Stop sign

Cars 2017: The Mercury in Retrograde Edition


This has been a rough year for us and cars.

The leases on our Toyota Priuses (yes, we owned two) were set to expire in October 2016. We were in the midst of buying our first house and doing anything that could negatively affect our credit rating and jeopardize the mortgage approval process was forbidden so we requested a six-month extension. Once that extension finally ended last Spring, M and I made the decision to purchase those cars rather than turn them in for newer versions.

Our reasons were sound. Since I work from home, I had racked up less than 20,000 miles on my 2013 Prius. In my mind, it was still new and clean. Plus, it was reliable, fun to drive and fuel-efficient (I only spend about $20 for a tank of gas each month and that lasts for about 500 miles). M also liked his car, even though it had more miles than mine. However, due to a new job in Massachusetts, his daily commute was going to be significant enough to make the 12,000-mile a year limit on another lease untenable.

Things were going fine until several weeks later when some guy plowed into M’s car. M was a little banged up and his Prius was totaled.

Although insurance paid for most of the loan, we still had to come up with two more months of payments before everything was even steven, so basically we were down to one car. This situation continued until M leased a brand new Honda that got decent gas mileage (albeit not as good as the Prius) and provided enough miles in the contract to see him to and from work without requiring another major payment when he turned in the vehicle in 2020.

Over the summer, we decided to drive my Prius through a quick car-washing service. We emerged from the drive-thru with a clean car and a missing back windshield wiper.

In the fall, we drove to a local farm and filled my trunk with pumpkins. When I tried to remove the gourds two days later, I found myself locked out. Turns out the car had been accidentally left on and the battery was dead. A driver from AAA gave it a jump, and after testing the battery informed me that I would need a new one soon.

I was planning to get this done next week during the car’s annual inspection. Now meteorologists are forecasting that a blizzard will hit the area that day.

Of course.

And then yesterday, M left for work as usual. A little while later, he returned home with a flat tire. Which means, yet another car-related expense.

I’m sensing we need to find a new way to get around.


  1. They keep telling us that self-driving cars are coming Real Soon Now ™ but I’m still waiting. I don’t mind driving myself around, but sometimes I find myself staying in just to avoid the hassle of navigating the stupid parking garage on the way out.

    I often regret my current choice in cars… I hope you get yours sorted out soon!

Leave a Reply

Go to Top
%d bloggers like this: