How do I integrate my possible future into my current need for a new car?
January 6, 2012 9:35 AM Subscribe
I am buying a new car. Is it silly to take into consideration what I hope my life is like 5+ years down the road when choosing a new car? Help me untangle my emotions about the future from what I need in a new car.
posted by anonymous to work & money (35 answers total)
I am replacing my 2000 Chevy Prizm with 120,000 miles on it for a new/new-used car. I thought I was pretty sold on getting a Honda Fit. Then, I started looking at crossovers (CRV and Forester being the two main models) and everything got more complicated.
I don't drive much during the week (maybe 10 miles a day at most), I live in Colorado and hike a lot in the summer and am getting into XC skiing. My boyfriend and I have 2 dogs (mid sized dogs, both fit in the back of our current cars for long trips no problem). I have been having a lot of issues with winter driving and the higher clearance and AWD of the larger cars is attractive. Also, they would be better for getting to some of the outdoor activities I enjoy with my dogs and gear and friends.
My boyfriend is all about fuel efficiency and is a great winter driver and I feel like he thinks I am being silly to look at bigger cars. BUT, here's the thing: I want to start a family in the next 4ish years. BUT, we aren't engaged (we have been together 5+ years, he knows I want to get married and have a family but he's not ready yet) so it's not like we are going to have kids soon. I want a car I can keep for a long time and I can't imagine a car seat and 2 dogs in the back of a Fit. But, none of my planning or hoping for the future makes any of it a sure thing. We could break up, not be able to have kids, wreck the car, any number of possible future scenarios. So, should I really take what I HOPE happens into account?
My boyfriend is going car shopping with me on Saturday and he has promised to take the back seat as it were and let me make my own decision. I feel like I am being super emotional about this whole thing and I don't want to freak him out by saying BUT WHERE WILL THE BABY GO????? while we are looking at cars. Am I being irrational? I also feel like getting a car with not-optimal fuel efficiency is like slightly immoral or something. Like Al Gore will cry a single tear for the earth every time I start it up. (Hybrids are out of my price range.)
What is the best way to think about this purchasing decision? Should I just get the car I like the most? I really need to replace my car soon and I am getting into that decision-making space where I am so overwhelmed I can't think. I need some strangers to tell me what to do!