driving

I Bought a Car and Now Regret It

Today’s post comes from Sacha, a fellow writer who fell into a car buying trap. She details her experience and things she was pressured into thinking was the right decision. Read on for her story.

I started the process of trying to get my own car in 2013, despite having no money to put down on a car. I was only eighteen at the time, had no credit history, no one to co-sign for me, and made $7.25 an hour.

My mom and other family members insisted that it shouldn’t be a problem since I don’t have bad credit history and have a job. I was given advice like “tell them you don’t want to put anything down” and “tell them you only want to pay x amount a month.” But without the proper tools to make these demands, you can guess how that went. I finally ended up getting my car this past July, a few short months after I turned 21.

I was very excited at first. Having the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and not have to rely on others to be on time or hope they’ll be able to show up is a great feeling. Because I spent some time paying off my loans and building my credit, I scored a pretty great monthly payment and low interest rate.

Unfortunately, that’s where all the pros end. The advice I was given led me to buy a car I wasn’t ready for. It started with people telling me how easy it is to get a car but continued throughout the process.

“Now you can take yourself places!”

This is true, but the part that is forgotten, admittedly by me, is that gas prices are still high. So, even though you have the means to go places, your gas tank may be crying along with your bank account. After the second time I just barely made it home, it was time to re-adjust my budget to fit my car payment and gas money so I wasn’t pulling a Bon Jovi and living on a prayer.

I found giving myself a set amount for gas money was easier than calculating it out to the exact dollar I’d need to fill my tank, mostly because I didn’t drive a lot but just had a long commute. This small change ended up saving me in the long run. I always knew how much I was going to have for gas and that it would be enough to get me at least half tank.

“Jeeps have the cheapest parts to replace.”

This was probably the worst offender and I don’t know what compelled me to believe this.

Jeep parts and any other car are worth about the same. It’s all dependent on how much it cost to get the part here and if it’s 2WD or 4WD. Off roading vehicles generally cost more to replace parts because they need to be made differently to support the type of vehicle, while others are a little less expensive because they’re made for different terrains.

My advice for repairs is to shop around and find a mechanic or auto shop that will give you what you want but at a reasonable price. You can usually Google what the average for your car is and how much other people pay for it. If you’re lucky your auto dealer will have a setup with a mechanic and you can get a discount.

“You’ll love owning a car.”

Owning a car has been the second worst experience of my life with a car, the first being the time my dad almost ran us off a bridge.

At first it was alright but when the novelty wears off and everything else builds up, you start to feel a hint of regret. At least I do. There are a lot of factors to consider and a lot more budgeting for unexpected expenses.

For instance, someone tried to break into my car a couple weeks ago and completely destroyed the mechanics that keep my back window working. To replace it all and fix the damages was $300, so thankfully the window itself didn’t break.

I also found out when I moved that tires wear down faster in higher population areas than smaller ones. That means I need to replace them more often.

My advice to anyone buying a car for the first time or looking to get a new one is, make sure you plan ahead. I did not and even though my finances have leveled out quite a bit, I still get stressed out when it comes to taking care of my car. The other day I finally took it to the car wash and that says a lot.

Also, do your research. I did beforehand and it helped me a lot when shopping for the car I wanted but I didn’t even think to look into things like replacing parts or knowing how often you’re supposed to change your oil or rotate my tires.

I hope you learn from my experience.


sachaSacha is an aspiring writer, currently feeling the struggle as she shamelessly promotes herself across the internet. She is in love with birds, big dogs that think they’re lap dogs, and all things science. You can usually find her napping or raiding the fridge. Connect with her on Twitter @staycheesyx.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Taylor October 26, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I’m sorry to hear that it’s been so stressful, Sacha 🙁 I’m currently car free and although I’m sometimes tempted to buy a car, I always resist the urge. I just don’t want to deal with the added expenses or stress. Instead, I bike, Uber and bum rides 😉 haha. Have you thought about moving closer to work so you can bike or walk?

    • Reply Daniel @ SaveWithDan.ca October 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      It’s all a matter of choice. Me and my family chose to live near a subway station and not have a car at all. For that, Car2Go and the crappy Quebec-based Communauto or Automobile are enough for us. But, again, it’s about choices.
      Problem is people are so used to the idea of having a car or buying a house that they just don’t even consider thinking about it…
      Daniel @ SaveWithDan.ca recently posted…Do you upgrade at the supermarket?My Profile

  • Reply Stephanie@the Money Savvy Blog October 26, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    A car is not only a money pit, but it also depreciates as soon as it leaves the dealership. A lot of people don’t realize how much maintenance and repairs really cost, even on a newer car.
    Stephanie@the Money Savvy Blog recently posted…Home-buyer plan explainedMy Profile

  • Reply Daniel @ SaveWithDan.ca October 26, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Hi, Sasha. I am sorry that you succumbed to the car lifestyle… If you had asked me I would tell you to try to keep your life car free 🙂
    I am always surprised how people simply have no idea how much a car costs. It’s not only the monthly payment or the gas. CAA has a pretty nice calculator that tells you how much a car costs per year: http://caa.ca/car_costs/
    Remember that even if you are losing money selling it now, it’s still better than keep on paying lots of money forever.
    Good luck with that!
    Daniel @ SaveWithDan.ca recently posted…Do you upgrade at the supermarket?My Profile

  • Reply RDK October 30, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Or if you’re going to buy, buy used and have it paid in full in cash (plenty of good quality cars for under $4000). It’s the addiction to the image people are paying and financing for =S

  • Reply Jennifer November 11, 2015 at 5:22 am

    “At first it was alright but when the novelty wears off and everything else builds up, you start to feel a hint of regret.”
    YES – this I understand. After making this mistake a few times (so no judgement), I now only buy old cars that I can pay cash for. Good luck with finding a solution that works for your lifestyle 🙂
    Jennifer recently posted…Trekking in Northern Thailand (How to Get Off the Beaten Track)My Profile

  • Reply Jenn November 11, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I’m sad to hear that your experiences have been so bad. I did a lot of research on different vehicles, from reliability to repair costs, bought a newer car with low miles that got high ratings and resale value, and I keep up on maintenance by buying my own parts and doing as much of the work as I can on my own. It’s been a great learning experience. And it’s nice to not have to ride a bike 7 miles to work in the snow.

  • Reply dave December 13, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    I worked in a car factory for almost 10 years. I used to wonder who’s buying all these things and why. When a new model comes out the mostly change the cosmetics of the car to hook people but most of the parts used on the old car go on the new car. Also they are putting tons of tech toys on cars now to hook consumers. Believe me new cars have to be one of the worst investments going.

  • Reply dave December 14, 2015 at 12:00 am

    if you need parts use rock auto.com. Even with our bad exchange rate their shipping is cheap to canada at least ontario and I usually find parts a lot cheaper than buying from the rip off prices in ontario

  • Reply Adriana October 31, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Oh my God.. I can totally relate to this post!
    I absolutely hate car maintenance and once you add up insurance, registration + parking, you totally regret it after a while. Life is so much easier in so many ways being car free.

    Unfortunately, we have 2 cars. Now, it’s pretty challenging to live in a city with awful public transportation and long long winters without a car. Even grocery shopping is a problem without it and you are confined to the expensive stores around your area. It can take me a full hour to go home from work by transit and by car it’s 20 minutes. How ridiculous? Time is definitely money!
    The idea of getting rid of our old car has been seducing me for a couple of months now until I remember how cold I get waiting in the bus stop . So far I’ll live in the limbo of Love and hate.

  • Reply Sam Michael June 9, 2017 at 3:40 am

    A well-maintained car has a higher selling value which will help you acquire a better return on your investment if you decide to sell it.

    For Genuine Volvo Parts Visit: https://www.myswedishparts.com

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