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An Ode to Old Cars

Old Cars Can Become New Friends

There are a number of advantages to driving an older vehicle.  Driving a “vintage” car may be seen by some as a humbling experience, but humility is a positive trait.  Purchasing an old car is an eco-friendly decision, and their maintenance requirements facilitate a sense of responsibility. Some old cars are known for their longevity, such as Toyota Camrys from the 1990s and Volvo wagons even older than that.  As long as you do your research and find a car with good mechanical bones, adequate safety features, and postive crash test data, an old car just may become your new best friend.

Humility + Confidence

There is something very freeing about not having to worry about your vehicle being dinged in a parking lot by a carelessly flung open neighboring car door.  Though some people are very attached to their old cars, some find it easier to adopt a stoic’s view, seeing the vehicle in question as simply a tool designed to get the driver from one point to another and not as an extension of his or her ego.  Confidence cannot be gained by the acquisition of goods, and if it is, that sense of confidence is usually brief and very fleeting.  True swagger is exhibited when you can proudly step out of a 1997 dented, rusty hoopty as though it were a limousine.  

A Fatter Wallet

Owning an older vehicle translates into more money in the bank.  New cars are expensive!  The savings on the vehicle itself can be huge, and often the difference between carrying a loan with interest and paying in full.  Additionally, it is much more expensive to insure a newer vehicle.  

California car registration fees are based on the value of the car, so an old, cheaper vehicle will cost less to register each year.  If you buy a really old car – 1990 or earlier, the car will qualify for the smog check exemption since it is more than 30 years old.  This may negate its eco-friendly cred, however. 

If you are interested in keeping more of your money in your wallet, an old beater is the best way to get around.  

Sticking it to The Man

If you happen to be annoyed that huge automakers received so much federal money in bailouts, purchasing an old vehicle ensures that their corporations make no money off of your thrifty acquisition.  Along those same lines, since your beloved beater is well past its warranty period, you will not have to take it to a dealership for service, and can instead support your favorite local mechanic – or learn the art of at-home repairs, discussed in further detail, below.  

Lower your Carbon Footprint

You may think that a new Telsa or Prius is the most planet-friendly option when buying a vehicle, given their marketing and the miles per gallon.  But think about the environmental effects of the production of these new vehicles.  The manufacturing process itself produces carbon emissions, and these “eco-friendly” cars increase the demand for lithium and nickel due to their dependence on batteries.  Old cars underwent their manufacturing process long ago, and the purchase of one results in a net-zero environmental impact.

Learn New Skills 

Old cars are not dependent on computer systems to the extent that their newer counterparts are.  That means they are simpler to understand, mechanically.  When maintenance and repairs need to be done, there are a host of resources online for DIY repairs based on your specific year/make/model.  Automotive YouTube videos are in abundance and provide a detailed narrative along with visual aids.  At-home repairs are another way you will be saving a ton of money while honing your independent living skills.

Below is one of the many YouTube videos available to help with DIY car maintenance.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Elk Grove, California

I am Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Elk Grove, California. For almost four decades, I have been working on behalf of injured Elk Grove residents.  If you or a family member were injured in an auto accident that was not your fault, reach out to my firm at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400.  We can offer compassionate, free and friendly advice. I also have an online contact form if you prefer.

Below are a few links to read client reviews and a sample of our past case results:

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/borgward-hansa-isolated-oldtimer-2161701/

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