Car Trouble

I’m open for advice. 

Female Offspring Unit #2, a.k.a. G-girl, turned 16 back in August—upping my inventory of licensed-drivers-in-household to four. Regrettably, I only have three vehicles. The mathematics of this situation is pretty harsh.

It means we’re all playing an ongoing game of musical chairs cars. (When the music stops, everyone grabs a vehicle but one person is always left without keys.) And it’s about to get worse.

You see, the lease is up on my vehicle this week (I use the word “my” with several layers of irony) and I’m done with leasing. In fact, we are working on eliminating all debt except the real estate variety and I’d like to pay cash for my cars from here on out. (Darn you Dave Ramsey!) That means we’re about to have only two cars. And that means that game of musical chairs could turn ugly.

Female Offspring Unit #1 is at college and can get by without a car for a few more months. That means I need to scrape together some cash to buy a car now. And then scrape some more together to buy another in a few months. One for me. One for G-girl.

Now don’t laugh, but I’m looking to spend about $5k for G’s car and then perhaps go mid-life-crisis-wild and drop $7k on mine. Heck, I might splurge and drop $7,500 on something if I’m feeling frisky.

For FOU #2 I’m looking for reliable, safe transportation that won’t do too much damage to her image. Gas mileage? Don’t care. She won’t put enough miles on the thing for it to matter. Carbon footprint? Let’s make Godzilla jealous.

For me, well I’d like to have one of these but I don’t think my four-figure budget is going to shake one of those loose. So, I’m looking at ’99 Volvo S70s like this one and older Mazda Millenia. These cars are modest enough to avoid the dreaded ostentatiousness but nice enough to prevent a rush of shame every time I need to have it valet parked. In other words, the perfect car for a blogger whose rambling posts on aircraft attract 38-second views from people all over the world. That’s what I’m thinking anyway.

But I’m open for suggestions.

Oh, by the way, FOU #3 turns 16 in 21 months.