As a details Dad, I'm always focused on keeping the family moving. Of course, that means keeping the family car in good working order. We currently have a 1999 Honda CR-V with more than 200,000 miles on it. It still runs great, and feels much like a new car-- even after a good amount of road wear. It's needed some maintenance work at times, but overall, it has been a great purchase. The problem is, my other car-- a Pontiac Grand Am-- is really beginning to show some wear and tear. It has more than 150,000 miles on it. In August of last year alone, I had it in the shop three times for various problems. After the third time in August, I said to myself, "If it breaks down again, I will have to make a change".
Well, after a few minor issues through the winter, it's now running on three cylinders. I checked with a mechanic, and he said it would cost another $300 to get the current problem fixed. So, I decided against getting that work done, drove the car home, and I am now considering the next step. The problem is, I don't necessarily want to sell the car. I've had some good memories in it, and the old car has done a good job for me over the years. Isn't it weird how you get attached to something like a car? Also, I would rather not deal with a new car payment.
Plus, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of cars available for purchase, and everyone has an opinion. Some people want you to buy a car from a friend. Some people say you should buy new. Some people say used is the best way to go. Then there are all of the advertisements. For me, it's a lot like going to the grocery store, and let's say you need some jelly. You go to the shelf, and you see there are eight kinds of jelly. One is low-fat, another is made with cage-free grapes (ha ha), and another is infused with antioxidants for maximum health. I just want some jelly. But making the decision on what is best for your family can be challenging because of the many options out there. It's the same with a car. Should we get an SUV? A family van? One person suggested that I get a Land Rover or a Mercedes-Benz SUV. I would love that. But the expense of it made me chuckle a bit like the Joker from Batman (maybe the Jack Nicholson version), so for now, I'm setting my sights on something a bit more affordable. I want to end up with something that lasts as long as my Honda CR-V. So, the search is on, although I must admit, it's starting with some reluctance.
What are your experiences with buying a car? Let me know!