Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The New Car

About a week and a half ago, Sam and I were roaming about town, checking out some flea market/mercantile shops, and just generally enjoying ourselves. We got onto a topic that had been coming up with more frequency recently: my car. My CRV, though not very old chronologically, had acquired a lot of miles. Between the job I held prior to going back to school in which I easily covered 600-800 miles each week (sometimes more), and my current 70 mile run to classes each day I attend on campus, I had very quickly racked up high mileage on the car. The plan was to hang on to it until I am through with school because we saw no real point in getting a newer car with lower mileage until I am once again working and bringing in an income.
The CRV carrying the now-sold Raleigh Super Course MK2
While Sam and I were talking about the mileage accruing on the CRV, we decided that I should really start looking at other cars to see what I like and what I want. We had talked in the past about another Honda, as I like the reliability, and I thought perhaps an Element or even a Fit. The Element had the benefit of lots of room for trips and for dogs and such, but the Fit would get great gas mileage and be more economical. We decided to go and test drive the two so I'd have a better idea of what I would like in the future. Long story short, with absolutely zero intention of purchasing a vehicle, we ended up buying the Honda Fit.
The Fit at one of the dog parks we frequent
There were several reasons for the purchase. First, I have no choice but to drive to school, unless I want to spend 6+ hours a day on a bicycle, and even then there's the issue of transporting very large canvas or Masonite supports, paints, brushes, etc with me on a bike. While the CRV likely would've seen me through the rest of my schooling time, it was due for some fairly major repairs that would be costly (reason number two), even with a mechanic for a father-in-law and a husband who's pretty mechanically inclined. Then, the car payment we were making on the CRV was quite costly. When we purchased the CRV used, it already had quite a few miles on it and we had another car wrapped up in the costs of that vehicle. Needless to say, the payment was not cheap. Honda was offering 0.9% financing with zero down, and our payment would be reduced significantly.
Hard to see, but the dogs are hanging out in the back of the Fit
(Yeah, I've already branded it with my bicycle sticker)
Honestly, I never thought the deal would even go down, but things just kind of worked out, and we figured it was for the best. The car is actually quite reasonable (cost wise, fuel wise, and size wise), and if I'm going to have a car, I'd rather it be something that is functional and economical. My biggest issue is that I was worried about transporting the dogs. I take them to a dog park almost daily so they can run and play and because none of the parks are within walking distance, I need to be able to transport them.
Gandolf, Levi and Chablis after running at the park
As you can see, they all fit just fine in the back of this little car. It helps that the back seats fold completely flat like a truck bed. The down side of the whole thing is that the interior of all the Fit's are black, and as you can see, our dogs are all different colors (and the lighter ones shed the most). The car is completely covered with hair, but I suppose it's no different than it was before, except that I can see all of the hair now.
Back of the Fit with seats folded down
We put some plastic rolls in the back of the car to help keep some of the hair down, and to keep mud off the fabric of the seats, so I think that has been beneficial, at least somewhat. It also helps with transporting paintings. There is a limit to the size I can get in the back of the car, but I doubt I would be painting anything that large, unless it was on-site at a specific location.

As I mentioned the other day during one of my rants about bad drivers, it already has scratches to the paint, due to a large, speeding semi truck that was hurling chunks of metal at me while driving on the interstate. There is some damage to the hood plastic (which is the purpose of this covering) and a few dings to the paint on the front bumper.
Paint damage to front bumper
While I know that damage is inevitable on any moving object, I was so bummed that it happened just a few days after getting the car. Regardless of the small amount of damage, I think this was a reasonable decision and one that will help out financially by both reducing the car payment and reducing the amount of money spent on gas. After already putting nearly 1,000 miles on the car, I have to say, it's been a joy to drive... and though I know I won't be giving up my bicycles any time soon, it's nice to know that a reliable and economical vehicle is there for the long trips.


  1. Overall, very nice car, it's a win-win situation, with a smaller carbon footprint. It does the job, and looks good doing it, unlike Sarah Palin, who does neither.


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