By on March 17, 2014
1999 Buick Century: Where Automotive Novocaine Meets Ambiguous Androgyny.

1999 Buick Century: Where Automotive Novocaine Meets Ambiguous Androgyny.

Dear Steve,

I just graduated from college this past December and found a wonderful job at my old alma mater.

The good news? I can walk to everywhere I need to go. My work, two nearby parks, the supermarket, and to most of my friend’s apartments and townhouses. I’m living an ideal life at this point.

Which brings me to the big question. Do I even need a car?

I have inherited a 1999 Buick Century with about 130k miles that my parents bought brand new.

I HATE this car with a passion. Every time I drive it, I think about quarters shooting out of the tailpipe and onto the oncoming traffic. This year alone my parents spent nearly $2000 trying to keep this money pit on the road.

They want me to keep it, but I don’t want it within 300 square miles of my daily life. What should I do?

Steve Says:

Lao Tzu had a wonderful saying when it came to these types of situations.

“When in doubt, do nothing.”

You don’t know what the future holds. So I wouldn’t get rid of the car just yet. At the same time, you don’t need to add a lot of unneeded expenses in your life.   So I’m going to encourage you to re-allocate some of your funds so that you get the maximum pleasure minimal level of misery from owning this joyless machine.

First, see if you can get an auto policy that will offer a reduced rate for less driving. Preferably one with either a 5,000 mile limit or a 2,500 mile limit. This will save you a nice chunk on your insurance costs, which is a big expense for most folks in their 20′s.

From there you should take some of those savings and invest in a car cover.

The advantage of using a car cover is that…

1) It becomes a bit of a pain to constantly put the cover on and take it off. Therefore when you’re on that fence between either driving or using some alternative motor-free transportation, you’ll opt for the later.

2) A car cover enables you to avoid spending money on giving exterior care to a car you no longer use. It also helps you avoid wear issues such as faded paint, peeling dashboards, and other cosmetic wear items that result from a car that sits in the sun for far too long.

3) This may be a bit anecdotal. In my own travels, I have found that buyers don’t negotiate as much when you use a car cover and keep the car in good running order. A car dealership can’t pull off this trick with their inventory. However enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts are frequently able to offer a halo of extra care and value to their rides when they use a car cover.

I would change the oil once a year, keep an eye out for leaks, and drive it once every two weeks or so. Even if you don’t want to. Just find a good excuse.

Maybe you will use ye olde Buick Century, or maybe not. But at least you’ll be able to keep this unwanted car out of sight and out of mind. At least until your lifestyle changes, which it will. Trust me.

 

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

79 Comments on “New or Used : Care Free? Or Car-Free?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Perfect car for a kid starting out, or failing that a great beater for an adult. Keep.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Could a “kid starting out” really afford a money pit? If the car cost $2000 to repair just last year, what will it cost to maintain this year? Or next? Maybe he’ll get lucky with it, but it’s quite obvious he’s not happy with it. I personally put up with an almost identical situation and ended up broke almost the entire time I owned it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        No more a money pit than any other MY99 car.

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          My ’88 FC3S only cost me that much in repairs last year. Suddenly I feel like I’m doing okay! Definitely a more interesting ride than that Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Very, very nice sir. Still the factory engine or did you do a swap?

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            It’s a 10AE. I’d sell it before I’d swap it.

            Caveat: I’ve got the same electrical demons everyone else driving these does, the biggest repair I made last year was a new harness and now I’ve got taillight issues.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I wouldn’t bet on that. Which is exactly WHY I don’t buy used; every time I HAVE bet on it, I’ve been stung.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Some days you get the elevator, and some days the shaft. Since 2006 on cars that I wholly owned I have driven 85K, 25K, 3K, 2K, and 1K, for a total of 116K over five cars. One of those five (MY90 5.0 Panther) was junked by me for becoming too expensive (unending issues), another junked because parts were too expensive to fix it (MY90 5-cyl Audi) and it wasn’t worth saving, I still have the other three. Would it have made more sense to spend $25,000 dollars on one new car and drive it 116K? Probably (edit: definitely), but $25K or even payments of 25K was hard to do for most of the years since 2006 until maybe the past two years (rent’s a b*tch I found out). The purchase price of all of those vehicles was still only $17,700, including the one I bought when it was 2.5yo (which was $11,900 by itself).

            The key is to try to buy a solid car and then do all of the maint 95% of owners do not do. If you run into trouble you need a good indy mechanic with effective troubleshooting skills to rely upon. Buying random used cars with years of deferred maintenance is a surefire way to lose the game. Just ask any small time dealer.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Rather have an even older Japanese standard vehicle than a 99 Century.

          Old Buicks seem to murder you by a thousand cuts of sensors and relays and electrical gremlins.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The devil you know vs the devil you don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        If it just had $2000 of work done, it should be pretty solid for a while. Of course, we don’t know what was done. My bet is intake gaskets along with some random wearables. In which case, give ‘er.

        “The devil you know vs the devil you don’t.”

        +1 to this. A known quantity is worth some added value.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The known quantity is huge. If my daughter was about to drive and my parents wanted to give her/sell me their HHR, thats what she’d be driving.

          I’m not going to find a $5K-7K car that I would be more comfotable owning.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The “known quantity” for me is the fact that for far too many people, a car is “just transportation”. They’d take better care of their horse than they would their car.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        I love this logic. Just helped my sister buy a used Outback with a new long block. Thank you illogical previous owner!

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I agree. My sister, who is moving from East Lansing, MI to Monterey, CA for school is keeping her Alero. We just had to have some work done to it (thanks 28, danio, and davefromcalgary for the advice), but it beats any alternative. Keep.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Have you reached the tipping point of I’d rather make car payments than ever drive this horid car again?

  • avatar
    Slocum

    I say get rid of it and sign up for zipcar or, if that’s not available, just rent a car when you need one, and see how it goes. It’s not like you’ll have a hard time finding an equivalent old beater if it turns out you really need one.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You’d be surprised.

      How much is zipcar?

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        Zipcar is $8-$15 an hour depending on where you are. Membership is about $50/year though competition is making them start to waive that. If a good car share service is accessible near this young person’s campus, I think it’s time to dump the Century. There’s a lot to be said for the car-free life (I live in NYC)

        Another car can be found if necessary. And if this is in Georgia, I’m sure Steve Lang would be of great help.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ok so 8-15/hr plus tax and possibly insurance. I could see that, I suppose it depends on what your needs would be. Personally I would easily spend the value of this car on Zipcar in a year so I’m not sure it would work for me.

          • 0 avatar
            Thinkin...

            FYI: Zipcar pays for both gas and insurance. So your payments are really just the hourly/daily rate. I did it for a couple years, and it was perfect while it fit my lifestyle. It has all the benefits of the car cover – do I NEED to drive today? etc.

            I used Zipcar for the one-off errand days, and when I planned a longer trip out of town, I’d just book an Enterprise weekend deal on a rental car, which was usually ~$30+ gas for an entire weekend (sometimes less, and insurance free via VISA CC).

            I kept meticulous records of expenses those two years, and compared them to my average costs of running and insuring an my 2002 Impreza Outback Sport. After two years, I calculated that I saved about $4200, not including deprecation of the Subi. So probably a total of $6k cash saved in two years.

            Helluva savings actually. You don’t notice how much it costs to keep a car, all-in, until you really run the numbers.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Personally, the least I would do is consider trading it for something a little newer and hopefully more reliable. While $2000 in a year isn’t a prohibitive cost, that does add up quickly enough. I’ve considered trading much newer vehicles than that when a series of needed repairs approached that cost. You really tend to lose confidence in the vehicle.

    My own parents once gave me a ’73 Ford Gran Torino. They were proud that they’d kept it fairly reliable for over 15 years but to be quite blunt, within 2 years of ownership I’d been forced to have a timing chain replaced and even the engine itself replaced! After that, I ended up spending $200/month just on repairs until I’d had enough and flat told them I couldn’t afford to keep it. It’s like your parents have no concept of your own income vs expenses even when you talk about it on a regular basis.

    My recommendation? Get Rid Of It! However, the time will come when you really do need a car, so trade it for something you like that may be more affordable in the long run.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    It’s a lot easier to not drive a car you hate. At this point, if you can find somewhere reasonable to stash it when you’re not using it, and keep the insurance costs down, just hang on to it for when you need it. You’ll learn to appreciate it for the appliance that it is.

    If I totaled the money I’d save by only having a single car that I hated, I could buy a lot of…whatever normal people buy instead of car parts.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I can understand where you’re coming from but I think it also depends on your position in life. If you have a real job and are older as we are, I tend to agree more. If your 22 out of school or 16 with a first car, I say a car you hate builds character.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        If you buy an old Audi when you are 16, you will learn to both love and hate cars.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I had an “old” one when I was 27 and a few newer ones when I was in the biz. I honestly never had to hate the ’90. The newer ones on the other hand…

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I had an ’86 5000. The engine and body would never die, but everything electrical would. I learned alot about fuse boxes, distributor caps/rotors, and how to replace alternators.

            The LH cars and N bodies I typically owned afterwards were better on the pocket book. You can almost always sell them too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Electrical issues ended up sending mine to the yard too. This and the fact the bomb needed replaced and that was going to be a four figure job.

            I hope those were LH cars were not disciples of the The Engine Who Shall Not Be Named.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            NEVER! I owned the versions of the Concorde/LHS with the 3.2 and the 3.5.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Excellent.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I remember going to the used Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth/Eagle/Jeep/Fiat/SRT/Alfa/Renault/AMC/Whatever (really only a Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth dealer at that time) lot with my father, and the salesman was trying to push a Concorde/Intrepid with an engine that shall not be named because it had DOHC and was more advanced.

            Satan was strong with him. Temptation came in the form of low mileage and even lower prices. We made the right choice and I purchased a used Concorde elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You did well my son. The devil always assumes a pleasing shape and/or low miles to tempt your immortal driving soul.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          My first car purchase, one year after graduation from college was an A8L

          :D:D:D

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Be gentle with your parents. If you are 22 and they got that car new around 1999 or 1998, They got that car when you were about 6 years old. There are a lot of memories in the car for them. Heck your younger brothers & sisters might have been conceived in that car. (Sorry for planting that image. Actually, no.) Get them a copy of Shel SIlverstein’s book “The Giving Tree”, and tell them it’s the car’s time to make its final gift, the gift of being somebody else’s beater (or however you want to spin it.) Let them keep the money or give it to you to buy something you really need, a bed? a couch? a pterodactyl?

  • avatar

    If you’re planning to keep the job at the alma mater, and if carless dating is not a problem, if you can rent a car when you need one and don’t need one more than roughly once a month, then you don’t need a car. If all those conditions are unlikely to change for at least 2-3 years, unless you’re able to push the insurance costs down to maybe $500 a year, sell it.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Definitely wouldn’t buy another car.

    Since you have it, I’d keep it. It doesn’t sound like you need a car for much so it will probably sit most of the time anyway but it will be helpful in those few instances when you need wheels.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Often $2000 gets you very little in repairs, especially at a dealership.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Once that Century hits 150k-160k, you’re going to have another slew of problems that come out of the dark and rear their ugly heads.

    It’s old, too.

    Get a good co-signer with worthy enough credit to keep payments low on a newish, if not brand new, Civic. (A lot of times, the co-signer will have a say so.)

    You will need a car sooner than later and more often than you think. Like, for example, getting a “better” job. Or meeting a nice lady also with a decent job to help split the bills with you (this is a plus when you’re that young.)

    Unless you’re living in Manhattan, I would avoid NOT having a car at all.

    In turn, yes, keep the car until something breaks. Justify that major repair as an excuse to find yourself a good cosigner who will help you to get a nice rate on a loan and get something new.

    If you hate driving it, drive it sparingly. Been there, done that.

    And please, for the love of God, do your research- extensive research- before you buy. You buy something after one drive and the way it looks- good God, man- you’ll be asking for problems.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’d be wary about finding a nice lady to “split the bills” with while you are young. This is how quick divorces and latch key kids happen. Otherwise good points.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        No, no, no…

        Get her to pay. Then leave once she inquires marriage (after she pays everything), get going.

        Hey, when your not married.. the world is still your oyster.

        That equation will continue to work so long as you keep your “glove” on. Otherwise, your S.O.L.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          You are wise, sir.

          The ones I’ve dealt with for years tend to be either useless from a career standpoint or be just out of school so I seldom get the opportunity to take advantage.

          Regarding the “glove” after many years of success actually had one break last year. I’m paranoid enough to require additional forms of bc on her part so we were in the clear. Could have been a whole different story with someone else.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Well, Sir, two kids and one (yes, one) happy marriage later, I have survived to tell the tale.

            Regarding being wise: there is a fee for this sound advice.

            And yes, I do accept Paypal :)

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I honestly don’t understand why anyone would want to take a car that—bane-of-your-existence or not—is paid for and trade it for one with payments, in this situation. It sounds like the LW would like to indulge in the pedestrian lifestyle for a while, so I say go for it. This may be the only time in his/her life when a car isn’t needed. If there’s a way to keep the costs down on it, the LW should keep the car. Otherwise, he/she should sell it. But I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking out a loan on a new car at this stage in life.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “Once that Century hits 150k-160k, you’re going to have another slew of problems that come out of the dark and rear their ugly heads.”

      If he does as Steve suggests, that is a long way off.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I think some explanation on the work that was done for 2k would be useful. 2k does not equate to money pit just yet. We are talking about a 99′ model year are we not? Based on your very limited driving you most likely have a solid piece to get through the next three years or more.

    Unless your gig pays really well, which the first ones generally do not, use the cash that would be spent on a new (er) car on items that will reap huge dividends, ie student loan debt expiration, savings and so on.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      This – did it actually need two grand worth of worth, or did it need a minor job or two that, when taken to the dealer, managed to balloon with a thousand worth of “recommended services?”

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    There were one or two details that weren’t addressed that I feel are VERY important:

    1. Where do you live (Climate and Parking)? A year of limited use in Ohio with street parking is VERY different than a year in Arizona with a garage. Are we talking about infrequent enough use to justify a fuel stabilizer, or just that this isn’t a DD?

    2. Why do your parents actually want you to keep the car? If they think you’ll need one soon enough, I would listen to them and suck it up for now – spend a little money to get it detailed, and get effectively a PPI performed to predict incoming issues. If it’s inconvenient for them to continue storing it, or they think it means you will come over a little more often, and you’re happy with the risk of unexpectedly needing a car due to changing life circumstances, I would look and private-party sale asap.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    If the $2K restored it to “good running” or, better, “everything works properly” condition and it looks reasonably good, then this is a keeper for someone who needs a car at all. Previous advice about swapping or upgrading is entirely and thoroughly wrong.

    However, are you someone who needs a car at all or can you really do without it? Unless you’re woefully underpaid or one to really pinch the penny, then keeping it as Steve Lang suggests (cover, annual oil change and periodic 20 minute drives) is probably worthwhile insurance against the possibility of wanting wheels in a hurry.

    It probably costs little to register and not much for insurance coverage (don’t cheap out on the liability part but a high deductible or no comprehensive/collision at all may be in order).

    Unless it’s expensive to park it, I’d keep it.

    One of my kids had a similar calculation to make last year. We gave him a car but he found a job/apartment/life all in easy walking/biking distance. He kept the car, anyway, and it turned out to be handy as he found a girlfriend who lives way beyond biking distance.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Guys, guys… this is a WORKING adult with no kids. ??

    This is not a high school junior who just got his license yesterday.

    This is a man. Starting the second phase of his life. He’s already graduated college. And (bonus)… he’s working.

    I think he could swing $250 a month for a car which will last him 10 years.

    OR… we could be optimistic and say the Buick will last until 200k on the same engine and/or transmission. And yes, it is optimistic. That may be 3 years max- at which point, should he be asking for another hand me down from mom and dad?

    Lol.

    Drive it ’til it breaks, Chief, then take the plunge on a new one.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      @raresleeper — With all due respect, I think you’re projecting what you and many on TTAC would do, not what the letter-writer wants or needs. He (or is it she?) doesn’t sound like an enthusiast and probably isn’t even mildly interested in a $250/month payment right now.

      Let’s say he goes car-less and does eventually need a car. When that time comes, there is more likely to be money available for a down payment on something newer and more desirable.

      In the meantime, $500 buys a pretty nice new bicycle outfitted with folding rear bags for groceries. Back that up in a college town with transit, taxis, a friend’s car here and there plus Zipcar. All that can make life pretty rich and something to tell the kids about some day.

  • avatar

    good looking car though.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    First of all, how hard is it to find a place to park it. If you are in a major city like NYC or San Francisco, get rid of it quick, the parking trouble is going to make it worse. Sign up for a zip car instead.

    Second, if you are not planning to buy / lease / finance a car, new or use, that you like for picking up chick reason, don’t get another car. You should choose between this 99 Buick or no car at all. If you need a chick magnet, then by all mean get rid of this and get a reputable car that looks nice and is fun.

    Finally, the last question, is it worth it to keep this car or go completely car free. I’d say if you can get the parking taken care of for free, and you are going to drop the insurance to liability only, you can by all mean keep it and not drive it much, so you will have a car just in case (at least drive it once every 2 weeks though so it won’t go out of charge or gas stale in the tank). Having a car so you can move stuff, go further away on trips, or on a road trip once in a while, or even interview for your next job, would be a huge benefit for a thousand dollar a year.

    My guess is your $2k last year is the lower intake manifold gasket. If you got that taken care of, there shouldn’t be much worse to worry about in this car. The transmission should be relatively reliable, the suspension should be OK, and the rest should be just wear item that will wear out on every car the more you drive anyways. If you don’t have horrible memory in this car and keeping it will trigger some panic attack, keep it.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Bad things happen when cars sit for a long time – especially older cars.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Give it back to your folks, and say it costs too much to keep.

  • avatar
    matador

    I’d keep a car of some kind, probably that Buick. When you need a car, you really need one. $2000 should have covered most issues- I’d keep it and run it until it has a really catastrophic failure (Blown transmission, cracked block,…)

    If you don’t use it much, it’ll last you 4 or 5 years without much usage. Run it around the block once a month, and you’ll be fine.

    When something major breaks, buy another cheap car.

    Oh, and don’t do all the minor “convenience” repairs. Don’t try to remove the personality from an old car. You’ll spend a lot of money, but you’ll never succeed. Just fix safety problems as they arrive, and take reasonable care of the car. It’ll serve you well.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    By all means, dump the car. If you are able to get by without a car and you are comfortable with that, the non-day-to-day expenses, like insurance, repairs and depreciation are well worth avoiding. Even if its just for six months, its worthwhile.

    Sure the car is appropriate for a guy starting out who needs a car. You don’t need a car. So don’t have one.

    Zip car to the rescue for occasional use.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    A guy your age needs two things: sex and money. If your seemingly idyllic circumstances allow your steady acquisition of those without a car, why keep a car?

    Please appreciate that you, as someone reaching sexual maturity post-1970, have an incalculable advantage over all previous generations of humanity: safe and effective birth control.

    Take a weekend to watch old movies. See what a dominant plot device was the ruination of lives by unplanned pregnancies. Then dump the car and get a vasectomy.

    A college community is a glorious place for a young, horny guy with a good income who’s shooting blanks.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Just what were the changes to this car between 99 and 03? I recently picked one up for my mom, who’s on disability and can’t afford to make any sort of a payment, and she loves it. The research online indicates that the 03, which my mom has, had the fewest engine related problems of the lot. I’d read that the 3.1 had the intake issues, but that the transmissions are solid.

    The one my mom has is up to about 118k miles, and I expect it will still below 130k for quite awhile. I think in the past 5 years she’s driven 10k miles.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I would be happy if someone just handed me a 1999 Century with a nice clean body that had 2K in repairs just done. We sell a ton of these cars at our dealership, usually clean rust free southern ones and they typically have between 100K-200k miles so I know they can easily go the distance. The 3100 has it’s intake issues but if done correctly with the updated metal re-enforced gasket should last the life of the car. We see the odd intermediate steering shaft clunk or check engine light which 98% of the time is the charcoal vapor canister located in the back by the gas tank that takes all of 5 minutes and less than 50 bucks to remedy. Sometimes the 4T65 transmission develops a shifting issue and transmission adapt shift code but a good servicing and TransX treatment give it an extended life. Alternators and water pumps are a breeze to do on these and overall these newer generation W-bodies are pretty easy to get along with once all the old age issues are sorted out.
    About the only changes from 1997-2005 were changes in alloy wheels, disk brakes replaced drums in the rear for 2004/2005, the body side molding lost it’s chrome accent after 2000 and 2003′s lost there std ABS brakes which became an option. The std 3100 V6 also gained 15 HP going from 160 to 175 horses in 2000 and the intake gasket was improved several times after the 2000 model year.

    I wouldn’t be any more embarrassed driving this than a Camry/Accord or rusted out Subaru of the same year but finding one of those still on the road in Upstate, NY is getting hard.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Having owned a 99 Century which we sold with 130K on it, I’d say if you did the intake gasket – and at that mileage you had to have done it by now, it is not a bad car. Zero sport to it in stock form but why not use it until you need a major repair? I would certainly say if the steel brake lines have not been replaced, I would do so immediately. Ours rotted out and it was not pleasant hitting the brakes and having the pedal hit the floor.

      And if by chance you are a sporting type but can’t swing a new car, there is an easy fix for that. We sold our 99 because we inherited at 2002 Century. To make it more enjoyable we installed performance struts, upgraded swaybars and bushings, and Eibach springs. Even before summer tires we can hang with the most obnoxious BMW driver on the on/off ramps. There is a inherent joy in driving a sleeper…

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    “…live close to my friend’s apartments and townhouses.”

    Tada. Communal Car.

    I’d imagine that many of your friends likewise walk to work, shopping, entertainment, each others’ places. However, every now and then, one of your group will need a car. Or you may, as a group, want to go somewhere past normal pedestrian-bike-bus range.

    And that’s where the Communal Car comes into play.

    Everyone chips in a little for gas, parking, maintenance (and holds their own driver’s insurance). You can have a sign-up board for the car, or something less formal, just text and see if it’s okay to use when you need it.

    My neighbor’s son is in the Chicago loop, recently graduated, bunch of friends all living within several blocks of each other. Most of the time, bus, cabs, bike-share or shoe-leather get them everywhere they want to go, but they “share” one car. Parking in Chicago costs a bunch, so they’ve stashed it in an outdoor lot. The car’s an 8-year old Malibu – Ye Olde Basic Transportation.

    See if your friends are interested in a similar arrangement – share the costs, and the occasional use-need.

  • avatar
    packardhell1

    I will go against (most of) the grain and say to get rid of it. It may have memories, but it will end up being your financial responsibility and will be yours to insure, repair, tow, etc…

    I ended up sacrificing our 2nd vehicle so my wife could stay at home with our infant (she is now 8 months old). I bought a nice bike ($500 for the bike and accessories, like a rack and lights), and I ride that to work. I built a small trailer for it in case I need to haul anything too big for the rack or my pannier. I take the city bus when the weather is crappy or if I need to get home faster than biking would allow.

    In your position, with everything in reach, and knowing what I know now about debt and loan payments – save up until you can pay cash for a nice vehicle, and buy a car when you actually NEED a car. I fell for the idea that I needed two vehicles, that I couldn’t live without them. I didn’t want to give one up, but financial hardship forced it and I’ve been happier for it.

    So, it sounds like you know what your priorities are. Ditch the car, don’t spend your money maintaining/insuring/keeping something you don’t need, and you will be much better off for it.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I actually bicycle commuted for a little while–I realized it was cheaper and easier to lend my car to my kid for the summer while I bicycle commuted. You know what? One of the biggest savings was gym fees. My commute was probably about an hour total, but it was plenty of exercise overall, and when I arrived home in the evening maybe 20 minutes after I would have with the car—I was done. Anyway, the young man could rent a zip car about twelve half days for what his insurance alone would cost him for six months.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India