So that title is probably a little overly dramatic, as my car didn’t actually eat my money, but it did just set me back a little over $900! What happened was that over the last few weeks I had noticed that the clutch in my car was feeling “different”. Then early last week “different” turned into “oh crap, I don’t know if I am going to make it home from work”, you see what was happening was that the clutch in my car was going down alright, but when I tried to get it to come back up, it didn’t seem to want to obey as quickly as I thought it should. Essentially it meant that I was close to stalling my car whenever I wanted to take off, and I would “bunny hop” a little whenever I changed gears. – not fun!
Fortunately the day I was travelling home from work when the clutch was terrible, the traffic wasn’t as bad as normal, so I didn’t have too much to worry about. So I phoned the local mechanic shop that we go to and booked the car in for an urgent clutch evaluation. The mechanic said it sounded like the clutch hydraulics had an issue, and that I should get it seen to ASAP. Being a complete novice when it comes to all things car related, I just said – “Yep, sounds good. I’ll bring it in tomorrow”.
As luck would have it, that same night I had a boys night out at a local steak house, and I was dreading the thought of driving my car to attend. So I ended up using my wife’s car and I left mine at home in the garage.
The next morning I dropped the car off at the mechanics, and by that afternoon everything was sorted and I had a bill for a bit over $900 (The clutch portion cost $673.05 and the general service I got them to do cost me around $250). Check out the bill below
I’m not going to lie, I would rather the clutch in my car didn’t die and that we didn’t have to pay $900, but it did get me thinking about just how much I rely on my car for important things like getting to and from work as well as to social events. I know that public transport is a viable option, however it is a lot less agile than owning your own car. Plus for some types of work catching public transport just isn’t practical when you need lots of tools in the back of your car to do your job.
Unfortunately many people don’t have the money available to them to be able to afford a car, and so they need to either find alternative methods of transport, or not go for jobs that require a vehicle. Just the other day a co-worker had to apply for car finance and he asked me to be a witness to his car loan papers. The car loan was for his wife who has a job that requires that she drive almost all day. So taking out this loan was more of a necessity than anything else, as they didn’t have the money to buy a car themselves and it was mandatory that she has her own car for work.
Personally I don’t generally advocate that people get loans for cars, for the simple fact that a car is a depreciating asset and you will end up losing money both on the car, as well as on the loan. However, if you need a car for work and you don’t have the money to pay for it up front, then there really is not many other options for you. In that type of situation I think it is OK to get a loan for a car, as you will be able to produce more income by getting the car and the attached car loan than it will cost you in repayments and car related expenses.
Many people will be reading this thinking that they are in this very situation, but that their credit history is poor and so they will struggle to get car finance. If this is you, don’t worry just yet. There are plenty of companies that provide auto finance for bad credit. You will normally have a few additional conditions on your loan and you will probably be forced to pay a slightly higher interest rate, but if it is the difference between getting / staying in paid employment, and living off welfare, then getting the car is probably going to be a better option.
Have you had car issues recently, or have you had to get a loan for a car so that you can get to work?