When my car ticks past the 100,000 mile mark, I am ready to start looking for a replacement. It has been my experience that the little things that have to come out of my pocket on an older used car are better spent on a newer one with the warranty still active for many, many miles.
I don’t really care what a car looks like. I don’t care if it is a popular model or not. Color doesn’t really make the decision for me. I want a vehicle that is safe, dependable, has good gas mileage, and car payments I can afford.
I stopped by a car dealership in London the other day when my dad was with me. He’s the car man in our family. He spent his labor career working in the auto industry. I trusted his wisdom more than my own. Like most women, picking out a car for what’s under the hood is not my strongpoint.
If my old car had a 200,000 mile warranty, I would have gladly continued to drive it past the 10 year mark. As it turned out, I bought a car my dad picked out and added the extended warranty. The only thing I regretted was not getting a four-wheel drive vehicle.
I have been so spoiled in taking my last two vehicles into the back roads of Pine Mountain and Harlan County, and depending on the four-wheel drive feature to handle rough terrain, that I am truly going to miss my back road adventures with friends.
So, I wound up with a car that someone else picked out for me, front wheel drive, a good safety rating, extended warranty and car payments I can manage. When I went back to pick it up the next day, I wasn’t even sure I’d recognize it on the lot.
It’s funny how attached we can get to inanimate objects like furniture, houses and cars. But I try not to look back and second guess myself when the paperwork is done. I hated making a new debt for a new car.
I went to pick up the car from London, leave my old one (named Angel), and got ready to drive it home. My salesman, Homer Barrett, hopped in the car to show me the features (which I should have worried more about the day before when I signed the paperwork), and hooked up my cell phone to operate through the car. He tuned in four Christian stations on the radio for me. He took his time and showed me how to work all of the features across the dash. I’m not sure I remember them all.
I thought to myself, “I’ll never figure out how to operate this thing.”
Then I started back home in my new vehicle, still sad that my four-wheel drive mountain adventures were a thing of the past. There was no sense wondering if I had made the right decision. I could have driven my old car and been happy for a long time if it didn’t have so many miles on it.
The first thing I noticed was how smooth the ride is.
Then I tried out the phone option on the steering wheel that let me call my son, my mom and a couple of friends with the touch of one button and voice commands. I felt like I was driving Kit Car from Night Rider.
I now realize God blessed me tremendously with a new set of wheels picked out by my dad, a good interest rate, payments I can afford, fantastic gas mileage and a car I am in love with. All that’s left is to thank God for it, and pick out a name.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.