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People and their Cars...

August 3rd, 2008 at 08:12 am

One thing that has always struck me about my parents is that they have never spent much on cars.

2 exceptions.

They bought a brand new Toyota in 1981 or so. They've never bought a brand new car, before or since, but I don't think they regret it at all either. I ended up buying it from them when I was a teen and retired it when the engine gave out in 1999. The car got well enough use. (Almost 20 years. I would have driven it longer if it hadn't of just DIED one day. Well over 200k miles).

AND, my mom bought some really fancy car around 1997.

It was a car that was $50k brand new, but she found one a couple of years old for $20k.

Anyway, these were the car splurges my parents did over the years - one for each (the Toyota was my dads).

There's no other reason so obvious why they have been able to save so much over the years. They have never really spent much on cars. (I doubt any of their other cars cost more than $10k and they tend to drive them for a couple of decades).

So my mom tells me yesterday that she ran into a neighbor and my mom said, "Nice car!" I forgot what make she said it was, but something fancy.

They guy says, "Yeah, but it's OLD! It's an '05."


Telling my family that an '05 is an OLD car? Puh-leeze.

My mom said, "Well my car (fancy as it is, mind you) is a 1995."

My mom said his jaw just dropped.


Almost in a good way, like "I can't believe your nice car is 13 years old."

It actually looks rather modern.


Of course, I notice this really in particular as a young person. You don't know how many people who have told me about their piece of crap 2000 or 2005 cars while I was driving a car from 1992.

I just roll my eyes.

Since we have 2 relatively new cars I haven't gotten it so much lately. (2001 & 2005 - might as well be brand spanking new to me).

But I am starting to notice this with the 2001 Ford. We have got about 90k miles on the Ford, and it seems like everyone I know is hitting 100k miles and freaking out. Time to buy a new car!!!!!

I'm just like thinking, are they kidding? This car is such a BABY to us.

Not planning on willingly trading up any time soon. No thanks. 5 more years at the least! (The car cost us a whopping $7888 in 2002. & it gets such stellar gas mileage it is going up in value all of a sudden. I wrote it off as worthless, suddenly it is worth $4k? So bizarre. Talk about a deal on a car. One of our better purchases, yes).

The 2005? I have 10 more years in mind (at the least). Since it is the newest car, by far, I have ever owned, I would have never thought of it as old. Wink

I guess this is a warning that the old car comments are coming for the 2000 decade of cars. Yeesh. IT was kind of nice for a while not having all my friends insult me so indirectly. (So whoa is me with their "old" cars, while my car was a decade older).


Reminds me of another funny car story.

My in-laws have an old Geo MEtro (1990 or something??????) that their niece gave to them when she retired it. I have no idea what the story is on that - just know they ended up with it (though had never seen them drive it - they already have 2 cars).

Maybe they are saving it as a gift for BM some day or something. Seriously. They are kind of weird like that. LOL. (Whereas I'd sell it and invest the proceeds so I could buy a nicer car in 11 years when he turns 16. They are the types to save something for 16 years, yes).

I am kind of kidding, but as I said it, I start to wonder. LOL.

Anyway, I guess FIL has taken to driving it a bit more with gas prices (I didn't even know it still run!)

So some random guy asked him if he would trade his little old Geo Metro (teeny-tiny car) for his SUV. LOL. He was total serious - gave him an offer in the parking lot.

Honestly, it probably would have been a good trade. I am sure the SUV was worth far more than the car. Could have sold it perhaps?

Will never know I guess. Wink

It is just amazing to me. How many people I know who wouldn't get caught dead in anything but a SUV? Now reduced to such desperation.

Kind of sad really.

But yeah, not really feeling very sorry for them either. Hehe. It's nice to see some sanity return to the masses. Then again I still can't believe people are going so extreme. (It really is the desperation). From the SUVs to public transit. & little Geo Metros. I never would have guessed it. So bizarre.

& it is extra bizarre to have so many people who thought we were just cheap suddenly jealous of our little Ford subcompact. LOL. People are just so weird.

6 Responses to “People and their Cars...”

  1. gamecock43 Says:

    I know where you come from. Its a mentality, my friend trades in her cars every 2-3 yrs. Those are status symbols.
    My cars are "companions" and as long as I love my car, I dont care how old it is. My Nissan was 19 yrs old when I gave her up, and I was sooo proud of her being that old and still reliable! There is a def satisfaction that comes from a good decision carrying you through - choosing a healthy car that lasts 15 yrs is a good decision. Bad decisions are cars that give out in 5 yrs- yet its the bad decision owners that get "outwardly" rewarded by society for trading in and getting new fancy cars. weird.

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I'm with gamecock - my car is like a treasured companion. My current one (2nd one) has taken me on many adventures since I bought it new in 1997. In the past year I've had at least 3 people offer to buy it from me - Nope, never. I'll be keeping my little Honda till it dies with no hope of revival.

    Speaking of Geo Metros - those cars get something around 50+mpg -- so, if I would've know about them back when I was first getting a car -- I would've jumped at it!

  3. ME2 Says:

    Oh, believe me,I know of what you speak.

    When I tell people that I am driving a 2001 Chevy, I get looks of sympathy and/or a wow, it doesn't look that old.

    Which is hilarious to me since up until January 2007, I was driving a 1991 Chevy! It "only" had about 116,000 miles on it and I had bought it brand new.

    The only reason I got rid of it was because the heater (which in the dead of winter is a necessity) developed some kind of short. So I sold it to my BIL's brother, who desperately needed a car. He only had about a 1-2 mile drive to/from work, while I have about a 12+ mile trip each way.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    Oh, I agree. I actually cried when I had to give up my first car (I guess I drove it for 7 years and it was almost 20 years old). I had so many memories with that car. Even though I was excited I had the money to upgrade, it was really bittersweet.

    I had no idea the metros were so good on gas. Wow!!! Maybe the Geo was a good keep - of course I think they rather drive it than sell it now. Wink

  5. Swimgirl Says:

    Oh, I love it when people congratulate each other on getting new cars. GAG! Congratulations on what? Letting go of some precious cash?!

    I actually felt that way when we bought a new house and people said, "Congratulations!" Yes, it was a wise and necessary purchase, but there WAS a big bill attached, too. Congratulations! You owe hundreds of thousands of dollars more than you did yesterday.

    Our car just hit 100,000, and I'm excited...thinking that it's really paying off now!

  6. zetta Says:

    I have really good intentions of keeping my cars for 10 years, but not such a good track record. I kept my first used car (Nissan Sentra) out of college for 5 years, then started lusting for a used Isuzu Rodeo. I was doing a lot of backpacking in those days and justified it by thinking it would be great for going out to the desert. (Which I only did once with it!) Then 5 years later I was pregnant and wanted all the latest and greatest safety features. DH pursuaded me to buy new, and so I'm determined to keep this one until 2015! At that point I hope to atone for my gas-guzzling SUV days by buying an electric vehicle. Smile

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