My Car: "Marty"

Have you ever noticed wherever you go now, you see a lot of nice cars on the road. Lexus BMW, Mercedes, Infinity, Jaguar, Ferrari and etc. It seems people in the US are getting prosperous or debt each day.

If its about cars, I can careless. I have a different perspective about cars. A car is not a good investment because of its depreciating value. I don’t want to invest my money in cars. I don’t really care about the image like most of our society does.

For more than 4 years, I am still driving my old “year 99 black Chevrolet Cavalier”. I remember 4 years ago, when my husband got a new job and he desperately needed a new car.
He told me that other people in his office were driving “better/good car”. I told him that his car was fine, the engine was still really good, the AC and heater were still powerful.  There’s nothing wrong with that car except a little old dull appearance from driving it for a few years and of course less maintenance. My husband spilled coffee in his car almost everyday. (heheheh I’m exaggerated a little bit)

There’s bunch of coffee stain here and there which had been very difficult to remove. The car smell dump because of mildew from the coffee spilled. Exterior, body dents also got corrosion for not having them fixed immediately.

Since our finances were tight and I didn’t have a job, our first plan was to trade the car and buy a new one for my husband. But we were a little bit shocked when the car dealer valued it at $500. That’s an insult. What can you get for that small amount of money?

I told my husband to just keep the car for me and buy a new one for himself. Since I’m a new driver, I don’t mind driving an ugly car. I came to the U.S. from another country and I didn’t drive before arriving here. Back in my country, I used to go to work and go everywhere by bus. So, having a car, even a second hand one is a huge blessing to me. Oh yeah, I named my car “Marty”

One summer day, when I was driving to Target, someone hit my car really bad. The car body was beaten up. That was his fault by the way. After all the drama with insurance company, I finally got $1400 reimbursement from the company.

Since the damages were really bad, my husband told me no point to fix it. We would keep the money and plan to buy another new car for me. But life came to us so fast. A few weeks after the accident, I got a new job. With a little kitty cat shy I drove up my beat up Marty for about 4 months. The reason why we waited for so long because we were still unsure we would buy a new car for me . We just bought a new car for my husband and we have car finance for about 3 years. We don’t want to have debt.

Here are a few consideration I had in mind :

  • The car engine was still in good shape
  • Heater, AC were working properly
  • The mileage is not that bad. It’s about 100,000
  • If we trade or sell, we would probably get no more than $1500 (If we are lucky enough)
  • New car will cost 12,000-15,000 (economy car)
  • Insurance would go up higher if we buy another new car
  • We would have car payment for 1-3 years. It depends on how long it would take before we would be able to pay it off.

Based on those considerations, I finally decided to fix Marty. The cost for the repair, detail engine checked up, new tires, and etc were about $2000. If I could drive Marty for a few years, I could save a lot of money. It will also help us to avoid having car debt.

It has been a year and a half since I fixed Marty; he still takes me to work and round and round faithfully.
Marty has been good to me and I can’t be happier. I take care of Marty really good. I clean and wax him up regularly. The interior smells good. My love for Marty is getting stronger and stronger each day. With a little prayer, I hope Marty still strong for a few years to come. Keep up good work Marty!

A few ” Must Do” if you have a old car

  • Change the oil regularly
  • Rotate the tires regularly
  • Check the brakes and the engines regularly
  • Clean your car regularly
  • Make sure your car is safe and drive safely


  1. Beverly Villasenor says:

    I think that is the best way to go. Repair the old car and put the savings in the bank. I have a 1994 Ford Aerostar van and I named her Betsy. Her engine went out last year and we didn’t know should we buy a new car or fix Betsy. We found it was much cheaper to fix Betsy than to have a 400.00 to 600.00 car payment every month for 5 to 7 years! Betsy is running just fine and about once every 6 months we have our mechanic look at her BUT if we go on vacation and it’s a very long drive we let Betsy rest at home and we rent a car from Hertz. So every so often we get to drive a new car without the payment! I think Betsy will be around for a long time!

  2. Okla Libra Lady says:

    I am driving a 1995 Lexus that I bought certified with 29K miles in 1997. Now have 141K on the car. I will never buy another new car. Have put only routine maintenance into this car. Rather than buy another certified at this time, I am going to put about $2000 (tires and timing belt, etc) into this vehicle. It should go another 100K no problem. The key is to research and buy a car with favorable maintence ratings and buy certified. You really can’t beat a Lexus for quality and reliability and style.

  3. My husband just fixed our rusty old ’85 Jeep with some bathtub sealer. No joke. News cars are old news!

  4. says:

    I love that you call your car Marty. And Marty is lucky that you care enough to keep him and keep him on the road.

    I have a ’99 Mercury Mountaineer. We got it new in ’99 and it just turned over 100,000. It’s in pristine condition because i have taken obsessive care of it and it has basically lived in the garage it’s whole life. The miles are truly highway miles as we live far from any family and friends. All the driving is either 2 miles down the road to get my groceries and errands (very small town, i should be walking but that is a whole ‘nother topic) or we have used the vehicle to get back home or on vacations.

    Now the husband wants to buy a new vehicle and we have been looking (under total duress for me but i am giving up the goat, i am tired of fighting over it). I would rather drive my little suv into the ground. I KNOW it is good for another 10 years or so. Now we will have to shell out more money for a new vehicle that is going to lose it’s value fast, plates cost more, insurance costs more, blah…blah….blah….

    Hang onto Marty and hold him tight!

  5. Another ‘car saving tip’ that folks rarely seem to exercise but could save them as much as 10% on their insurance premiums for as many as three years – drivers who take a defensive driving online course are often eligible for what’s called a ‘safe driver discount’. To my knowledge Progressive, StateFarm and Farmers all offer this discount.

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