I hate buying cars. It’s such a long, exhausting process. First you decide what car (or at the very least what type of vehicle you might like to drive). Then you need to identify the appropriate dealership, visit the dealership for test drives, negotiate and then sign away your left kidney and resign yourself to the fact that you just took on thousands of dollars worth of debt. But, at least when it’s all said in done, you get a nice new car to drive, right?
Not necessarily. If you’re one of thousands of Americans that live in two-car households you may find that your spouse is the one with the keys.
There are many ways to determine who gets the fancy, new car.
One logic goes that the person who will be in the car for the longest amount of time each day should get to drive. That makes sense. For example, I drive 45-minutes one way to the office. Having a nice new set of wheels may help me enjoy the ride a little longer.
But, you need to consider the effect this commute will have on your car. A longer commute equals more mileage for your vehicle and more wear-and-tear. Allowing the spouse with the shorter commute may help protect your investment.
The Soccer Mom
Who will be transporting your kids to school or daycare? This is ultimately the method we used when we decided my husband would take the new minivan to work. This is obviously the right choice when your new car is a family car. But what if your new vehicle is a two-seat convertible ? Then the person taking the kids should probably stick to the old car.
The Trade In
Did you trade in your car? Then perhaps, by default, you’ve earned the right to drive the new one. I hated my husbands Jeep, he loved it. I was only lukewarm on my Malibu. If we had traded in my car, I would have driven the new car.
Do you transport clients around on a regular basis? Than perhaps a nice new car is the wise choice. I mean, if you want to chauffer that important client around in your 1996 Honda Civic while your spouse cruises to the post office in crisp, new leather seats, be my guest.
Is your new car AWD? Then whoever deals with the most treacherous road conditions should probably drive it. My commute takes me over the Palmer Divide, a place in Colorado known to receive an extra beating in the winter time. Make sure the person facing the most complicated conditions has the right car for the job.
My parents always buy new cars at the same time, so they can avoid this dilemma. It’s not in everyone’s budget, but it allows each driver to enjoy the joy of the new car.