I purchased my 2005 Nissan Altima in 2004 (yep, brand new) during my senior year of college. It's the first major purchase I ever made, that I ever paid off (early!). The odometer just rolled over 80,000 miles. In reality, we "should" own the vehicle for another 5-6 years/ to 200,000 miles.
It also lacks Anti-Lock Brakes, All Wheel Drive and has $5,000 worth of hail damage. My ride, it ain't so pimp.
DJ and I are pretty financially conservative people, though you might not see that from our decisions over the past two years. We've jumped from one big purchase to another: a house, a wedding, a Europe trip. In almost each situation, we anxiously awaited our Tax Return to pay off the credit card which funded said Big Purchase.
Neither of us "like" to do things this way, and we're breaking the cycle with this tax return. Seriously. Our plan is to be consumer debt free by March, and then start stockpiling away money for a hefty down payment on a new (to us) vehicle that has AWD (or front wheel drive with studded snow tires), ABS and will last us for the next decade. If we could make my car last long enough, we might be able to pay cash for such a vehicle.
Except that my car doesn't seem to be lasting long enough. I've gone through 5 headlights in the last 18 months. Assuming it was just the bulbs, we kept replacing the damn things. I finally called last Tuesday and made an appointment with the shop. And then the other headlight went out on Wednesday. No headlights during literally the darkest part of the year. >>>Enter four letter word here<<<
It's apparently a wiring problem, but the shop hasn't figured it out yet.
I also mentioned to them that the fuel door is getting harder and harder to open and close. It had a big ding from hail damage, and I swear, the wind speed from interstate driving has sculpted the thing closed. Is that possible? Because I practically need a pliers to open my "auto-open" fuel door. The dealership today said they'd have to replace the entire fuel door, and custom paint it to match the car. Oh hell no. I'd rather buy a $10 set of pliers for the next 9 months.
I haven't told DJ that little jem yet.
I hate spending money on a car we're going to be getting rid of. But more than that, we don't have the kind of down payment we are comfortable with to purchase a new vehicle. So what can you do, right? Grr.
I wonder if we should re-evaluate the "Single Car Family" model?