Cars aren’t all that important to me and all I want is to be able count on one to get me from Point A to Point B. I can’t imagine myself ever buying a brand new one because of both the expense and the stress I would feel about preserving the car’s brand newness. I much prefer something that might have a ding or two and some well maintained miles.
My current car is a twelve-year-old Volvo wagon that I bought after my previous Volvo wagon was totaled when I was rear ended at a stop light. I remember calling it my princess car when I first got it because it was such a pretty shade of grey and so very clean. I’ve loved that car (and she has provided me and my family with more than a 100,000 safe miles) but I’ve been thinking that it might be time for something new after almost a decade together.
When I considered what I want in a “new” car the items highest on my wish list are fewer miles and a standard transmission. With this in mind I called my guy, Dave at Precision, and asked him to be on the lookout for a car that I might like. Imagine my delight in learning that he happened to have something on the lot that exactly met my requirements. I arranged to drive it this past weekend to see how it felt.
Beyond the transmission, the car is identical to what I already own – same year, same model. This wagon has a cream colored interior (opposed to the black interior I now have) which would work really well with Jeter’s fur and the car is very clean having had only one previous owner and all maintenance performed by the same shop I’ve used for almost 20 years. There are 30,000 fewer miles on this wagon which equals about 2.5 years of driving in my world, an appealing consideration.
The decision to keep what I have or make a change has been difficult. Right now I own a car that I have carefully maintained and I haven’t had a car payment in more than 4 years. My car has the odd ding, but is essentially clean and I imagine it would continue to provide me with reliable service for years to come. But, the opportunity to buy a standard shift Volvo is pretty rare and the weekend has reminded me that I really do enjoy the physical act of driving, which is kind of funny when you consider the current move to driverless vehicles.
I’ve laid out the dilemma to a number of friends whom I consider to be practical car people and most are of the opinion that I should trade my car in, pay the difference in value/price in cash (which I have on hand), and get myself the car that I want to drive for the 5 years or so.
I was truly conflicted about the decision until Saturday afternoon when I was leaving for work and was met by my new neighbor outside. It seems she had left a post it note on the car because she had hit the front bumper when she was driving on our narrow street. There now is a little scrape (that my neighbor will have addressed) which has caused me to conclude that the important parts of the car are really on the inside – the transmission, the single owner maintained engine and the dog friendly interior and all of those are an improvement over what I currently own. I just may be starting the year with a new car!