Saturday, June 27, 2009

Next Car I Will Buy

My 2003 LexusPhoto is my present 2003 Lexus.

I've been thinking about cars.

For one thing the news is full of stories about cars and car companies and bail outs and economic considerations. Then there is the news about the recent deaths of three celebrities that made me think about mortality.

And for another my 87 year old mother-in-law has decided to give her car away. She hasn't driven in more than a year. We discourage any notion that she should try to drive again given certain health considerations in addition to age.

My dad quit driving on the streets when he was 82 which was when he retired from his business work. My mother quit when she was 81. My favorite high school teacher was in her early 90's when she stopped driving but she might have waited a bit too long.

Soon I will be 61.

I figure that means I have a maximum of between 20 and 30 more years to drive myself around. Right now I drive quite a bit. And about once a month or more often sometimes I haul a pretty good load of horse feed. I've carried more than one thousand pounds a few times.

And sometimes I haul around a car full of people, too. Hopefully I will continue this pace for a while.

So sometime I'm going to have to buy another car or maybe several. I thought I should probably try to kind of plan when to buy so when I get the last one it it isn't just before I quit driving. No point in having a brand new car I can't drive. On the other hand if I hold on to one too long now then it gets too old and unreliable perhaps in the future when I am ill prepared to handle problems.

And there are economic considerations. It seems like this might be a good time to buy a car but it also seems unlikely for them to get cheaper over time. Unless we really do have significant deflation then it would be better to wait longer.

Do other people think of stuff like this? Or is it just me?

Plus my caregiving career makes me want to have a lot of stuff nicely organized and arranged so someone else doesn't have to bear that burden.

So after thinking about all that stuff for a while my head was spinning and I decided it was fruitless to worry about it.

But now that I had turned down this mental path, so to speak, I began thinking about what brand of car I might buy if I were to buy something.

Money-wise I should probably buy something from GM because I have a significant value of points to use. Surprisingly the points are still good, too. I know because about once a week I get a letter from them urging me to go buy something and use them. But really I didn't think all that much of GM before the government took them over and that fact has actually served to increase my lack of confidence in the company and the cars they make.

Dad's last car was a Chrysler. I didn't like it and it had a bunch of problems which is probably why I didn't like it. Judy had a Chrysler, too, and really liked it but I thought it was too high maintenance. Besides there is that government intervention factor again.

I might consider Ford. They didn't take any bailout money yet anyway. And when my step-son bought his last pickup I thought the Ford dealership was one of the best I've ever experienced. I'd go to them in the blink of an eye. But I don't much care for Ford cars.

I've never much liked the German cars either. They seem too "harsh" somehow but I really haven't given them a look in a long while so that's an old prejudice and may be undeserved. And I don't like all the options you have to choose.

I had a couple of Nissans and an Infinity. Didn't much like them.

That Hyundai brand looks pretty good. Probably should check that brand. Especially that Genesis. Two problems though with dealers. One dealer has the absolute worst TV commercials and I would never buy from them just because of the commercials and I'm serious. The other dealer treated me very disrespectfully about a year ago and I don't think I would venture back there. But there are other dealers I suppose in other towns.

I've had great experience with Lexus, Toyota, and Honda. Really more than great -- spectacular -- would be more correct. My Lexus is the best car I've ever owned and the dealer has been also great except for how far I have to drive to get there. Hondas have been the most economical vehicles I've ever owned.

Now I'm exhausted from thinking about it and I certainly don't want to go shopping.

So much for car shopping.

Somtimes I drive myself crazy. (Is that a pun?)


rilera said...

We had to pry my grandmother's hands off the steering wheel - at age 96 (she lived another 4 years) and she was so resentful of losing her driving privilege. But it was way beyond time. Mom and I had several disagreements about me taking the keys away when I went to work. But whenever I offered to let her drive with me in the car she would tell me that she didn't know where she was going.

My grandfather worked for Ford for 50 years so we were a Ford family. I bought my first VW in 2003 and absolutely loved it. I now own a 2007 VW Passat and am quite pleased with it. But I've been eying the Ford Fusion hybrid. I like the idea of a hybrid. Or the VW TDI Jetta, a clean diesel. I'm a Michigan girl so buying a non-US made car was hard, but VW's American HQ is in Detroit. It's definitely a dilemma and I'm impressed that you are putting so much thought into this decision. Even the part about planning ahead. As a caregiver, I concur with you that I don't want to leave a mess for those left behind. My Mom was so German (read organized and efficient) and did not leave a mess for us kids. I want to emulate her.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

I am driving my dad's Avalon. I love it so much. It was Dad's dream car. Has a sun roof, leather seats that have a heater in them for the winter and is pretty much fully loaded. He bought it off the internet for a song and really enjoyed the heck out of that car, both he and Mom both. I can still see them driving around, listening to their big band cd's in the cd player with the sunroof open. The thought makes me smile.

After Dad's estate is settled, the car will be mine, legally. I plan on putting personalized plates on it which say "BOMBAY" which was Dad's favorite Gin. I love the car and have no plans on getting rid of it any time soon after it becomes legally mine. It's too beautiful and holds dear memories. Plus, it drives like a dream:)

susie mccoll said...

Just remember that you have a grandson that will get his learner's permit in about 17 his current rate of saving his money he will be driving a nice bicycle (we keep telling him that anyways...)So, if there are any cars to be given away, he would probably be a taker!!!