It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I have been enjoying my summer free from school and homework. Even though I have been on break, I have been looking at my finances to see if I could afford a new(er) car. I was incredibly concerned whether or not I could afford to make car payments, and whether or not I was ready to commit to them for 5 years.
On the flipside, I had a 1995 Mercedes Benz C280. Certainly a cute car, with only 80,000 miles, but it was costing me $200+ a month just in gas. In the 4 years I owned the vehicle, I spent roughly $5,000 in repairs. $3,800 of it included a new wiring harness, new throttle body, and a water pump, because the damn car decided to die on the freeway during rush hour traffic.
I went to various dealerships to see what their APR was, and to test drive any vehicle(s) I was interested in. I decided I would look for a Toyota Corolla, specifically white or black, and the car must have a sunroof. I was highly amazed how many dealerships attempted to con me into buying something I did not want. Some would attempt to show me a Camry, until I stopped them and said: “Um, this is a Camry.” They then tried to convince me the engine was “Really not that much bigger” and “both cars get roughly the same gas mileage.”
As soon as they started doing that crap, I’d leave. I may be a woman, but I do know enough about vehicle makes and models, along with engine sizes, to know that a Camry does not equal a Corolla.
I then went to another dealership because I saw a 2007 Corolla they had in stock on their website. I immediately fell in love because it was white, had a sunroof, had a 6-disc CD changer, and to top it all off, it had leather seats! I didn’t have to sacrifice any features from my Benz. The friendly dealership let me take the car home for FREE for an ‘Overnight Test Drive.’ I absolutely loved the way it handled, and I loved how fuel-efficient it was. I just wasn’t certain if I was ready for car payments, so I sat on the notion of getting a newer car for a month.
I ended up creating an Excel spreadsheet of my monthly expenses, and determined getting the car would only cost me $100 more a month than what I was paying. I figured it would be better to get a newer car with a warranty, rather than forking out money on an old Mercedes which was depreciating quickly.
I have had my car for a month now, and I have yet to spend over $100 in gas. I also qualified for the 2.9% APR, and was able to score the extended warranty for only $10 extra a month on the payment. It’s going to be so nice not having to fork out mass amounts of money to get this car fixed!
I also did some research on Toyota’s Website, and found their owner’s website. I was able to look up my car’s service history for free, and thankfully, my car was very well-maintained. I also have access to owner’s manuals and other Toyota-owner perks. I thought this was handy for people like myself who are curious about the condition of their Toyota.
If you’re interested, here are some pictures of my car: