The Most Expensive Cab Ride. Ever.


For the seven or so years I was in Calgary, I was used to paying for taxis to get around since I didn't have a car to call my own. Since getting my license in 1996, I usually had access to my parents' vehicles - so nights out on the town crusing around in the aptly-named "Honey Wagon" (a sleek, sporty vehicle cleverly disguised as a 1994 Mercury Villager,) were rarely out of grasp.


Last week I arrived home and stepped out of a vehicle as usual, but this time I got to keep the cab.*

Not bad for a first car! A 2005 Celica in "Thundercloud Metallic."

I had been saving up some cash for some time while working in Calgary and was waiting for the right time to purchase a car. It was a matter of time before planning my outings around the availability of friends with cars, roommates or the public transit system was going to get to be too much to handle; the fact that I managed to go seven years this way surprises me even now, despite just getting out of this "rut" last week.

At the same time, one excuse might be that by not owning a vehicle I was doing the environment a favour while saving money myself - simultaneously, negatively affecting my social life. Hmm, it seems there's always a catch.

Planning the Acquisition

The Toyota Celica was the car I had been drooling over for the last three years or so, having taken notice of its redesigned look with the 2000-year model. Despite not being much of a "car guy," this is one of the very few (and realistic) vehicles that ever caught my eye out on the street. The Celica looks like one smooth curve, it's presumably that which I find most attractive about it. It's just a cool-looking car.

My alternate choices would include the "Back To The Future" car, the DMC DeLorean and Audi's TT Roadster. Then again, I always thought in high school that the Pontiac Fiero was a pretty neat car, although a friend had one at the time which lived up to its infamous namesake within a week of leaving his possession. Alternately I test-drove a supercharged Mercedes-Benz C230K Sport Coupe last year, and that was pretty fun - though I didn't have an extra $10,000 US to blow on my car budget.

Dealings and Negotiations

A good chunk of my savings went towards the down payment on the vehicle, and by jumping through a number of hoops I was able to find a local Credit Union willing to check my Canadian Credit History (in excellent standing,) thus resulting in my eligibility for a very reasonable interest rate on a car loan.

I did a good amount of research on the car itself (Read: downloading wallpapers), read reviews and looked at the used market. I found that prices for used models were not significantly less than buying new, and given their "sporty" nature it was expected that people would probably treat them fairly roughly. In addition to all of this, 2005 was the last model year for the Celica (apparently the rumours were true, it is to be retired) - so I decided it was now or never to buy a new one. I shopped around between dealers as well and found what I wanted at the right price. It took some time, but it was a worthwhile investment.

After having never owned a vehicle and then purchasing new, that first drive home was almost worth the full price of the car alone.


Would I do it again? Most certainly. The name "Celica" purportedly derives from the Spanish word for "heavenly."

* For those of you who have always had your own vehicle: You have no idea how nice this felt.

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