Friday, July 23, 2010

Brand. New. Car.

This is my first new car...ever. I know I seem more of the biodiesel, veggie oil, smell like a french fry type. And I am in my heart, but my vehicle needs right now center around reliability.

Some of you may have met Mr. Jankie, my previous ride. Despite his decrepit appearance, the exterior looking as if it were recovering from one mean sunburn and the interior sporting an "I've been in a monkey knife fight" look with its ripped ceiling, Mr. J got me where I needed to go for several years. But as time wore on, I felt less and less safe rumbling around on these four wheels, especially since every time I hit a bump things seemed a little loose in the undercarriage. Long drives were preempted with intense trepidation to the point where I would no longer take them. He wasn't too bad as far as gas mileage, but he never passed smog inspection. So it wasn't really working out between me and J dog.

What kind of replacement to get then? I thought long and hard about a diesel car that I could convert to run on veggie oil, but two things detracted me. Number one I didn't like my vehicle choices. Anything that was in my price range was either too small or would require too much fixing up, which was exactly what I was running from. Secondly, and most importantly, I heard that storing the veggie oil attracts a particular vermin that I already have more than my fair share of problems with. Rats!

This left me with only one other eco-friendly choice in the matter. Hybrid bound I was, but what to do with the prohibitive cost? Not being a commercial television viewer, I had no idea about what kind of incentives were out there and then I stumbled on an online ad: $2000 down and $199 per month lease for a 2010 Toyota Prius. For reals? The purchase deals were pretty awesome too with 0% financing for three years.

To buy or not to buy? This was the real question. In the end we determined that money wise leasing was going to be the better option for us. First off, who knows where we will be with cars in the next three years? Technology is changing faster than manufacturing and we don't want to be tied to any one version of transport. We can also use the car as a business expense if we use it for our contracting business. And fuck ownership! With the financial crisis and housing market in the toilet, I don't want to be the owner of anything except my house, which of course isn't worth what we paid for it, but at least we can have our farm and not be renting from a crazy person, an all too common occurrence in San Francisco. Let somebody else take the financial gamble. I certainly can't afford to these days.

So here is our new set of wheels, a.k.a. Michael Jackson (don't ask).

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  1. Awesomeness! Oh, the life of the janky car. I had a Hyundai Excel that burned through a quart of oil a week. Joy was sitting at a stop light being enveloped by a cloud of white smoke. LOL. My next car was a Honda Civic. I had to replace the engine. Instead of burning oil it just leaked oil. EVERYWHERE. Again, a quart of oil a week. And it sounded like an airplane because the manifold had separated from the muffler. Good times! Deep down I'm also a "biodiesel, veggie oil, smell like a french fry type" but I LOVE my Xterra too much and it gets decent gas mileage (around 24 mpg) for what it is.

  2. Michael Jackson, huh?

    But I really DO want to ask!!


    Well, I hope your Mr. Jackson won't require as many face lifts as his namesake.

  3. my daughter named the car because she is OBSESSED with MJ. non-stop chatter about him, everyday, all day long. I have to actually tell her to stop talking about him, it's so irritating.

    @ Rachel, I totally understand car attachment. but the 58 mpg on the prius has allowed me to leave all that behind :)