For nearly 15 years, I drove the same vehicle, a Toyota pickup truck. I purchased it new in 2000 and it was still going strong thanks to a very sturdy make and the fact that I drove it less than 10,000 miles per year. With only just over 170,000 miles on it, I assumed I'd drive it at least another five or six years. Then, it happened. On a rainy Monday morning, an inattentive young woman ran a red light causing me to smash into her car just behind the driver's side door. Both her car and my truck were totaled. The frame of my beloved Toyota was bent at a 90-degree angle.
|Photo by Jeff Balke|
|Out with the old...my totaled Toyota and my new Subaru.|
The driver also did not have insurance and, given the age of my car, I didn't have collision. Fortunately, I did have uninsured motorist coverage, which helped cover the cost of a down payment for a new vehicle. The problem is that I hadn't even considered buying a new car in a decade-and-a-half. Since my 16th birthday when my parents, as strapped for cash as they were, bought me my first ride, I drove trucks. It was a no brainer when I needed a new one.
But now, significantly older and facing the needs of a new family, I realized a truck wasn't going to cut it and not being much of a car guy, I had no idea what to get or how. I had helped my wife buy a new car just under two years ago, however. The process was relatively easy, but it still took time, even if you didn't count the test drive. How could I possibly cut down on all that nonsense, I wondered.More »