Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Making a Clean Sweep

I've had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with my car. On the one hand, I love the way it drives. After all, it is the ultimate driving machine ;-). On the other, people have made certain snap judgments or assumptions about me, purely based on the car that I drive. I get a similar reaction from people when I tell them what I do for a living. But I'll save that rant for another day.

The sad thing is that I angsted over the car purchase decision for months. European luxury sedan or just something to get me from point A to B? But grew up in a 'car' family, and I happen to enjoy driving. So when I saw this particular car advertised at CarMax, it was just too good of a deal to pass up. Although this car has a reputation for expensive and frequent repairs, I've been lucky in that sense. It's not particularly fuel efficient, and it requires premium gas, but I don't really drive it very often. I walk or take public transportation to and from work.

But since I'm going back to school in the fall, and 'renouncing' my former way of life, I figured I'd make a clean sweep of it and sell my car. When I mentioned it to my mechanic, he immediately offered to call up some of his friends and customers for me. He obviously knows the car and knows that it's been maintained properly, since he's the one who's done all of the work for me. And he knows that I'm an honest person and willing to sell the car at a fair price. So, true to his word, he found a buyer for me. If all goes according to plan, I'll be handing over the keys to her on Monday.

As for my new car purchase, my financial planner suggested that I buy a new Honda Accord. Reliable and safe and reasonably good gas mileage. No, it's not exactly a fun car to drive, but I've had my last hurrah. I just need something that will get me to and from school. So why a new Accord instead of a used one? Accord is being redesigned for 2008, and all of the dealerships are offering huge incentives. And Accords tend to retain their value and depreciate slowly. So the difference or margin between a 2005 and 2007 Accord is negligible right now.

But just to make sure that I covered all of my bases, I test drove several new and used cars, including the RAV4, CRV and Forester. I have more to say on the subject of slimey auto dealerships. But I'll save that for another day.

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