new car… for realz?

I just spoke to a fellow at metro honda who will get me a 2006 honda insight in 2 weeks for $21K.

WHEW. I know, I’ve been talking about this for a long time. But now that I’m getting close to dropping thousands of dollars on a car, well, I am seriously nervous about it! Car payments are scary, NJ insurance premiums are scary, and my little car still works really good. In fine karinajean fashion, I should probably make a list of why I need to get this new car.

1. I already have a mpg sticker for the insight.
2. there are rust holes so large on my car that I can stick my whole hand into the fender
3. similarly, the windshield is broken, and because the frame around the windshield is so rusty it will require a lot of extra caulking.
4. the speedometer doesn’t work. which isn’t a big deal, because
5. the dash lights don’t work.
6. the AC has never worked, as far as I know.
7. During my last flat tire repair (last week!) they cut the rattly heat shield off, and now the car sounds a lot more, well, old and rumbly.
8. When it rains my feet get wet. see also #2.
9. the rims are so dented that if I don’t have a skilled tire technician replace flats I have to reinflate my tires every few days.
10. the bumper is coming off, and the tape just isn’t cutting it anymore.

But it STILL RUNS. gosh. I don’t know. It’s so hard to deal this change in attitude, this getting rid of a car that still works! my stepsister told me that maybe I had a different definition of what “still works” means than other people, but is that such a bad thing?

The reasons why I should go ahead and get this new car are:
1. my car probably won’t pass inspection b/c of body damage, and it’s required at the end of the month.
2. it will be really easy to switch to NJ license/registration/insurance if I buy a new car in NJ.
3. I’ll get the big tax deduction ($2K) for the insight if I buy one this year before it’s replaced with the weird tax credit plan next year, for which the manual insight is apparently not eligible. yikes!
4. I have wanted a hybrid car for years, ever since they first came out. I can’t underestimate the street cred of getting 65 mpg, especially when I’m reconciling a NJ driving life style.
5. If I get this car now, at my leisure, I’ll get what I want. If I don’t, and wait to get a new car for mine to break, I might have to settle.

I guess that’s good enough. ARGH, car loan debt. ARGH, insurance payments with a car loan. Sigh.