I was listening to the radio on my way into work yesterday. Between songs some ad came on that I really wasn’t paying attention to until I heard the words “the average person will own 12 cars in their lifetime.” That struck a nerve, other than that I couldn’t tell you what the ad was about, insurance maybe, new car sales? I don’t really know or care for that matter. I just found that one particular fact interesting.
12 cars in a lifetime. So are they talking about new cars or a combination of new and used? And what are they considering a lifetime? 70 years, 75, 80? People are living and driving a lot longer these days. Let’s go with 80 as a lifetime and 12 new or used cars. So let’s just say you get your first car at 18, and drive until your 80 that a 62 year span or about one car every 5 years. Interesting.
I guess I’m just not your average person. Using the above numbers as my barometer I’m way off the charts! I’ve owned 31 cars so far and have 20 years to go before reaching 80 so I could own a few more before I’m through. Right now I have a 42 year span of ownership. When you average in my 31 cars that a car every 15 months! Of course I don’t change cars that often, and have sometimes owned as many as three cars at any given time. For instance right now I have 3 cars, still a 15 month average blows me away! Even when I subtract the 6 cars that my wife has primarily driven the average is a car every 19 months! Call me car crazy, but there was a time when I had my wife convinced that we’d always have a car payment! Of my 31 vehicles 13 were purchased new. Again, using just my new cars that’s a car every 3.2 years, still well above the average.
What can I tell you, there was a time I liked to buy new cars. I loved going out on a Saturday morning and spending the better part of the day playing the new car game. Going from dealership to dealership and working the best deal possible and if a deal wasn’t to my liking I’d simply get up and walk out after taking up the salesmen’s valuable time. Yeah, the game was sure a lot of fun. Usually I could get them down to dealers invoice or close to it. Through the years I managed to make some really great deals, but I did get stung on some as well, particularly on my trade ins. And let’s not forget those
impulse buys where I fell in love with the vehicle and had to have it at any price. I’ve had a couple of those. All this talk of new cars is giving me the itch. I’d love to go out right now and get a new Edge or a Towne and Country mini van for traveling. I mean who can resist that new car smell? “I love the smell of a new cars interior in the morning!” My daughter has followed in my foot steps. She got her first new car when she graduated from high school and has had the bug ever since. I’m not sure how many new and used cars she’s had but by the time she was 25 she’d had at least 5 new cars already. That’s my girl!
Yeah, I’d really love to go out and get a new vehicle for myself or one for my wife. The internet has made bottom line buying much easier. But that’s out of the question right now. The last new car I bought was six years ago, a new 05 Honda CRV for my wife. Two years before that I purchased a new 04 Nissan Maxima for myself, a major impulse buy! It was loaded, plus the dealer had it tricked out with custom rims and tires, tinted windows and a custom grill. It was beautiful! Even my wife loved it! I could have gotten such a way better deal if I’d done some shopping, but I bought it anyway. Oh well, Live and learn. At least we haven’t had any car payments in several years. Hmm, I’ll have to think on that a bit, maybe the time is right! Now if I can only convince my wife….
Below is my car history in chronological order. I can’t tell you exactly how long I owned each vehicle, some I had for a year or less, some for ten years or more. Like I said I’m just not your average car buyer.
1. 1959 Ford Wagon(the gray mare) 2. 1961 VW Bug (Bad Moon) 3. 1949 Buick Special 4. 1956 Chevy Bel Air Wagon 5. 1968 VW Bug 6. 1973 Chevy Vega (new) 7. 1974 Ford Pinto Wagon 8. 1968 VW Bug 9. 1974 Ford Courier P/U (new) 10. 1975 Ford Granada 11. 1975 Toyota p/u (new) 12. 1970 MG 13. 1976 Ford Econoline van (new) 14. 1972 Ford Econoline van 15. 1978 Ford F150 P/U 16. 1978 Chevy Monte Carlo 17. 1981 Ford Mustang (new) 18. 1972 VW Bug 19. 1954 Studebaker P/U 20. 1962 VW Bus 21. 1984 Honda Accord 22. 1988 Ford Aerostar van(new) 23. 1991 Honda Accord (new) 24. 1996 Plymouth Voyager(new) 25. 1996 Ford Explorer 26. 1964 Chevy El Camino 27. 2000 Honda Accord (new) 28. 2004 Nissan Maxima(new) 29. 2005 Honda CRV (new) 30. 97 Ford Fusion 31. 2002 Mazda MPV
Motorcycles 68 Kawasaki 350 1970 Honda 305 2007 Yamaha 650