Adventures in car buying

Familia wagon

The same model, courtesy of a Google search

You know what they say…the best laid plans of mice and men…

But circumstances forced our hand. Our old  car had its registration paid up till March, which I was loath to give up, but  was a lot less than what it would have cost to get it up to warrantable standard – and we didn’t want to go through the expense and hassle of getting the damn thing fixed, especially since we were planning for a possible replacement so soon. This really was the tipping point – know when to cut your losses. Urgency arrived in the form of a cop who pulled T over on his way to work one morning for not having any rear lights, and warned him that the next time he wouldn’t get away with it.

We’d had a few cars on our watchlist but in the end we only ended up seeing and test driving one. Result? We basically have the same car – a Familia – but in a five door wagon not a three door hatch, and nearly a decade younger. Guys, we’re talking 1998 – at only 12 years old it is by far the newest car we’ve ever owned! It’s also the most solid – that’s something you can definitely feel about it.

You know what else this means (especially in a wagon)? Yay road trips! (This solves the question of whether we’ll drive or rent a campervan when we do the South Island). And I’ll be able to help ease the driving load. (Ironically, I’d finally come around to the idea of getting a manual  – better odds of gearbox not crapping out, and finally learning to drive manual in a decent car – but it wasn’t to be.)

Actually, I’m not so sure about those long trips; BF has already filled up the boot with a sound system (sigh) which means even groceries go in the backseat. Careful shopping plus his work discount meant we got a lot of bang for our buck; still, it was difficult for me to bite my tongue. $600 on car audio???!!! But it’s his money and if that’s what he gets pleasure out of, fine.

And the main thing is, we came in under the $5000 budget, sounds excluded, even after buying and getting an alarm and immobiliser installed.

The one spanner in the works: insurance. Apparently this model/year is a high theft risk. And that sets the stage for the next post: the insurance dilemma…

7 thoughts on “Adventures in car buying

  • Reply Kevin @ Thousandaire.com November 30, 2010 at 02:52

    I’m jealous. I want to own my car outright! I truly believe cars are the most sinister financial investment ever.

  • Reply First Gen American November 30, 2010 at 08:29

    I don’t think I’ve owned a car that was more than 12 years old. I tend to start getting nervous once they hit 10. I do put loads of miles on though. Usually by the time a car is 10, it has about 160,000 miles on it.

    It looks brand new. Hard to believe it’s that old and that cheap.

  • Reply Jessie's Money November 30, 2010 at 09:54

    Jordan and I are currently looking at buying a Ford Escape, new – but we expect that it will last us at least 10 years, if not more. Hopefully the meeting at the dealership tonight goes well.

  • Reply Stephany November 30, 2010 at 13:52

    Glad you got a car you like, even if you didn’t exactly want to buy one yet! And it looks like you got a great deal! Yay! 🙂

  • Reply Well hello, 2011… « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander January 5, 2011 at 20:11

    […] to toilets. Remember my campervan idea? Nix. I’d already kind of decided that when we replaced our old car, but observing the slowness first hand and hearing of the inability of certain toilet facilities to […]

  • Reply Why I liked having a car nearly as old as myself « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander January 18, 2011 at 16:44

    […] of months now since we said sayonara to our old white hatch, and I’m finally used to seeing something completely different in the driveway when I get home. (ETA: For those who don’t remember, our new car is still […]

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