I Still Drive the Same Car From High School

When I was a junior in high school (2006), I got my first car.

It was a 1998 Toyota Rav4.

And today in 2017, I still drive that almost 20-year-old car.


That car, affectionately named Gomez, has been the perfect car.

It got me through all 5 years of driving back and forth to school in Indiana. Gomez hung out in storage for a bit while I lived in DC, and now is an amazing city car. But since my car is so old, I don’t get concerned about any new bumps or marks from everyday street parking.

At first, it may seem a little silly that I still drive the same car I did when George W. Bush was President and when I could not legally vote. My friends’ have all gotten new cars since high school (for the most part), and my brother has gone through what feels like eight cars.

But ultimately, I think it is kind of neat that my car is still around and running.

At this point in life, I don’t need to replace Gomez. I do not rely on my car for work and am not traveling copious miles each day on my commute, but there are definitely some drawbacks to driving a car that was designed and built when I was 6 years old.

Pros of Driving My Super Old Car:

  • No monthly car payments
  • No obsession over keeping it scratch free
  • Gomez is very recognizable (that could also be considered a con)
  • Tiny SUV makes parallel parking easy
  • Can fit a lot of stuff in it

Cons of Driving My Super Old Car:

  • Probably not Is not fuel efficient
  • Probably lacking in safety technology (there are at least 2 airbags)
  • Lacking in all technology (it was upgraded to a CD player before I got it, but that serves as a reminder that it originally came with a cassette player)
  • It’s showing its age and those repairs cost $$$

gomez1Even if I eventually replace Gomez, it won’t ever be with a new car straight off the lot. A used car will work just fine.

How do you feel about driving old cars? Is it better to drive them til the end or upgrade to a more efficient model?


  1. In 2013, I bought a used 2010 Toyota Prius a few years after graduating college. It’s my first car and I wouldn’t replace “Vlad” for anything! I’m almost done with paying off my loan, but once that’s done within the next year, I’m debt free! I plan to drive it until it runs down to the ground and am in no hurry to get the next best model out there. It’s the best road trip car and fits A TON of stuff in the back when you put down the back seats. I even moved a 6 foot baker’s rack with it! (not comfortably, but it was managed!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My car turns 20 next year. I’m actually planning a birthday party for the thing (is that lame?) as she has served me well! She was my first car and I bought her when I was 17. Five years later, she putters along well but is starting to lag a little. I’ve put a good $1,000 in her for repairs this year and I’m thinking it may be time to sell after she turns 20. If I do go that route, it’ll be a sad day. I have a lot of fond memories in that good ‘ol Honda Accord.

    Now that I’ve waxed sentimental: I think old cars are great. They seem to be more reliable, they teach humility and also- what stories they could tell!

    Aside from that, I just think it’s absolutely stupid to sign up for car payments when you’re just getting started in life. You’re figuratively wrapping a rope around you neck, tying it to an anchor, and hoping the boat doesn’t tip from life’s storms resulting in the anchor sliding into the sea. It just doesn’t make any sense. *shrug*

    (but I grew up on Dave Ramsey… LOL!)


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