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My red hot car.

Right before Sarah and I got married, we got our current car (a 1993 Ford Taurus station wagon) from my older brother for approximately what it was worth at the time, which wasn't very much. It had about 114k miles on it.

Since then, its mileage is up to 167k (I've driven 53,000 miles in one year and nine months. Wow.) and its value has dropped rapidly. The body is rusting from the inside out (so it looks good, but is ready to fall apart) and I've spent more on repairs than I originally did on the car. In the past three weeks, I've put $800 into fixing this car, which is probably just about as much as it's worth right now.

So Sarah and I are seriously considering leasing a brand-new Toyota Prius, a hybrid gas-electric car. The price for these things is enormous (for me), but I wouldn't feel like I'm being ecologically responsible by buying a gas-only vehicle in today's world. Fortunately, we'll be able to afford a reasonable monthly lease. Unfortuately, that means very little of our money will be going into savings for the next few years, unless I get a raise or find a better paying job.

After waiting at the Ford service place today (we only have one car, so I'm pretty much stuck while it's being repaired) for a few hours while they fixed the various bits and pieces that were making the car stall at red lights, we drove home, where I had lunch and then left for work. I got to the office, got out of my car, and realised I had left my laptop and my security badge at home. It was 1:30 in the afternoon at this point, and if I went home, got what I needed, and came back, it'd be 3:30. In the end, I told my boss I'd just write the day off as a loss and see him tomorrow morning. So I kind of got a day off, but not really.

Sigh. I'm still in a good mood, though. Lately, happy has been my baseline.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
inkster
May. 7th, 2003 05:09 pm (UTC)
Rob and I want to get a Prius as our next car too. We wanted to get one when he got his car three years ago, but it wasn't out yet ;) If you do decide to go with that, please let us know what it's like!

And as an alternative, the Echo is a great little car (my only complaint being that it has a small engine) and it's excellent on gas mileage. It's just about $20k (this is in Canadian, but I imagine the prices aren't too different) fully loaded, and it the most fuel-efficient car aside from a hybrid. So you could do some to help the environment, but also not hurt your wallet too much.
rfreebern
May. 8th, 2003 06:52 am (UTC)
The Echo does look pretty nice, and it is a significant savings, but I think I'd rather have the larger debt and the actual hybrid car. Fuel-efficient is good, but fuel-efficient is another. :)
violetstarfly
May. 8th, 2003 02:33 pm (UTC)
ECHO!!! I have an echo, and I Love it to pieces! my car is the little car that could. It can do anything :). its good in sun, rain, snow, fog, mud - whatever. It's just the bestest! and it's arond 48 mp gal. And it's lil, so it's easy to park, and turn, and get out of the muddy snowy URI praking lots. yay echo!
rfreebern
May. 9th, 2003 08:23 am (UTC)
Hrm. The Toyota website says 35mpg city/43 mpg highway, which is good, but not as good as the 45/52 that the Prius gets. It really does look like a good little car, but I dunno if it's quite what we're looking for. It is $10,000 less, though, which is a big selling point.

This is a rather tough decision!
allypopsicle
May. 7th, 2003 06:58 pm (UTC)
i think those cars are pretty nifty! this family i used to babysit for bought one. they are very handy, especially in towns because, as you probably know, they use the electric part when you're waiting at lights and stuff so you don't waste gas, adn it's better for the environment!

as for savings, i say Bah! hehe, savings schmavings. let me know the verdict!

superherobear
May. 8th, 2003 01:13 am (UTC)
Just remember that if you get a hybrid car, you *WILL* be saving money on gas. So instead of putting money into the car at the gas station, you put most of that money into the car when you buy it.

I really wish the hybrids would come down in price though. Even though i am in no current position to purchase a car, when i am, i want something environmentally friendly that won't break the bank :/
rfreebern
May. 8th, 2003 06:57 am (UTC)
Well, it gets about twice the miles-per-gallon that my current car does, so I'll presumably be spending half as much on gas. If I keep driving as much as I do now, it'll take about 11 years before the extra cost of the car (compared to a normal gas-engine car at half the price of the Prius) is balanced out by the fuel savings. Meanwhile, the car I have is ten years old and dead. So while the concept sounds good, the math kind of makes it a little less appealing.

But I guess a mathematical equation can't factor in things like peace of mind and ecological rectitude. And I guess by buying a hybrid, I help bring up the sales numbers, which will maybe help bring down the price eventually.

Plus I get a $2k tax credit when I buy a hybrid. Can't forget that.
adiasplat
May. 31st, 2003 08:16 pm (UTC)
Wow, you guys did get married. I was just wondering about that earlier this week, and here I've stumbled on your journal.

Congratulations! :) (Probably much belatedly...)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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