I want a new car

The use of “want” is deliberate. I really don’t NEED a new car, although I’m walking that very fine line. The story:

Recently I stopped by my auto shop because my car is dripping at least two kinds of fluids. That’s never a good situation—to be dripping fluids OR to frequent the shop to the point that your mechanics know you by name. They asked me if I’d had my timing belt replaced yet. I told them sure, only because I remember choking on my sandwich when the last mechanic gave me the estimate for that little rubber part. After going through all my repair records, I’m not really sure anymore. Maybe I had the drive belt replaced and declined the timing belt on account of the cost. What I AM sure about is that I’ve spent WAY too much on car repairs in the last eight years.

I love my VW Passat. Have since the day I laid eyes on it. I love driving it. But I also hate my Passat. It’s been nothing but trouble since I drove it off the lot. And most of it is not unique to me—ask any 2000s Passat owner about their repair history and prepare for an earful.

So why don’t I buy a new car, already? First off, for as much money as I’m shelling out for upkeep, it’s still cheaper than a new monthly car loan payment. My temperamental baby is mine, free and clear. It’s also in really good shape aesthetically, all things considered.

My wife and I have talked about getting a new set of wheels when we have a kid and could use the extra lugging space. (Hello, SUV!) But really, a new car isn’t required—it’s back to wants vs. needs. Or we’d get a new car when B) I start averaging hundreds of bucks a month to have the Passat fixed or C) something major like the transmission needs to be replaced. Is it wrong to hope for something to go wrong?

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