I have driven hoopties most of my life. “What is a hoopty/hooptie?”, you may ask. An old friend once told me that it’s the kind of car you can throw a bunch of people into, without worrying about them messing up the leather. Well since I’ve never worried about that, I must have only ever owned hoopties. Basically it’s a junky old car. If you want to have some fun, check out Urban Dictionary.
The trouble with hoopties is that you spend a lot of money on repairs. I would love to go through my credit card history and total up how much I spent on the two Outbacks, but I will save that for a whole other post. When Mr. Farmhouse Finance and I finally bought a newer car (still three years old at the time when we bought it), we also bought the extended factory warranty. I know that the personal finance community has some pretty strong opinions about paying for extra warranties, but I tell you that the peace of mind that I receive from that extra $1,700 we spent is well worth it.
A Brief History of Hoopties
2001 – 2001 — 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser — FREE
My first car was a 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser station wagon. It was my mom’s old car that I drove for a few months in 2001 before my brother totaled it.
2001 – 2009 — 1989 Acura Legend — $6,000
My second car, and most prized possession for many years, was a 1989 Acura Legend (a doctor’s car, as my dad liked to say — yeah, a doctor in 1989 might have owned it.) The Legend was a pretty sweet ride that took me on a few cross-country trips until it finally died in 2009.
2009 – 2011 — 1994 Subaru Impreza — FREE!
My third car was given to me by an ex-boyfriend who was a mechanic. It was my first of four Subarus. This car was so embarrassing to drive. It was purple with matte black side fenders. I drove it for a year and a half, and then gave it to a friend when I bought another car to move out west with.
2011 – 2014 — 2002 Subaru Outback — $7,500
In 2011, I accepted a teaching job across the country, and needed a safe, reliable car to get me there. I was so broke at the time that I only put $100 down on this car, and my mom had to co-sign a car loan. Right from the start I had problems with this car. In 2014, we drove it back to New York, and right into the shop where it needed $5,000 worth of work. I sold it to my dad’s friend for $1,400 for him to fix up and resell.
2014 – 2015 — 2001 Subaru Outback — $2,500
My mom was buying a new car, so we bought her Outback for $2,500. She was the only owner of this car, and took excellent care of it. This Outback already had the head gaskets done, so I thought I was getting a great deal. WRONG! Within a couple months of buying it, the head gaskets had to be replaced AGAIN. Luckily, Subaru covered 75% of the cost of this repair. Unfortunately, the head gaskets were the first of many problems that I had with this car. It was very stressful breaking down the week of my wedding at an intersection, and then having to deal with scheduling repairs and figuring out rides to work when I started my new job. We dealt with the repairs for a year and a half with this car until we finally couldn’t take it any longer.
2016 – present — 2013 Subaru Impreza — $21,063.87 (includes extended warranty, and all taxes and fees)
Ouch! This was a lot to spend on a car, but the peace of mind I have now is priceless. My husband and I were dead-set against taking out a car loan because we thought that we would be buying a house right away after we got married. Two years later, we still haven’t built our house, and I am so grateful that we purchased this car. We put $4,500 down on this car and took out a loan for $16,563.87. We have been making extra payments and expect to have the loan paid off within this year.
What’s your car history?
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