I bought my first car around Halloween and am the proud owner of a 2013 black Mazda 2 Sport hatchback (the “sport” stands for higher insurance costs, but I suppose the quick and loud acceleration makes up for that).
I know I’m joining the game late. Most people get their first cars in their teens. I, however, come from a family where they believe it’s a good idea to have a steady enough income to afford said car, which is why I waited until now (I was never going to afford a car on my Subway paychecks in high school alone).
But I digress. There were many points to ponder on when I first considered buying a car last summer (I came this close to putting money down on an adorable red Mini last July, but it wasn’t meant to be) and here are some pros and cons I’ve realized this past year as I shopped around and finally picked the right car for me:
When that car is YOURS, and only YOURS, you can go wherever you want, whenever you want. You don’t have to ask permission and you don’t have to share it. It’s joyous. I love it. I’ve shared a car with my parents, my brothers, my sisters, and now my car is all mine. Plus, I don’t have to wait for public transport time tables.
Con: Gas Money
And then comes the downside to all that freedom. If you’re driving to Timbuktu and back again everyday then get ready to pay for it. Literally. When the dial hits “E,” it always sort of sneaks up on me–next thing I know I’m on my way home from work and–nasty shock–the dash says “1 Mile to Empty.” Freak out time! I just filled up four days ago, right? Doesn’t matter. Until I was consistently paying for gas I didn’t fathom how often I would need to pay!
Pro: In Texas, It’s A Necessity
Texas is big (duh) and there’s really nothing within walking distance if you live in a neighborhood. For example, it would take roughly half an hour to walk from my house to either end of the neighborhood, another twenty minutes before I reached a gas station, and thirty+ minutes before I reached any restaurants or shops. It just doesn’t cut it to walk in San Antonio (you wouldn’t have any time to do anything else!).
Con: Monthly Payments
Oh boy, was I not ready for this! It’s okay now that it’s been a few months and I’ve acclimated, but the first time I saw that $300 go out of my dismally small checking account, I nearly had a stroke. How was I going to afford that every month? And I’m still living at home! How am I going to pay for the car, the interest, the gas, and as much principle as I could so that I didn’t have to pay so much interest when I moved out and had rent? Yikes. I’ve come round to things now, but that first month was a doozy.
Pro/Con: Giving People Rides
Now, for the right person this is a pro. I actually enjoy giving other people rides. It’s an easy form of service and it allows me to get to know the other person better. Win win! But I can see how people would hate having their own car and giving rides or helping them move…
So what are some pros and cons that you’ve come up with when owning a car? Was your buying experience wonderful or dismal? Was it just plain ordinary? Do you even like your car, or wish for something faster, flashier, or with better gas mileage? Let me know in the comments below!