Got the itch

The car buying itch, that is. My dad had it real bad. Every few years, he'd come home with something new. I don't think he ever kept a car more than 5 years. Me, I get the itch much more infrequently. Since graduating college, I've owned 2 cars. Yes people, in the last 20 years, I've bought TWO vehicles. In 1988 I purchased a Chevy Baretta. Very nice blue coupe. V6, power everything. Such a fun car. I kept it for 13 years. I finally traded it in back in 2000 cause it was on it's last legs and I had 2 kids and really needed a 4 door. So I bought an Olds Intrigue. Which I'm still driving.

I'm a bit torn. It hasn't even been 8 years. I have 100000 miles on the car but it's still got life. However, I can tell it's feeling it's age. Still, a little bit of work can probably bring it up to snuff. Probably needs a little brake work, needs an air pump in the front. I have a Check Engine light on that I'm not sure what the problem is. But I bought this particular car because it was the best deal I could get at the time. It wasn't what I really wanted. It's worked out nice, but still.

So I've been test driving a lot of cars. I've looked at the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 3 hatchback, and Toyota Camry. All very nice cars. Today I drove a Subaru Imprezza 5 door. Of all the cars I've driven, I like the Subaru and Mazda the best. The others were nice but screamed "Boring Old Guy" car. I need something sporty. The Mazda was really nice, but a litle small. The Subaru was very fun to drive and about the same price as the Mazda, only much bigger.

My biggest problem is that I'm choking on the price. Any decent car (new or used for that matter) that's been worth looking at is around $20000. That may be "reasonable" for a new car these days but that's a lot of money. Call me cheap, but dammit when did cars get so expensive? And margins are so slim on cars these days who knows how much they'll deal? Mind you, I haven't had any serious discussions with a dealer to talk about price or anything. So far, I'm leaning towards the Subaru. Any thoughts from the peanut gallery on car models? The Wife and I want to get a car that's quality and will last, but also has good safety ratings.

Did I mention that I love shopping for cars but hate paying for them? Anyone know a way to get one without paying and not ending up in jail?


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