I’ve had two cars in 30 years. During that time I’ve driven over half a million miles. 10 years of car payments and 20 years without!
I don’t cotton to car payments. As I said in My Hooptie’s Total Recall, my first car ran for 13 years and 328,536 miles. My 1999 Infiniti just turned 17 and 184,000 miles. Although nearly worthless, it looks pretty sweet. Thankfully, I don’t live where rust never sleeps.
A couple years ago, I cancelled the Collision portion of my insurance coverage. So, please don’t hit me.
My insurance agent said my car falls in the “classic/antique car arena”. What tipped him off, my cassette deck? My Thomas Guide map in the glove box? A glove box?
He said it would be worth about $1,000 if totaled. Well, that is my deductible, sooo… This must be what it feels like to stop taking a medication and start greeting every day as a gift.
For it’s 17th birthday, I upgraded to a new radio with built-in Bluetooth, iHeart Radio, Pandora, USB ports and a bunch of other things that didn’t exist when I rolled it off the lot last century.
Lots of folks assume any 17 year old car must always be in the shop. In the four years since I wrote Today, My Car is a Man, I’ve spent $493/year in repairs on my Infiniti. A new car would cost at least that per month.
How Does This Compare To A New Car?
Why ballpark it? What if I went slumming and bought the entry level 2016 Infiniti Q50 for $34,000? I’d be out $34,000 or if I financed it at 2.34% I’d have payments of $600/month for 5 years. I’d also have new-car smell. Nice!
I asked my insurance agent what my premium would be for full coverage on this new car, matching the other things I currently carry. He said my new insurance premium would be $145/month vs. the $93/month I pay now.
If you are looking to trim your spending, consider unloading your current chariot and getting one with some experience. I’m not saying you should get a 17 year old ride, but you could! This is also a great idea if you have a teenager who “MUST” have a car. Why saddle yourself with debt? It’s just a car.
Kelley Blue Book said that my car is worth about $1,100 – $1,500 if I sold it directly to another person. Add the radio and a full gas tank and that might get me another $300! Alas… this car is not for sale.