By JLP | April 24, 2008
Our Buick Rendezvous will be 6 years old on June 1.
The idiot side of me wants a new car.
I really like those new Buick Enclaves. They are a little bigger than our Rendezvous but not as big as a Suburban so the gas mileage wouldn’t be too bad. The Enclave comes with a 60/40 split rear seat as well as about one more foot of space behind the third row. Our Rendezvous’ third row either folds all the way up or all the way down. When all five of us are going somewhere, we have to have the third row seat all the way up, which really limits the amount of space for hauling stuff.
The practical side of me (and my wife) believes that NONE of those are good enough reasons to get rid of our Rendezous! Fortunately for me, the practical side of me is growing and replacing more and more of the idiot side. The older I get, the more practical I have become. That’s a good thing for both me and our finances.
So, how do I fight the new car bug? I have been thinking a lot about it lately. Here’s what has allowed me to squash the new car bug:
1. We have taken very good care of the Rendezvous over the years. It is the first car we have owned that has been garage-kept the entire time we have owned it. It has made a huge difference! That’s why I can’t understand people who have really nice cars but keep them outside because their garages are full of crap!
2. I have maintained the Rendezvous over the years. It is also the first car that we have actually had the money to maintain. It’s amazing what a difference proper maintenance will make over the life of a car. It’s also amazing how quickly things can multiply if you don’t maintain your car.
3. Not everyone can do this, but we have managed to only put an average of 9,700 miles per year on the Rendezvous. As of right now, our car is nearly six years old and only has 57,000 miles on the odometer. By mileage standards, it’s still practically a new car.
4. I look at the numbers involved with buying a new car. Do I really need to spend $500 – $700 per month on a new car? Not only that, I think about the depreciation involved in buying new cars. It’s ridiculous how much value a car loses in the first few years of ownership. I would take it on the nose if I tried to trade in the Rendezvous. Dealerships don’t respect and don’t want to pay for a well-maintained car. The Rendezvous is paid off and as long as I keep it properly maintained, the cost of ownership will stay fairly low.
5. Last but not least, when the new car bug is really after me, I do a very simple thing. I wash the Rendezvous! I spend a good two or three hours completely cleaning and washing the entire car. Once that’s done, it looks and feels like a brand new car. I bet most people wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s a six-year old car.
My plan is to drive the Rendezvous another four years. I figure if I can drive it ten years that I will have gotten my money out of it and I can justify getting something different. Who knows, maybe it will still be in great shape and I’ll be thinking about keeping it another 4 years!