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So we've been a one car family since forever. It's never been a problem, if I needed to have a car to get around, I'd drive my husband to work and pick him up, otherwise I used public transport.

But since the kids have started school, it's become a bit more stressful. It's too hard to take my husband to work then get the kids to school if I need the car, plus walking to school is getting tiresome, especially when it is super hot or pissing down with rain, so we've been looking at our finances to consider a second car.

Our current car is also getting pretty old and things are always going wrong with it, so we were contemplating changing it too. So we've been looking at cars for the last few weeks.

Last week, we went to look at some cars and considered the option of buying two cars and trading in our current car and it sounded reasonable, but we needed to go home to check our finances. Within 2 seconds of us pulling out of our parking spot and driving down the road, we stopped at an amber light and suddenly heard screeching breaks and - yup - they hit our car.

Thankfully it wasn't a bad accident - not even the lights got smashed. But it's going to be in inconvenience. The insurance company decided they would repair it (no expense to us - we had all the details they required) but instead of fixing it the week my husband had off work, they've booked us into the Tuesday after he goes back. So we can't use it to trade in, but we need a car for him to get to work that week.

The biggest problem was, we wanted to trade the car on the more expensive car, and we wanted my husband's car to be the more expensive car (he'll have the one for towing and what not and I'll get a smaller car for zipping around all over the place), but to do that we wanted to trade it and buy both cars at the same time.

We considered buying the smaller car first, but my husband doesn't want to drive it, and blah blah blah... so we were left wondering what to do.

I got a little annoyed and told him that he can organise his car first and that it was his car so his responsibility and that if he hadn't organised one by the time he had to go to work that it was his problem to sort out. It wouldn't make a difference to me at this stage.

Well today he actually got motivated enough to look at cars and now we've got one (to pick up on Monday arvo)! The other car gets put in for repair Tuesday.

So it kind of works out well - my husband goes to work with the old car Monday, I do the usual school run, in the arvo we go to pick up the new car. Tuesday my husband takes the new car to work, I use the old one to take the kids to school and then take it to the repairers to get fixed. The rest of the week will be as usual. When our old car is fixed we have 2 cars! Yay!!

As for trading it in, we've decided that we're going to drive these two cars around for a bit, until we get some more money behind us and get a nicer/flasher car for our second car, rather than just what we can afford at the time (which is what his current one is). If I get some work, we might be able to get two nice new cars next year too...
It's always difficult to figure out what to get when one is counting pennies. I'm in the same dilemma GR. My work contract may or may not (about 90% chance it will) expire in October of next year. So to buy a new car now is not a great idea. But at the same time my car is a 2001 model and I find I'm visiting the work shop more often than I should. I really need a new car, or at least a more up to date model. So made a decision similar to yours. To work with the one I have as long as I can. Wherever I land if and when my contract expires I'll get a more up to date model there. Could be left hand drive if it's South Africa, and right hand drive in Canada.
Part of the problem of living where there is not enough public transport is the added expense of a necessary car or two.We get only two buses a day go past where we live so we had to get a car. Having a very limited budget we were lucky to pick one up for $1150 but then had to get a road worthy certificate and registration. We are looking forward to getting back to the Philippines where public transport is so good you never need a car. Jeepneys go past your door in a continuous stream 24/7 and will give you a ride for a few cents. Very convenient and economical. If you don't live on a main road you just step out your gate and raise your hand and a motorcycle with sidecar will be there in a flash to take you out the the main road to catch a jeepney or taxi and only charge you 5 pesos.
Reminds me of Muscat in Oman, where they have those kamikaze mini buses, where when one uses it one always feels one is putting one's life in destiny's hands. There are plenty of them however. Informal public transportation is definitely the way to go. Where I live in the UAE, public transportation is a pain in the neck and very expensive. Even if we had good public transportation however I probably would still get a car, as I love driving. I also love cars.
GR: sounds like you have a plan that will work within your budget. Glad no one was hurt in the accident. They should be providing you a car to use during the repairs.
I am experiencing a similar problem in that my car is a 1999 model with 300K miles on it. It has some problems but I keep patching it back together and driving it. I do all my own work on the car and have since it ran past 36K miles and the warranty expired. It was in once under warranty for a bad alternator. Other than that everything since then has been done by me. Includes head gaskets twice over it's life, removed the transmission so a friend could overhaul it. Repeated brakes, struts, power steering rack, hubs and bearings, window regulators, man I could go on.

Thing is like everyone else every time I look at a payment on something decent between $200 and $300 a month I think about how many parts I can buy for that amount, and forget about buying a newer car. Right now the passenger side electric window is broken and needs a new mechanism (regulator) to fix it so I can roll it down and up. The clock burned out in it a year ago and I have to replace the radio to fix it.

Yeah lots of stuff wrong with it but I'm going through a pretty rough financial time with the wife not working and a lot of other problems and trying to afford another car is down on the list.

Nice thing is last February I moved 4 miles from work and ride the bike a lot this summer. Wink
I like the idea of not owning a car, but it just starts limiting the options of where you can go and when you can go there. It's a lack of freedom and independence.

I think it's really just a symptom of the general busyness of life. I'm not sure what kind of idealistic world has everyone just walking everywhere rather than driving, but I'd like to explore it.
For me my car is independence, love of driving and also owning a car. If I shouldn't own a car, it would feel as though something is seriously missing in my life.
Hm, cars are made to broke it seems... Weak contructions... I think we can make cars that last!
The cars Ive had I have appreciated or developed a kind of hate for them. Ive had both old clunkers and new ones. Regardless of our choice we seem to have to pay for transportation huge. I like my car now but it is like everything going to get old and need replacing.

What I see though beyond my car is other cars and it is just getting too congested for my liking. Too many cars on the road takes all the fun out of it but when the road is open a car is useful to get you from one place or another since it sure beats public transportation by far. At one time I had more than one car but found it ended up costing more in one way or another or when it didnt, all but one of them just sat in the driveway looking abandoned. Then my life changed and I went back to one car.

Talking about cars, what do you think of the smart car? It is cheap to drive but if they go with a friend to get groceries where do they put the groceries?
Think I can relate BD. I purchased an old car in 2009, and seem to be fixing things continuously. It's still much cheaper than a new car though, particularly insurance. Last fix was something silly like the windscreen wipers. Because of the heat in the UAE there is plenty of materials fatigue. So the plastic clasp holding the wind screen wiper together cracked and broke, and the whole thing had to be replaced, and of course better to replace both left and right wipers. Last year was an expensive repair, I'd been avoiding for years, but then had to top up AC gas almost every second or third month and even with that AC was not working. A really bad scenario for heat temperatures in the forties Celsius during the summer. So last year got a new compressor. Water pump had to be replaced the year before. They just add up.

I saw quite a few of those smart cars in Vancouver when I was there in August. Can't help but hink it's not a real car, is it. Like a dinky toy. I like driving in something that feels real, and has some character to it too. A little "dumb" and "extravagant" and "petrol guzzling" and "clunky" work for me too. I'd get claustrophobic in any of those smart cars as well, and I'd imagine in case of an accident, not much can be left of a small car like that.

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