A few years after being married, the wife and I got this '85 Golf diesel. For the past 6 years it has not really given us any problems, except a faulty CV joint that had me thinking the transmission had gone out when it hadn't and a couple leaks that were easy to fix. It also gets great fuel mileage, over 50mpg. We drive a lot.
It's a little rough looking and has no AC system, but it's the perfect car for our budget. We make around $2,000-2,500/month after taxes, so at 20 percent, that gives us $400-500 for car expenses. With about $100-150 in fuel and $100 in insurance, that leaves us with $150-300 per month extra.
We had been wasting that money on other things, like other vehicles. But now we want to have just one car and use that money for that car's maintenance and improvement. I was thinking of saving some up, painting it, saving, reupholstering, saving, new muffler, etc. Maybe I'd even work up to having the money for a new engine or transmission if that ever became the case.
However, I'm also throwing around the idea of just selling the Golf and getting a car with a payment but that already looks nice and has AC. But according to Edmunds TCO, $400-500/month limits me to a car like a used Mitsubishi Mirage. Even a used Toyota Yaris or Prius C or Honda Fit may be just outside of my price range according to Edmunds, although perhaps close enough I could deal with it. But would I be kicking myself in the rear end if I gave up the ol' Golf for a newer car?