As is surely the case for many of TTAC’s readers, cars aren’t my only passion in life. Early on in my college and young adult life, I spent many nights in the addictive limelight that only belongs to the performing musician. Being a saxophonist gave me a sort of versatility that not many other musicians had-R&B band one night, Ska/Punk the next, Jazz the next, and so on.
But the one music that has stayed consistent with me throughout my life has been the Blues. The Blues is present in all forms of American music-it’s the foundation of Rock and Roll, Country, Jazz…everything. One could make the argument that the Blues is America’s Classical music-much like the classical music of Europe, it’s based on folk tunes that have been passed down from generation to generation aurally, and it’s totally unique from region to region. Mississippi, New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago. They each have their own brand of Blues that a true connoisseur can recognize immediately.
I will be moving to Poland with my wife and baby son in July. We will need a car, and trying to calculate value is tough for me, knowing very little about the Polish market.
I don’t know how much we intend on driving, but probably the occasional couple hundred mile trip on the weekend. I would like to keep my purchase price below 5,000 dollars and have something that is easy to fix where I can maybe take it to the guy down the street who operates out of his house’s garage, and not be too afraid of the guy not being able to get parts, not having too many special tools, etc.
The other aspect of European cars is the use of natural gas. It looks like “lpg” is big in Poland as many of the cars I checked out on allegro.pl have the natural gas option. Does this add to the complexity of maintenance? Will this provide more value per mile than a diesel engine?
The car has to be relatively safe, and a wagon with the room would fit our style as a growing family. There seem to be a lot of 10+ year old German cars that can be had pretty cheaply (allegro.pl). So far I like the Mercedes and BMW wagons from the early nineties. But something tells me that a 5 year old Honda Jazz would be a much smarter choice even if it might cost more upfront.
Since the recession, I’ve been paying attention to my finances. I’ve re-negotiated my mobile phone plan, changed gas and electricity suppliers and cut my pay-tv package down. I then started to look at driving costs. I re-negotiated my car insurance, but the real saving was in fuel costs. How do I cut the use of an expensive commodity? I did contemplate changing my little 6 year old Toyota Yaris for a hybrid. Whilst I was doing the math, a story was emailed to me. (Read More…)