This post should really be titled “Why It’s Not a Good Idea to Take Beauty Shots of Your Beater Before You Trade It In.”
Because that’s what I did.
On the day I was supposed to buy a new car (and simultaneously trade in my old one), I took my current vehicle out to the nearby waterfront and took a scenic photo with the Seattle skyline as the backdrop. The sun was rising, the clouds had parted just so, and–well–this was the result.
After a final vacuum and wash for old times’ sake, I headed to the car dealership to test drive the car I planned on buying. However, every time I looked at my old car through the dealership window, I just couldn’t imagine leaving it behind. We’d been through too many adventures together.
The road trips from New Jersey to Vermont on Memorial Day weekend. The cross-country adventure with my oldest brother when I moved from the Garden State to the Emerald City. Weekends in British Columbia, the North Cascades and the Oregon Coast. We’d made so many memories.
As I tried to remind myself why I decided it was time to sell, I couldn’t remember a single reason. My car has never had any real issues besides the occasional maintenance expense (and the tie rods I had to replace twice in fewer than five years). I guess I’d been conditioned by the shiny new cars I’d pass on my way to work every morning to view my car’s age as a liability. But I always promised myself that I’d drive every car I owned into the ground and my car ain’t dead yet. Besides, there are myriad benefits to keeping my older car:
Pay off other debts more quickly
By holding off on buying a new car (and postponing a car payment in my roster of expenses), I’ll be able to get to my goal of finally (FINALLY!) paying off my student loans ahead of schedule.
Save more towards a downpayment
By pumping the brakes on a new car, I hope I can build a more robust savings balance, allowing me to pay down more in advance and hopefully reduce the amount or length of an auto loan.
Reduce my auto insurance bill
A newer, higher value car would indubitably mean a larger auto insurance premium than I’d been accustomed to paying.
Do I still want to buy a new car? Heck, yeah. Sometime. Soon. But not today. For now, I’m just gonna keep on truckin’ in my current set of wheels until replacement becomes my only option.