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feeling guilty about a car purchase
May 7, 2010 2:38 AM   Subscribe

I recently replaced my early nineties Honda Accord with a 2005 Infiniti G35. Now I'm having buyer's remorse - not because it's a bad car, because I've always bought cars for a utilitarian purpose and I'm thinking it's a bit more of a car than I need.

I bought it in Virginia from a small dealer, so as far as I know, there's no 3 day cooling off period. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't drive very much (live in an inner suburb of DC), and mostly bus/train/walk/bike, so I was thinking that I would get a car that I really enjoy driving. That was the 2005 Infiniti G35 Coupe, which is really enjoyable to drive.

I do - it just feels a bit much. I've always had a utilitarian car before (ie, 5-15 year old Honda and Mazdas) and I think I'm feeling too guilty. It wasn't even that expensive (they go for around 15k-17k, what a 2007 Accord might cost), but it still feels too much!!

Thoughts? This sort of car is not ostentatious in the DC area (tons of nice luxury vehicles here), but it feels like it to me. Should I turn around and try to sell it? Should I wait a while? I haven't gotten a (replacement) car in about 6 years. so I haven't had this conundrum in a while.

If it helps, I'm male and in my late 20s.
posted by waylaid to Travel & Transportation (19 answers total)
 
Oh please. Infiniti's marketed as a "luxury" car, but it really isn't. The G35's a Nissan Skyline with a paintjob. Save the vague liberal guilt for when you buy a real German luxury car.
posted by orthogonality at 3:21 AM on May 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Haha, thanks orthogonality. Again, this question is less about what type of car it is - rather, if I should get rid of a car that feels like too much and/or out of character for me.
posted by waylaid at 3:28 AM on May 7, 2010


Drive it and enjoy it. You can afford it, you like it. Any car that is ten or twelve years newer than the one it replaces us bound to feel like a spaceship.
posted by fixedgear at 3:34 AM on May 7, 2010


You're in your twenties. I assume you have no kids and haven't totally settled down. Life is supposed to be a bit carefree. Once you tip into your mid thirties, one can risk looking a bit desperate driving a car like this. Enjoy it while you can.

As with any car you buy from the dealer, you've probably lost some money on it already due to the dealer mark up. If you still don't like it in six months then sell it.

But give yourself some time to have fun with it so that if it's really not you then one day you can look fondly back on your time driving a car that wasn't utilitarian and chuckle about your former self. If it helps, think of it like the automotive equivalent of a daring haircut or too-tight jeans.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:37 AM on May 7, 2010


I don't drive very much (live in an inner suburb of DC), and mostly bus/train/walk/bike

You're trying to reconcile spending that much money on something you won't use very much. I buy luxuries when I can afford them, but I do prioritize based on price and how much I can enjoy them. What it really boils down to: if you can't think of something else you'd rather have spent the money on (and I'm guessing you can't, or you'd have mentioned it) then I'd let it go and enjoy the car.
posted by empyrean at 3:41 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I did the same thing except went from a 12 year old Honda Civic with 160,000 miles to a newer Mercedes and felt the same way, like I didn't really need that much car or deserved it, but I got over it after a month. It's nice being able to drive more than 30 minutes without feeling tired like you were willing the car along the whole time. Give it some time. It'll grow on you like your other cars did. And Congrats!!
posted by eatcake at 3:58 AM on May 7, 2010


Take it for a road trip and see how you feel.
posted by awfurby at 4:23 AM on May 7, 2010


When I finally abandoned my ancient Honda accord in the 90's for a 7 year old BMW 7 series, I kept apologizing for my "new"car to everyone. Finally, my friend told me to quit apologizing because (1) I could afford it, (2) I earned it and (3) I enjoyed driving it.

I felt like you do now but my friend's little chat with me set me straight and I have never apologized again for any luxury I have afforded myself (although that same creeping feeling of guilt crept up when I abandoned that 1992 BMW for (GASP!) a new car a couple years ago).

Enjoy your new car!
posted by murrey at 4:30 AM on May 7, 2010


Enjoy it.
The G35 is, essentially, a re-badged Nissan Maxima with some different sheet metal. As to why that matters...We've owned two Maximas. The first one, a 1991, lasted 314,000 miles before we sold it. It ran like a top the day we got rid of it. Our current Maxima is a 2001. It has 338,000 miles on it. Same story. Still runs great. Has never had to have the engine apart for anything.

Soooo...assuage your utilitarian instincts with the thought that this could well be the last car you ever buy. And, while you're at it, enjoy one of the finest 6-cylinder engines made.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:43 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


What Thorzdad said.

My philosophy is on buying stuff is "buy the best you can afford, then use it until it breaks." Which is why the family cars here are a 1997 Suzuki Samurai and a 2003 Honda Odyssey. We'll replace them only when they can't be used anymore, which will be a while because we do good basic maintenance.

If you do something along that line, you'll be fine.
posted by jscalzi at 5:04 AM on May 7, 2010


I think I'm feeling too guilty.

Yes, you are. It's your money, and you can do with it whatever you want. You're not depriving your children of an education to drive a nice car. Life is about more than utility - getting you from A to B. Cars aren't appliances. If possible, it's great to get a car that lets you enjoy the experience of driving, and a G35 is far smoother and quieter than an Accord, for instance, would be. If you're at all interested in exploring performance driving, you need a RWD or AWD car to do it - a FWD Accord wouldn't fit the bill. So this car lets you enjoy life and learn about driving more. Stop feeling guilty and just enjoy life (this is advice that socially-conscious liberals could usefully take in many areas of life).
posted by Dasein at 5:08 AM on May 7, 2010


If you have the money to spend comfortably and you've earned it - enjoy it, just like with anything else. No need to feel any sense of guilt.
posted by tgrundke at 5:12 AM on May 7, 2010


Life's too short to drive a car you don't enjoy.
posted by Tu13es at 5:33 AM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I bought my last car new (which was a nice one), I literally had some sort of postpartem depression afterwards because of it, and all I could think of was how much I spent on it, that it was a waste of money, blah blah blah. I imagined all kinds of scenarios where I would return it, even at a loss, and buy a cheaper one.

This lasted about a week or two, and now, 12 years later, I still have the car, and have loved every single day I've had it since that time.

Stick through it. You bought the car for a reason, and you'll see that after this initial shock, you'll love your car.
posted by eas98 at 6:48 AM on May 7, 2010


I recently bought a g35 sedan with a 6-speed and couldn't be happier!
No remorse here. It's a nice car. I live in the deep south and to have AC in a car again is very nice...

Thorzdad- I'd say its more of a mix between a 350z and a maxima instead of just a maxima. RWD, suspension, couple other things.
posted by gatsby died at 7:41 AM on May 7, 2010


This sort of car is not ostentatious in the DC area (tons of nice luxury vehicles here), but it feels like it to me.

Think of your G35 is a low-key stealth car. When everyone is driving a nice new car, they notice the cheap beaters puttering around. Your G35 is close to the bottom of the premium car spectrum, but it is nice enough that it becomes just another invisible blur in that spectrum.

Enjoy your anonymity.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:43 AM on May 7, 2010


Well, like you, I sold a Honda for an Infiniti (mine was an i30) and felt a bit overwhelmed at first. But that car turned out to be my favorite car of all time, and I kept it for 10 years. Everything about that car just worked for me, and I liked that I could have what felt to me like a very luxurious car without all the social baggage that comes with a German luxury car. Because really, as others have noted, it's just a glorified Nissan. Then I actually did replace the Infiniti with a fancyish German car. It's very nice, but if I could buy that i30 new again (and if it fit two dog crates in the back), I would. I feel a little self-conscious in this new car and ergonomically it's just not as good. If you've found a nice car that works for you and is affordable, then enjoy your good fortune.
posted by HotToddy at 7:51 AM on May 7, 2010


It seems like you felt that you were getting the most bang for your buck whilst being proud of it and really using the car for what its every cents worth! I feel that way too driving older cars!

It just seems hard to offer yourself the luxury of feeling like you're pampering yourself with more luxury for more buck and less car. You can abuse it you know? :P

Maybe you seem to be perceived differently in another's eye and you are wondering to yourself is it really mine?
Give yourself some time before you decide to flip unless you really just don't want it because of issues.

I'm just hypothesizing here, feel free to dismiss.
posted by iNfo.Pump at 11:07 AM on May 7, 2010


I guess if I were you, and if it was returnable, I would probably return it, not for any rational reason, other than I don't feel right unless I feel like me.

I've been in your situation with a pink trench coat that cost $100. It wasn't expensive. It was pretty. It looked nice on me. But it didn't feel like the me I knew. So I went back to Filene's and returned it.

I tried to wear the coat, but I just couldn't when I tried it on again at home. It wasn't an impulse buy; I visited that coat on two different days. But, in the end, I just felt weird and unlike myself. I want to be the pink coat wearer, but it made me feel silly.

Obviously, a silly, bargain basement pink coat is not a car. But I get what you mean about identity. I'm fairly utilitarian myself.
posted by anniecat at 12:23 PM on May 7, 2010


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