That was crux of the phone call I had late Friday afternoon; obviously all the official business has yet to be done - including the solemn ceremony of me tracking down my poor Hummer to retrieve all sundries from the glovebox and boot (including, I suspect, a box of porn leftover from Felafel). Next week sometime I will get an official figure, but it looks like I'm going to paid out roughly $15,000 for the car.
And I think I'm going to need your help.
I always wonder about the nature of making decisions. Sometimes I think I'm great, because I can sum up a situation and know instinctively what to do. Directing is like that for me - I look at a situation and know what needs to happen or what I want to see. Other things are more problematic - like that time a few weeks back when I asked for opinions via Twitter about what smartphone I should look at buying, and got so upset by Apple fanatics baying at me to get an iPhone that I spent the evening wailing in a corner.
Anyhoo. I have no particular desire for certain types of cars - well, certain types of cars within my price range. My ultimate car would be an Aston-Martin, because, well, I want to be James Bond. Simple, really.*
As for everything else? Well, I don't really have much of a clue at all. As far as I can see, I have a number of options:
1. I use the money to buy a new car. This would probably have to be a smaller car than my Toyota Corolla, such as a Suzuki Swift or Hyundai Getz. But a warranty and lower service costs is a plus.
2. I use the money to buy a used car. This could be any number of models. My concern is that I bought my Corolla new, so all of its history was my history. I am wary, I guess, of used cars - or actually, more about the process of making sure a used car is OK. Let's face it, I don't know that much, and I'm kind of gullible. I probably would believe a sleazy car salesman.
3. I get a loan for maybe another $10k, and try to buy something of similar size to my Corolla - like a Ford Fiesta or Focus, a Holden Cruze, a Volkswagen Polo. This would mean I wouldn't be "downgrading" in size, but would leave me with a debt where I previously had none.
In terms of cars, here's what I think I know/like:
- Lots of airbags, security features and thingies. ABS, stability control etc.
- Fuel economy (I'd like to investigate a diesel but might not be able to afford it).
- Low service/insurance costs; and one that holds market value (great qualities with the Corolla, y'see).
- I like hatchbacks, or at least something vaguely sporty/funky looking. Think more Ford Fiesta, and less Honda Jazz.
- Five doors. Reasonably roomy would be good, but I don't want a huge beast.
- I think I'd prefer an automatic; I like driving manuals and would be OK with one, but geez automatics are helpful in traffic. It probably depends on the car.
*Oh, man, if I was James Bond, my life would be fracking sorted. If I was James Bond, I would've totally avoided that crash with my razor sharp driving skills, then I would've punched out the other driver in the face and blown up their car with my dash-mounted bazooka. Then I would've just got a replacement Aston-Martin from Q after zinging him with a number of witty bon-mots, then pic up some hot guys in my new wheels and then shag them on a beach. Awesome. Then I'd take down some crime kingpin or some local terrorists or maybe some graffiti artists, light a cigar, pose for Vogue, get some fracking awesome Omega watches and sit back in a high-backed leather chair in the sweetest Mycroft Holmes-ian club in London with a vodka martini and watch all the boys in the yard come shake their money-makers in front of me. All of which is a sideways way of saying I think I'm a little stressed and feeling under-empowered and nervous about turning 30 and could really do with learning a martial art or at least have a hot bath.