Wade over at Destination Financial Wisdom posted about the 15 cars (yes, 15!) he’s driven and owned, and it gave me the idea to write my own post about cars.
Many FI and PF blogs warn readers of the perils of leasing vehicles or getting car loans, advising people to avoid them at all costs. Leasing is a common way in the UK for most people to buy their cars, but that’s not to say it’s always a good idea, particularly for people who have debts or who can’t afford the repayments.
Throughout my adult life, apart from when I was a student and cycled to my lectures, I’ve never lived anywhere where not having a car was a viable option. Even if I wasn’t driving all the way to work, eg taking the tram, I would still have to drive part of the journey.
I’ve always liked the idea of owning new cars (apart from my first car of course); it didn’t have to be anything particularly flash or sporty – I just liked new and preferred my motoring to be hassle-free (I don’t know anything about cars, except how to check the oil, tyre pressure and replace the windscreen wash).
My cars are usually financed on 3 or 4 year leases and I’ve always purchased them at the end of the lease. Looking back however, I know now that leasing cars wasn’t always a good idea while I had other debt, that I could have gone for cheaper new (or nearly new) cars but I guess I was a bit of a car snob!
Anyway, here are the cars I’ve owned and driven – there aren’t many:
Engine size 1.1 – my first car, purchased second hand during my work placement year at uni, with a loan from my Mum. I loved it but owned it for only 4 months. The last time I saw it, I was being cut out of it by firemen after a head-on collision with a lorry (not my fault and yes, I was ok). I repaid my Mum’s loan with my insurance payout., which in those days, wasn’t a lot of money.
Engine size 1.0 – I felt like I was a ‘grown-up’ with my first car lease (how little I knew then…) Car was great, really nippy around the city but not so great for motorway driving or long distances. After 5 years, mechanical costs became so much (and so regular) that I was putting repair costs on my credit cards…
As with all my previous cars, I’ll keep it until it starts costing too much to maintain.
I’d never heard of this term before I became part of the PF blogging community but I now see that each car lease I’ve gotten has progressively increased. Perhaps that’s just because cars in general are more expensive but there were certain cheaper makes of cars that I didn’t even consider – now that I’ve changed my view on my finances, I must get over my car snobbiness!
Still, the good thing I guess is that I was never into sporty cars and didn’t aspire to get top of the range. So while I was driving my little 1.0 Peugeot 106, my friends were zooming around in their sporty GTI hatches – I was never a ‘girl racer’! I have no idea how they were able to afford to buy such cars.
So will my current lease to be my last lease? I’d like to think so!