I think anyone who reads my blog, follows me on twitter or knows me in real life knows the problems my family has had over the past year or two with cars. From the Dodge, to the Chevy to the Honda, it's been quite the experience. A perfect calamity of errors that has been totally frustrating.
Knowing what to do with each one, weighing the benefits and the costs has taken a lot of careful consideration. At one point my parents had all but decided to refinance their house and sink mega money into fixing vehicles. I hated the idea, they hated the idea. Refinancing and pulling that much out of the house would have surely put a damper on their big dreams of selling and taking the profit to downsize in Florida. It just didn't seem worth it for a couple of cars that could surely have problems again and again.
Over the course of the spring and summer I'd posted my Dad's old truck on Craigslist numerous times. Paying insurance on 4 cars (two of which don't run) seemed nuts to me. And they could use the money to sink into one of the two. No matter the number of bites, my Dad wouldn't budge. He refused to sell.
He kept saying it didn't seem like the right time, or the right offers. I fully admit to being extremely frustrated. I thought he was just holding onto his glorious piece of junk for sentimental reasons. He kept saying God had a plan and it would all work out. I may or may not have rolled my eyes...often.
Last week Governor Beshear signed into effect for Kentucky a national stimulus program collectively referred to as Cash for Clunkers (details at Cars.gov), local news, commercials...they are all going crazy over it. I hadn't put a ton of thought into the program, save for a small item I'd posted on my Tumblr last month. But I checked into it last week and low and behold:
The old Chevy qualifies!
By sitting on the Aveo for the past year I now owe so little on it that it should garner enough in a trade in to pay it off...even with it's 'issues'. And $4500 will knock quite a bit off of a nice small brand new gas saver.
My Dad took his Chevy out for a couple of rides this weekend to knock the dust off it, maybe to say goodbye. He came home, grinning from ear to ear and appropriately told me, "I told you so."
Sometimes I struggled with having the faith to know that in the end things will be okay. They've always been so I should have no reason to doubt it, yet I do. This past year has been trying in so many ways. From the whole social security debacle, to me having to pay on a student loan for an entire year (that just ended, unexpectedly, but I'm so happy and thrilled about it) to issues with my mom's job. I like to think we're coming out stronger on the other side. Honestly, better or not, I'm just overwhelmed by the feeling of knowing I can finally see the other side.
Now as far as the car itself goes, I've been sifting through reviews this week. Dad won't buy another Aveo...although I just can't imagine why. ;)
So Yaris, Versa, Sentra, Corolla, Focus, Mazda of some sort...I'm not sure yet.
Why do I actually think brand new is a good idea?
Given the incentives that many dealerships are throwing in extra on top of the clunker thing it should work out to be a pretty amazing deal on a brand new warrantied vehicle. Normally I'm very anti-brand new. But I'll gladly taken a highly discounted car with several miles of warranty coverage. Especially after this past year.