06-26-2003, 08:48 PM
She's baaaack! :-)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Is it time to sell my car? (very long)
I just took a business trip to Jacksonville and they :gasp: gave me a yellow mustang for a rental. This thing was hideous, ugly, gigantic spoiler, just nasty. 2 guys tried to race me, and one guy in a Buick actually winked at me at a stoplight.
This usually sends me running home to the airport parking deck so I can get in my little car and drive happily once again. However, I didn't have that feeling this time. I got in my car and thought "blech."
NO POWER. My car has absolutely no power. I don't get it - it has the same horsepower as my 328i had, but I just can't get anywhere with any zip. I realize this is directly related to the driver and the driver's habits - if all you do is go to the store and back once a week, the car gets lazy. I bought my car for fun, but the fun is not there if I can't move faster than a slug SUV.
I hate to be turning on my car but it might be time to move on. I've been thinking about this for a long time and I've even shopped the lots a bit to get a feel for what's out there.
To add insult to injury, the car's resale is horrible. I know Z3's aren't loved by all, but I didn't expect to take such a hit with a low mileage car (11,000 miles) that has always been garaged, never even driven to work, just mint condition.
I fear I might sell the car and be one of those people who come back whining, wishing they had never sold their car. I bought the car because I was tired of a sedan, I wanted a convertible and could not justify the cost of the 3 series.
I've been making my friends nuts with these conversations. So, I ask, what would you do? Here's a cut from my pros/cons list:
Pros: I never drive so I might as well have a fun little sports car for the occasion I do. I have a car that is no longer made and that holds some appeal. When I do take road trips, it's usually to the beach, where a convertible is great fun. It is in perfect condition and I've worked all the bugs out. I own it - no lease, no loan, it's mine - why have a car payment if I never drive? I worked my butt off to pay off this car - why would I turn around and sell it?
Cons: I have almost been killed in this car several times this year - people simply do not see me or they just don't care. I do not feel safe in this car. Road trips - I'd like to drive more, fly less - having a bigger car would allow that. I could haul more stuff - grocery and Home Depot trips are a logistical nightmare. Female safety - I don't have an alternate car to take anywhere and often I feel very uncomfy driving a convertible. Cost of new car - why would I want a car payment for a garage queen? Power - this car has no zip.
I am all over the map here - I don't want to hold onto the car if it's going to depreciate so much that I can't get anything for it. I like owning but maybe I should consider leasing. I have a burning desire for an M3 and I've priced them (several times) but what would I do with that? I'd have power, but the only time I track a car is when I do parade laps at VIR during our club outings.
Our next driving school is 4th of July weekend. I always work as a volunteer, and everytime I go to one of these events I get the urge to trade - bad. Anyone who has been to a Performance Driving school knows that feeling - the need for speed.
While I realize this is a very personal decision, I would like to ask "what would you do?" I'm so happy that Chris330Ci is at our dealership now and that will take the car salesman stress off of me. I am worried about buying up and regretting it. I've shopped for beaters and nothing has felt right. With me, a car is like a house, I know instantly if it's meant to be.
All that said, I hate the very idea of having a car payment, but if you don't feel good or safe in your car then perhaps it's time for a change. I've even considered pocketing the cash and just leasing a smaller 3 series - somewhat of a compromise.
Bottom line, with today's prices and rates, you can adjust your budget to afford anything you really want to afford. I just don't want to make a rash decision (I don't think I am - I've been tossing this around for almost a year).
Is the car losing so much value that holding onto it is unwise? Is leasing the way to go - is this just the norm now? Would you ever consider an M3 (SMG) when you don't get to drive? Should I hunt for a used car (I am very, very picky). Should I continue to enjoy convertible season and resume this discussion in the fall? Or is now prime time for selling since it's officially summer?
I am growing weary of talking/thinking about this. I know it's personal, I know it's my choice. I know how I feel when I drive the car and I've given it enough time to work through the emotional stuff so that it's not a knee-jerk, rash decision based on the fact that I slid in the snow or a soccer mom plowed me down.
So I ask, how do you come to a decision about trading your car? What should the primary drivers (pardon the pun) be in making a decision? Is it use, cost, depreciation, fun factor, practicality, safety, ego, boredom...?