As of yesterday, Mr. Canuck Buck and I became a 2 car family again. We originally were a 2 car family for a while, but we lived in Toronto, and Mr. Canuck Buck always took the subway to work, so it seemed silly to have 2 cars. So we went down to 1. Now we’ve been out in the burbs for a while (2 years) and still managing with 1. We have the same hours at work and both take the GO train, so we really haven’t needed more than 1 – but it has taken some juggling on occasion to share cars.
Our 2001 Saturn Wagon has been acting up somewhat, and is getting harder to find parts for, so we decided around Christmas it was time to look into a new(ish) car. I took the “Lemon Aid” guide out of the library (the holy grail of car books), and then – did nothing. It sat and sat – and I kept renewing it. We eventually flipped through it, but found it overwhelming.
Mr. Canuck Buck went to the Auto Show and made it a mission to sit in every car there that might be a potential. We knew we didn’t want an SUV, Minivan, Truck, or larger car, so that narrowed down his choices. We then made a list of potentials and hit new and used lots. We ended up deciding on used, as It generally ends up being a more economical choice in the long run. We had a rough idea of budget (no more than $15,000) and acceptable kilometers (no more than 50,000), and some must haves (power locks) and nice to haves (cruise control, heated seats). We did test drives on 2 Sundays and then waffled overnight and asked a few car gurus we know. So – we now have a 2009 Ford Focus with about 35,000 KM on it. We’re happy with our choice, and think we paid a reasonable price. And – yup, we paid for it in cash, so there will be no car payments!
Insurance will go up – we’re going to keep both cars fully insured for now until we get a feel of how much we really use both cars.
What steps do you take when looking for a car? Do you go new or used?