Our car is dying. We’re a bit sad and not just because we have to put out the money to replace it. Although it’s not much to look at our green ’96 Saturn has seen us through a lot. We bought it shortly after we were married… because it was 10 years old and therefore we could buy it outright. And because Saturns are good, reliable, safe cars. And I had been in a car accident in a Saturn where people remarked that they were amazed that both of us in the car walked away without being hurt. But mostly because it fit our budget.
This car has been so many places with us. Remember when it snowed and we couldn’t get it up the hill to our apartment at the top of Farone Drive? Or how a certain brother of mine got a parking ticket with it while we were on our honeymoon? And neglected to tell us? How about the check engine light that comes on any time it rains more than a day. And my personal favorite, the time we were waiting to cross the boarder into New York and it started leaking fluid and smoking.
It hasn’t been all bad. We’ve taken I can’t tell you how many road trips in it. Like driving through Shenandoah National Park coming home from a cousin’s wedding. We moved, twice, with it. We’ve gone to Niagara Falls and to visit friends and family. We brought two babies home from the hospital in it.
But now it’s on its way out. Remember that check engine light? Pesky little bugger. Now we’re down to the wire to replace it. We want something that meets safety standards both in the U.S. and Canada. We want something bigger because, well, the boys aren’t gonna be getting any smaller. We’re thinking minivan. That’s where we’ve found ourselves in a pickle. Being temporary residents of Canada we first of all can’t get rid of our car here. But the real trouble is that as temporary residents we can’t get credit. Oh, we could use savings and buy something but after looking into what was available it came down to how reliable a car do we want for those two babies who ride in it. Turns out what we can afford was all on the “worst of the worst” list by Consumer Reports! Yeah, not so much.
So we go to Buffalo car shopping. Well, we’re not residents of the U.S. so we can’t get a loan there either. Rock meet hard place.
Somehow, though, things have a way of working out. I usually chalk it up to the Holy Spirit pushing me around. I seem to be an easy mark for that. Buying a big ticket item like this across the boarder is working in our favor – a little lower prices, not being residents of either is an advantage for taxes, and it will be much easier to bring a U.S. made car back into the States when we get to move home. There’s extra stress of the paperwork to be dealt with but worth it in the long run. We found that we can buy, outright, a good van with good reviews and recommendations. It’s blue. Our savings took a very serious hit but it’s ours. Once all the checks and paperwork clear that is.