So the lease on my car is coming to an end - I can't believe it's been 5 years already. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the Toyota dealership trying to get them down to a payment around $300 a month....ya know....cuz a certain someone hadn't hired me yet but Allison was getting ready to start at SCAD so she needed her car full time - I had to have a car of my own and a lease was all I could afford. When I agreed to said lease I knew it would come back to bite me in the ass but 60 months seemed so far away at the time! Anyway, fast forward 57 months and Toyota is calling me every other day wanting the car back. It only took me a few Google searches to realize why - I still own $9,000 on the car, but apparently a 2002 Celica with 50,000 miles retails for more than $11,000 - I'm sure they could make a killing if they resold her.
Knowing that I did still owe $9,000 on the car, on top of already having paid nearly $18,000 over these five years including finance charges, it occurred to me that I would ultimately pay almost $28,000 for a car that I bought for $20,200. Yikes!! It is obviously a rip-off, and I started to think that I should probably turn her in and get something new....I looked around at Toyota's current offerings, but wasn't all that impressed. They just don't make anything like the Celica anymore.....sporty but practical. I looked around at some other cars, and the only one that I found remotely interesting was the new Dodge Avenger - but that was really only because it came with a 20GB hard drive to store music and had an in-dash GPS. While it appealed to my geeky side (yes, I'm aware I have no other side besides a geeky one) once you get done adding that hard drive and a few other options it's a $23,000 car, and I just can't see spending that much money on a transportation appliance. So my plan was to put off the decision for another few weeks, and keep my options open. Then last weekend when I was traveling to Greenville doing about 90 (hey, so was everybody else) a huge truck just decided that he needed to get in my lane, regardless of whether or not I was there first. He came over and I had about a half-a-second to either slam on the breaks (not an option since some dude was right on my bumper) or swerve into the median - which I did. I then floored the gas and passed him before he could clip my rear end. After applying a well-deserved middle finger to the situation, I got to thinking about all the times my car has gotten me out of a seemingly impossible jam unscathed - more times than I can count. It was then that I decided once and for all that no matter what it ended up costing me, I was going to keep my baby - it seemed like the least I could do.
I called Southeast Toyota Finance today and re-fied the car for another 3 years. Hopefully it won't take me that long to pay it off, but once I do she will officially be mine....and I couldn't be happier about it.