My little notebook I keep this information in is getting worn out. The flip-open cover is now completely torn off of the spiral wire binding. It's being held on by a few layers of tape. This little notepad has the record of every tank of gas since the first one, pumped on December 1, 2004.
So this means that in about ten months, I will have had this car for ten years. That will be about 24% of my life, and about 38% of my driving career. Easily the longest time I've ever owned a single car.
For a long time I wondered why survey responders would say they'd buy the same car over again. Surely they'd have complaints with their current cars, either cosmetic, convenience, or performance related. I have thought for years that I'd like a smaller/zippier/better fuel economy car. But close to ten years into ownership of the Mighty Corolla, it's done fine. It's not the peppiest or most luxurious, and one of the speakers buzzes when the bass it turned up, but it does the job and it's been paid for.
So I guess, sure, I'd buy another Corolla. It does what a car is supposed to do. It can go as fast as the other cars on the interstate, and it can be stuck in traffic congestion just like those fancier cars. So I don't see much of a point now to seek a faster/fancier/plusher car. The car is a way to get me places. I don't see it as a destination in itself. What's the point in getting a car that's nicer than your house? You spend more time at home or work, usually, than you do in your car. Why spend more than you have to on a car that takes you places?
After you're done with the car, it's not worth that much to anyone else, and I'd rather use my money on something else. A $14,000 Corolla over 10 years is (MATH!) $1,400 a year, or about $117 a month. A $35,000 fancypantsmobile over the same time frame is (MORE MATH!) about $292 a month. For the difference of $175 a month, that's a lot of pizza and beer. Or shoes. Or pants.
Oh, and I'm averaging 35.02 mpg so far this year...