Missed Opportunity - Car Story

 Hi friends, 

This is just a quick post to update about my car and a few other matters. 

The car tires needed to be changed today from summer to winter. They get changed again in spring from winter to summer.  Of course all this costs money but is also a good time to find out whether the car needs this or that.  Last year at this time, the front brakes needed to be replaced and the conclusion was that the rear brakes looked good. This time they said the rear brakes need to be replaced and the car would not make it another 6 months.  The lug nuts also need to be replaced.

All in all, the car has been kept up to date over the years with oil changes, tire needs, windshield replacements due to highway stones putting cracks in the windshield, windshield wiper replacements and a little maintenance here and there.  Total costs for this year's tire and brake jobs is about $1600 which is not that bad.

The car is now getting old by car standards (2013) and due to declining sales the Ford company has decided to discontinue the model. In August 2020, the Ford company announced it was pulling the plug on making Ford Fusion cars and would instead focus on SUVs, crossovers, pick ups and the iconic Mustang. I missed my chance for a trade in while the car could still bring in a good penny for trade in value.  I  don't believe in paying a whole lot of money to get a car of my dreams since they depreciate so quickly.  That means I will probably keep the car as long as I can continue to repair it at a reasonable cost.

Another cost factor in car ownership is cost of car insurance and petrol/gas,  Where I live the cost of car insurance for one year is through the roof.  Almost a year ago I paid more than a return flight to Kenya for the car insurance and would have  paid much, much more were it not for a long and good driving history which gave a 40%  discount. I don't know how young people were able to manage the costs. I had read horror stories like the one about one young woman who was working as a waitress while to university and her car insurance was going to cost $5000. Petrol or gas as we call it, is also extremely expensive. The cost was $1.40 a litre pre-Covid ($1.06 US). Right now it is about $1.20 a litre (.91 cents/litre or $4.54 per gallon US). For the longest time, the cost was about $1.30 a litre so it has come down now that people are not driving so much.

The government runs the car insurance program here so it has a monopoly and there is no competition (it's different in other provinces). They say the high cost of our car insurance is due to ballooning cost of motor vehicle related litigation and court judgements in such cases. Quite recently our provincial Attorney General put forward legislation which limited the kind of payouts one could get for certain types of injuries and the legislation was passed.  This change is supposed to lead to reduced car insurance rates and possible rebates next year in 2021.  I hope that  this intended result really happens in my case as far too often I hear how this or that has been reduced only to discover later that the benefit doesn't accrue to me for one reason or another.

Below is a photo of the make and colour of  my car.  It isn't my car but this is what it looks like.  I love it because of the look and because it is roomy and comfortable and has many places to put your drinks in both the front and back.  This is very convenient when travelling out of the city.  The trunk is large and the seats can be put down in the back if you need more room to transport things. 

 

I do not need a SUV or a pick up so this car does what I need for the most part. It took me back and forth for years in the last few years of looking after my mom. It has also made 3 long trips to the north country.  Mainly though the car is used for local jaunts on an intermittent basis not a daily basis.  It is not used for going back and forth every day and that is why the car insurance is such an issue for me. In 2020 I paid over $2000 Canadian dollars for a car driven for pleasure and not for work.

Everyone has a different way of approaching vehicle needs and much of it is tied into our other expenditures and income levels as well as insurance costs.  What about you dear reader? Do you have a car which you really love? Are you the type that splashes out on top model cars, leased cars or used cars?  Or do you buy a new car and repair until it is no longer feasible?

It's been that kind of day trying to get odd jobs done. Besides the car repairs, I needed to call the telephone company and try to get a deal on my internet and television needs. My contract expired one month ago. I spent an hours on the phone talking with two different people and we were about 2/3 finished when the call ended. The representative called me back while I was trying to call her. She said she could hear me but I couldn't hear her. So frustrating as that is time lost and I will have to explain it all and listen to someone else try to explain their complicated pricing and discounts again.

At least one thing went as planned today. I baked a ham the other day and saved a bunch for soup.  Today I made ham and lentil soup to go with the home made French bread I made last night. This is the second time I've made French bread in the last week. After this bread is gone that will be it for the bread making for awhile. I eat too much of it.


The soup was just right. Not too salty and I put cabbage and red pepper in it to use up leftover veggies.  Normally I only put onions, celery, carrots and potatoes.

I wrote before about a backpack my nephew bought me when we travelled to Paris together. I have enjoyed using the backpack a lot but a strap broke off on the weekend. I took the pack apart so I could restitch it and discovered my sewing machine will not sew through the thickness of 4 layers. I now need to find a seamstress with an industrial machine or a shoe cobbler. I prefer to find a seamstress.  The last cobbler I went to charged me $40 Canadian to sew a few stitches in 4 different straps. I can do it all myself if I just had the right equipment.

I hope all is well with you and life is treating you well. In my corner of the world I will be keeping busy trying to get things done. It seems like never ending list of things to do.

Bye for now and stay safe.

Update:  I found a seamstress who will reattach both straps, sew the opening on the inside and reattach the binding. She will do it for $21. Canadian and have it ready on Friday afternoon. I thought it was a fair deal as it saves me from running around trying to find someone to do it at a fair price and someone who will do it quickly. It also saves me dealing with 'fiddly work'.  I use this backpack daily when I go out so I would like it soon. It reminded me that I have a cross body purse that also needs repair so I'll have to get that done and have it as my back up. I have a lot of bags of various kinds but few purses with straps that will allow me to go about 'hands free'.



19 comments:

  1. When I was married, we bought several new cars and drove one for 7 years, putting only 70K miles on it. the guy at trade in accused us of turning back the odometer. NO! We haad even driven it to Mexico and to Canada.

    I had a good 2000 Mailbu when someone hit me in the side and totaled it. The car I bought last year was a 2008 Impala with 4,600 miles, costing $5,000, and I intended to take care of it.

    There is no need for me to have a fancy car.

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    1. That's good. It sounds like you take good care of your cars.

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  2. So far we only had a car bought brand new and we used it many years until it was sold to buy a better used car. These days we no longer drive our car for long distance so we will continue to repair our car for local use.

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    1. Wow Nancy, that is great. You did well to have only 2 cars in your lifetime.

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  3. Hello Penny,
    We are planning to hold onto our current vehicle as long as we can. The new vehicles are so expensive and then do not make them to last. It is a shame they charge so much for car insurance. Our internet deal ends in March, we will need to decide what to do about that too. Your ham and bean soup sound delicious. Take care and stay safe. Have a happy day!

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    1. Thank you for sharing what you are doing about your car Eileen. I agree prices are so high and since it's an asset that doesn't appreciate it seems like such a waste of funds. I hope you find a good deal in March. The soup was very delicious. I meant to make ham and pea soup but I could find the peas, lol. I found them later and will make ham and pea soup on another day. Enjoy the rest of your week. xx

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  4. Insurance in Alberta is nuts, Last year my insurance went up 48%.

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  5. We drive a 2006 GMC Envoy, which is an SUV. It is approaching 200,000 miles and we know we need to think seriously about trading it, but it still runs good and has had very little repair issues over the 8 years that we have owned it. We usually buy good used vehicles, never new, as, like you said, the depreciate so quickly and new ones are extremely overpriced. We just don't want to have a car payment again and cannot afford to buy one outright without taking a loan, so we are holding off. Your car insurance sounds astronomical, although ours isn't wonderful either. It is very costly to own a vehicle, that is for sure, but here in the States we have very few options. Your soup looks wonderful! I can imagine it was very good with that french bread as well. I hear you about repairing your special bag. I hope you can find someone to do it reasonably. I know I get attached to certain bags/purses and don't want to get a new one...I just want mine fixed. Keep us posted. Have a wonderful day!

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    1. I would choose an SUV over a smaller car than the one I have now. I am like you at the moment. My car doesn't have such a high mileage but I don't want a monthly car payment. I'll have to try and save something before I can buy but without the trade in that might be quite expensive. I'm hoping I can find a very good deal on used next time. The soup was good and I hope I can find someone to fix my bag soon. Have a great day too Pamela.

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  6. We generally keep our cars for a long time as well and quite often we have had very old cars. Our last Renault here was cheap as although it was new, it had been to Germany and then imported back to France. Some fiddle to beat the tax!!!!! It is doing us well and still looks like new.
    The ham soup looks delicious. Re sewing with leather, I generally hand sew!
    Keep well Diane

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    1. It's great you manage to do well with used cars. The soup was delicious. I cannot sew the leather by hand because it is too thick for me and too hard on the fingers. Stay safe. xx

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  7. A person or shop that does upholstery can do what you need on the strap. A person who upholsters cars is a good person to contact. If you can hand stitch it back together, it will cost less, too.

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    1. The seamstress will do it and it will be ready tomorrow as I dropped it off late today. I have leather sewing needles but my fingers will not handle sewing through the different layers and I wasn't it to be very strong your other ideas sound great and I'll try to remember them

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  8. My car is a 2010. I take care of it and it takes care of me. Yes, insurance is the worst of it. Mine costs me $1,000 annually. I may have to reconsider its value to me based on that cost.

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    1. I think your car insurance us very good because it's half if what I'm paying.

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  9. My current car is a Dodge Avenger, 2011. It's got just a little over 100.000 miles and it will probably soon be time to be looking for a new one. We bought this one used and have had it for about 7 years. It runs great. We don't need fancy either, we tend to buy and keep our cars for a long time.
    The soup looks so good!

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  10. Thats a good approach Mari, buy used and keep it running well. It seems most of the people responding are of the same mind. The soup was good. I'll make more in a week or two as it's now soup season.

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  11. That soup looks good! When it comes to cars, I'm not terribly picky, so long as it runs and is safe. I have a 2001 Toyota Corolla with about 165,000 miles on it. I figure it's good till 200,000 if I mind the maintenance. Soemtimes I think I'd like a new one. But it's not worth the money to me, as long as it goes!

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