4 Reasons I Will Drive My 13-Year-Old Car Until the Wheels Fall Off

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Smiling woman sitting in the driver's seat of a car.

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It’s not as pretty anymore, but it does the job.

Key Point

  • Having a car for a long time means you love it and love to save money.
  • New car payments are very high, averaging $733 in July 2022.
  • If you don’t care how your car looks and if it runs fine, you can get more out of your car.

It’s funny how humans come to view inanimate objects with genuine affection. This is the same for private cars. I have been driving the same car with him since June 2009 and it is safe to say we have been through a lot together. This is the car I’ve driven from coast to coast (from Maine to California and many points in between) for various road trip vacations and trips. In Canada he also explored four provinces.

It was my first new car (I had two used cars before) and I bought it after my previous car was wrecked. At the time, I was less than a year out of graduate school and needed reliable transportation.

Neither of us are young anymore. Now that I work from home, I leave my car outside my apartment most of the time, ready to go to the grocery store or other errands. We are still doing road trips and hope to explore another province of Canada in 2023. It doesn’t look that pretty anymore, but it still works great and it’s time for regular maintenance. Here’s why I keep my old car moving, even though I could probably afford a new one after the move I made in 2022.

1. I like not having to pay for my car

Increased monthly car payments ExpensiveThey hit an average of $733 on new cars in July 2022. When I paid off the car in 2014, I was overjoyed. His 60-month term on my auto loan included his 14 months out of work, with a week’s worth of benefits going to pay for the car. Despite being unemployed, I managed to keep paying for the car. I’m proud of it and glad I don’t have car payments now. Many of the financial hardships I’ve encountered since then have been made worse by paying those extra bills. would have been

2. Low running costs and insurance premiums

In even more money-saving news, owning an older car may lower your car insurance premiums. I don’t drive much these days, but I appreciate the fact that my old car is also cheap to run. It’s a sedan and it sucks gas while driving on the highway. This is perfect for my bank account.

3. It’s ok to dent

Old cars often tell stories. My story is of an ex-spouse who lost his hubcaps by denting the rim of his wheel, so I removed his remaining three. It’s also the story of another ex-spouse who forced the gas tank cover open when it was frozen shut, completely breaking the hinge.

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There are scratches and small dings from road debris, fire hydrants (don’t ask), and rocks thrown up by lawn mowers. But it’s not the looks that matter, it’s the health of the machine. If I were that kind of person, I would probably consider buying a new car. Thankfully I don’t have my bank account.

4. Fewer fragile modern features

Finally, my 2009 car has fewer accessories to break or break, saving money on those repairs (the car has a 10+ year warranty). No Bluetooth, no in-car GPS. You also need to insert the car key into the ignition and turn it to operate the car. No fancy e-fob left in your wallet while driving.

Some were broken in nasty ways. 2 out of 4 of the window motors have stopped working (this makes crossing the Canadian border more enjoyable because the Border Patrol asks you to roll the back window down and explains you can’t ). The trunk hinge is broken which is also an inconvenient issue and I generally avoid using the trunk outside of road trip vacations. – they’re just quirks for me at the moment.

I never intended to keep driving this car this long, but I have always recognized and appreciated one of the smartest financial decisions I’ve ever made to keep and profit from my old car.

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