My mother related our new car to her first car when she was a teenager in Glasgow: a Lada.
Yes, it was a value buy.
There is nothing cool about our car.
For the record it is a 2000 Citroen Saxo. I call it the French Roller Skate.
It was a bargain, drives well, was in good shape and only had 23,000 miles on it. The boys car seats just fit in it.
It is neither cool, nor very comfortable but it does the job.
We may laugh at this purchase sometimes, it often makes me feel like I am seventeen again and driving the 1980 VW Rabbit I shared with my sister, but our three year-old thinks the car is awesome.
Preschoolers give great perspective on things.
Our French roller skate doesn’t meet all of our needs.
We can’t transport more than our family and a few bags at once.
It’s not that comfortable so a driving tour of England and Scotland isn’t in the cards with it.
To meet all those needs we would have spent at least four times what we got the roller skate for (about $1100) and that vehicle would have used up a lot more fuel, cost a lot to insure (current insurance: $300 for the year) and been more expensive to maintain and repair.
So instead of getting a car that would fit every possible use in our lives, we got one that worked for 99%.
We all fit in the car and it can get us around the island when needed. Should family visit, as they have, we’ll rent something bigger. Road trips off the island will be in rental cars. Even with those costs we’re still farther ahead financially with our little car.
Buying this car has been a milestone for us. Bittersweet but mostly positive.
We made a pretty big purchase without worrying about what other people will think or buying something to feed our egos.
Four years ago we wouldn’t have bought this car.
In fact, four years ago we rented a car for a weekend and discussed trading in our perfectly fine Nissan sedan for something new.
Not because we needed it or could afford it but because it would be fun and nice.
Please note, I think there is nothing wrong with buying a fun and nice car for yourself if you can afford it. But we definitely couldn’t afford it back then and now we prefer to spend our fun and nice dollars on things like travel.
Chris went to fill the car up for the first time and a teenager driving a BMW pulled up at the pump over from him.
They both entered the store to pay at the same time.
Chris paid cash.
The teenager, car rich and cash poor, asked them to try to take £30 off his card before he started pumping. He said there was £10 available and he had a £20 overdraft.
At least that’s what he hoped he had.
Anyone other reformed over-spenders make a milestone value buy recently?