Why I liked having a car nearly as old as myself

It’s been a couple 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 more than 10 years old.)

Despite its faults, it had its good points:

– No car payments. Pretty self explanatory. (Not that we now have car payments…we paid cash for our new one as well.)

– No need for full insurance. Not worth it.

– No need to worry about nicks and scrapes. Obviously.

But I hope that the benefits of our “new” car will outweigh the above. Namely:

– More efficient.

– Safer. Airbags, dude.

– More reliableย  – hopefully we’ll spend less on regular upkeep. And certainly remove the time and stress associated with major car issues, including passing WoFs and, you know, actually getting around like a car is supposed to enable you to do, rather than being stranded on the road.

– Seatbelts and windows that work every time.

Plus, after recent trips, we learned the following:

– Room to sleep if absolutely necessary

– Seats that don’t hurt BF’s back on long trips

– Better and safer handling (it “sticks to the road”, sez he.)

Do you ever miss your junker? Heck, have you ever even had one, or are you one of those spoilt kids who had your first car bought for you, and thus got onto the vehicle treadmill relatively painlessly? ๐Ÿ˜›

15 thoughts on “Why I liked having a car nearly as old as myself

  • Reply Daisy January 13, 2011 at 16:56

    I’m one of those spoilt ones ๐Ÿ™‚
    I got my first car for graduation (which makes no sense, my brother didn’t graduate and got a truck around the same time). My mom had it for 8 years, and got a newer one. It wasn’t worth much so I got it. It treated me well for a cuople years, then when my dad went to fix some of the dents, I borrowed one of his cars, and mine died, so I kept his car. He has like a dozen cars & his own mechanic, so it’s no sweat off his back. It’s not a junker, per say, but as long as it runs I’m happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Andrea January 13, 2011 at 19:03

    I’m not entirely one of those people spoiled with a first car, I did get the luxury of the use of my parents vehicle to get to and from school and the boyfriend when is was 17-19. The car broke down and about 9 months after that I bought my first car which I’m still driving today ๐Ÿ˜€ I financed it with a bank loan at first but it’s free and clear now… I plan to pay cash for any future vehicles, I never want to have a car payment again!

  • Reply Jake Stichler January 13, 2011 at 19:08

    Holy crap do I miss my junker. Not only because I miss having 4 wheels to begin with, but junkers are so much nicer. We’ve been talking about this a lot at work lately, most recently the other night when one guy (who has a junker) cleared the snow off his car with a shovel, which is one of those things you can do without even thinking about it.

    As much as I want something nice and new and reliable… it’s so much nicer not to worry about things hitting your junker, dents, scratches, spills inside. Instead of freaking out “holy crap I paid $XX,XXX for this car!” it’s just a “meh, oh well” kind of deal. Actually more like “oh, that’s neat.” Not that anyone ever took me up on the offer, but I always told people – I don’t care what you do to my truck, as long as you don’t break anything that I’d actually have to get fixed to pass inspection.

  • Reply Life as a Purse January 13, 2011 at 19:28

    My first car was not a junker, but I drove it for six years and then handed it up to my older brother. He still drives it and it seems to run fine, so I think I should have stayed with mine longer! I financed my current car, which I regret and will never do again!

  • Reply Sense January 13, 2011 at 21:14

    i’ve only driven junkers, and I don’t see myself ever driving a newer car. i’m ecstatic if the car was made in the same decade as we are currently in!

    i guess you could call me spoiled, but I don’t think I was…my parents got tired of shuttling me back and forth to/from college my first year (2 hours away from home, I went back home about once every two months that first year) and consequently bought me a $600 car so I could start working and go home whenever I wanted to without bugging them to make the drive. it, of course, broke down multiple times on the side of the highway over the next 3 years of college. and that was before cell phones were ubiquitous! that car went to my sister and eventually was totaled after I left for grad school (it would have cost 12X the amount the car was worth by that point to transport it there).

    2nd, I bought a car in grad school for $1150 and while it needed expensive repairs from time to time, it lasted me until exactly week before I left where I was living, 3 years later. grand luck… i loved that car, my 9’0 surfboard fit INSIDE of it, SO handy! i sold it to my roommate for $100. he scrap-heaped it for parts and metal afterward.

    i then decided to upgrade a lot and bought a car in california for $2450, and I ended up selling it 3 years later for $1.3K the day before I left California for NZ. lovely. it was a good, cute little car, mainly just needed air conditioning repairs–that is, it was expensive but the engine ran fine, which is all that I really cared about. bonuses are that it had a moon roof, 6 CD changer with remote and a spoiler! ๐Ÿ™‚ i scraped and dented it pulling out of my garage one day but covered it all up with some white paint. barely could tell the difference, and I loved that it was so old and cheap that cosmetic damage didn’t really matter.

    I haven’t owned a car in NZ at all. the cost of cars and their upkeep in NZ is just way more than I am prepared to pay for the luxury. I would buy a car if insurance and the initial outlay were all i would have to pay, but parking in/near the CBD is really expensive!

  • Reply Kevin @ Thousandaire.com January 14, 2011 at 03:04

    I bought a car that was a year older than my step dad. http://www.thousandaire.com/2010/10/18/kevin-mckee-buys-a-car/

    The only thing I miss about that car was the safety of it. Sure I didn’t have airbags and the seatbelts were likes those you find on an airplane, but who needs those safety features when you are driving around in a tank?

  • Reply The Everyday Minimalist January 14, 2011 at 03:38

    I still have my junker. I kind of like it.. Sure, the heat is too hot sometimes and the cold is too cold (yes I can adjust it but it’s finicky), and it doesn’t have power anything and I feel EVERY BUMP… but it works ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Lisa Fine January 14, 2011 at 03:42

    The car I have now is seven years old, and it’s great. It still runs well (except for some minor tune-ups needed now and then), is very safe, but I have no car payments and lower insurance premiums.

    Have you looked into a used car that’s not a clunker?

    • Reply eemusings January 14, 2011 at 10:10

      Our new car is a 1998. Does that answer your question? ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply Vera January 14, 2011 at 08:10

    This reminds me of when my dad bought a new(ish) car two years ago. We had another one, which was a few years older than me. It had a lot of technical issues, would often break down but it was ours and we have had it for so long.

    Sure the current one is shinier, has had no problems so far, can go really really fast on highways… but I don’t think we’re as attached to it. Well my dad does yell at anyone and everyone if there is even a minimal possibility of it having been scratched ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Reply findingserenity2010 January 14, 2011 at 08:25

    Oh, how I remember my first car: the ’89 Oldsmobile (we called it the Oldsmo-bubble!). It was slate grey, 4-door, got dinged up quite a lot when an old lady t-boned me during the first 6 months I had it, but it was sturdy compared to my current car, a 2000 Chevy. For one, the older car actually had cruise control and power locks & windows, and my newer car (now 11 years old!) doesn’t! But my current car has much better gas mileage. I would hate to be in an accident in it, though. I call it a “tin-can car” for a reason.

    Newer car or older car, I like to brag that I’m still driving the car I bought my senior year of high school, though. Frugal can be cool!

  • Reply Kepa January 14, 2011 at 11:47

    My first car was a 1986 Mazda 323 5-door hatch. I got it when I was 16, which was 9 years ago. It had a cracked head-gasket, leaked water (the door seals were cracked), had the heaviest clutch I’ve ever felt on a car, but I loved it. It was my first and I drove it everywhere! Then I had to sell it because as much as I loved it, it was costing too much money to fix every couple of months.

    I only had it for about 6 months all up, but it made a lasting impression on me.

  • Reply Cordelia January 15, 2011 at 07:30

    My first car was a car that had actually been passed down from my grandma, to my parents, and then to me. I think it had about 90,000 miles on it by the time it got to me…and I LOVED that car!

    I named him Sam and talked to him all the time (often when he was showing his age, as in, “Come on, Sam, I know it’s cold this morning but you can so start for me!). I covered him in cheesy bumper stickers (because who cares, on a 12-year-old car?), and I didn’t care much when the neighbor across the street backed into Sam because he thought Sam was a snow bank. (I was parked at the curb, in a snow-piled winter, and Sam was white.) Sam was my buddy, and I was incredibly sad when I had to let him go.

    My current car (the first “new” car I ever bought myself) has a name, but I often forget it because I just don’t talk to him the way I did to Sam. There’s just something about owning an old beat-up jalopy for your first car that any new car after (now matter how great) just can’t compare with.

  • Reply Serendipity January 17, 2011 at 17:24

    I miss my junker. I bought it from my friend for 750 and it last almost two years for me. It probably would have lasted a bit longer if I had taken better care of it but towards the end I was putting so much money into it, I became angry and went out and bought my current car. I financed this one and I’m so close to almost being done with my payments. I will, however, probably not finance a car for a long time after this one. My dream convertible might have to wait awhile. ;0

  • Reply Michael August 10, 2014 at 06:14

    Too smart :). This sounds pretty frugal. I hope the repairs will not square it up what you have saved in insurance.

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