I got my car detailed yesterday. This wasn’t just a run through the auto-wash with a couple guys swabbing it off with shammies. This was a full court press, inside and out, upholstery and carpet steam-cleaned, the dash wiped down with some miracle restorer, the trunk vacuumed out and even the carpet in there cleaned.
It cost me a pretty penny. But other than those nicks and dents and that tree sap on the trunk lid, my 1997 Camry looks pretty darn new. And since I just put in a breath-stealing amount of money in miscellaneous maintenance, I’m tickled to have a newish-looking car to drive around now.
You might wonder what insanity possessed me to put bucks-bucks-bucks into a 15-year-old car with nearly 270K miles on it. I’m a pretty thrifty person and throwing all that money into such a geriatric vehicle might not make much sense.
Hubby and I thought long and hard about the choice to preserve and protect my old Camry or to buy a new (well, newer used) car. The repairs that needed to be made to the Camry were maintenance issues (timing belt and struts that were overdue by 10K miles), but expensive. My mechanic felt pretty confident that once those were taken care of, I’d be good for a few more years, with nothing but oil changes and new tires.
If we bought a new (used) car, we’d either be taking a big chunk out of savings (ugh) or we’d have to borrow (triple-ugh). I really-really-really dislike debt. I do not want to be owing the bank or the car company monthly payments. And on top of those payments, there’s the increased insurance and increased registration fee. That would be hundreds more dollars a year on top of a monthly car payment. I could buy a lot of repairs for that money.
So I gave my old Camry a spa day instead. I still have to treat her to some new tires and an alignment, then I might even splurge on a new windshield. And if I’m feeling really flush, maybe I’ll indulge her in a brand-spanking-new steering wheel cover. Yes, I’m a wild thing.