It’s been exactly one year since I splurged on my third vehicle. I added a Jeep to the BMW SUV and sports car I already had. When I was a kid, I thought that would be the perfect combination of vehicles: something rugged, something luxurious, and something racy.
After a year of owning three cars, I’ve come to a different realization: three cars is probably two cars too many.
I keep two of cars in my home garage (along with my wife’s sport sedan) and rotate another car over at my son’s nearby townhouse. That gives me some flexibility in deciding what vehicle to use for any trip. Even if I want to use the car that’s not in my immediate garage, I can switch cars at his townhouse in just a couple minutes.
Still, it requires a bit of planning & analysis – how many people are going (Jeep & Roadster are 2-doors)? What’s the weather? Do I want tops up or down? Am I going to need the bike rack? Or, what sports equipment am I bringing? All three of the vehicles have trade offs in style, performance, and carrying capacity. It often seems like the car I need for a trip is the one that’s away from home at that moment and requires a quick switcheroo.
In addition, it seems like all three vehicles also need their own repair or maintenance at any given time. The roadster is in for hail damage right now, the SUV needs service on the brakes, and the Jeep just got an oil change. I have new LED headlights I want to put on the Jeep, a new license plate holder for the sports car, and the SUV needs a new windshield. Cars always need something, don’t they? I can’t even remember which ones have a full tank of gas.
Still, I’m not ready to depart with any of them right now because it is fun to have three vehicles. The sports car & Jeep are especially fun to blast around in and very different from my everyday SUV. The fun of driving them & great experiences make it worth the extra logistics & work.
My son and I just took the roadster to the race track (above photo) and on a backroads sports car rally to the Indianapolis 500 over Memorial Day weekend. We really ripped it. I blasted the Jeep through a 20” snowstorm this past winter and am pulling the top & doors off this week for the whole ‘Beach Jeep’ summertime vibe.
I hope we all have foolish pleasures in our lives that bring us joy & adventures – even if they are impractical in terms of cost & care. In my mind, early retirement needs to have a healthy dose of frivolity. What is yours?
Image Credit: (c) MrFireStation.com