Author Topic: Second car vs. car rental  (Read 4026 times)

jaye_p

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Second car vs. car rental
« on: January 29, 2015, 12:53:23 PM »
Hi everyone!   I figured I'd ask about something that's been bothering me for my first post.

We are a three-person, two-car family.  My husband's car (96 Civic) gets regular use going to and from his job, but I drive my car, on average, twice a month (to go to Costco), except for occasional trips to local waterways to kayak in the warmer months.  I am a stay-at-home mom, and everywhere I regularly go except Costco is within biking or walking distance.  I already do all of our grocery shopping, library trips, etc. on bike or on foot, I walk my son to school every day, and I don't really feel like I need a car.  I could go to Costco - and kayaking - on weekends or weeknights when my husband's car is not in use, or I could carpool with a friend and give her gas money.

 However, my husband argues that we should hold onto my car (99 VW Bug) because 1) we need it as a backup vehicle for when his car is being repaired and 2) it costs us so little money on average that it isn't hurting us financially to keep it.   I feel that we would save money by getting rid of my car (thus no repairs - which are infrequent but expensive - and no car insurance or registration fees;  gas money is negligible since I fill up about once every 2-3 months) and simply renting a car when his car is in the shop.  I have done a few minor repairs on his car, and plan on learning how to do more as need arises, so hopefully it won't be in the shop very often.   I should probably mention that if we get rid of my car, we will donate it to our local public radio station, so we lack that financial incentive for letting it go.  Further details:  our insurance runs us $77/month, and registration fees are around $60.00. 

So...are my husband's arguments sound?  Should we indeed keep our "backup car"?

JLee

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 12:57:47 PM »
You are at $77/mo just for that one car? That sounds really high. I'm insuring two vehicles for less than that ('97 liability and '07 full coverage).

jaye_p

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 01:08:24 PM »
No, $77 for both of us/both cars.  Which still seems high to me, given that we both have good driving records and I drive only a few thousand miles/year.

kaizen soze

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2015, 02:02:04 PM »
My wife and I went down to one car in 2008 when I started taking the bus to work.  I probably need to use zipcar about once per year.  I've been very glad to be rid of the second car, and all of its attendant headaches.  Of course, I invested the $12,000 I got for the car rather than donate it.  And we don't have kids, so our situation may not be same as yours.  If you live somewhere with car share (like Zipcar) then you will probably be just fine.  I'd dump the car, if only to make room in the garage and have one less thing to worry about in life.

Gin1984

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 02:07:47 PM »
What my husband and I before we moved from a two car family to a one car family is we took what we budgeted for repairs, insurance (you should be able to determine how much each car costs) and registration for a year.  We then look at how many dogs we would have to rent a car to equal keeping the car.  It was in no way worth it to keep the car.  I'd do the math and see how well it works.

Eric

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2015, 02:16:21 PM »
What my husband and I before we moved from a two car family to a one car family is we took what we budgeted for repairs, insurance (you should be able to determine how much each car costs) and registration for a year.  We then look at how many dogs we would have to rent a car to equal keeping the car.  It was in no way worth it to keep the car.  I'd do the math and see how well it works.

You can rent dogs?  I want to rent a dog...  :)

If you change dogs to days, then I agree with Gin.

Gin1984

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2015, 02:17:54 PM »
What my husband and I before we moved from a two car family to a one car family is we took what we budgeted for repairs, insurance (you should be able to determine how much each car costs) and registration for a year.  We then look at how many dogs we would have to rent a car to equal keeping the car.  It was in no way worth it to keep the car.  I'd do the math and see how well it works.

You can rent dogs?  I want to rent a dog...  :)

If you change dogs to days, then I agree with Gin.
ROFL, I swear posting on my ipad makes me either look insane or like I can't spell.  I don't know which one I prefer.  :P

Northerly

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2015, 03:12:53 PM »
We sold our second car about a year and a half ago. It is me, my wife, and 2 kids in the house. I bike to work most days, but sometimes I will need the car for errands, etc. She stays at home with the kids. In that year and a half, we have rented a car for about 5 days when my mom and her husband were visiting. For most, I think the second car will be regularly in service if it's there, just because it's so dang convenient. I would recommend sell.

TexasStash

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2015, 03:20:53 PM »
The concern about having a car when his is repaired is easily solved by adding rental car coverage to his insurance on his car. It's very cheap (much cheaper than having another car around). Of course there are plenty of other ways to adjust without adding rental to insurance (temp ride sharing with friend/neighbor, a ZipCar like service, bus to work (if workable), etc.

jaye_p

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2015, 03:31:25 PM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone!  Of course, you're preaching to the converted.  ; )

I'm not sure about ZipCar, but we do have Car2Go here, and I'm a member.  I could conceivably drive dh to work using Car2Go on the days his car is in the shop - conceivably because he needs to be at work at 8, and my son has to be to school at 9 (and I can't leave him alone in the house while I'm driving dh to work).  But I suppose dh could go to work late and then work late (better than getting my son to school late).  And that would definitely be cheaper than paying for insurance and maintenance of my barely-used car. 

And Northerly, you are so right - there are definitely times I have been tempted to use my car rather than biking or walking just because it's there and the streets and sidewalks are covered in ice - but now that I have my Yaktrax, ice doesn't faze me.  : )

Eric - people can indeed rent other people's dogs, as well as pretty much everything else one owns.  I forget what the listing service is called, though.  I read an article about it a  few years ago. 

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Second car vs. car rental
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2015, 03:57:34 PM »
The concern about having a car when his is repaired is easily solved by adding rental car coverage to his insurance on his car.

Your car insurance does not pay for you to get a rental car while your own is in the shop unless your car is in the shop due to an insurance claim.  No insurance claim = no rental car reimbursement.