Hyperfocused vs. …normal?

For the last couple of months, we have been casually looking for a used car for our daughter, who will be 16 this month. She will need a car to get her to and from school and work, but we didn’t what to spend a lot of money. 

Over the last week, I’d found several cars on Craigslist that we eventually decided to see and test drive. Every one of them had been a disappointment except one car that had been owned by an elderly woman who hardly ever drove it. Our girl – who has routinely told us that she didn’t feel strongly about what kind of vehicle we chose for her and that whatever we thought was best, was good enough for her – expressed some disappointment that the car was…well, it was a big car and it looked like one might expect a car owned by a little old lady to look like. 

Then I read the safety reviews and discovered that this otherwise perfect vehicle had some worryingly poor crash test results. I decided to do a search on safe vehicles for teens, and found a very useful list published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:  Recommended Used Vehicles for Teens. Game changer! Nothing we’d already seen was on the list! Unfortunately, there were very few vehicles that were within our budget, either. 

But there were a few, and tonight my husband and I will picking up a low-mileage, 2-owner 2006 Saab 9-3 for our kiddo. Saab? I had no idea that they were considered so safe. 

I’m writing this here because while I am a Master Procrastinator (pretty sure I have my certificate somewhere), I have focused almost exclusively on this exhaustive vehicle search. 

Give me a to-do list with ONE item on it, and I am ON IT! As long as it’s not boring or routine. 

So I am finally back. Whew. It’s been a long week!

9 thoughts on “Hyperfocused vs. …normal?

    • Our 19 year old is on her third car already! Long story, but she now has a super reliable car that she loves. She works so much that I found it for her, sent her a photo of it and co-signed for her to start building her credit. I will have to say out of all the cars we’ve had Hondas and Mazdas are the best imo.


    • My preference was finding her a Honda – that’s what I’ve driven for the last 25 years. But none of the Hondas on the safe-for-teens list were within our budget – my husband wanted it below $4K (and preferably between $2-3K), which was understandable but a little difficult to adhere to from a safe ratings POV.

      If I’d been working with a larger budget, I’m pretty sure I’d have bought her a Honda!

      Liked by 1 person

    • My husband has had Hondas for 20+ years. He’s on the waiting list for the Civic R type. He’s obsessed! Our daughter’s second car was a ’00 Honda accord that we got for $5000. It had high miles and after 2 years had two oil leaks and was burning oil. Traded it in for $700 and found her a 2009 Honda Civic coupe for under $10000. She finances it and her payments are under $200 a month. It makes me feel better that she’s in a reliable car now! My youngest turns 16 in about 2 years and she’ll get my ’12 Mazda3.


    • The first one was given to her by my parents. It was a toyota avalon so kinda in a teens eyes an “old lady” car. She practiced on it while she had her permit and totaled it after having her license 5 whole days. Nothing major, didnt hit anyone and she wasn’t hurt, but the insurance totaled it out. We got $7200 for it.


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