Endsleigh specialise in Home Contents Insurance for people in the UK

Pimpin’ new ride


Every homeowner will tell you they make certain sacrifices for their house. Especially fixer-uppers, whose every extra penny goes directly into whatever project needs funding at the time. We’ve made all sorts of sacrifices over the past 2.5 years to keep Dirty Gert happy. Our honeymoon luxury cruise turned into a week in Florida so we could afford to fix the chimney, for instance. We settle for Hydrox instead of Double Stuff Oreos. And for the past few years I’ve been commuting in a paid-off ’94 Toyota Corolla with a whole lot of rust and a few quirks only a mother could love. Because all that money that would have been spent on a car payment got funneled straight into the house.


Meet the green beast. It’s not the kind of car you make an entrance in, unless you want pity and stifled giggles. But it was a good car, got great gas mileage, and most importantly no longer required a monthly payment. I was devoted to it, and vowed to drive it into the ground. Which is exactly what I did, right up until everything went at once. In the past 2-3 months, it has had the following issues:

  • two blown-out tires (two separate occassions)
  • rusted-off hinges on the gas door
  • rusted out hole in the catalytic converter
  • a constant whirring/chirping noise that sounds like exotic bugs mating
  • a different chirping noise (more like a strangling bird) right at startup
  • a few belt squeals
  • 2 missing hubcaps
  • a coat-hanger for an antennea
  • no hood-prop
  • blown speakers
  • an oil leak that ate about 2qt/week
  • a rusted-out front axle that needed replacing
  • a rusted-out back axle that I was warned would need replacing in 3-6 months
  • a hard banging in the engine (only in the morning, and only for a few blocks, but damn was it loud!)
  • occasional door lock problems that resulted in me stuck out in the freezing cold numerous times
  • a back bumper that was about to fall off

To top it off, just last week I busted a back strut, the air conditioning went, and the driver-side window stopped rolling down. All in one week. Which was my signal from the car gods to get the hell out of the vehicle before it disintegrated into a pile of dust while I was driving it down the highway.

Big pimpin' in the green monster

So with great reluctance (because I hate parting with money, and hate car shopping even more) I bought a new-to-me cherry red ’05 Hyundai Elantra, the newest and nicest car I have ever owned. How glorious this new car is in comparison to my old one. It has fancy-schmancy 20th century things, like an antennea, a cd player, a remote car starter, and a place to hide my sunglasses. I earned this car – not only did I commute 45 minutes each way in a rust bucket 45 minutes for years, but I also searched high and low for the perfect vehicle. And I dealt with too many sexist and overly aggressive salesmen to bother counting. I had one guy excitedly point out the “purse hook” (gee, how totally necessary THAT feature is…), another guy call me sweetheart, and a third swindle me into test-driving a giant SUV that was about $20k over my price limit – not to mention a giant gas guzzling moster of an automobile that I had absolutely no interest in owning. Because, he told me, when we have kids we will really want the extra room. Mmmhmmmm…. I am sure it had nothing to do with the extra commission he’d make off a vehicle that was three times more expensive than the one I wanted to look at.


Persistence pays off, and in the end I found exacty what I had been hunting for – a 4-door hatchback. With this baby, I can shove all sorts of crazy construction materials into a small car and make the Home Depot guys smile in amazement. (They always doubted my cargo capacity with the Corolla, and will continue to doubt me with the Elantra I am sure.)

I played hardball all day today, and felt pretty good about my negotiating skills by the time I signed the papers. I left them with my lovely bucket-o-rust and drove home in my new ride singing along to the radio (that gets reception – neato!) and feeling very happy to have finally upgraded.  Even if it does take away from our Home Depot spending a tiny bit ;)

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

colleen had this to say on 06.08.07:

ive felt your pain and know your joy. my 1st car on my own was an amc something been soo long ago. i hit a patch of ice then another car when everyone pulled away so did my car since id forgotten to put it in park. so here i am running after my car . the drivers side door hadnt worked for months but that day it did. some guys in a jeep had a great laugh that day. i sold it for $60. and the guy didnt even pick it up. to tell the truth id rather worry about a payment than if im going to make it to work!!!!
good luck and enjoy!!!!

April had this to say on 06.08.07:

Congrats on the new car! Be sure to shut the doors extra quick so you can keep all that yummy new car smell for as long as possible.

jm had this to say on 06.09.07:

Congratulations! These purchases are especially sweet when you’ve made sacrifices for sooooo long!

Stefanie Noble had this to say on 06.09.07:

Nice! We had paid off both of our cars and then needed to replace Joe’s (a falling apart VW Cabrio). We ended up with a Honda CR-V, but any kids are going in the MINI because my drum set goes in the back of the Honda!

Becky had this to say on 06.10.07:

Congrats on the new ride.

I know what you mean about crappy salesmen. When I bought my new car two years ago, I knew exactly what car I wanted. And one of the first questions the guys would ask me was, “well, what color are you looking for?” I was like, “Well, it’s a little more important to me that it has ____ package, and is X and Y but not Z.” Sheesh. Like I’m a stupid girl and all I know is “Oh MY GOD! I want the blue one!”

I wish I’d known you were car-hunting. My brother-in-law owns a used car lot in New Hartford and is one of the most honest and nicest guys I know. But looks like you got a good one!

Dulcie had this to say on 06.10.07:

Is that the GT? I love that car. If I was getting a new one that would be tops on my list. We were just lucky to get a hand-me-down CR-V. Would have loved the 4WD this past winter in Colorado, but now we are prepared for next year!

Eilis had this to say on 06.10.07:

Congrats! I hope your Elantra treats you as well as mine treats me! Sweet ride…and so affordable!

See you soon!

e r i n had this to say on 06.10.07:

There is nothing more satisfying than shocking the home depot guys. We drive a mini cooper and there is no end to the looks of amazement about what we fit in that car. Congrats on the new car! You do deserve it.

Kristin had this to say on 06.11.07:

Oooooh, pretty! Though I disagree about the necessity of the purse hook. I wish my car had a good spot for a purse. :)

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