I might be getting a new car soon. Well, not a new one. (Dave Ramsey says never to buy a brand new one off the lot.) No, my old minivan is just about to give up the ghost. I feel it. She’s slowing down like an old horse. I’ve never mounted a horse and am slightly afraid of them, but I’m sure my Plymouth is the same. Actually, we call it the burro (Spanish for donkey) because it used to do this jerky, whiplash-inducing motion, like it wasn’t getting enough fuel, then it would get too much—almost like a hiccup, really.
Unfortunately, the burro is the backup to the man’s van, which I wrote about a several months ago. I’ve reached a point with both vans where I don’t want to invest any more money into them, especially since they’re 16 and 14 respectively and they guzzle gas like your drunk uncle throwing back cheap beer on Labor Day.
Yes, it may be time to put them both down and go shopping for a new horse, something that won’t eat into my emergency fund when gas prices hit $4 a gallon. I’ll miss them, though. We had a lot of good years together.
I won’t go too new, though, since there are advantages to driving an older car. Here are some:
- I easily slide into boring routines, and there’s nothing more exciting than when my car won’t start. It’s like my humdrum day suddenly takes on new life.
- I gain valuable exercise walking, since I have to park as far from the entrance as possible. I may need the surrounding parking spaces to give room for the AAA truck to tow my stranded car. (Sometimes I tap my keys and make that beep-beep sound, pretending I drive one of the expensive cars. I’m usually out there with them, because they don’t want dents and scratches.)
- I get the opportunity to meet new people whenever my battery needs a jump. Of course, I always keep my own battery cables. That’d be like hosting a Super Bowl party and not providing guacamole. What kind of host would I be?
- I really need to unwind sometimes after work. Because my car forces me to drive slower on the two-way, no-passing country roads, I get at least five extra minutes on my commute to relax to my favorite music on my iPhone, while a procession of cars forms behind me. Seems peculiar owning a phone that might be more valuable than my car. But, hey, I can’t have my cake and eat it, too. Well, I could, but, again, I’m a Dave Ramsey follower. (I think there were like 9 or 10 commas in this paragraph.)
- I never have to worry about someone breaking into my car, which I could very well just leave unlocked. No one would think I’d left my $6,000 Fender Strat in the back—I mean, $600.
- In fact, in my car I could stow the loot from a bank robbery and no one would know. Although, I probably shouldn’t use it as my get-away car, since the AAA guy might wonder what I was doing with a stack of gold bars and a bunch of those bags that have a dollar sign emblazoned on the outside. I would need to tip him generously or at least give him a cut to keep him quiet. Actually, we could go in together. Who’d ever suspect a AAA truck towing an old minivan? Then I could pay cash for a new one.
- And that might be the best part. Driving an old car means I don’t have a car payment.
What about you? Do you drive an old car? What are some other benefits?