I got my first car in 2004 – a 1988 red Mercedes sedan. It sounds fancy, it wasn’t. It was my Dad’s beater and he gave it to me on its last leg in the winter, the heat didn’t work, and one of the back windows was broken. Needless to say, I wore a lot of layers that winter. In early 2005 I sold it for pennies and bought my very first Honda – a 1999 Civic with 150K+ miles on it that cost $4,000. I loved that car. I drove it for another 100K+ miles until it died and then I donated it to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in memory of my cousin Samantha. In July of 2008 my Dad bestowed on me another lemon – a 2001 Volkwagen Jetta that lasted me only 8 months until it literally died. Because I was working in the suburbs at the time I needed another car ASAP. That’s when I leased my latest car – my 2010 Volkswagen Jetta.
It was the first time I had ever had a car that was brand spanking new. I fell in love with it immediately and had a spectacular 3 years driving it. It never gave me any trouble and was an absolute pleasure to have. Even when a tree fell on it. Plus, I got major cred for having such a sleek, peppy, fun car.
When I got my new job I quickly realized that having my car was totally impractical. My job is in the city where I would never need a car to commute to. That’s actually one of the things that excited me about the job – I could be a train commuter again! As long as I have been working I had commuted on public transit until my last job. Getting a car was a huge pain and I really hate driving. I like being able to zone out and listen to music or read a book on the train, and missed that when I had to drive to work every day. So, even though it seems crazy, I really was looking forward to commuting via public transportation yet again.
Unfortunately my lease wasn’t up until this month so I was stuck dealing with my car for 7 months longer that I wanted to – i.e. finding street parking, shoveling it out from all the snow we’ve gotten, and making the payments. Blerg!
But finally March 1st arrived and it was time to turn the car in! Not without cleaning everything out of it first though, which took me at least an hour.
The turn-in at the dealership took no time at all and now I’m free. I still can’t believe I don’t have a car anymore. It’s the first time in almost a decade! Seems crazy. But I’m really excited because between the payment and the insurance, I will save roughly $400/month.
Getting around now is going to take a bit more planning. John actually just bought a new car so we’ll be sharing that (to some extent, it’s still his car). I also signed up for Zipcar too which I haven’t tried out yet but will definitely post about when I do!
I’m very excited about this new car-free phase!