To Buy or Not to Buy a Car

The pandemic has changed the landscape of almost everything in the world – tourism, retail, education, the way we work, real estate, and even car sales. Before the pandemic hit, we were planning to get another car out of necessity. We used to go to work every day using a car we purchased in 2016. Back then, it was the smartest choice. We had been using a second-had car which we had to buy in 2012, just a few months after my husband and I got married, because I opted to grab a new work opportunity which is farther from where we live. At that time, we just needed something to get us from Point A to Point B at the cheapest and most convenient way as we were also saving for a house. When I gave birth in 2015, our first car started giving us headaches, so we decided that it was time to get a new one.

This was back in 2016 when we bought our first brand new car.

Here in the Philippines, there is a road scheme that aims to reduce traffic. A lot of people think it is not serving its purpose, but we don’t have a choice but to follow rules. The said scheme limits the use of an owner’s car at certain times once a week. This meant that we had to leave earlier and go home later, so we wouldn’t be on the road on certain hours on the said days. It was taking away time that we should had been spending with Zayne. We were already checking our finances if we could afford to get a new one when the pandemic happened.

The pandemic forced us to work from home for more than two years, so that meant that an extra car was unnecessary for us. For a lot of people who were fortunate enough to still have uninterrupted sources of income despite the lockdowns, the pandemic made them save a little more money – money that was supposed to be used for gas, traveling, eating out or shopping. And for some people I know, they took advantage of this by finally getting long-term investments. The pandemic and the work from home setup made a lot of corporate workers see the beauty of living outside the Metro Manila. I have a handful of friends who purchased houses in the nearby provinces. But a lot of companies already started the return to office mandates earlier this year. This also urged people who relocated during the pandemic to buy a car. Reasons vary from convenience to fear of getting COVID-19 in public transportation. Fortunately for us, getting another car is still not needed as we are only expected to be in the office twice a week. We still limit going out of the house because we recognize that the virus is still out there.

This was taken a couple of months ago during Zayne’s drive-by Moving Up ceremony at her school.

We are seeing bizarre patterns in car sales worldwide. It’s plummeting in some countries because of increasing gas prices and the shortage of car parts brought by the pandemic and ongoing wars. We’re also seeing increase in sales of electronic cars in most countries. This is why it’s so important to really plan when buying a car. It’s a major purchase after all. There are a lot of things to consider like whether you should be buying a second-hand car or a new one, or whether you can pay the car loan with ease. Whatever your reasons may be in buying a car, you should spend ample time researching the type of car that will address your needs, talk to people who already took the plunge, and carefully plan your finances to make sure that you will be getting the most out of having a car instead of being more burdened with additional financial woes.

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