Back in late 2013 I made the decision to purchase a reliable vehicle that would be strong enough to pull a travel trailer. After considering many options I decided that since my track record with Hyundai pretty much perfect I would stop at my local dealer to inquire. They had a 2009 Santa Fe on the lot which only had one previous owner and perfect service records. It did have 55,000 miles on it but according to many testimonies I learned that this vehicle was built for the long haul and could easily last up to 300,000 miles when properly maintained. More importantly it was a 6 cylinder model with a tow capacity of 2675 pounds which is perfect to pull a light travel trailer.
Fast forward almost 4 years I am still driving that Santa Fe and have had just one problem when the fuel pump gave out. It was a minimally expensive repair and I have had no other problems since. I just reached 85,000 miles and scheduled maintenance with Hyundai Service. Tires, brakes, belts, alignments and a few other system maintenance items brought me to the figure of $3000.00. The vehicle has been paid off for over a year now and I have been banking the monthly payment into an emergency fund. So now is the pay off time.
Years ago I would have panicked and quickly made all kind of bad decisions like trading it in and purchasing a new vehicle. As I have grown wiser I know that it doesn’t matter what vehicle I purchase, sooner or later it will always come back to the fact that vehicles need to be maintained and eventually we have to find a way to keep up with this maintenance. It truly is one of the costs of driving.
Although I am older and wiser there still is the little boy inside me who has been searching the internet checking out all the new trucks and options available. Yes, it is exciting thinking about driving a brand new truck with all of the bells and whistles, but would making such a purchase actually be practical. On average I discovered that such a purchase would set me back around $53,000.00 and years of car payments. Obviously this is unacceptable for someone who is in the last steps of this debt free plan that I have been working for almost 5 years now. I am within 16 months of paying off the mortgage and I have vowed to not let anything get in my way other than emergencies. I consider spending $3000.00 to maintain my Santa Fe an emergency and after considering my other option of getting further into debt by purchasing a new truck. I have discovered a new found gratitude in the vehicle I am currently driving.
There still may come a day when purchasing a new truck is practical but it certainly is not today. And I still have dreams of purchasing a travel trailer that will give us opportunities to visit different off the beaten path places to discover the wonders of nature. I still picture pulling an R-Pod down the road and the vehicle I am driving is more than strong enough for the task.