We bought a new car!

About two years ago we realized that Apollo (our Scion XA) was not exactly an ideal family car (it doesn’t fit a rear facing car seat if there’s someone in the front seat and there’s no space for a stroller in the trunk). However Apollo is AWESOME for all the travel we do. We’ve put nearly 100,000 miles on dear Apollo in the past four years and he has held up great. But at the rate we were putting miles on Apollo, we knew eventually we’d need a new car. So after we paid off the last of our student loans, we started setting money aside for a car and we began the hunt.

reindeer car(Apollo only looks like a reindeer for the month of December, but this is my most recent photo of him)

For nearly a year now we have searched Craigslist ads and local car dealers looking for the perfect deal. We haven’t been in a rush which is awesome because it has given us plenty of time to look for the best of the best when it comes to good deals. We didn’t care how old the car was as long as it was well maintained, but it needed to have less than 50k miles on it. We wanted a car with cruise control because while Apollo is awesome… he came without cruise control and we never ended up adding it like we originally planned to. We also needed a car that could transition into a family car someday so it needed to be big enough to fit a rear facing carseat as well as a stroller in the trunk. However, I don’t like huge cars so we were looking for something that was just big enough to meet our needs and no larger. We also needed something with good gas mileage. Apollo gets 30-40 mpg (awesome travel car, I’m tellin’ ya) so we didn’t want to switch to something that gets 15mpg. We decided to look for 20+mpg. And since we were paying cash, we wanted to spend $10k or under. We had dealers laugh at us for this and tell us there was no way we’d find the car we want for the price point we were at, but we knew that if we looked long enough, we’d find what we were looking for.


So meet Athena. 🙂 Just like every time we travel somewhere, Christopher checked the local Craigslist ads to see if there was a car we might be interested in. And there was. A 2007 Ford Fusion with LESS than 41k miles on it (it was a town car that belonged to a little old lady who couldn’t drive it anymore). We looked up the stats on it and saw that it got 23-30mpg and that it was indeed big enough to fit a rear facing carseat. We took it to a local mechanic that my brother-in-law knows and trusts and he gave it an “all clear”. We Kelly Blue Booked it and found out that the price they were asking was fair (though Christopher did haggle with him a little – we ended up getting it for around $8k which was WELL below the $10k we were prepared to spend on a car). And next thing you know… we were driving away in a new (to us) car.


So now we have Athena. And we love her. We’re still keeping Apollo. He may have a lot of miles on him, but he is reliable and I love him. He is tiny and wonderful. Currently I’m still driving him because I drive more miles during the day than Christopher does. Which means at the moment we have three cars at our house with only two drivers. So it won’t be long before we are putting Christopher’s ’96 Chevy Cavalier (aka “Black Bird”, “Desperaux”, “Soul Searcher”, or “The Black Pearl” depending on what Christopher is calling it that day) up for sale. That poor car is just hardly holding it together. No heat or a/c, hardly any varnish left on the front of the car, questionable brakes, and the whole thing shakes when it goes over 40mph. So, any takers? 😉

black bird

So yes, Athena is a huge step up for Christopher. He came home yesterday and he amazed at how different his drive home from work was with heat in the car! Eventually when we have kiddos Athena will transition into my car and Apollo will become Christopher’s work car, but for now (while I’m putting so many miles on the car every day) I still get to drive my sweet Apollo to whom I am so attached.

new car!

Welcome Athena! We love you already!

When you buy a new car, do you look for a long time or just decide you need one and then go purchase it? 

Do you name your vehicles?
Love Rach


35 responses to “We bought a new car!

  1. Great deal, Rach! It’s a good idea to look while you’re on vacation! But I guess that means you had to drive two separate cars home from the beach? Justin and I need to get a new car eventually…we’re just sharing one right now because I sold mine to help fund our trip to China in 2011. Whenever I go back to work full-time in the fall, I’ll need a new one. But I also probably won’t be able to afford a car until I’ve been working for awhile…so it will be tricky! Right now, paying off grad school debt trumps everything. When we do get a second car, we’ll probably look for one similar to the one you found!

    • Yuuuup, we did have to drive two cars back. Which meant that it was my very first time to drive that long by myself. Christopher and I started dating before I even had my driver’s license and he prefers to drive (it helps keep him from getting car sick) soooo… I never drive on long trips. Which meant that I made it to my late 20s without ever driving more than an hour and a half at a time. 😉 But now I have officially joined the ranks of all the normal people and have driven on a road trip. 😉

      I hope that by the time you guys are ready for a new car that the perfect one just falls in your lap! 🙂

  2. That’s a great idea to look at local ads when you travel to a place. What a find!! As I said on your Insta photo of Athena, I drive a Ford Fusion. (Car twins!) She’s blue and I’ve had her since 2009 and I love her. I’m so glad that you found one you love. Terrific name for her too!

  3. It takes me ages to make a decision of any kind, especially an important one like a car. I’m trying to work on that, but it’s so ingrained in me to be careful! Congratulations on Athena! Much luck and smooth travels with your new BFF!

    • I hear you! It really is so difficult to make big decisions like that! I loved that we had time to think and plan for this car. We found and bought the Scion within a week four years ago. Our Nissan Altima had died for the LAST time and we just weren’t going to pay to fix it again. So we had to get a new car ASAP since we both needed work cars. It was SO stressful, but we ended up with an awesome car that we’ve loved. So it worked out in the end. 🙂

  4. What a great find girl!


  5. Congrats on the new car! Sounds like a great buy too! I love that yall name your cars. I always name mine too. I have a Honda CRV that I call Gladys. I think I shopped for her for about 2 years on and off. I drove my previous car until she had over 200k miles on it. I would have kept on driving her but I needed more space as well.

  6. I saw this on Insta – sweet ride!!! When I got my new car I had absolutely nothing to do with the looking. My dad and brother went and then brought me in in the end! I couldn’t have been happier!

  7. Haha I love that all of your cars have names! Congrats on Athena – she is beautiful! And good for you guys for sticking to your guns – it really paid off!

  8. I’ve only purchased one car in my lifetime, and it was a long process that my dad so generously did most of the work on. We dedicated a weekend to looking at specific cars he had a list of, and then I finally settled on the car I have.

  9. This is awesome! What a blessing to find the car you did! I like that you guys didn’t give up your hunt or settle for something more expensive/what you didn’t want! I drive a Chevy S-10 that I sometimes call “Essie” haha. It is my first and only vehicle so far! My dad found it for me and I paid for half of it. I remember being 16-years-old and wanting a Volkswagen Jetta SO badly, but I’m really glad my parents basically forced me to buy a truck because of all the snow we get in Pittsburgh. Four-wheel drive has probably literally saved my life a few times, haha!!

    • Essie is SUCH a great name for a truck! I love it! And I’m all for having a practical car. For us that means something small with good gas mileage because we travel so much. But if we lived further north then we’d DEFINITELY need something a little more heavy duty! Though I will say, Apollo made the icy trek home last March when we got stuck in a freak ice storm while trying to leave Texas. It still amazes me sometimes that we survived that unscathed, haha!

  10. I have a Ford Focus and love it! It gets awesome gas mileage and hasn’t had any big maintenance issues. Go Ford! 🙂 I agree with you on the cruise control thing, though. Mine didn’t come with it either, and I never ended up adding it like I thought I would. I kind of forget cars even have that feature.

    • Oh man, cruise control has rocked my world in the past week that we’ve had this car. I get really bad cramps in my calf and shin splints from driving long distances without cruise control (yes, I am super wimpy, haha!). So I loved having it on the drive home! Christopher has never had a problem with driving without cruise control, though (which is why we never ended up adding it to the last car we bought). But yes, I’m super excited about it. 🙂

  11. Congrats! Glad you finally found the perfect car for you guys, and as they say “Good things come to those who wait!”

    I’ve only ever had one car in my life and it was the one my parents bought for me when I got my license. I had it for years, but when I decided to move to Argentina, it didn’t make sense for me to keep it, so I sold it. While I never named my car, I really did love it and think about all the fun drives I had in that car with my music blasting haha

  12. snap snap!
    patience pays off!

  13. I love it!!! Congrats. Athena is just gorgeous! 🙂 And you two are wise waiting until you could afford it and finding a great deal. Good work you two!

  14. Congrats! That is an awesome deal! My first car (Jeep Cherokee) was named Steve and the car I drive now (Corolla) is named Steph. Back in 2008 I called my Dad crying that Steve would not start for the millionth time. I was so upset he took me and we bought the first car I test drove that day. I had no idea he was actually going to buy me a new (to me) car so I didn’t have a chance to look around. But I am super thankful he bought it for me!

  15. CONGRATS on the new car!!! Athena is lovely, and awesome that you got such a great deal! Also, I love that you name your cars too 🙂

  16. yayyy for y’all!! that’s awesome!

  17. Pingback: Farewell |

  18. Pingback: Thoughts on Becoming a Minivan Driver | the new normal.

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