For two months I had a spare car, a second car standing by in case my first car stopped working. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t recommend having a spare for anything so large, but on the other hand, you can often find a better deal if you go shopping when you’re not up against a deadline. That thought is especially significant with a car. It is easier to go car shopping if you have a car already. I wanted to do my car shopping before my car actually died at the side of the road somewhere, and I didn’t want to risk missing a critical appointment with a dead car. My old car had just passed 208,000 miles and the roar of the engine was getting louder by the week, so I wasn’t sure how much time I had before I would have to replace it.