As a follow up to the post I wrote about my formerly frugal parents buying a new car, I figured I’d write a little something about why I don’t mind driving a used, “beater” car.
My First Car: My first car was a 1992, baby blue, 4-door Cutlass Calais Oldsmobile. My parents let me buy the car from them when I turned 16 and they bought another car. That poor old car was a wreck waiting to happen. The car had a strange electrical problem no mechanic could ever figure out. You’d be driving, then all of the sudden the engine would shut down and the whole car would die. It was scary as hell to drive, because you never knew where it would happen, bridges, steep hills, you name it it died on me. Strangely, I told my parents about this repeatedly and they drove it around to see if it would happen to them, and it never did! I think they thought I was making up stories because I didn’t want to drive the car. Sadly, I wasn’t.
My Sister’s First Car: My sister’s first car was a Dodge Aries K-car (I have no idea what year, let’s just say it was old-see the vintage photo below). I’m pretty confident that the car was held together with 7 screws and about 15 rolls of duct tape. It was older than death and practical required antique car insurance. The passenger side door didn’t open, so if you wanted to ride shot-gun you’d have to crawl across the driver’s seat to get to the passenger seat. The windshield wipers didn’t work so when she needed to clean the windshield my other sister would hang out the passenger side window with a bottle of windex. We always joke that if that car was any more ghetto-sketch-tacular, we’d have to cut holes in the floorboards and drive it “Flintstone style”. A hope and a prayer were all that kept us from killing ourselves in that death wagon.
That being said, here are the reasons I’m not embarrassed to drive a beater:
- Not much can be worse than driving our first cars.
- It’s paid for!-Err it was. Unfortunately our car flooded and was declared a total loss after Hurricane Sandy. So we’re currently without a car.
- Cops feel bad for you if they pull you over…”Shit, if this poor girl has to drive a wreck like this, she won’t be able to feed her kids if I give her a ticket”. (They don’t need to know I don’t have kids)
- Old car = lower insurance bills.
- I don’t care about impressing people. If you judge me based on my car I probably don’t want to be your friend anyway.
Proud to Drive a Beater? Care to Share Experiences With Your First Car?