In the last 11 years, I have had many vehicles. I have had in the following order; 1990 Pontiac sunbird, 2003 Oldsmobile Intrigue, 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2003 Chevy Silverado, 2008 Chevy Silverado, 2013 Dodge Ram, 2015 Dodge Ram, 2016 Jeep Patriot, 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2003 Dodge Caravan.What I have learned throughout my driving history is that you cannot plan for your future vehicle needs. Below is my vehicle history and how I started with a car and ended up driving a minivan.
My dad bought my first car it was a Pontiac Sunbird that was manufactured in 1990 the same year I was born. Compared to my peers and school I was driving around in a P.O.S, but that didn’t matter because I loved it. The downside to driving an older car starts with repairs that had to be undertaken and the cost became more than the car was worth. This is the car I had when I met my wife Courtenay. After buying tires and replacing pumps I sold the car and I picked up a Pontiac Intrigue.
I had the Intrigue for only a year before I sold it. This car was fully loaded and well taken care of. Unfortunately, after being cut off by so many SUV and trucks I realized that I was not a car person and so my dad lent me his old Jeep. I loved the jeep. Being higher up off the ground and having power to tow was great, but what a gas guzzler. I did however learn that right now in my life an SUV was more suitable for my needs than a car.
I bought my 2003 Silverado for its towing capabilities, it was very powerful and super comfy. There were a few issues with the truck such as the heater didn’t work and unfortunately It was only a 2-wheel drive. Having so much power and only being rear wheel drive It was a little to heavy for winter driving. I had to get rid of my Silverado when I cracked the frame trying to rescue my friend from an off-road accident.
I bought my Next truck a 2008 Silverado from a dealership in Calgary Alberta Canada which was 4-wheel drive and crew cab. What I learned is that Buying a Chevy truck from a Chevrolet dealership doesn’t mean the truck is going to always work perfectly, but it had given me a sense of security and a sense of safety. I assumed that since I had bought the vehicle from a dealership that the vehicle would be in great working order. I loved this truck but more problems began popping up after getting the vehicle serviced at the dealership. After a year and several visits to Integra Tire it was discovered that the truck was going to need a transmission overhaul. I at the time could not afford to fix this truck as I was working part time and going to school full time. I traded in my Chevy Silverado for my first ram.
My first ram is where I took the biggest financial hit in my driving career. This was my first brand new vehicle and I didn’t understand the idea behind depreciation on new vehicles. The vehicle was such a great price that I could not turn it down. My wife and I put many miles on this truck, it was loaded with everything I need except the Hemi engine. I used the truck to tow my father’s tent trailer around and to help my friends move houses. When we bought our travel trailer to go camping the dealership told us our truck would be more than capable of towing this trailer. What we learned is that we needed a slightly bigger engine. I ended up trading this truck in for the same truck but with the Hemi Engine. This is where I took the biggest hit and depreciation was inscribed in my brain. The trade in value from one ram to another was nothing. I got nothing on my trade. I wish I had bought the hemi in the first place. WOW! was I impressed with the power of the hemi, I would totally buy this truck again and again. However, with the turning economy we decided to downsize.
At the current time with our new house, my wife’s jeep wrangler, my truck, my motorcycles, and the trailer I was overspent. Our son Parker wasn’t even a possibility at this point. If either my wife or I lost our jobs we would be too far in the hole to get out. We sold the trailer and traded in my Dodge ram and Courtenay’s Jeep Wrangler for a jeep Patriot and a Jeep Cherokee. By doing this we cut our vehicle expenses in half. After about 6 months we realized we were still stretched out to far so we sold our house and bought our current house which is slightly smaller but far less expensive. I traded in the patriot for an older Grand Cherokee.
We felt a lot more stable and a lot less stressed having bought this Grand Cherokee in cash and having had paid it in full. At this point in my life my wife and I had agreed we were not having kids and I thought I was done changing vehicles. I had the Grand Cherokee for 6 months before my wife and I changed our minds about having kids and when I found out my wife and I were Pregnant with our son Parker, we traded in the grand Cherokee.
At the current time, I had 2 large Dogs and a baby on the way and I needed something with a fair bit more space. I am currently driving our grand caravan full time though we only have 1 dog now. I use the van more for moving building supplies for upgrading our current house.
There it is how I started off with a car and ended up driving a minivan.
Thanks for reading