The Road to Nowhere
I’ve always been very frugal when it comes to cars. My first car was my Nan’s old 1982 Ford Laser hatchback (please note, older than me) feat. choke and an engine that liked to conk out whenever you went less than 10km/h. This was very hazardous at every single intersection; when it was cold and hot; and when traffic was fast aaaaand also slow. So all the time. My next two cars were also second hand hatchbacks that I paid for with cash after trawling through the Trading Post. I loved each and every one of these little beauties and I saved up the cash for them and they saw me through to my late 20s.
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(FYI – this isn’t Jen, just a woman pushing a hatchback)
Eventually, I thought “I’m fancy and important now with a posh career and a mortgage, I would like to be driving around in something a little more suitable”. OK, I didn’t rush out and buy BMW 3 Series or anything, but the point is I desperately wanted a new car. I wanted it to smell new and look new. So I popped down to my local dealership on one particularly emotional day (ladies, you know) and promptly purchased the latest Mazda 3, with all the gadgets and gizmos. Gorgeous. I loved her. I still do.
But do you know what? Sometimes situations change and hindsight can be a proverbial B. The strata plan my unit belonged to all of a sudden required me to dish out tens-of-thousands in lump sum special levies to fix a deteriorating structural issue. I did know about this when I purchased the unit but wasn’t aware of the lump sum situation. It was a real kicker. I refinanced and got a line of credit loan against my mortgage. Ongoing levies remained high for a year and I also changed career. Now with one train connecting me front-door-to-office-door I realised I was hardly ever driving my car. Lightbulb moment great idea! Why don’t I sell my car-baby and plug the cash back to my mortgage?! Wonderful and simple, pay off a small credit card debt (yes sorry FFT) then put the remainder against my appreciating asset vs the depreciating vehicular one gathering dust.
An online ad with the best of photo shoots, 4 months, a second and fresher photo shoot, and only 4 bites later- I can tell you now I cannot sell this black beauty of mine. I have done my research and know it is well priced for what is still essentially a new car with VERY low kms on the clock- but no one wants it! Even though I have lowered the advertised price to the most rock bottom that it should be, it will not sell. Ladies, let me tell you now- new cars no matter how Fancy with a capital F you choose to go, are a waste of your money. Don’t even get me started if I find out you are taking out a loan/financing the car. If one of your favourite pastimes is waving at money as it slides down a drain then perhaps go for it. Go online and look at how many second hand 2013 Mazda 3 hatches are for sale right now. My competition is huge. Seems everyone got swept away by the inexpensive shiny new mid-size hatch market at the same time and now the market is flooded!
These $21k cars you cant even sell 3 years later with only 20,000 kms on the clock for $15k! If you were crazier than me and went for a $40k car….a $50k car…. Or even higher *insert shocked emoji here* then best of luck to you my friend. I was chatting about this to a pal in the new car industry and he said this “no one is going to want to buy your car now because its pretty easy for them to just get finance and get a brand new one for $5k more”. Well there you have it. There are still, and increasingly more, old-me’s out there who are having the same idea every day.
LADIES PLEASE brand new is excellent for food, cleaning products, and personal hygiene items. A new car for you doesn’t have to be straight off the factory line. Take it from me, there’s plenty of excellent second hand cars there- save yourself the instant depreciation (and potential $$$$ in interest if you finance) and buy second hand. In fact, does anyone want my car?