Old Cars and Selfishness - Live Like a Mensch
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Live Like a Mensch

Old Cars and Selfishness


You may have read this recent report that Americans are keeping their cars for longer than ever, and that the current fleet of cars on the road is approaching 11 year old.

I am reacting to this news in much the same way that I do to the yearly influx of new exercisers to my gym each January:

"Yes, I think it's wonderful that you've become converts to the cult of (choose one: exercise/being environmental and fiscally responsible by holding onto a car longer), but darn it, this is my (choose one: usually uncrowded gym/method of getting a great car without having to pay a lot)."

J and I have been having ongoing conversations about replacing my car, since Old Faithful is now 14 years old.  There's no sense that the Mazda is heading to the Big Garage in the Sky anytime soon (seriously, the thing is unstoppable), but J would like to see me in a newer and safer car.  We've had numerous discussions about upgrading me to a Subaru Outback or Forrester.  And though I would finally own a car that has been built in this millennium (seriously, I've owned five cars since 1995 and not a single one was built after the Y2K scare), we have no intentions of buying a new car.

Unfortunately, other people seem to have the same plan.  Where once upon a time many good cars would depreciate like rocks seconds after they drove off the dealer's lot, making savvy car buyers like J and me quite happy, now people are starting to realize that buying used can be a good deal.  Which means it's now not as good a deal.  FEH!

It is nearly to the point where we are considering buying a new car.  Not quite, but nearly.

This is all moot, in any case, as we will not have enough money to replace my car with something really great (we have enough set aside for another hoopty should this hoopty go undercarriage up) for at least another year or two.  (Or more than that if we decide to go the new car route, since we refuse to have a car payment).

I wish I could really be mad at all the people who are taking better care of their cars and finances (and health, for that matter), because it really is screwing up my plans.  But I guess it's inevitable that people will discover the wisdom of my ideas.  Such is the burden of mensch-hood.



mamahr said:

I had a 1996 Subaru and upgraded to a 2002 Outback last May.  I can relate to the Y2K!  Subaru really is a great car and hold onto their value-I was shocked on what we got for the 96!

February 24, 2012 8:50 PM

Live Like a Mensch said:

Frugality often goes hand-in-hand with the "if ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality

August 17, 2012 2:24 PM

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