Cars. In the words of a family member: “The automobile keeps the average man down.” I believe it. Saw many a car payment help a family get to bankruptcy court.

So why the pic of the old Saab. I’ll get to that in one moment. First new car talk:

               I bought one new car and figured out it cost me $0.45 per mile. Here’s how I calculate that: I owned it 4 years (sold it to buy a minivan). Paid $28,000. Sold for $13,500 plus received pro-rated extended warranty refund of $1300. But for a while I spent $$$ each month on a car payment. Figure $200 on average went to car payment interest for 3 years for a total of $7200 in interest. 28,000-13,500+1300= 13,200 + 7200=$20,400. Owned for 4 years (48 months). 20,400 divided by 48 mo= $425.00 per month.

               I drove the car 45,000 miles. So it cost me $0.45 per mile just to own. Excludes gas, insurance and tags.

               Now for the Saab. It’s a 1989. I had an odyssey looking for a car. I tried leasing but the $300 per month lease either really costs $500/mo when you factor in the down payment or the salesman would upsell me to a more expensive car. Used car prices are ridiculous. Finally, I found the Saab, this is my 3rd Saab 900. $500. That’s right. So it basically pays for itself in one or two months use. As long as it meets my $1500 per year in maintenance, I’m copacetic.  Two weeks after buying it I replaced the radiator.

               So why a cheap car: 1) can’t lose that much. Cars are utilities not assets. I might even go so far as to say they are liabilities; 2) I have a classic car addiction. Presently I’m feeding that addiction with the restoration of an Austin-Healey 3000. 3) I only drive about 7000-8000 miles per year on my regular car and this $500 beater (the picture is not showing it’s rougher side. The car is a a 20/20: looks decent 20’ away or going 20mph) serves 95% of my need. It gets me from point A to point B and back to A. Really, do I need a Mercedes S-Class to do that?

               Now I don’t go pulling up at the front door of the country club in this baby, at least not until it gets some body work touched up.

               Thanks for reading the Ramblings of the Triad Lawyer