

  5. Don't buy new, unless you absolutely HAVE to have a new car. I used to sell cars for a living.

    Used, even 1-2 years old, is the way to go. Make sure you're getting the original MFR warranty plus an extended one, to be safe. It won't cost you much.

    Also, there is more haggle-room in used vs new. New cars, even when sold at sticker price, the dealership is only making $200-300 on the car. Used cars usually have $1500-4000 in wiggle room, where you can talk them down.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY do your research. Do bluebook, look at consumer reports, etc. As former car salesman, an ignorant customer is dollar signs in a salesman's eyes...

  6. oh boy do I ever sympathize. Our truck is 18 years now and I'm very comfortable driving her. Hate driving normally but at least in a car I know it's easier. She constantly breaks down though and we've been looking for something new, knowing sooner or later the big break down is coming. So much money though and only one income at this point. not to mention having to get used to a new vehicle. not to mention all the choices in vehicles. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

  7. Thanks for the comments and tips, everyone! I need all the help I can get. :-) While I've settled on what I want, it will take awhile to find. I'll just need to be patient and keep checking my oil level. BTW, this car search thing has spawned a couple more blog posts. Beware! ;-)


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