I called up Hayward Toyota last week and placed an order for a 2004 Prius. At the time, I was certain that that was what I wanted, and that it’d be worth waiting for. But since then, my certainty has wavered a little. It’s a good thing my deposit is fully refundable.
I first began to waffle when I had to select which option package I wanted while I was placing the order, and I began to realize just how much money a new car actually costs. I only started my job three months ago, and I don’t exactly have a lot of spare cash saved up at the moment, and I still have a bit of debt here and there. Getting a Prius will be a serious commitment over the course of years.
My uncertainty grew when the dealer emailed me and told me that there was a lot of demand for the car, and that I might get the car … maybe by January? It’s only been two months, and the BART+CalTrain routine is already getting pretty old. Waiting until January is going to be killer, because the weather is bound to take a turn for the worse soon, making the outdoor portions of my morning commute much less pleasant.
And things weren’t helped when a friend of mine started trying to convince me to buy a “little commuter car” that gets nearly as good-gas mileage (cough yeah right cough) — “like an Echo.”
Not that I’d buy an Echo, but I did start wondering if I should just give up on waiting and buy a used car now. It’d be extremely convenient to have a car as soon as possible, and a used car would be cost effective, allowing me to actually save money instead of spending a more significant chunk of my check on car payments. I’d also probably be able to pay a used car off pretty quickly, freeing me from that commitment.
But tonight, I got a ride home in a co-worker’s new Honda Civic Hybrid, and that ride both bolstered my will to at least wait for the Prius, and confirmed my suspicion that the Civic Hybrid is a fairly bare bones vehicle compared to the comparably priced geek’s dream 2004 Prius.
So, I’ll still keep an eye out for used cars, in case some super deal crosses my path that would hold me over until I can get a Prius (though if I were going to do that, I really wish I would have just done that this summer, instead of messing with BART+CalTrain for the last two months). Once my Prius is available, I’ll go drive it and decide if it’s actually worth all the money. And in the meantime, the extra wait just means I’ll be able to save up more money for a down payment.