A few nights ago night the hubs and I went out to dinner with his folks. It was a nice restaurant (they were buying), nice dinner, and nice conversation. However, just as I was about to dig in to my chocolate mousse tuxedo cake dessert, it happened. To be fair, we should have seen it coming. After all, they had borrowed hubby’s car that day since theirs was in the shop.
Right as we were about to dive in to dessert my mother-in-law asked, “WHY don’t you guys get a new car? Or two? We worry about you when you go out of town. We worry from the moment you leave until you get back.”
Sigh. We’ve had the same conversation with them in the past. They had just driven hubby’s car that day so were undoubtedly aware of the fact that something in the driver’s side door is rattling. They’d probably also had the opportunity to discuss AGAIN the fact that his car does not have cruise control. Or power steering. And it has 140,000 miles. It’s 15 years old.
My car isn’t much better. It DOES have cruise control and power steering. And it is two years newer, so only 13 years old. But the air conditioning is permanently broken (not that I care much at this time of year, but August totally sucks). The knob for the vent is broken off, so I keep pliers in my car so I can switch from front vents to floor to defrost, etc. And it has 215,000 miles.
Don’t get me wrong, we don’t neglect our cars- we service them regularly and take care of anything that affects how they run. There are plenty of cosmetic issues with both cars, but they do not seem to affect function.
I cannot tell you how many times over the years we have been pressured by various friends and family members to get new cars. We graduated from school in 2006 and I think that after that it must be society’s expectation that thou shalt replace your car. To be fair, we did endure a five year span of time when my front windows did not roll down at all. That was a little crazy. But if our crappy cars do not bother us at all, then I really don’t understand why they seem to be bothering everyone else so much. I try to avoid letting others ride in my car in August- so it’s not like we’re torturing anyone!
Why haven’t we replaced our cars? I’m so glad you asked.
Top 8 Reasons Why I’m Keeping My Crappy Car
- We’d rather build our assets than buy something that will almost immediately depreciate.
- Since our cars are old and a little decrepit, we recognize that they are worth far more to us than they would be to anyone else (since keeping these cars allows us to avoid the expense of purchasing newer cars).
- We’d probably get pretty much nothing if we tried to sell them anyway!
- I really have a phobia of car salesmen. I know, I apologize to all you car salesmen out there, but I had a bad experience with a car salesman back in college and apparently I am now scarred for life.
- We don’t have kids yet. The plan is that one of the crap mobiles (we go back and forth on which one) is going to have to go when we adopt.
- Our cars have been paid off for forever. We have been completely spoiled by not having to make car payments for the last 10+ years. We don’t really want to go back to that.
- We keep saying we’ll replace a car when we come to a huge expensive engine problem or other issue that we don’t want to pay to fix. And it hasn’t happened up to this point. We’ve had routine maintenance things and a few extra expenses likely because of the high miles, but nothing huge.
- It costs pretty much nothing for registration for older vehicles in our state. This was also the case in the last state that we lived in. Friends with newer vehicles pay a lot more. I think this is because the registration cost is based on the value of the car.
We feel that these are valid reasons for hanging on to our present cars. But we don’t know how to argue the “we worry about you” concern. Is an older car with more miles that much more unsafe to drive than a newer car? Is this a rational fear? On one hand, we find it annoying to have someone else (who is not even in auto sales!) pressuring us to buy something that could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, we feel guilty about making people worry so much.
UPDATE: We adopted our sweet baby girl several months ago. True to our plan, we replaced one of the crap mobiles when we became parents. We are now down to just one crappy car, which we still plan on driving until it is dead. 🙂
What do you think? Is the increased safety factor big enough to justify purchasing a newer car when you have an older one that runs fine?
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