So, it's been time to think about replacing my car for awhile. Janeway's still got a lot of life left in her, but she also needs a lot of work, and the kind of work that is difficult to get done when I need to get back and forth in her to work every day. Also, she's not very fuel-efficient (I've been getting about 28 mpg), and with my commute, more fuel efficient would be more responsible and more cost effective.
I started saving my money, and we started talking about what I wanted. We thought about trying to find a used hybrid, but eventually decided that a diesel would be a better choice (mmmm, biodiesel.) The passenger diesel market is pretty small, and I really wanted to get a hatchback, so a New Beetle was first choice, Golf was second, and Jetta was third.
We started watching the local used car market and Ebay motors, and when an ad appeared on Craigslist a week ago yesterday for a 2001 Diesel VW bug for a price that checked out within $50 on Kelly Blue Book, I emailed the chick as fast as I could. :)
We went out to see it Saturday and took a good long test drive and Jeff looked everything over (having an in house mechanic is useful.) We agreed that it was in good shape and a good price (under budget, even), and I could have come home with her Saturday... if the folks selling her had been able to find the title. Turned out it was at his sister's house, so we went back on Monday and came home with her that evening.
I've held off on posting until we got her titled (Tuesday) and the check cleared (Wednesday), and I got some more drive time in her. Kaylee is a stick, and it's been a decade since I drove a stick on a regular basis, so I've been having to relearn how to drive one. We did some tentative driving around the "block" (blocks are big out here) on Tuesday after we got her tags, and I drove her to my parents' on Wednesday to pick up mom for the concert (but we took mom's van into town), and then I drove her home from running errands in town yesterday, on 40 (which is pretty much my least favorite thing to do ever; I hate 40). My driving's been improving all week; the worst either of us could say last night was that one of my turns was "awkward but not bad." The only time I've stalled is parking.
Oh, last night. We had dinner with a friend down in Chapel Hill and I drove there and back. Back included two deer encounters, one of which was very close, and I reacted appropriately and had no trouble dealing with the situation, so I'll be driving Kaylee into work on Monday. :)
Meantime, we'll get Janeway fixed, and then offer her to my dad; if he doesn't want her, we'll sell her, since she'll make a fine vehicle for someone who just needs to get back and forth to work and isn't looking for a car to drive for another decade.
I'm pleased. Kaylee drives well, she's in great shape, she's got a lot of pick up and go (I'm going to have to watch that). I should get many many more years out of her (I'm taking the leftovers of the car fund and starting the next engine fun). I don't have to worry about whether my car is going to get me to work or not. So, woot.