Trent over at TheSimpleDollar.com has been talking about buying a new car for a while, and he finally posted his thought process and procedure behind getting his new Prius. Not too long ago I was thinking about getting a new car myself. Now don't get me wrong, I do like my 1999 Oldsmobile Alero aka Silver Bullet aka Betsy. But over the years she's becoming more and more....how do I put this....difficult. It started off a few years back when the blinker stopped working randomly. Some fiddling with the hazard button on the console revealed that holding it to the left would somehow activate the blinker. Then it started overheating randomly if the coolant level wasn't absolutely to the top. And the traction control started cutting out at odd times. And the automatic locks and lights stopped working. And just the other day I discovered another fantastic "feature" of my luxury sedan. While sitting at the stoplight I pushed the switches on the two back windows to make sure they were all the way up, and noticed the engine rev down a bit, and the RPMs dropped below 1,000. I tried it again, and sure enough it happened again. Oh Betsy, you odd, quirky automobile.
So back to getting a new car. My dad called me out of nowhere about a month back and said that I should probably look into getting a new car if the whole "Stimulus-package-gives-you-money-to-buy-cars-and-help-bail-out-the-automakers" thing actually got passed. And he's got a good point: If the government is going to give you moneys to buy a new car, and it's time to replace your current vehicle than now is the time. But my car, even with all it's quirks, still runs fine. It only has 130,000 miles on it, gets good gas mileage for a V6, only has a few specks of rust, and most of all - it's completely paid off. So by driving my current car longer, and I save up more money for a new car when the time comes, and thus put more money down on it, thus making it much cheaper. It just makes cents. Now here's hoping for another 20,000 miles from Ol' Betsy.