[If you've ever been curious to see what financial bloggers drive, today's your lucky day :) Big thanks to MP from MustachianPost.com for putting this together!]
Since I was young, I've been passionate about cars. It must have something to do with my grandpa who founded a car dealership which was later taken over by my dad. I spent my childhood surrounded by cars of all sorts: V6s, 1.0Ls, pick-ups, luxury berlines, you name it. When I got into the FIRE lifestyle four years ago, I knew I had to make a choice: passion or reason? V6 or Toyota Prius 1.5L hybrid? Two hundred bucks per month in exchange for 10 minutes of fun, or for more savings? Reason won out in 2013. I'm reminded how glad I am we went this path when we update our budget every month. I would never go back. It is a process to go frugal. But the sooner you do it, the wealthier you will become. I was interested in seeing what other personal finance bloggers drove, so I asked a handful of them and their responses are posted below. There are many frugal ones in there, but also some that may surprise you! ** We are a frugal family and we have 2 cars. What is wrong? Is the second car really a need? Or is it a want to show off to the neighbors? Given that we drive a Skoda and a very modest second hand Ford Fiesta, it is not to show off. For a long time, we got along fine with just one car. Now that our kids grow older, their activities increase, we decided that a second car would make our life so much easier. Some examples of when we need it:
- One of my hobbies is to take photography road trips with friends. We often meet far away from where I live, at hours that public transport is not an alternative. I then take the car. When the kids have their weekend activities, or my wife wants to go to see family of friends, the second car makes it easy for us. Public transport can not help us here, unless you want to travel for 70 minutes for a 20km distance. Not us.
- In the morning, I bike to school with the kids and then to the train station. When one of the kids gets sick, I need to bring the sick one to my mother. With the bike, that would be a 1.5 hours ride. Not ideal.
, or do whatever else, other than losing time driving in traffic jams...]_
First, let me thank all the bloggers who took time to share their wisdom on the frugal car topic. I would like to highlight the three main lessons I learned from these exchanges. Lesson #1: All these people made their choice consciously, and aligned with their values. In the end, I don't think there is one good or wrong answer. There are only people with different lifestyles and in different stages of their life (babies, dogs, etc.), who managed to adapt their car choice accordingly. Lesson #2: In those answers, I was glad to read what my dad repeated me countless times during my childhood: "Never ever buy a car new, always one that is used." He would continue: "As you sign the check, it will depreciate. 50% during the first year. Then 20% each following years." He exaggerated but at least it stuck with me. Thanks dad for teaching me this lesson early in life. You were right! Lesson #3: Out of all the answers, 75% of the cars are from Japanese manufacturers. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, or Subaru: they all craft reliable and efficient vehicles. You now know what to look for! What type of car do you drive? ****** About the author: MP is a thirty-something who blogs about his journey towards Financial Independence by 40 in Switzerland. What drives him is to inspire people to enjoy their life while building an immense wealth. You can find him at MustachianPost.com.