Sold Our Decade-Old Car + My Criteria in Buying A New Car

Thursday, June 16, 2022

For the longest time, our family car was a 1997 Isuzu Hi-Lander in a deep green color that looks almost like glittering black. We grew up with that vehicle, and had it for more than a decade. It witnessed our first days of school, proms, graduations, first jobs, and first travels. 

Some stories that I will remember with that car include long family road trips to Batangas or Baguio, treading Metro Manila during thunderstorms (the Hi-Lander is actually "high" enough to pass through floods), and of course, as our reliable huge vehicle during my bazaar gigs. That car can carry tons of my bazaar stuff in its trunk. 

One day during the pandemic, my dad decided to sell it to a passerby who was looking for old cars that they can either buy-and-sell or pimp up. My dad sold it for less than Php 100,000. Although the car has been beat-up, it saddened me that it's value went down. What made up dad's abrupt decision is his recent multiple trips to the car repair shop. It has been costing him more, and at that time we were stuck at home anyway.

Took pictures with our "best bud" for over 10 years before its new owner arrived:

At the moment, we are alternately using my sisters' sedans for grocery trips or to travel to nearby cities and provinces, but most of the time I see myself picking up my phone to just book a Grab. Now that things are picking up, I think I will need a car for possible bazaar gigs in the near future.

Here are my criteria in getting a new car:

Other than color preference or how the car looks, my priority for a new vehicle are its size/space capabilities, fuel efficiency, and cost.

1. Must be cargo-friendly - Since my main goal for getting a car is to use it for business, it must have tons of cargo room. As much as I would like to own a cute small car, my lifestyle calls for Best bet for huge capacity is a sports-utility vehicle or a crossover, like a 2011 Toyota Highlander, Ford Edge, or Jeep Grand Cherokee. 

What are your personal objectives in buying a car?

A Volkswagen Multivan Kombi, an upgraded look of my original dream retro Kombi van:

Photo from Volkswagen Philippines

2. Must be fuel-efficient - Again, since it's going to be mainly a business car, I will need to also account for the gas budget every time I drive out. I prefer cars that will not drain the wallet from constant trips to the gas station. 

There are actually vehicles with fuel-saving capabilities, which is an even more important feature now that the world is experiencing an all-time high in fuel price increase. Some of these fuel-efficient cars that still has ample luggage space feature are the Suzuki XL7 (9km/l), Toyota Wigo (10.5km/l), and the Hyundai Reina (10.8km/l). 

3. Must fit my budget - Lastly, as expected, buying a car will create a dent on my wallet, so I still have to consider my monthly cash out capabilities for this big purchase. Before purchasing, make sure to calculate the monthly auto loan payments to know if it's doable in your current cash flow. Work around your budget, and also consider that you have enough left for other car owner expenses that are not yet part of your purchase including fuel, maintenance, and consumables.

Are you also planning to get your own car soon? Aside from convenience in getting around the Metro, it will also help a lot in my on-the-go lifestyle (from going to events to joining bazaars). Do you have other car model suggestions that hit these criteria? Sound off below. :)

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