Health insurance is expensive in America.
But on the bright side leasing a car in America is affordable. For 800 a month you can get a nice Audi A6, a BMW five series, A Benz E class or even a MASERATI GHIBLI !! For 400 a month you can still get a whole range of nice cars to choose from.
But my budget is way thinner, like on the thin thin side. So we just got her a Prius C1 (the C is for cheapo and the 1 is the cheapest of the cheap!! ).
200 bucks a month plus sales tax with 1000 drive off !! Yippee. Now that is a deal. 24,000 miles allowed on a 2 year lease. 15 cents a mile over 24,000. Car has cloth seats (for similar sticker price, the 2015 Honda Fit comes with leather seats and a back up camera but is not a hybrid and more importantly for me, no lease available currently), simple stereo, but is bluetooth capable for music and fone, auto transmission, power up/down windows with one touch on drivers side, USB and AUX jack for music input, what else? Basic but really all you need. A back up camera would be nice (and i hear required from 2017 onwards on US sold cars) but in such a small car is ok without it. A Nav is not really needed as you can pair your fone and use the nav feature on your fone and hear the directions on the speakers through bluetooth streaming. The directions come over the music if you are playing any.
A week with the car and I can tell ya, the thing corners like my RSX. DRives on the freeway at 80mph NO problemo (a bit on the loud side getting up to 80mph, but not bad really). Top speed is 105 MPH , but that is probably going downhill ! Now our speed limit is 65mph. The "understanding" is that the CHP (CAlifornia Highway Patrol) won't ticket you unless you are going 75mph plus. But I go down to near 65 mph when I see a cop, just the same. Normally I drive along with the flow, just slightly faster at bout 70 to 75mph. Occasionally one is with a fast pack and can get up to 80. I rarely stay long at that speed though, at least in the Bay Area. I hear on Interstate 5 down to LA one can cruise at 80 to 85. But I have not been on that road in over ten years.
Just filled the tank back up (you get a full tank at the dealer, a shout out to Toyota of Walnut Creek....those guys had the DEAL) and it cost me 5.5 gallons of regular having gone 285 miles !
That is near half of what my already extremely frugal (29mp gallon/ average) RSX usually needs in gas to go 285 miles. This sucker did about 52miles per gallon. That is roughly 22 kilometers per Liter.
That is pretty awesome.
The wife, does she like it? Yeah she does. Although she would prefer an Audi. Who would have guessed right?
I am giving her an hour's lesson every day. To continue with the six hours of pro lessons shes gotten.
Teaching a wife how to drive is skating on THIN ICE though.
And if truth be told. She is a pretty bad driver currently !!! But then i was pretty bad too when i first started out.
My instructor went to the temple to pray after my first time on the freeway, so I am told.
But I did take her on some challenging roads . One super difficult one tracker , mountain road she hit the gas instead of the brake and we nearly went over the side. But other then that , its been pretty good.
I was wondering why they always sent a different instructor each time we called for a pro lesson. Guess i need not wonder ! LOL
And if you are reading this wife? YOU were/are AWESOME, GREAT. INSPIRING
My RSX is a stick and there is no way she can drive it. Not just because a stick is a tuffie to learn on, but after putting the seat as far forward as possible (shes only five nothing) she could NOT depress the clutch pedal to the floor to engage a gear. Houston we have a problem !
And that is why I had to go ahead and get her a small automatic transmission car to learn on. So hopefully she can get her license in a few months and drive herself to work when she has a gig . Just for those not in the know, in CAlif you take a written test and if you pass it , you get a Learners Permit (28 bucks for 3 attempts to pass). Which allows you to drive a car ONLY if a licensed driver is with you in the car. You can NOT drive by yourself. Also she is covered under MY insurance policy as long as I am in the car with her. IF she were to drive without me in the car she would not be covered under my insurance. And if she were to be caught driving by herself with only a Learners Permit, she may not be able to take a driving test for a couple of years. They take this stuff seriously in America. If she were under 18, she would have to take something like 10 hours of professional driving instruction as well as 50 hours of driving with a licensed driver before she is allowed to take the driving test.
The driving test is not easy to pass here in California. You do it in your own car and the testor asks you to go here, go there, make a right hand turn, left hand turn, park here, etc. Its about 15 minutes if you are doing great, only a minute or two if you flunked ! MY ex GF failed even after FOUR attempts. Granted that is probably not because she is a girl and Taiwanese, more likely because I probably suck as a driving instructor. Two times going too fast, two times going too slow. Apparently they want you to drive right at the speed limit here. I generally tell my wife to drive the posted speed limit plus/minus Five MPH. And definitely not to go over 10 mph over the listed speed limit on a curve (being adventurous here though at ten mph over). No posted speed limit, go 25mph max. Actually the fuzz can give you a ticket going just 5 mph over, but usually wont. Although I have gotten TWO tickets going just 5 mph over. But those were speed traps set up just to make money. Going 30 in a 25 zone, both times. Ridiculonkus, but still costly. Paid 250 fine for the first and 165 dollars fine for the second (judge knocked it down to 165 from 250, because frankly it was ridiculous to get pulled over going 30 in a 25 zone).
She's got work nearly every week as a nanny for small kids. So its best if she can drive herself to work. Can't wait when she can drive. Yesterday in the early AM, i had to drive her to work (40 miles there and back). In the afternoon go and pick her up (40 miles and back) and then she wanted to hang out with her Indonesian culture group (they meet once a week) and I had to drive her another 50 miles there and back. That's 130 miles in the day, just shuttling her butt back and forth !! CAN'T WAIT for her to get the skills to drive safely and have her license to do so.
Ours is white (extra 395 dollars to get white as it is a pearl finish...dumb..). I want the orange when i get my Lambo Huracan. Cute face right? Almost like a Huracan no?