About three years ago, a friend of mine bought a little Hyundai Accent.
While it’s a decent, reliable car, I was shocked that my friend who is super cool and hip basically bought what I considered to be a clown car.
She had a young son at the time, and the two door functionality didn’t seem inline with her needs, or personality.
So I had to ask: what the heck, dude?
She didn’t hesitate when she answered: “I needed a car to get back and forth to work with. Since my husband already has a car, I just needed one to get me from point A to point B.”
She proceeded to tell me she already regretted her purchase because she didn’t take the time to scope out what she really wanted and needed from her car.
But she signed on for a 5 year loan and was stuck with it for the time being. Later, she reported hating driving that car. Sure, it got her where she needed to go, but she wanted to drive something a little bigger and a lot more fun.
The moral of this story is if you are going to invest in a car for the long haul, take your time to pick out the car that really suits you and represents who you are.
Often, I think people just buy what is practical, but we don’t make other big purchases with that in mindset: our homes, our holidays, things for our children.
Those decisions get ample time to be made. So why my friend marched onto the car lot and picked out the first thing she saw in her price range was beyond me.
What’s more, she didn’t even know her price range. She could have afforded a much more suitable car for her had she done some homework.
My friend quickly learned that her car was not what she was about and after 3 years of ignoring the car and often opting to take her husband’s car for longer drives, she finally caved and bought an SUV.
She bought the best SUV her money could buy and opted for the sunroof and the leather seats. While the Jeep Patriot is not everyone’s dream car, it was hers.
And she drives that Jeep with as much pride and enjoyment as she did the day she traded in her little clown car for the bigger wheels and more robust looking frame. That Jeep is her, hands down.
I have another friend who is a university professor and is quite “excentric”. He doesn’t have any children and he isn’t married or in a relationship.
He works at a university during the week and on the weekends he heads to the country to fish and read books by the campfire.
His car? A Baja bug – he fits in it perfectly and when you see him crawl out of it, you can tell this guy is super cool. His long messy hair and tweed jacket are exactly what you would expect to be getting out of one of these vehicles.
He doesn’t care about gas mileage or fancy leather seats, he just really likes the car and how he feels in it.
When you go to purchase your next vehicle, think about what you are saying to the world and to yourself about who you are.
You don’t want to end up regretting your purchase because you made a practical decision in buying your car instead of buying the one you really wanted.
Five years is a long time to wait if you finance it, so shop smart.