I bought a black 2008 Altima almost two years ago. I love this car. I quickly became addicted to the ease of the pushbutton start and door entry, it’s a joy to drive in the city or on the highway, I’ve had no major mechanical problems that weren’t covered by the Nissan warranty I purchased with the car, and I think it’s quite beautiful to look at. I love road trips and the poor thing already has 67,000 miles on it. I have $12,900 left to pay the bank.
Despite my love for this car, I have always felt ill at ease with my decision to purchase it. Feeling like I have more than I really need makes me uneasy, and this car is more than a ‘get you from point A to point B’ vehicle. I don’t have a problem with the monthly payments on a month by month basis, but I’ll be using all of the money I could potentially be saving for the next 3 and a half years to pay this sucker off. That’s what gets me - I have a car that is more than I really need, and it’s going to prevent me from saving money for something that is much more important to me - saving enough money to move from my city apartment to a place where I can have some chickens and goats, a garden much bigger than my community plot, a barn to piddle around in. I want to start saving for that ASAP. And let me tell you, attaching a canoe to the top of this thing just makes me feel silly. I need a car that I don’t mind getting muddy in a field, scratched up by a canoe, dirty bootprints all over.
FINALLY, here’s my question for all of you kind and generous folks who have made it this far - should I sell my Altima for what I owe the bank and buy a 8-10 year old car with probably over 100,000 miles for $5-6000 instead? If I manage to sell it within the next few months, I could potentially have $7-8,000 toward the farm that would have otherwise gone to car payments (I have a bit of money saved in the bank I’d be willing to use toward the car purchase, so my new loan would hopefully be around $4000). Is it worth it, given the higher risk of mechanical problems with an older/higher mileage car? I know I’ll ultimately need to figure out what’s most important to me myself, I’m just hoping for some advice to help me make sure I’ve thought about everything thoroughly. Thank you so much for your help