Mr. Cheap called our other mechanic, who is willing to prioritize repairs (yay!) and charges less than the dealership (surprise!). So we think we can get away with investing $1000 in repairs now (thus maintaining our investment in this light-use car for resale later).
This also benefits the “use what you have” mindset — repairing what we have, and preserving it so that another owner can use it if/when we must move on. (Phew, maybe I’ll finally earn some brownie points for the Buy Nothing Challenge!) And Mr. Cheap’s car is older, which in this case means it gets much better mileage than many newer cars (it runs around 28-30 mpg in town).
We can’t easily get away with one car right now, but if Mr. Cheap gets the job he wants, we could. We also discussed that if we had one car, on the occasional day when we really need two, we could go New York-style and rent a car. The $50 a day would be far more cost-effective than buying a new car — and we could test-drive vehicles and see which one we might eventually want to buy!
And we even have enough in our emergency fund to cover the repairs. (Something that just occurred to me after I was groaning to myself about a $1,000 credit card bill = Hey, this is an unexpected expense!)
I saw on one board that someone had rented a Prius to see how she liked it. What a good idea for our vacation this summer …