It was hard to believe that just a few months ago everywhere you went everyone was saying that you should buy new, and that there was unlimited supply of credit just waiting there for the asking. For vehicles it was said that buying new was better for the environment, and that SUVs were better than that five year old car you are driving now. Best of all there are those who, obviously with a vested interest, saying that no one should own a vehicle that is over ten years of age. My have have the times changed since then.
It was about four months ago that I had a discussion with a friend of mine who worked up in the Oil Patch about buying new vehicles. He would pop back down to his house here in Fort Langley for a rest until his crew was called back, so for about two weeks he had some time to kill before his nine week stint started. During his last stay we talked about the economy and how times had never being better, especially for him, raking in over a hundred thousand dollars last year. He really kept laying into me about my vehicle, 1983 Nissan Pick-up. It just picked his butt that I was driving what he considered the most un-Canadian vehicle of them all, a small import twenty-five year old truck. He would start telling me how I was the one harming the environment, and that his SUV, a 2007 Ford One-ton Heavy Duty, Dual wheeled pick-up was better. Even when gasoline was over a $1.50 per litre he would go on and on about it.
Today, times have change—big time. He does not work up on Northern Alberta any more. He took a really big pay-cut when he left to find a far more meagre paying job in Vancouver. I think he got laid-off from his work, but we haven’t spoken in a while so all I got is hear-say. When I turned on the news today I heard that the few sectors of the economy that are booming, one in particular are small garages because people are now holding onto their smaller cars, brining them into the shop for repairs, in other words, keeping them on the road longer.
No one has the money to do financing any more, and the big old Banks are now tightening up their lending so the margin of those qualifying for loans is shrinking causing people to stick with their older vehicles. With so many laying in debt right now, this is the worse time to carry it. Then there is the stick price of one of these SUVs. Would you see yourself paying $60,000.00 for a full size SUV right now? ….maybe $40, 000.00? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
On the other side, so many who have SUVs are enjoying the cheep gas again, but it still takes a lot of litres to fill one of those puppies up, so the upside is only a sense of relief, not a total benefit. The real gems are the small vehicles, like mine, because not only are they cheep on gas, they are easer to maintain. Have you ever looked under the hood of an SUV lately? You need a degree in partial physics just to change the air filter.
It is amazing just how much has changed in just four short months. Form unlimited wealth, with high gasoline prices, then all the way down to a full global rescission and fear of huge unemployment rates and bankruptcies, who knew? I will stick with my little imported twenty-five year rust-bucket for now thank you. How about you, what do you think, are you sticking with the old for now too?