I’m not a car guy. I never have been. Growing up where I did in New York, it was certainly liberating but not totally necessary. My father was never a big car guy. Most of my friends weren’t either, so I never got into the whole thing. In fact my first two cars combined only cost about $2,000. Sure, at one point, as I mentioned when detailing my worst money mistakes I went a little overboard with a car, but the car itself wasn’t expensive. Truth be told, I really don’t care about, nor care for the price tag of a vehicle.
Cars that supposedly represent a person’s social or financial “status” are just jokes to me. Too often I see someone in a crazy-expensive car, yet when they get out, they look like they’re wearing trash bags or have absolutely no class and decorum whatsoever. So that right there tells me that the idea cars as status symbols is a completely flawed theory. Aside from that , I just have issues with…
Care, maintenance, and worry involved
This is quite simple: I don’t want to be bothered with all of the hassles of owning an expensive car. I don’t want to have to be anal about where drive, or what I allow inside. I don’t want to have to carry a towel to wipe it down every time I drive it. I don’t want to have to hassle with going to a specialized shop for routine maintenance. I don’t want to become one of “those’” people who look at their car like it is one of their children. I don’t want to have to deal with any of that stuff.
Auto insurance premiums
Many of the most frequent causes of high auto insurance premiums are associated with shiny, expensive, new cars. The price of the car and not coincidentally, the cost of parts/repair is high among those factors. So is the incidence of theft, and where/how the car is parked. Unfortunately, I don’t have a garage in which to keep my car parked, which makes me susceptible to this factor. You can research car insurance quotes to compare the cost of insurance to the cost of luxury cars. Also, be sure to check out tip number 6 in Jeff Rose’s article on lowering insurance premiums for related info.
Damage from road debris/parking lots
I’m probably not alone when it comes to being the victim of damage to a car that was truly not my own fault or avoidable. Debris on the road can be kicked up by other cars which has the potential to scratch my own car, cause dents, or even crack the windshield. Trucks that are by law supposed to cover and secure the crap they are transporting often do not, and that stuff flies all over the place. Idiot people who shove shopping carts across parking lots recklessly can scratch and dent cars and not think twice about it. I’ve seen and experienced these things with my own two eyes, and it’s very frustrating to have to deal with after the fact.
Other drivers and their bad tendencies
Going back to the parking lots, at one time I came out of a mall only to find that my front passenger-side door was dented, yet no one was around. No note, no witnesses, and of course no security cameras to review in an effort to catch a glimpse of what had happened. I’m the type of person who likes to park far away from my destination, knowing that most people are too lazy to do so themselves. I also like to park against the curb so the possibility of a moron opening their door into mine is limited to one potential side. Sadly, people always find ways to be stupid and careless. Not paying attention when opening their door, being preoccupied on the phone or with others in the car, not being aware of their surroundings or trying to find where their destination is all fall into this category.
The elements can be disastrous
When I lived in New York, it was snow that made driving difficult at times, and the road salt which was the enemy of metal parts and a car’s finish. When I moved to south Florida, it become the thunderstorms and hurricanes. In destructive weather, anything has the potential to damage a car. I’ve seen trees and light poles knocked down, resting on top of cars. I’ve even seen street and store signs pulled off of structures and be thrown through windows, landing inside of cars. Even if I did have a garage within which to store a car during these times, it’s not always guaranteed to be safe.
Kids playing in the street
This is something I know about firsthand because I was one of the people I’ve grown to bitch and moan about. Growing up, we’d play football and basketball, toss a baseball and ride bikes or skateboards in the streets right next to parked cars. I’ve crashed a bike, skateboard and even my own body into a few. Now that I have my own car and know how much time and money it would cost to repair if from damage caused by any of those activities, I understand why we got yelled at so often as kids. It still doesn’t change my mind, however. Maybe I’m a hypocrite or out of touch now, but I still don’t want any of the neighborhood kids doing kick flips on their boards, or throwing a baseball across the parking lot when my car is only a few feet away.
Perhaps if I had more money than I knew what to do with, and I could own a fleet of cars if I so desired, I would reconsider. It’s doubtful that would ever be the case, though, as I could think of numerous other things to do with that kind of money. Who knows what can happen in the future, but even though I tend to stick to my convictions, I will never say never.