With a mix of emotions both rich and deep, I spent the waning hours of 2013 acquiring a new automobile. It's been ten years since I have bought a car, and I still think that 179,794 miles is only a fraction of what my Civic Hybrid is capable of driving, bought the deed is done, and now I can savor the many feelings it has evoked.
- A few days in, the overwhelming winner is joy. My new bug is just three years old, handles like a dream, and makes me feel safer and more confident on the road.
- Sadness that I am parting company with a machine that has been with me for longer than any other comes a close second.
- Then there's relief that I got out of the negotiation and credit process intact. It's still possible to buy a car without credit, but it's becoming less and less common.
- Let's not forget the angst over getting a vehicle that gets slightly worse gas mileage.
- Countering that is the happiness that comes from giving my old car to a loved one, improving his life and keeping it out of the landfill.
- And of course, there's apprehension over this $12,000 of debt I have brought into my life.