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    We Almost Bought a Saab

    It’s true. Herman found a Saab for sale that he fell in love with. We went and took it for a test drive and couldn’t believe all the extras it had, right down to heated seats and headlight wipers. It was absolutely one of the nicest cars I’ve ever been in.

    But Herman and I couldn’t justify buying another car when there is only one driver in this family. And we already have two cars, one of which is my handicapped access van.

    Now, Herman’s justification for extra cars is that if you drive used cars, you need a spare when one is in the shop. I have to say, both of our cars have been pretty reliable this year, but they both have a lot of miles on them and seem to need increasing amounts of repair.

    The debate is, which is cheaper? Two used cars or one new car? With the way cars depreciate, you lose $5,000 by driving the car off the lot. Did I mention that the Saab is also used? But it’s a Saab! Even I was swept away. I put them in a category with Volvo and Mercedes Benz for reliability, safety and just general European elegance.

    And then there’s the argument, “Buy American!” But with multi-national companies, how much of an average American car is made in America? Not many.

    So for us, it just comes down to what we like, and we like this car. But again we couldn’t justify it. And on top of that, property taxes were due, and the cost was more than we could come up with for cash. And we’re too far down the credit road already.

    So when is a good time to buy a “new” used car? We both figured, not now. But Herman drove by today and they had just lowered the price on the Saab, so once again, we find ourselves interested.

    I think for the time being, we will remain a two car family. One is the van and the other is a Ford Explorer, both very practical vehicles for our use. The Saab is a nice pipe dream, with all the extras. It’s just not in our budget right now.

    As my aide Terry put it, “What car are you going to get rid of to buy the Saab?” That gave Herman and I pause. Because both the cars we have are running well (knock on wood). If that changes, I’ll let you know.

    "Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake here in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com"