Today we returned our 2007 Toyota Matrix. A lease, and not our most financially savvy acquisition. We assumed the lease to meet a need, and the vehicle did do that — a few needs, in fact, which we’re happy for. But we’re very happy now to see it gone. It was a “Toyota Racing Division” model, and the thing was ridiculous. It had these insanely expensive racing tires and brakes, it was torqued bizarrely high so that you were squealing your tires practically any time you used first gear. And it was a death trap in the winter.
Granted, it was fun to drive. But that’s all it was. And it was too expensive for that. When we turned it in we had to pay for the tires — it was $1400 to have them replaced by anyone else, so we hadn’t gotten around to it. Toyota charged $600. Subtract the $375 deposit, add tax, and we’re glad to pay only a couple hundred to get rid of it.
We now have only one vehicle — our aging Saturn Vue with just shy of 250,000km on it. But! We have no car payment. None at all!
We’re not sure how long we can hold out with only our SUV, especially with another baby on the way. But we can augment our wheels with free rentals, due to all the points I’ve stored up renting vehicles for work, and if we can hold out until next fall, we could pull off a pretty sweet ride with a short term and low payments. Until then, however, we’ve got our eyes peeled for a good deal on a Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna or an exceptionally good deal on a Dodge Caravan. Let us know if you see anything!
…And yes, I’m aware that I told a number of people that I’d never own a minivan. That was a younger me… back when I had dignity, a back that worked, and no kids. For those of you haters out there, I give you: The Swagger Wagon…