I promise this will be my last potential-vehicle post today.

One of my most annoying character flaws is that when I’m presented with multiple options, I freeze. The computer in my head (a VIC-20, I think) can’t handle multiple acceptable choices and I become a deer in headlights.

Here’s my situation. I don’t necessarily need a vehicle urgently, but it’s clear I should get one because a] I don’t want to drive my company van during my off hours (though I do have permission) and b] I can’t count on being able to use my partner’s car unless I drive him to work, which means he can’t get away from his store to take his lunch break. I don’t want to do that to him. I will have about a grand to play with for down payment if needed, I want to try my best to stay under $6k, and whatever I buy has to be parked on the street because we don’t have the space. I’m only going to drive it around 5k per year, but it must be reliable enough to make the 500-mile round-trip to my Mom’s house a few times a year.

What do I really want? I think I want a truck most. I really miss my Ranger. I’d love a 4wd truck, but I know they won’t be good in this price range. 2WD is acceptable. There’s a small problem though. Pretty much all of the trucks in this range are 2007 or older. If I finance a replacement vehicle through the same CU my loan was with, the gap insurance from my Optima will give me a $1000 credit on the new loan. The CU will pretty much only go back 10 years. It sounds like they won’t be too concerned about mileage.

So, I can finance an older truck (or a car) through other means but give up on $1k, or I can try to find a car 2008 or newer. I have a few options.

First is the Ranger from my previous post. It’s 2005, 2WD, manual, 88k miles, $3995. I think this would be the front runner so far but I need to see it first.

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Second, I found this around the same time I found the gay pride Dixie cup F-150.

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Higher mileage than I’d like and $2k more than the Ranger, but I like the basic manual-everything rubber-floor ethos.

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Third:

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Why would I look at a 169k mile automatic shitbox? Because I think it will be reliable enough and it would get the $1000 rebate. I could pay it off in a year, FFS. It also has an AUX jack, which the others do not. I do like this generation of Rio. Plus it’s anonymous enough that no one will give it a second glance in my neighborhood. This car has been at this dealer for a while and they were asking $3600 at first.

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Fourth, the dark horse:

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This thing is STILL THERE! I’ve talked about my deep love of Town Cars before, and this thing is nearly everything that I want, except it’s not Black/Black but I’d live. It even appears to have an aftermarket AUX jack.

With all these choices, my brain is hurting. I don’t know which way to go.