December 21, 2011

Goodbye, Accent

My first car.

Much like when I was 15 and thought my cat would be with me forever, I really didn't think the day would come when I would say goodbye to my car, that I'd be 35 and still driving the car I got when I was 16. That car and I have been through quite a bit in the nearly 10 years I had it: my first job, a tire blowout, moving to San Diego, a near death experience with a dead battery, half a dozen trips to San Francisco, a weekend drive to Humboldt, 15 months of a 90 minute daily commute to Africa and countless (OK, 11) addresses.

My Hyundai Accent was $10,000 new in 2002 and I unwrapped it on the lot. It had .2 miles on the odometer and over the next nine and a half years I put 141,000 more on it. My intention was to run it into the ground and only upgrade when I had no choice. Fortunately, that happened at a time when I was in a position to upgrade. I was able to make the decision to buy a new car rather than be forced to pay for the necessary repairs and go days or even weeks without my car. It's a huge relief to know I won't have to worry about problems or repairs for a good long while, but handing over the keys was a little heartbreaking.

Although, the whole car selling experience fascinated me. For the last month I was under the impression that selling a car was a much bigger deal than selling any other used item, but it really wasn't (for the most part, the same went for buying a car). I posted my car on Craigslist at 6:30pm and it was gone within 3 hours. My phone was ringing off the hook and the first guy to look at it wanted it. My car was barely even working and people were calling and emailing offering cash without even seeing it, which makes me wonder if I priced it a little low (honestly I didn't... the car needs work). I made the buyer sign a form I created myself stating the car was sold "as is" and without a smog check (required by law, but obviously I would have been unable to fulfill that requirement) and signed my title away.

I'm going to miss that car. For what it was, it required very little maintenance and effort on my part, got great gas mileage and despite the noises and quirks I knew it'd get me where I needed to. It was time to say goodbye though, and I hope it'll have a few more years once it gets a new transmission.

Bye, Accent. You were a great first car.

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