August 16th, 2009

Medieval Lady

Planes, trains, and automobiles

Ok, I am facing a dilemma, and figured that asking the Internets might provide useful feedback.

(Side note: Wow, this low-budget vampire movie has a weird combination of really interesting costumes, and really, really bad ones. Plus, of course, the requisite bad acting and cheesy dialogue.)

The scenario: this coming year, I have a long commute. Not every day, but two to three times a week. Which works out to, well, a lot of driving. Good news: I have a new car (woot!). However, that doesn't mean that I want to, you know, spend a year really racking up the miles (plus spending all that time in traffic, etc.).

So..... the thing is, there is also a train station in the next town over from the town I'm commuting to. It's about... sixteen miles. Sadly, there is no bus service from there to the town I'm actually working in.

I believe that there is parking at the train station (the Internet claims there is, although that's something I would have to check). And I've been thinking, "OK, so, I could drive down the first day I need to be there, take the train back and forth, then drive back the last day I need to be there." Which would save, well, a lot of driving.

However, that would also mean that there would be the need to have La Roommate drive me to/pick me up from the train station.... as well as some days when I wouldn't have a car around, because it would be at the train station.

What I'm now considering-- and the question I'm tossing out there for opinions and/or suggestions-- is whether it makes sense to pick up a cheap used car (I mean REALLY cheap) that could be the "train station to job" car, while the new car could be the "local" car. I'm not looking for something that would be taking long trips, or something I would necessarily have for more than a year. That would mean that I was taking the train for the majority of my commute (giving me time when I could be working/reading/etc.), but wouldn't have to ask for rides to and from the station, and wouldn't have to leave a new car in another town for several days. Of course, it would also mean, well, searching out a cheap car that would in fact last for a year, paying the insurance on it, etc.

Thoughts on what makes the most sense (ie, commute with existing car, commute plus train, cheap car plus train...), suggestions on how to find a good cheap car, suggestions on what a reasonable budget for a cheap car would be...?