I wasn’t always so carless
September 7th of this year was the day I sold my car, a Porsche Panamera SE Hybrid. It was an amazing car. I started out getting over 800 miles per tank of gas. This year my per-tank mileage shot up to over 1,000 miles. This meant that I was filling my gas tank about once a quarter.
The reason was the Porsche was a hybrid, getting plugged in each time I parked it in the garage. That stored energy helped the first eleven to fifteen miles to be all electric. This was my first hybrid and it was crazy fast.
Last week I called the dealership to check in on this beast because it had a recall and a couple fault codes showing when they asked me to bring it in. The fault codes dealt with the electric system. My patience started wearing a little thin after two and a half months of it being in the shop.
They explained that they wanted me to install a 220 amp circuit for the charger as part of their diagnostic process. I declined and offered them the opportunity to have their electrician come install it, but that was also declined. I half-jokingly said, well either you install one in my garage or maybe just give me my money back. The gentlemen asked for a few moments and hung up.
A few minutes later I received a call from the pre-owned department who said he looked at the car and offered me seventy-eight percent of what I paid for it after a year and a half of owning it. That got me to go talk to my wife Tina about the offer.
We had already been talking about what it would be like to have just one car. While I had the Panamera, she drives a Chevy Tahoe, our “family truckster.”
“I say do it!” was Tina’s immediate response.
This was all I needed to start my process to see what it meant to sell my car.
First off: I get money back as I had put some money down on the car and was getting back sixty-six percent of my money. From an immediate perspective, that is good for cash flow.
Secondly: I didn’t have to make my payment each month, saving almost $700 each fifth of the month.
Thirdly: I didn’t have to make car insurance payments, a savings of $500 per year.
Lastly: No more maintenance. None. Zip. Zilch. Not so much as an oil change (which was costing me $350 a pop).
I started calculating my dollars-per-mile and it was crazy. Just about $4 for every mile driven. I could envision my electric vehicle belching out quarters as I drove down the street.
I said “I am going to do it” as I exited my office and walked into the living room. Tina looked up and smiled. This was going to be a fun experiment.
“Worse case scenario is you go buy another car.”
The next day was the opening football game for the University of Texas Longhorns. This meant huge crowds in town, just not at the Porsche dealership. This was my opening. I drove over unannounced and popped into the pre-owned area.
They pointed me to Mike’s office as I asked for him and sure enough I was one of four people in the building. The rest were Porsche employees.
Mike came out, we tried to do some “horse trading” as we say in Texas and when we were done, I was handing him my ID and he was having me sign some papers. Twenty minutes later I was cleaning out the few things I kept in my car and hopped in the passenger side of a dealer car as they drove me home.
That evening I had my first carless bike ride. Quite an enjoyable time.
And regarding Tina’s car: she has agreed to me looking for a resto-mod version of the A-Team van, so if you know anyone with a recent mod on one, please send them my way.
I love it when a plan comes together…