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Monday, July 17, 2006

A Second Car: Necessity, Not Luxury

“Give me the luxuries of life and I will gladly do without the necessities.”
Honda City 1.5 Liters VTEC. We like the sleek sporty shape and the 15" alloy wheels.
To expatriates like us working in a place where public transport is either almost non-existent or not very good, owning a car is a necessity. Not because we can afford it but because we need it. Whether you have a brand new car or a used car or even one that's just about ready to fall apart, having one for your own is always better than waiting under the sun hoping that a taxi would pass by or the bus is not too crowded. For people like us, a car is a necessity but to have two may be considered a luxury by many. Not true in our case.

Looks nice from the back as it does from the front.

My wife and I are both working professionals. Although we work for the same company, our workplace are miles apart. Hers is in the main Doha office while mine is in different job sites. I used to work in the main office as well so having just one car adequate for us. When I moved to site work, it has become more complicated but we can still manage. Now the entire main office is moving to another place which is much farther from our flat - and from my job sites for that matter. Sending her there in the morning then rushing to site and then picking her up in the afternoon is just not going to work. I'd be late all the time and I'll be very tired by the time I arrive at work.

Initially we thought of moving to another flat - somewhere closer to the new main office. However, the price of apartment rental in Doha is rising uncontrollably and it appears that the rent of a flat about the same size as what we have now would cost twice per month. A colleague subconsciously commented, "You could already buy a car with the extra amount you will pay for the new flat."
Chrome and false wood finish brighten up the interiors, giving it a more classy feel.
I did not took it as a joke and actually considered it. My wife agreed that buying another car, smaller than the X-trail we have, is a better option than moving to a new apartment. Not only is it cheaper monthly but it's also more convenient for both of us. I can go straight home, or wherever it is that I still have to go to, and so can she. It offers freedom for both of us to do our individual activities. We like doing things together but we just have our own individual activities. So after a few days of looking for a suitable car, we decided on the Honda City VTEC. It fits within the budget and during the time we bought one, the dealer is running a promotion - discounted price, free insurance, free registration and free maintenance service for up to 3 years or 30,000 kms, whichever comes first.
The sparky 1.5 Liter VTEC engine.
Instead of going for the base model, which is cheaper, we went for the top of the line model with the 1.5 Liters VTEC engine. It's a beautiful car. Light and nimble, CD player comes standard, tiptronic-like 7 speed mode automatic transmission and the interior finish is a notch up better than its competitors. Very good value for money. The wood trim is obviously not real but it looks nice just the same.
My wife looking very happy on the driver's seat of her new car.
If it's because of necessity, why did we go for fully-loaded model? Three reasons. One, the monthly installment isn't really significant. Two, we believe in getting the best value out of our money. And three, because we can. Call it a luxury if you may but for me and my wife, it's a necessity.


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