Monday, September 13, 2004

Cars, Cars, Cars!!!

Today is Cars! day here on Skor's blog. Why is it Cars! day, you ask? It is Cars! day because there seems to be a big glut of news out there today about cars. The paranoid, conspiracy-theory-minded Skor would think that this the doing of the car dealers, trying to subliminally convince people that they should go buy a new car. They have to clear out their lots after all, to "make room for the new 2005's." Well, whatever the case, let's get on to the news.

For some reason, one of today's biggest news stories is the Oprah show. Yes, she gave the everyone in the audience of her show a new car today. Isn't that special. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Just like every other episode of Oprah's show. Well, I missed out on Oprah's free cars, so if I'm going to be a Good Patriotic American Citizen™ I'll have to find something else.

Ah hah! Navistar has just the product for me! The CXT, my own personal Commercial eXtreme Truck (pictured above). Towering above traffic at 9 feet in the air, I'll sit in traffic in style, baby. Actually on second thought, maybe the CXT is a little too eXtreme for me. Especially when you consider the latest news that repair costs rise as bumpers do. I thought for sure that with SUVs, bigger=badder=safer. I guess I'll have to reassess that. So, no SUV.

But, I have to get some kind of new car, right? I mean, my car has over 200,000 miles on it, so it must not be serving my needs any more. What if it breaks? I can't fix it, I'll just have to buy a new one. It's the American Way™, after all. And look how motivated the dealers are to help me fulfill my patriotic duty, those nice guys are rolling out even more incentives for me to buy! What a swell bunch, those car dealers. Always looking for ways to save me a buck.

So, what to buy, what to buy... Buy, buy, buy... Hmm... Maybe, just maybe I don't actually need a brand-new car. Maybe I can even keep using the one I've got. Until it breaks down, anyway. When it does break down, maybe I'll just buy another used car. New cars do after all lose on average 65% of their value in just five years. Meaning that if I buy a brand new car for $10,000, it will be worth just $3,500 in five years. Ouch. What kind of investment is that?

Obviously it's not an investment, but rather more of a fee. It would cost me $6,500 for five years of driving. That's about $1,300 per year, or $26 per week. Obviously twice that ($52 a week) if I fork out for a $20,000 car. But, if I buy a five-year-old car for $3,500 and it depreciates at the same rate (it will actually depreciate slower), it will be worth just $1,225 in five years, meaning it will have cost me just $2,275 for five years of driving, which boils down to just $455 per year, or a mere $9.10 per week! Sure, there are added repair costs, but I challenge you to prove that they add up to $70 a month. No way. Looks like likes-not-to-waste-his-money Skor is going to buy a used car when his current ride kicks the bucket.

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