Over the past fourteen years my husband and I have owned five vehicles, which included the following:
- 1994 Oldsmobile Regency Elite
- 1998 Jeep Wrangler
- 1999 Toyota Camry
- 1999 Ford Explorer Sport
- 2000 Honda Civic
We purchased the Explorer Sport and Civic new off the lot. The Oldsmobile, Camry and Wrangler were all purchased used from either friends or family.
We paid cash for all of the cars except the Honda Civic. I financed that car through the dealer and paid off the loan within one year. I sold it five years later because my medical problems made it difficult to climb in and out of and painful to drive.
Believe it or not I replaced that reliable, gas efficient vehicle for a 1994 Oldsmobile. It was not the most financially sound decision I’ve ever made, but I needed a larger vehicle that was more comfortable to drive. Rather than purchasing another new car I sunk $900 into the old clunker. In retrospect it was a horrible decision. I spent thousands of dollars in an attempt to keep it running and ultimately ended up donating it to charity.
On the very day my Oldsmobile was towed out of the driveway I purchased a Toyota Camry from my grandmother. The timing couldn’t have been any better. The new to me car was literally owned by a little old lady who only drove it to the grocery store.
I currently use the Toyota as my primary vehicle. It is the only car we own with a functioning back seat. The jeep doesn’t have a back seat at all and the front seats in the Ford Explorer are always breaking so I don’t trust putting my son in the seats behind us.
The Jeep is a gas guzzler so I’d really like my husband to start using the Toyota as his commuter car. It’ll definitely save us money on gas, plus it has four doors, which will make it easier for him to share the driving when he goes out to eat with his employees and coworkers.
I’m a little nervous about purchasing a new vehicle. For the past fourteen years all of our cars, (except the ones we bought new), have been purchased from friends and family. This will be the first vehicle we’ve bought in a very long time from someone we don’t know.
I’m also struggling with the preowned versus new scenario. I’m a little nervous about buying a car from someone who may not have taken good care of the car or performed regular oil changes. I had very bad experiences with the used car my dad bought me when I turned sixteen. (Click here.)
As you can see from the dates our cars were built we tend to hold onto our vehicles for as long as possible, (the exception was the Civic which was just to uncomfortable for me to continue driving), so I definitely want to purchase a car with a good reliability rating that will stand the test of time.
We aren’t in need of a new car immediately, but it would certainly help to have a slightly larger vehicle that can transport clothes, toys and other items between our house in Maryland and the one in North Carolina. Also, as our son gets older I’d like to be able to take his playmate and her father on field trips or take my parents to the beach with us. That really isn’t possible in our current car.
So, is it time for us to buy a new car? If so should we look for preowned vehicles or buy new?