So (b)Lucy, my lovely little lovebug, has been giving me a lot of grief lately and I find myself asking the question: When do you give up and walk away from a car?
It's been four years (this month actually) and a lot of money later. And now I'm looking at even more money. My brakes are acting up and I need to replace my entire muffler. Essentially I'm probably looking at at least $1500 in work, on top of the $500 I spent in February.
My mechanic is of the opinion that keeping an older car is worth it because people under-estimate how much a new car will cost. He may be right. But then again, he might be just trying to keep my business (because let's face it, I'm good business).
I'm torn whether I should drop another 1500 + into this car. On one hand, I like my car. I like driving her, I like her size and zippiness. I like that I know her well and that I'm making a sustainable decision by keeping an older car from the landfills. I like that I'm not upping my carbon footprint by buying a new car which has produced a ton of toxins in the process of being built.
I don't like her mileage though. She was decent in 98. In 2013 she kind of sucks ass. Or petrol. Whatever! You get the point. And I don't like that she's a heavy carbon footprint because of poor mileage.
She's not going to be practical for strollers and carseats, but whatever.... having a car is a luxury (a needed one when you live in the burbs, but still a luxury).
She's also starting to rust. Which means I either let it happen or I invest more money in treating her before the problem gets too bad. Again with the more money.
At this point Lucy still costs me a little less than a car payment would and a lot less if I had a car payment and problems on a newer car.
But here's the biggest thing: my student loan will be finished in 3 years. And I can't help but ask myself if it wouldn't be a much smarter decision to pay the money on Lucy's maintenance and hold out for better financial times, student loan free times? You know?