When I was 19 I purchased my first car (shout out to my dad for helping my buy this.) I didn’t receive my drivers license until I was 18 (oldest kid in drivers ed right here), and by the time I was ready to own a car I was ready to pay cash. Payments don’t exist in my vocabulary, with school, with cars, or with bills – it’s all or nothing for me.
Another reason I want a tiny home – pay for it all at once.
In 2008 I purchased an ’07 Toyota Camry with only 6k miles on her. She has taken me on many wonderful adventures, and this past Sunday we celebrated a Camry milestone. After 8.5 years of exploring we hit 100k miles.
I drive a lot when I want to explore, and often drive 150 miles in one day when I want to go for a hike. Regular readers know I enjoy hiking as often as I can. I love my car, and she treats me well, but I’m ready to entertain the idea of something more Brittany friendly. Something a little less “I’m on my way to Bingo,” and a little more “I’m on my way to tear up some trails.”
I’m very happy with my grandma persona FYI.
Washington gets a lot of rain, and sometimes a good deal of snow. In the winter months I’m known to white knuckle my steering wheel when driving down a hill that may or may not have ice. Heaven forbid I slide into a ditch, or unintentionally slam into another vehicle.
The Camry is safe, like eleven airbags safe, but it’s not all wheel drive and I’ve slipped a few times while driving in the winter. I also find myself pretending I’m at Disneyland on Mr.Toads Wild Ride while driving up the mountains filled with potholes and narrow roads. Four wheel drive would help my resting heart rate stay below 200BPM.
I’m not going to be purchasing a new ride yet, I can’t abandon my first love just because she has a few grays (actually, shes all gray but that’s beside the point) but I am starting my research journey now. I would love to just bike everywhere, because not only does it save money, but I often make money by finding coins.
Alas, biking up a mountain to get to a trail head doesn’t appeal to me at this stage of my life.
This past weekend Washington was prepping for a storm I knew we weren’t going to get (our weather is never predictable, so when I hear storm I don’t believe it until I see it), and I decided to give the Camry a rest from mountain bumps and scrapes just in case there were power lines putting on a fire show in the streets.
Instead, I used my Chevro-legs and went for a local run while everyone else was bundled inside.
Fall running is my favorite.
I plan to enjoy the rest of my time with my Camry and let her take me on a few more adventures. I have my eyes on a Subaru Outback or Crosstrek, but I can already feel the separation anxiety creeping in for my Camry. #attachementissues #firstlove
Q: What was your first car?
69 thoughts on “Milestone”
haha – I have a 2001 Hyundai Sante Fe that has tons of quirks that would annoy most people, but I am used to it – and I can’t part with it just yet….LOL! People can’t believe I still have that car, but I keep saying I will keep it until the engine falls out! 🙂
Right!? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
I love running in the fall as well! 🙂
First car was a Honda Prelude, but it was short-lived because a drunk driver hit-and-run me from the side. Then my father spoiled me with a brand new Acura Integra right after that. It lasted until my last year of college when it got stolen and was completely stripped off of everything. Yes, I had bad luck with cars. That ended when I went with an old, dare I say classic, Toyota Cressida. And after that, I dared getting new cars again. Now, I don’t own a car at all and LOVE it. Of course, this will end once I settle back to the States somewhere again…
Oh my gosh bad luck for sure! I do love that you’re carless right now, it seems much more common where you’re at.
Yes, totally! Being carless is so stress-free. Driving in a big city like London is horrible — the traffic and not to mention driving on the wrong side of the road!
Josie @ Literature Mistress
I inherited my grandpa’s car two and a half years ago when he decided he definitely wouldn’t be driving it again after his eyesight had deteriorated considerably. So I’m quite literally driving a grandparent car.^^
It’s a blue-greyish Volkswagen Polo, which I named after my grandpa: Ernst. =)
Omg I love. The name is perfect.
kathy @ more coffee, less talky
my first car that i paid for myself was a VW Golf GTI. to this day, it’s still one of my favourites and i still miss it!
I think you need to get another one, and rage in it. While drinking herbal tea and listening to classical music of course.
Both of my cars have been Toyota Camrys and I love them. I don’t know how you’ve had your car for that long and just hit 100,000 miles! I feel like I’d be at like 200,000 miles haha
Ha! I feel like I drive a lot too, but I guess not! I’ve treated her well. You have good taste.
Rachael @ Catch Me If You Can
awww your first car you will never forget her! mine was a ’66 mustang and i loved her 🙂 unfortunately she just couldnt handle the long commutes anymore and i had to get a “newer” mustang with 80k miles on it. now i have almost 190k and she’s 16 years old!!!!! i’ve been eyeing a new car too, mine has no bells and whistles and dang it i want them but i will be a little hearbroken when i finally part ways with her. a Subaru is totally you!!! i can see it now, all that hiking gear in the back, muddy shoes on the floor boards, yup i approve 😀
Oh my gosh, that scene you painted at the end…so much yes.
Aw what a huge milestone! I just hit 100k a few weeks ago on my current car. My first car was a 1996 Nissan Sentra and I loved it. Dad got me a personal loan that I paid off with my 16 yo after school job. She had a lot of miles on her when I bought it so she only last a few years. Needless to say, I had separation anxiety when I let her go. Now I’m having the same with my current one. A Nissan Versa (notice a theme here 😁). She was my first updated car bought from a real dealership and took me 6 years to pay her off, which I just did early this year. But like others, I’ve started eying other cars with upgrades… like Bluetooth lol. I’m going to hold out for a while longer because it’s just nice not to have a car payment and but I know I’ll miss her when I give in to a new one. I can’t wait to hear what car you end up with in the future!!
No car payments is the best, I love Toyota’s, but I may branch out! 😝
Subaru’s are great for winter driving. We’ve had three of them and love our babies, although the Prius was near and dear to my hippie loving heart. It definitely winter tires though.
Yes! I love that you had three, that’s a good sign.
Explorer. Cash is King.
My fist car was a wonderful and impractical 1973 MGB that I wish I still had.
Toyota and Honda can give you good reliable service. Avoid Fiat like the plague.
I love Toyota, been great to me! Deal on the fiat advice!
Rach @ This Italian Family
Oh girl, I was the old kid getting my DL too. I didn’t get my license until I was a JR in college (so 19 for me). I didn’t need it before that because public transportation was so great in China (where I lived as a teen) and then I went from there to college in a small town and everyone I knew had a car so it was easy to hitch a ride anywhere I needed to go. I got my first car when I married Christopher in 2008. We shared his college car that was a piece of junk barely holding together. 😉 No A/C and it broke down all the time. A ’96 Chevy Caviler. Ah, Black Bird… so many memories. 😉 A year later (in 2009) we bought my first car and it was an ’01 Nissan Altima. It was a total lemon so after a year we sold it and bought my ’06 Scion XA which is what I still drive today. It’s my baby. When we bought it in 2010 it had 40k miles on it and it’s well over 150k miles now. I keep trying to prepare myself for the day that I have to move on, but I just can’t bring myself to do it, haha! We’ve replaced Christopher’s car since then as well so we both have reliable vehicles now. 🙂
Oh! And I am so with you on buying cars with cash. We’ve never had a car note and I’m so glad for that!
Whoooo for late to the license party! My parents didn’t think I was responsible enough for one at 16. I was a bit of a rebel. 😝
LOL… A 1981 Plymouth Horizon. It was only five years old. Dammit.
Ahh the memories.
Ah! I knew it. We’re twins, you and I.
First car: toyota camry (beige). Is it s a coincidence that it also came from my grandma? Grandma shades included? Probably. 🙂
I love it!! Excellent choice you both had.
My first car was the “kid family car” and it was a Plymouth Breeze. It was great, until it got stolen from my brother when he was in college. I’m with you on paying for the whole thing yourself. I loved that about my second car (or actually, my first real car)
Man a couple people have replied with stolen cars! So sad.
A VW Golf with a 5 speed. I drove it into the ground after 103,000 miles.
Try to remember that all wheel drive gives better traction but it doesn’t do diddly for stoppaging the old metal fart barge. (Term invented by DC bike advocacy person)
Hahaha that’s a great term, and good to know!
Awwww, we love Toyotas!! My parents’ first car was a Toyota pick-up from the 80’s. My brother and I both drove (and I still do) Honda Accords for basically the same reason — reliable, safe, and dependable. And my mom has driven a Subaru for 5 years now, so we highly recommend them too! Perfect for my parents to drive up to the mountains to their cabin. 🙂 And girl, you are SO brave to go running in the cold!! Especially with Renaud’s!!
The cold fingers and toes don’t phase me, I’m sooo used to them being numb hahaha. Solid round of cars!
1981 Buick Century, purchased in 1991. It actually had an 8-track player in it. It was perfect for a college student; big, heavy and very sturdy. Also easy to break into with a wire coat-hanger when I inevitably locked the keys inside!
I did own a 2002 Toyota Camry until just 2 years ago. I loved that silver car. Her name was Hope and she was pretty awesome. I still see her driving around town with her new people!
Awww she’s far away yet still close by! ❤️
My first car was a Sentra that I only had for three years because someone ran into it while I was in class!! It was a shock, but the person who ran into it was ok (just shaken up) and I am soooo glad I wasn’t in the car at the time!! I got to drive around in a rented cute little Mazda for a week until I found another car a month later.
Oh man!! That’s scary, but glad no one was hurt!
My first car was an ’01 Sunfire and I drove it for 8 years until I found a hell of a good deal on a new vehicle that I couldn’t pass up. I totally get attachment to a vehicle. I know the folks who own my ol sunfire now, and I totally have to stop and stare at it longingly when I go to their house haha
Ha! That’s awesome. They take us through so much!
First care was a 2002 Honda Accord EX, and I love all of it except it was TERRIBLE during the Minnesota winter. I finally had to part ways a year ago and bought my boyfriend’s mom’s 2005 Subaru Impreza, with only 69k on it, after she purchased a newer (2015?) Subaru Outback. I’d so go Subaru for sure, especially for the reasons you said! It’ll handle so well in the winter, and they are really great cars!
Ohh swoon. Subaru love.
An Unrefined Vegan
Hyundai Excel GL hatchback. It was a love-hate thing with us. But it really was a great little car and it was tough letting it go. But then I fell in love with my next car, a Subaru Outback which was an absolutely fantastic vehicle (and would be ideal for your needs). And now I’m in love with my Toyota Tacoma. Lesson: we really can fall in love multiple cars. BTW I was 21 when I got my license so I got you beat :-).
Subaru and Toyota for you, I knew we were friends for a reason. You have excellent taste.
I was a late learner driver too!!
My first car was a 1997 Citroen Saxo it was hideous and had NO power steering but I loved her for a full month until I killed her by running into an SUV whilst trying to change the CD, OOOOPS!
I’ve had a few brand new cars but now I’m like you, I don’t do payments so I’m currently driving a 2004 Renault Clio with almost 130k on the clock! I’m hoping she lasts till next summer, what do you think?
I think she’ll make it!! Just keep treating her well. 🙂
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
A Camry was actually the first car I drove on my own too! But it was my mom’s and kind of shared, so there’s that… I much would have preferred having my own. And I was a cray kid who went in to get her DL right on her birthday. Driving may just be one of my favourite things in the world.
Had my parents let me I’d have gotten my license on my 16th birthday ha! I wasn’t “responsible” enough by their standards. Aka rebellious child.
Luv What You Do
I had a hand me down Chevy for a bit and then got my Chevy Malibu. We were together for 12+ years and I LOVED that car. I was sad to see it (and it’s tape player) go 2 years ago! Every time i see a Chevy commercial, I just think that I want another one : ) Luckily, I have been able to trade in my car for my bike on some days and hoping that will last until the snow!
Until snow is the key word. Love that you’re able to bike more!
Luv What You Do
Me too!! There are people who will bike through this city in snow but I’m just not that committed. Biking off to donut club now : )
My 1st car was my grandpa’s Toyota Corolla. Talk about attachment issues – I was given his car when he passed away suddenly [it was always his plan to give it to me when I got my license] and I didn’t start driving until I was 17 [when I recieved the car]. There were SO many memories in that car. Now let me just tell you – it was ugly. It was a V4 [yep, slow as heck], it was tan, had no tinted windows, and had this ugly grey interior. But it also held every memory with my grandpa – the ones where he took me to and from soccer practice, picked me up from school, drove me to get Mc Donalds, etc. I was ATTACHED to that thing. Then I got in an accident and there it went. I cried, but I had it for a good 10 years before having to give it up. As much as I miss it, I wouldn’t trade my V8 2006 mustang for anything [it’s my BABY]. All this to say, your next car will create a whole new set of memories for you ❤
I adore this story, thank you for sharing! I can only imagine the memories that Toyota held for you, but your final thought is perfect! So true.
My first car was a ’96 Honda Civic- that I paid for in cash (with a little help from my parents) I loved that thing! Eventually I passed it along to my sister when I went to college and “upgraded” to a Honda Accord. Had that car until I got in a car accident and it was totaled 😦 I like having a reliable car for as long as it lasts. I named them, too: Rhonda the Honda and Corey the Accord.
Oh totally, I named my car baby love, which I admit is odd, but it stuck. My dad always says “how’s baby cakes” when he asks about her though. Makes it even more odd. Hahah.
I felt the same about getting a new car. My first car was a corolla and I had it a month shy of ten years when I got into an accident and it was totaled. I was playing with the idea of getting a new car, but like you had separation anxiety just thinking about it. I was kind of forced into it and got a VW Touareg! I LOVE IT! perfect for the PNW weather! Now I won’t be terrified to drive in the winter
That’s awesome! It can be scary in the northwest during winter!
My first car was a beige, two door, four speed, K-car (Plymouth). No air, took regular gas (which no longer existed), burned oil quite effectively, no power brakes, no power steering.
At best, I could say:
It was mine.
Nobody wanted to steal it (so I never had to lock it or even roll up the windows.
It would go about 650km on a full tank of gas
I could push It and steer all by myself
It is long gone now.
As usual, awesome post Britt.
My goodness, what a car. I’m sure it treated you well!
Oh no. Not at all. It broke down at inconvenient times (hence how I learned to push and steer at the same time), cost me more money in repairs than I actually paid for it, almost lost me all my tools when my father sold it and didn’t bother to look in the trunk (while I was in Japan), and won me no looks from the female population.
The passing of said vehicle was more of a lesson than a mourning.
Hahaha oh my! It makes for a great story that’s for sure.
Aw that’s sad news about the car coming to and end soon but it cannot be helped. I could see you in an Outback or maybe even a Baja.
Think about it.
My first car? I don’t really recall because I had many shitty cars at the start. One of the early ones that I didn’t appreciate at the time was a ’77 Dodge Aspen.
Something like this: <a href="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3661/3588847836_9a971cede3.jpg
Ohh that car was surely a chick magnet for you. 🙂
Haha no mine was not quite as nice as that and as I said, I did not appreciate it at the time.
Hi Britt- I saw your post a few days ago and then found out a friend of mine was in a roll-over accident in a Subaru. She credits the car with saving her life bec the frame was intact afterwards. Just something to consider as you shop and test drive. -Kat
Oh absolutely, the safety features are what we focus on (my dad and I) when buying. Thank you so much for sharing!
Aww, I always enjoy hearing about first car experiences! I am still driving my first vehicle, a Chevy S-10, and it’s almost a classic. I bought it when I was 16 and it had 40,000 miles on it…. I still haven’t hit 100,000 yet. I get attachment issues thinking about leaving it behind, too! I know some day I’ll have to move on, but until then, I’m going to enjoy it 🙂
I’ve heard great things about Subaru vehicles! I can totally see you driving one 🙂
Wow you’ve taken amazing care of your car! Well done!
Congrats on the 100K! My first car, and my older brother’s first car before me, and my dad’s car before that, was a 1984 Nissan Datsun Sentra. The color wasn’t red but more like a faded red, and we affectionately called it The Heap. Got us to school and around town!
The Heap is probably the best name of all.