Hi there! Catie here!! So working on being a more frequent blogger hasn’t been going so well. What can I say? I have winter doldrums and haven’t been following through with much at all really.
The big news around here is that within one week both Lena and I bought new cars! I decided in early December that my beloved 2005 Highlander was probably not going to pass inspection this year so I started thinking about replacing it and what I really needed in a car now. When I first bought Highlander the none of the kids were driving, we used to go out as a group all the time and I had a fairly long commute to work every day. It was important to me that I the car I bought was comfortable, had room for all six of us, great safety ratings and all wheel drive for our crazy New England winters. At the time Highlander (with it’s 3rd row) fit the bill perfectly. But now, 2 of the three kids have their own cars, my department was transferred to a building that’s only about 15 minutes away and the odds of all six of us going away together in one car are slim to none. I came to the realization that I didn’t need a big car anymore fairly quickly. Then I remembered how much I love driving Paul’s Camaro which has a manual transmission. I learned to drive on a manual transmission car and loved it then too. I sorta missed having fun while driving. So I knew what was I looking for, something small, great on gas, manual and inexpensive. I’m the first to admit that I’m fairly cheap when it comes to cars. I like to pay for them outright because the idea of a car loan makes me sick. Plus the insurance rates are so much less when they aren’t financed. I won’t buy a brand new car because I hate how quickly they depreciate. Also, I’d be too nervous to drive it, I’m not really built for nice things. So the hunt was on, sorta. A big part of me wanted to fix Highlander and keep it. I half heartedly kept an eye out on Face.Book Marketplace and the website of the dealership I bought the Highlander from. I ended up really liking Fiat 500s and there were a bunch of pretty nice ones in my price range but when I shared with my mom that I liked the look of them my dad told me they were terrible cars. I have no idea why he thinks this but I wasn’t married to getting a new car yet so I let it go. Then one night Sparky came up on my Marketplace search. Sparky is a 2013 Chevy Spark and I immediately fell in love with the look of it. I mean come on, it’s adorable:
It was used, easily fit in my budget, it looked like it was in great shape, had low miles and had a manual transmission!! Paul loves Chevys and the dealer was only about 10 minutes from our house soI decided to go check it out the next day and I fell even more in love with it. The car was tiny but the inside wasn’t somehow, it would easily seat four and while the trunk space is small, it’s enough to fit a couple medium sized suitcases or a grocery run. It’s a hatchback so the back seats fold down too, plenty of room. Paul came with me on a test drive and that sealed the deal for me, its zippy and sporty with super responsive handling. I waffled back and fourth all day then decided to go back and make an offer, which was accepted. Before I knew it I was the proud owner.
I had decided that if I bought a new car I was going to “officially” move to this state which was a fairly terrifying prospect. I moved in with P & L 3 years ago but kept my legal address my parents house, so Highlander was registered, insured and inspected there. I should mention that we live close to the border so my parents house is only 20 minutes away. Even so, legally moving made things seem very… binding? Have I mentioned that I don’t love commitment?
The upside of moving though are MUCH lower taxes and insurance rates. When I say much lower I mean my insurance rate went down to less than half of what I had been paying. In fact when I have Highlander fixed up in the spring and add it to my policy I’ll still be paying less than I had been for just the Highlander in my old state. Between the lower taxes, insurance and gas savings it’s almost like getting a raise. Whoo hoo! And I think I’m coping well with “officially” moving. Maybe it will feel more real when my new license comes in the mail.
Bless you for reading this long-winded account of me getting new car.
Tomorrow: Lena’s car story!