Commuting for a Living

I bought a new car today–an extravagant practice my prudent self tries to avoid for at least 10 years. It’s fun, but let’s face it: it’s a horrible investment and most dealers are not very kind at all, and going through this process is especially challenging for a guile-free idealist like myself.

My old car was less than 6 years old and had just over 70K miles on it. It ran great, and made a fantastic family car. So why did I rush to the dealer to get rid of my vehicle? For the very same reason the masses of commuters are doing the same thing. It’s all about the price of gas.

See, my old vehicle was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. A year ago, I could have sold it for over $10,000. Today, I was thankful I could trade it in for half that. Nobody is buying SUV’s anymore, unless they are wealthy enough to care less about it. The opposite trend is also apparent. Looking for a hybrid car? Expect to pay the same amount you would for a mid-level luxury vehicle if you are even able to find one at a dealership.

But here’s the sad truth, though my new car is not a hybrid, it still gets nearly twice the mileage of my Jeep, and where gas prices are now, most of my car payments will be contained by the amount I have saved in gas. If gas prices go up yet more (and everyone says they will), then I might have my entire payment covered by what I save, so I wasted no time to make this proactive move.

Aside from making the desperate move I made today, commuters are dealing with gas prices in a variety of ways. Take a look at Alexandra Levit’s Blog for some additional ways that my fellow commuters are getting by.

By the way, I have made progress dealing with car dealers, thanks to Edmunds.com. I was able to get my car at the price I wanted, and was hardly hassled in the process.

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