Meet Mavis

After a 4 hour drive from the country there are bugs sticking to the grill and
Mitsubishi emblem. 

Hi Folks

There is a member of our family you have not officially met - Mavis.

Mavis is our frugal car, the car we paid cash for, the car that is a classic (well almost!), had only done a genuine 63,000 km's, perfect cloth interior, affordable to run and old enough for me to service myself.

We have done 10,000 km's  in Mavis this year.

We've chatted recently about cars and car loans HERE and similar notions are also supported by Australia's Bare Foot Investor and USA's Dave Ramsay regarding cars and car loans.

Mavis is a real sweetie and meets our needs perfectly.  We have two L plate drivers with a third about to 'hatch' later this month and a P plater as well as Mrs HM and I.  Mavis's fuel economy beats the pants off our big family car (Rosa) and thus the girls are keen to use "Mavey" (as they affectionately call her) for all their commuting needs. She draws a crowd of admiring fans wherever the girls take her as she has a certain amount of 'cute' value.

Mavis in all her 1980's glory. 

Mavis cost me $700.00 and although she has very little kilometers on the clock there were things that needed doing due to the age of the vehicle.  I spent over a period of one year about $1,500.00 slowly working through these small but important repairs and thus have paid in real terms $2,200.00. She is in top mechanical nick now.

Very neat and tidy little car indeed.

So my girls are unknowingly achieving the following frugalities:

  • Car sharing
  • Debt free whilst many of their friends have car loans
  • Economical 4 cylinder
  • Shotgun proof go-for-ever Mitsubishi pack-horse engine
  • Leveraging classic (well, classic to them anyway) styling as a social talking point that costs zip.

Recently Dear Daughter number 2 (DD2) drove Mavis down to her rural teaching placement 4 hours south and Mavis went there and back a few times without missing a beat - so Mavis can certainly be relied on and is not just a fragile old heap. We have bugs on the grill to proove it! hehe.

The cloth interior is spotless.

I did have plans to use this as my car....but the dear daughters have 'commandeered' it and I am permitted to use it to drive to the train station!  Truth is, I am happy for them to commandeer it if it is saving them from being in debt and teaching them lessons in financial prudence.

Anyway.....just thought I would show Mavis to you all and that Mr HM does put his money where his mouth is and encourages others to do the same. You can now have a chuckle as you imagine me shoe-horning myself into this little cutie every morning at 4.30am to drive to the train station - ha! 

Take care folks, stay nice.



  1. Funny that you should post this today Phil. It is a great read.

    My Phil has just given our year 2000 VT commodore (not as old as your Mavis) a special treat by going all over her and fixing what needs to be fixed. She is running like new again now. The shockies no longer clunk and rattle!
    We thought long and hard about doing this as the car is probably only worth a few dollars and the parts were going to cost a quite a bit. The paint work is in good condition, has low mileage and she is very cheap to run, so we decided to keep her and spend some money rather than getting another newer you beaut car! It is still cheaper to fix than to buy another one, and I have become attached to her.
    This coming week she will take us to Melbourne and back home again (hopefully and God willing). We will do over 2000kms. We have our second daughters university graduation (PHD in Australian History) to attend next Wednesday.

    Maintenance is the key to keep cars running smoothly. You look after them and they will look after you, as with anything in life :)

    Your Mavis is definitely cute, and it is great that your girls don't mind driving the "old" girl around. Most other kids these days wouldn't drive a car like that lol!

    Wishing you a lovely weekend,


  2. Hi Mr H, my dad was a car sales man, a very good and honest car sales man,me won many awards in his profession and was admired by his peers. He believed in having a good reliable car, preferrably White, with a strong body of Steele around you, he would have approved thoroughly of your Mavis. I was telling my hairdresser this morning about your philosophy of buying cars and how practical it was, I think every high school student, learning to drive should read this post, very wise words.
    Have a great weekend,

  3. Wonderful example of thrift and frugality!
    I often see older, but quite functional vehicles for sale for cheap, and people don't seem to buy them because they are not the "latest and greatest", Oh well their loss is our gain!

  4. Mavis seems to be very popular in your household, Mr.HM. I think the older cars were safer to be in if there was an accident. So pleased your girls are learning to be frugal and not go into debt.

  5. A timely post as we have just decided on our next car, thanks to some 'bonus' money. My little bubble car just keeps on going but it's time to upgrade for better safety of the younger family members who are in not-quite-legal seating thanks to the age of the car.

    Decided to really put our money where our values are and go for a Prius. Gave one a test drive and kinda fell in love. Looking forward to bringing my new baby home :)

  6. Mavis is a lovely car and reminds me of a 1980's Datsun Cherry in metallic blue that I drove in my 20's. Very reliable and easily fixed as it was a "mechanical" car and had never heard of all of the onboard computer wizardry and electronics you get on the newer cars which you just cannot sort out without paying someone else to do it.

    Well done to your girls for embracing Mavis and making the most of her.

  7. Isn't it funny how attached we all are to our vehicles. We have a Ford Sport Trac--our FOURTH. We always pay cash and drive them until we deem them not trustworthy for LONG car trips--then they go to my son. We are in love with the 2005 model and try to locate then online when it's time to replace. We average 250, 000 miles on each one when we finally give them to "The Boy'. He always gets another year or two out of it.
    And ours (all four) have always had the same name---Handy. Because that's what she is. Well, that and VERY MUCH LOVED!

  8. Our son brought a 1999 VT Commodore from his friend's father!! just before he died and it was a right lemon. I sold all my quilting fabric and it cost me $3500 to fix it ( 4 new tyres, steering rack,other steering stuff, brakes completely done, front door fixed, new window winder mechanism, cover for where the cap is for the petrol etc etc + labour from our mechanic) on driver's side but I wanted to keep the car for sentimental reasons. I brought new parts and in the last 2 years it has not missed a beat except this warrant I replaced the power steering belt as it had a crack in it. I figure the longer I keep it the more economic that big spend becomes. Same with our other freehold VY Commodore which we did buy on HP 9 years ago now. It was an ex cop car and we had to replace the diff and the radiator recently had a crack in it but that was only $480 to replace so all in all the car hasn't cost us a lot in 9 years repair wise . We love both the cars and see no reason to change them

  9. I like that you name your vehicles. During the test drive of our diesel rodeo I named him Rory.

  10. My Mitsubishi Sigma wagon, Gert, finally came of age in 2000 and I'd owned her 18 years of those 21 and she'd travelled nearly 500,000km. She carried children, groceries, dogs, cats, horse feed, chook feed, saddles and gear and camping equipment in all types of weather and topography conditions, through flooded creeks, snow, along dusty roads and cruising along bitumen roadways. She even did a round trip in the Abel Tasman and holidayed in Tasmania! For a $5000 Homebush auctions buy with 70,000km on the clock she was worth every cent! Wishing Mavis a long and interesting life with your family :).


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