Friday 22nd October 2021

My Worst Purchase. 6/51. #LifeThisWeek. 14/2019.

My Worst Purchase. 6/51. #LifeThisWeek. 14/2019.

Like most humans who buy anything, there are regrets post-purchase. Sometimes the regrets can be turned into a good choice with the options of re-selling, returning it, gifting, or learning to LIKE it.

In this case of my worst purchase it was something that I could DO something about but it was to come at a BIG cost.

The back story.

After long and faithful service to me and my family – grandkids especially – over 7 years it was time to sell my much loved Blue Avensis (7 seats were awesome with grandkids) and upgrade to a new car.

There is more.

We had finally sold our house by early 2015 and once the mortgage was paid out, we both needed new and reliable vehicles for our next stage of life: retirement and around 2 hours drive from Sydney. We could pay cash for the new cars.

My husband’s choice turned out to be just about spot-on – a Nissan Pathfinder – although he now says he wishes he had not chosen to white one. His car for driving always needs to be big – he is tall- but comfortable enough for his many weary bones and more. It also can serve as a tradie’s vehicle for when he is doing some work at others’ houses.

The middle part of the story.

When we were selecting his car, I too had my attention drawn to a car I loved the look of and the options it had. It was a red Nissan X-Trail. But then, adding the costs together “I” decided that amount of money on 2 vehicles would detract from the savings goal toward a new house one day.

I then went on to the familiar Toyota dealer who had sold me my 3 previous cars, and asked for a trade-in on my Avensis on a Toyota Corolla. Red. Of course. But also much less changeover cost too. I arranged to pick it up at the end of January when I was back in Sydney for an appointment.

The new car.

I did the changeover on the Friday afternoon, went to pick my new glasses up and began the drive back up the M1 after battling Sydney’s traffic. I love(d) my former Corollas. They were ideal for my city-driving days. But after having a vehicle with a higher position for driving and great all-round vision like the Avensis, my decision was one I was already regretting.

The real test came for me on the M1. I drive safely but well and am not a fear-filled driver in these conditions at all but this new car of mine was slow to take up the hills, and had nothing like what I knew I needed for my regular driving on the M1.

Regret – big time.

It is an awful feeling to know you have made a mistake and even more when you know that it has cost a lot of money. Yet, over that weekend, my husband who is both caring and generous, decided that it was not “on” to keep this car if it was not going to work for me. I was grateful of course but also aware of how much this might cost us. And it did.

Trade-Ins and Devaluations.

The saying that once you drive the car out of the showroom is loses so many thousands of dollars is true.

We knew it would be a cost to us for the trade-in of a NEW since three days previous car to one I really wanted and would love driving.

So, we spent a morning with the local dealer on the Central Coast and eventually an agreement was made.

They took my red Corolla and swapped it for a red Nissan X-trail at no cost  for a difference that still makes my eyes water and heart sink…well not as much as it did. But still it was in the 10s of thousands. Yikes.

Regret becomes delight.

My new car was changed to my next new car and I have not stopped smiling nor talking or writing about how much this car of mine means to me. This car is often my only companion on my many trips to Sydney and I love all part of her performance.

Then I hurt my red car!

It made me sad recently when I had a ‘run-in’ with those yellow bollards at Westmead after ignoring the warning beeps. I was distracted after a long and stressful time with the prosthodontist and just wanted to get home . It was me at the end of a very long process of three months WAITING for my mouth to be teeth ready. I look at this photo and know how I was feeling. Bad about the car but oh so over it about the mouth reconstruction!

Anyway, we finally had her repaired last week and my 5 days in a rental white SUV  made me even more grateful when I got back into her on Friday and drove home.

Worst Purchase and Its Lesson.

I have learned that I cannot make a decision like a car (or a house in the future)  based only on common-sense and finance as there has to also be something of my heart and emotions for it to be fully something I can embrace.

What is your worst purchase?



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Joining Alicia here for Open Slather and Kell here for Mummy Mondays.

Inlinkz Link Party

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 7/51. Self-Care: Share Your Story. #1. 18/2/19.








  1. Denyse, I am so with you on the car angst. I was so stressed out the other morning I got hit my something from a building site. So now I have to insurance claims on my car. And two blocks of time I’ll be doing the panelbeater / car rental place shuffle. My other claim was for hail damage.

    On the up side, my car will be practically new again with all the attention to its paintwork!

    SSG xxx

    • It is the nuisance part of it all with insurers isn’t it? My accident with the bollards was last August but because “I could not bear” driving another car to and from Sydney we put it off till Feb. So pleased we opted for hire car option even if our out of pocket we elected to pay was $800.

      I sure hope between us our cars behave well with any obstacle seen or unseen!

      Denyse x

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head – the worst purchase part comes from the amount of money you waste (and the knowledge that you didn’t need to waste the money if you’d just done it yourself, or gone with your first instinct).
    As for ignoring the beeping. My new (not new now but still new in my head) car beeps when you are miles away, it’s ridiculous. I am mindful that I still need to check how far because I’ll ignore it once when I shouldn’t. The old car had a realistic beep, so only beeped when you were getting close.

    • Yes. You have nailed it. Talk about a learning curve. I also acknowledge my headspace back then was stress-to-the-max with selling and moving. I was trying to be “sensible”.

      I get annoyed with the sensors still but as I also have cameras front and back I can confirm more easily.

      Good luck with yours telling you the RIGHT message.

      Denyse x

  3. I giggled at some of this. I bought my current car nearly 11 years ago in the way I tend to do many things – on a whim. We’d gone up to the dealership to choose the colour for hubbys tool of trade vehicle & I took a test drive. Deal done. I still love it – even if every gender has been bruised from where pillars in car parks haven’t played nice with me.

    • Carparks in some places are worse than others as if the planners would not know that the world of cars is more SUV than sedan!!

      If only I had done the “right” thing by the Red XTrail I sat in at Nissan Castle Hill…no, being sensible…lol.

      Denyse x

  4. Hi Denyse, your husband is a wise man and I although you might have lost a bit in the changeover your happiness and feeling comfortable driving is worth more than money isn’t it? I’m terrible and probably buy our cars on colour. My husband does all the background work on which is more reliable etc. Have a great week and thanks for the link up. xx

    • Oh yes he is and forgiving many times over! Thanks Sue.

      I am attracted to the colour of the car but also need to sit in and imagine it for me. As I said to Jo, if only I HAD followed that up with the purchase when we also got my husband’s new car then we would be right.

      Lessons….always learning lessons in life!

      Denyse x

  5. I’m glad to read the happy ending, Denyse. I live close to the city centre and can walk to where I need to be, or I use public transit. I’ve been car-free for many years. Whenever I need to rent a car, it’s always new. Thanks for hosting the link up. Have a great week!

    • That sounds very practical.

      In our Australian cities and their outskirts it is virtually impossible due to lack of good infrastructure and we travel long distances even from the outer areas into the city. The people who can go car-less would be living very close to public transport to make it work.

      Denyse x

  6. Great story Denyse. I love choosing the colour of my cars, and may latest Is orange! I’ve shared an old post about a shopping list my daughter found months after returning home to the UK from a trip to Aus. Sorry it’s not about my worst purchase but this one always makes me happy!

    • I can’t wait to read. Orange is a colour I have grown to love in the past years. You can find your car more easily when it is a colourful one – having a white one for a week taught me that!

      Denyse x

  7. Such a costly mistake Denyse – and it kills me how dealers (of all varieties) rip us off. I’ve made a couple of mistakes along the way – always due to making a hurried decision – if I’d slept on it for a few days, I’d have known better – but we live and learn and in the end, we need to be happy and content with our choices. I’m so glad your second choice was perfect for you x

    • Oh yes, I have not taken more time lamenting the cost & loss lately because it does not help me now.

      I have learned to love and be practical in decisions like these and it is going to serve me well when we may eventually buy.

      Thanks for your kind words

      Denyse x

  8. I always go with my gut – luckily I don’t have to worry about a car because I can’t drive. I’m an impulse buyer but luckily my husband is a very conscientious buyer and never splashes any significant amounts of cash without thorough research first! I guess that kind of levels me out 🙂

    • Ha. No excuse just because you can’t drive…lol.

      I love to drive and it was this that I did not take into account with that major purpose and change. I think too, we were both reeling from the huge life change of house sale and trying to make our life work in a strange house in a place we found very isolating.

      Learned a lot in these past few years THAT is for sure.

      Denyse x

  9. Hmm, there are things that have been costly mistakes but *knocks on wood* have been ok in the end. I did have to get a personal loan to deal with an issue on my old car, which then died anyway. But then my new car was $10k cheaper than comparative models so overall it cost me less. It was more awkward than bad, maybe?

    • I think the debts we have had on cars in our life together is staggering if we looked back on them. I married a man with a smallish car and I too had one, but when we were expecting our first child, we traded-in on one vehicle that my husband says now, “that bloke saw us coming”.

      Apart from a mortgage for most of us, a car would be the biggest expense. Not everyone can have a mortgage either as we both know but this “car mistake” was using our cash…better stop now!

      Denyse x

  10. Ouch!

    We need to update our car at some stage. We delayed changing our oil and basically ruined it. Now it spews out tons of white smoke when we start it. Will continue to drive it until it gives up, then trade it in.

    • Oh gosh. We ruined a year old car back in the 1970s by forgetting to put something back on after a service at home.”Cooked” the engine and we had to buy another car quick smart as we were going to teach in the remote regions of NSW.

      Hope yours survives till you can replace it.

      Denyse x

  11. Hubby and I are looking at getting a second car soon. A good reminder to be careful!