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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 |

Your Car: Fancy vs. Reliable

I really like nice cars. I grew up with a dad who loves cars, and spent time as a child flipping through the glossy pages of his photography books featuring shiny red sports cars. In my dream world, I’d have a shark gray hard-top Aston Martin. In my slightly more realistic dream world, I’d at least have a BMW 5-series.

In my current reality, however, I’m opposed to nice car ownership. I have simply resigned myself to admiring such beauties from a far, and here’s why:

  • I live in downtown Chicago. It is impossible to own a car in this city and not have a dented bumper or a scratched up side panel. Even if you park your car in a garage at home, as I do, that can also be rife with disaster. My neighbor has a fancy sports car, and our spots are right next to each other in the garage. Imagine my anxiety when trying to back into my spot from our narrow alley when his car is there, He’s lucky I’m careful and he’s lucky he hasn’t lost a mirror already. City living means inevitable aesthetic damage to your vehicle.
  • Anxiety. At some point, you have to park your car on the street, and when you do, you are a potential target for careless drivers and car thieves. Let me ask you what you think is more appealing to a robber: a 2001 Honda Civic with bumper dings or a brand new 2012 Mercedes S-Class? If I was the owner of the latter, I would be thinking about it all the time. Worrying.
  • Car insurance savings. One of the things insurance companies consider is where you live. Another thing they consider is what type of car you drive. The fact is, certain cars are more “risky” to insure. If you want cheap car insurance, a reliable car is a better bet than a swanky one.

I won’t even bring up the fact that my car got caught outside in a hail storm over the summer that resulted in an insurance claim for almost $9,000. (Yikes!) The fact is, unless you’re driving from one private garage to another in a bubble, you’re almost certain to incur some kind of damage or wear on your car at some point. Whether it’s worth it to ride in fancy wheels and pay that price is up to you.

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