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Choosing my first car
I don’t really care about cars, but I had to buy one and I’m going to describe the process I used to find the one.
Until my 30’s, I couldn’t care less about cars. I didn’t know the brands that well, didn’t like discussing them, and had no plans to have one. To me it was just a sink where you would throw money in maintenance and insurance.
I have a motorcycle for many years and I really prefer it as a way of transportation. It’s cheaper, it’s faster (considering the high traffic of the city I was living in), I felt like being part of the environment (instead of locked inside something cursing other people doing the same), I was part of a bikers group and traveled to many places in the past, etc.
Well, then I had twins and a motorcycle just doesn’t fit my life anymore. I still have one as a secondary transport, but I can’t just rely on it. Public transport (which means buses, in my case) with two babies is not really something I would like to experience if I have the chance to skip it.
With that said, it was time to buy a car. 🤷♂️
I have driver’s licence for motorcycles and cars since my 20’s, but never really drove cars because I disliked and didn’t see a reason to do so.
I had no idea about what car to buy, so I started asking people. My uncle works in his car repair shop for 30 years, and I really value his opinions.
I asked him what car I should buy, considering that I just want something that works and do not give me headaches with maintenance. He was an owner of a Honda Fit for 10 years, he said it’s probably the most reliable car he ever had and it’s mostly the case with all Honda vehicles we have in Brazil. It’s a bit more expensive, but worth the cost (in his words, and now mine).
Well, that was convincing. I just removed all other brands from my list and I’m going for Honda.
I promised myself I would never buy new, as it’s a waste of money for those who are not very into cars. So I did some research on what would be a good year range. My research gave me results on 3-5 years old cars, which is right between people are considering not doing the official maintenance and the warranty is almost over (usually 3 years). People who like cars are usually getting a new one at this point too, so you usually get a car that is nice and with a good price.
I checked the models I had with Honda:
- Honda Fit
- Honda HR-V
- Honda Civic
- Honda City
I really like Fit, but not enough trunk for 2 babies when travelling. HR-V looks OK, but too expensive. Civic is also OK, but it’s overpriced (IMO). Honda Honda City looks enough for all my needs. Mostly the same mechanics of Honda Fit (according to my uncle).
Now that I had the type in mind, I would have to choose the model. There are a few of them:
- Honda City 1.4 EXL
- Honda City 1.4 EX
- Honda City 1.4 LX
LX is the cheapest, but it’s not the one I want. EXL was the most expensive and I really don’t need the extras. Honda City EX was mostly everything I needed.
Now I know exactly what I’m looking for: Honda City EX, Black, 2015+, 2017 preferred.
With that in mind, I just did some research to find the price range of what I wanted and started visiting places. I went with a friend who likes cars, as I really didn’t know any places and wanted someone else to try the car for me, otherwise I would totally blindly buy one.
Doing this whole research prior to effectively looking for the car improved the situation a lot. I knew exactly what I was looking for when visiting places. I knew exactly what the model had to deliver and the average price.
While searching, a ton of sellers tried to push things that just weren’t what they are saying. I can’t evaluate other models, but for this model in particular, I knew everything I had to know.
Decided to not buy from someone directly as the risk would be even higher. Found a reputable place with the model I wanted, negotiated the price and bought it. A Honda city EX 2017, 20000 km.
Asked my friend to help me with some driving lessons since it was more than 10 years since my last driving 😅. After that, it just took time to get used to it. I’m currently a happy owner since 2020.