Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Auto Trading: Let's Talk Cars

When do you decide that it's time to buy a new car? In my opinion there are two trains of thought: (1) get a new car every few years or (2) get a reliable car that you can drive until it dies. I tend to lean towards the latter.

I have this strange attachment to inanimate objects: my car is my baby. When I turned 16, my dad graced me with a gently used steel blue BMW 325i that I have treated like my own child ever since I got it. Recently, we had a scare and my coolant tank exploded - but I sucked it up and paid the bill, resisting to trade her in for a newer model.

Now here's the dilemma: the BMW is the ultimate driving machine (they don't lie when they say that). With my salary, there is no way that I'll be able to afford another BMW, so I'm thinking maybe a cute little Prius C (with a sunroof) or a Civic Hybrid since gas mileage will have to be the kicker that pushes me to make this decision. However, despite the mileage, these cars do not have the love and affection and years of maintenance that my first car has... but I am getting older and it may be time to bite the bullet... but do I have to?

So here's where I'm stuck: since my car is 10 years old and running on over 100,000 miles, do I stick with it until it dies? Or do I trade it in while it still is worth enough for a car payment on a new car? I'm leaning towards keeping it around for another year (or two) because I love it, and I love the way it drives. But the allure of a new (gas-efficient) car is tempting. What would you do?

{Her name is Betty - oddly I named her before Betty Draper came into our lives}

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