I bought my 2000 Mazda Protégé days after I moved to Ottawa from Toronto. My Mazda was brand new and cost about $16,000 right off the lot. I recall I used my credit card to make a $500 down payment. My Mazda has been paid for since 2005. This beauty doesn’t owe me much but it does hurt the pocket book about once per year.
To keep it on the road I recently sunk $1,300 into it, an old car that may be worth only about twice as much. My wife and I had to roll it out of the garage for CAA to get access to it. Good times and my neighbour got a good laugh that day. Then again even with this pocket book hit averaging about $110 per month over the last couple of years for maintenance is still less expensive than a new car payment. We already have one of those anyhow.
Looking back this #hotrod has served me well and hopefully it can stay on the road until our other car is paid for. That’s the game plan.
Here are more reasons why I drive my 15-year-old car.
- It still runs fine. OK, yes, I pumped a bunch of money into it recently to get it running but over the life of the car I haven’t paid too much money in maintenance costs – it has been rather kind to me.
- I save on insurance. While auto insurance premiums have been on rise in recent years I know for a fact I’m saving money over a newer vehicle. I pay close to a dollar a day to insure this car.
- I still get great gas mileage. I like driving standard and this little four cylinder car sips gas.
- We already have another car payment – one car payment is enough.
- It’s a vehicle that takes me from A to B. It’s a secondary car anyhow.
- At this point in my life I’m more concerned about saving and investing money on appreciating assets than driving a hot ride.
- I know that borrowed money to buy a depreciating asset (a car) is not really a bright move. If you’re going to borrow money lots of money for something make sure you use that money to buy appreciating assets.
It’s not sexy to look at with more rust to show every year that passes but keeping this car on the road still makes financial sense. Other personal finance decisions tend to be that way as well.
What’s your record for keeping your car on the road? Share your story.