... if all you want is a comfortable ride that gets you from point A to point B?
My current car is the FredMobile*, a 2001 Nissan Altima. It was never my favorite as it was purchased while I was in extremis. My previous car, a quirky**, gold Nissan Maxima we called the Beach Bomber. We loved that car as it was pleasant to ride in and beaten up enough to not worry about sand on our bodies when we got in after a boogie boarding session. The Beach Bomber got hit while it was parked outside my house and totalled. I didn't have enough money for a good car, so I scoured the used car lots until I found the FredMobile.
|Not the FredMobile, but the same year and model. Meh.|
Recently, the FredMobile has been eating my wallet. It just got out of the shop after I ransomed it for over $2,000. Ouch. My BMW-loving wife, who refers to the FredMobile as a "toad" saw the bill and suggested we pitch the thing over a cliff or sell it, whichever was easiest. It has over 165,000 miles and I'm aiming for 250,000, but she makes the point that the repairs are starting to exceed the Blue Book value, which is about $2500.
Who cares? After the repairs, the thing runs and I trust it. I'm not going to realize anything out of the sale, so why does Blue Book matter? To me, the real question is this: Can I get an equal car for the price of the repair? If the repair is, say, $3,000 and it lasts me 40,000 miles, can I replace the car for that? I think not.
Maybe I've just become sentimental about the FredMobile.
* - Named for the Fred Thompson for President bumpersticker still on the back of it. It just says "Fred 2008." I've got some replacements so when it fades to nothingness, I can still keep the faith. :-)
** - Example: You couldn't unlock the doors with the key. You had to use the keyless entry pad on the driver's door. The control of the door lock solenoids was all wonky and it would relock the door the instant you removed the key.
*** - The most gutless one was my first, a 1969 Dodge Dart with a 225 cu in slant six that would actually decelerate when you floored it. On the plus side, it had bench seats in front which was awesome for make out sessions.