BUYING A NEWER CAR – Marilyn Armstrong

Photography: Garry Armstrong


This is a yarn. A nice story about being able to move from an older to a newer car. It has kept us really busy for the past couple of days, too. Meanwhile, on Friday, Garry’s going to get his new gear.

Life is definitely getting in the way of art!

Side by side, old and newer.

Someone quotable (a friend’s father maybe?) said that the best second-hand car to buy would be two or three years old with about 20,000 miles on it. And by golly, that is exactly what we got.

Parlay in the lot.

To be fair, the car we were trading in wasn’t a piece of junk. Visually, it was in exactly the same shape it was when we bought it three years ago — from the same dealer. We’d only added another 12,000 miles during our three years of ownership making it a six-year-old car with fewer than 60,000 miles on it. Someone’s going to get a bargain.

During the long waits while the car was getting spiffier for us, we spend a lot of diner time.

Parts were beginning to wear out. They weren’t wearing out from hard use. Winter is rough on cars in New England. You can count a cars year as 1-1/2 for each calendar. One winter … and the rest. The Jeep was six-years-old and we still owed money on it. If I was going to owe money, I thought something a bit newer might not be a bad idea.

We needed two things from anything we buy. It has to be reliable and it needs 4-wheel drive. I was beginning to feel we needed a newer car, but it had to be priced at the same cost we were already paying. There’s no “spare money” lying around.

The new one, also a Jeep, is a Renegade in a color Jeep calls “Orange Crush.” The Renegade is a bit smaller than the Patriot, higher on its wheels. It’s also a bit “truckier” and it is from 2015. It has a mere 28,000 miles on it.

It will be big enough for we two, but not good for luggage if there are more than two people in the car.

So, with the shuffling of papers, we got a newer car. This little honey was right on target for us — price and type and even the color. It has almost white upholstery so we’ll need seat covers.

Also, there’s no CD player though there is a connection for a USB machine. I’ll have to see if it works. It even has one of the fancy rear-view cameras to help keep us from banging into things.

We have the newer car. And we got it done before winter, too.

FOWC with Fandango – Being (without Nothingness)

RDP #82 – YARN 

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

50 thoughts on “BUYING A NEWER CAR – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I’m going to get the same car next spring. Hopefully. 🙂 I need a 4WD so I can go places I can’t go with my current car — which I like well enough and would keep forever if it weren’t for that. I’ve done a bit of research and this model looks perfect for me. Still small, but with higher clearance and 4WD and still decent mileage, not that it matters since I don’t drive much. Thank God. I drove enough for the past 15 years for 10 people. I hope you like it!

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    1. I was told this is the car for people who want a Wrangler, but can’t afford one. It handles like a Wrangler but gets much better mileage. I would have kept the Patriot, but it was making expensive noises. Anyway, this one is much more a truck than a car — which I like. I think this went cheaper than usual because it was orange. Orange is not everybody’s favorite car color. It IS Garry’s favorite car color, however.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. We owed more than $10,000 on ours and with a payoff and some price doodling (they REALLY love selling second-hand cars — they make a lot more on them then on new ones), we finally had to pay $600 and they gave us the rest on the trade. So we came out paying $322/month as opposed to $310.

                  We were prepared to keep the Patriot if this didn’t work out. Even needing repairs, it was a good little car with just 57,000 miles on it … so it wasn’t a dog we were trying to dump. But I figured a newer model would be a good choice and they were offering particularly high trade-in prices, so it was worth a shot. It wasn’t death and damnation if it didn’t work, but I’m glad it did. I quite like the new one. It feels like a new car.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratlations, new cars are always exciting although I was never a big fan. Something else to get used to. We are happy with ours. Someone scraped a door last week, nothing serious, and naturally the garage were already trying to sell us a new one, but no deal. Ours does well, for what we use it and no problems. Perhaps one day, we might trade it in, but at the moment have no need to. Your new one looks quite attractive and I love seeing the photos of buying a car in the States.

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  3. I’d heard the same thing about it being best to buy a car no more than two or three years old so as you say as long as you have to owe money may as wel have a better one than you have. It was nice to see photos of the diner again. I remember you showing it to us once before.

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  4. I never turn my car radio on anymore. I don’t like the distraction and road noise makes the sound bad.
    I like very few songs that come out since the eighties. Music U like us hard to find do I leave it off. They don’t play my music much anymore.

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        1. Except ALL my music is on CDs, not on a USB stick. I have tons of USB sticks, but there’s no music on them. I would have to transfer all the stuff from the CD — like all 50 of them — onto a stick. The idea is overwhelming. I may not have a choice, but oy vay, what a lot of work. And HOURS,

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          1. It is time consuming. Naomi also has a lot of CD’s and vinyl but these days prefers to download what she wants from iTunes. However as she had already put a lot of her music on her home computer the job was half done. She likes to have music going all the time wherever she is so for her it is something she is willing to spend the time on. Not sure if these things take SD cards as well but the tiresome part is transferring the music in the first place.

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  5. I go Thursday (providing the goomboo stays lost, it’s made some noises today about coming back. Ain’t happening.) to get Sirius installed in Baby. I really enjoyed having commercial free music and no static from using this service in the rental I used, so I’m going to buy it (or lease it at least..I don’t think you can ‘own’ the thing..like everything else you pay a monthly charge). ‘Round here there are canyons with dead spots, I don’t know and am not interested in finding out how to use an I-pod or that stuff and well it’s a cheap ‘gift’ for me. Congrats on your beautiful new car….may it run many miles and never a problem encounter! 🙂

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    1. It’s a tough little car. Everyone says so, even my kid — but he’s a big Jeep fan anyhow. This one is more like a Wrangler and less like a family station wagon. I think it will do even better than the Patriot, which was lower to the ground and a “softer” drive. It’s just smaller enough though that we are going to have to find other places to store some stuff that has lived in the car.

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  6. I’m happy for you. Made me think of the one time we bought a new car and the dealer sold it as ‘Sierra Desert’ and for all the umpteen years we owned it to me it was always ‘shit coloured’….. 😉
    It got finally sold to a farmer who needed to transport feed for his animals and to get into rough terrain. So, it seems it was a good car! Even though the colour was not…. 😉

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  7. That USB is an awesome option. I have one on my car radio and it allows me to load a USB stick with hundreds of my favorite songs (MP3s). I can chug listening to my tunes! Just saying …

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        1. It just sounds like a lot of work to me, but I think I may have to do it because short of fully installing a CD player, I don’t see an alternate solution. It’s just a pain because we have all of this stuff on CDs. And I don’t have enough time as it is … Oh well.

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          1. For me it’s fun. I’ve had a ton of music over the years, but lost it in travels. Records are heavy. So I put everything on cassettes. Those became obsolete. Now I’m doing MP3s. I wonder what’s next?

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    1. Nah. When you have the Pats, you need to hang with them. Even with Brady getting old — and no matter how good he looks, he isn’t any kind of kid anymore — but the Pats were our team before they began to win, just like the Sox were our team when they were 89-year losers.

      But Garry LOVES bright-colored cars. He had a bright orange Dodge Challenger ragtop for more than 20 years and a yellow care (recently) for another 10. He doesn’t WEAR bright clothing much, except for ties — when he wore ties. Talk about the OLD days!

      I like bright colors too … but not inside so much. I like bright flowers and cars and garden toys, but I don’t want to wear them. Maybe I’ll dye the dogs hot pink?

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  8. I don’t like trading cars because I find the entire process stressful. We traded our second car for a small truck this year – that went pretty smooth. But, now we want to trade our car for one that has just a little more cargo capacity. That’s tricky because we have a smallish garage and the width becomes an issue. So, with all the makes and models on an Excel spreadsheet to the actual visits – stressful. And, I haven’t even mentioned $$. It probably doesn’t help that at our age we remember what we paid for our first house, and it was less. 🙂

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