So I Bought a Car This Weekend

This past month was pretty hard on me car-wise.  I drove my 2001 Hyundai Elantra home again from Tulsa with no problems in late May and then the next day woke up to a huge puddle of oil under the car- not a good sign.  My parents helped me get the car in for repairs and it turned out the oil pan had to be replaced.  Greaaaat.  Oh, and it costs over $600.  Super great : (

My dad had them do a couple other maintenance things which brought my repair total to almost $1,000 (thank god he helped with that), and then I figured even with the hit to my strained teacher salary, I was probably good for awhile.  Well, I figured wrong.  4 days later Maggie and I went to the beach and didn’t make it back because the TPS sensor failed making it almost impossible to accelerate the car.  I had to pay a $190 tow bill, plus about $130 to replace the TPS.  This hit hurt more since I thought I was home free, and my parents and I started discussing the pros and cons of getting a new car more seriously.

A couple weeks passed and I felt better about my car.  I could drive it without it dying or blinking repair lights at me, which made me happy.  But then a week ago my parents and I came back to find my brake lights on because a tiny plastic piece broke by the pedal.  The lights would stay on and drain the battery until I got it replaced the next morning.  I think fumes came out of my ears when I discovered this.  I ended up having to go to Tires Plus 3 TIMES the next day to get this tiny piece fixed and replace a brake light that went out.  I declined a minor gasket fix and changing the air filter because I didn’t want to imagine one more cent going towards my malfunctioning car.

I did some research the next few days online about what cars I wanted, what was a fair price, pros and cons relating to safety, mileage, and  other features, etc.  Then my mom and I went to the Hyundai dealership.  To my dismay, all the 2012 Elantras (my top choice) were sold out.  I could either get a different car, get a used Elantra, or look at the 2013 model.  Boo.  I tried the Hyundai Accent despite bad reviews and while I thought it was acceptable, driving it actually made me car sick.  I wasn’t too surprised this happened because I feel sick in the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit when I drive with my friends and family.  I thought that might change if I was driving, but no.  The car is too small and doesn’t absorb enough impact when you’re driving.  Soooo getting the next size up (and next price up…) was necessary.

As I expected, I loved the new Hyundai Elantra immediately, and was only discouraged by it’s price.  My parents offered to cover the down payment over my trade in value, but I needed the monthly payment to be as close to $250 (or lower) as possible based on my salary.  The only deal we could come to that first day was $2000 trade in, $7000 down, $250 a month for 5 years.  Uhhhh, I’d rather not have my parents own a third of my car in a down payment.

I declined and left, telling them the next day that I would likely keep my car another year and try to nab a 2013 Elantra when it was on its way out.  Well, that didn’t really work for them and suddenly they could work out a better deal.  Yeah….I thought so.

My NEW car- 2013 Hyundai Elantra

It took awhile, but I was finally able to get it where I got more for my trade in, my parents put a whole lot LESS down, and I still kept my payments to roughly $250 a month.  My biggest obstacle was not having any credit since I buy everything on debit and never had student loans.  This made it really hard to get a low interest rate, but I think in the end it was 2.39%.  Much better than the 9.99% it started at (WTF!).

I know I should have been ecstatic about getting a new car, but taking on the financial responsibility is weighing on me a bit.  I basically am on a shopping lockdown until I see how much I have left after this added expense.  I also was kind of sad to get rid of my old car.  I’ve been driving it since I learned to drive, and for the most part, it’s been great.  Katie told me after I left that it would start singing the song from Toy Story 2 (see below).  Thanks Katie- thanks.

I took some farewell pictures with my car before I left on Saturday to go pick up the new one.  I almost cried which sounds really pathetic, but that car was the place for some first and last kisses, my home away from home last summer when I traveled, a makeshift mini-van to drive my friends in high school, etc.  Maybe  everyone feels that nostalgic about their first car.  The only way I got past the sadness was comparing my old car to a good TV show- you hate when it’s cancelled abruptly (totaled car) or when it is on way too long that by the end you don’t like any characters or plot points (paying for tons of repairs that make me hate my car instead of love it).  I gave up my car when I still liked it and could give it a proper send off, and that does make me happy.

I’ll end with the goodbye picture with my old car, and then go start loving my shiny new one (I say I’m driving a car from the future because it’s a 2013…haha, I crack myself up) that is sure to hold a lot of memories, too- or at least mark another point in my entering adulthood- taking on a car payment! Joy.

My car 2004-2012. That’ll do pig ❤

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3 Responses to “So I Bought a Car This Weekend”

  1. I had a difficult time saying goodbye to my first car, too, though it was a forced thing – it got wrecked when someone hit me. I still miss it from time to time, as it drove so much differently than my current car does. I had gone through the process of buying a new car, but ultimately it failed – and the salesperson was fired over the ordeal, as the terms discussed magically changed when it was time to sign the paperwork. But, life goes on. Maybe next time.

  2. I have cried leaving every old car, every rotten, tiny apartment full of spiders…I get attached. I thank my cars for the memories and everything good they did for me. I have thanked my former abodes for keeping me safe and dry and holding my stuff inside. I wish them all well, and yes…I get teary. I love your pretty new car!

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