Friday, July 28, 2006

Advice to the 30 year old car buyer

And now for something completely different. Advice on buying cars.

Three years ago, I was single, dating, and car shopping. I had always driven manual transmission two door coupes; and could easily have bought another. But I was dating with intent to marry, and had to envision what my needs might be over the course of the 5-10 years I might own my new car.

A friend of mine had started her married life with a two door, with the daily grind of dealing with a back seat baby seat. Given my plans at the time, I planned for the future and bought a four door sedan (a Honda Civic LX). Someone asked my future wife what kind of car I had bought, and on hearing the choice had said, "He must be serious then."

What I did not take into consideration, but should have, is that fewer and fewer people are adept at driving a stick shift, and my wife to be was one of them. In fact, she can't drive at all, but would like to. You might prefer a manual transmission, but your future spouse most likely will not. So my advice for anyone dating with intent to marry and shopping for a new car: buy something with at least 4 doors and an automatic transmission. You're going to have to live with your purchase for a long while.