Author Topic: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?  (Read 1054 times)

KiloRomeo

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Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« on: August 11, 2017, 09:51:36 AM »
Before you rip my head off, please read!

Our household is still a 2 car household.  I drive a 2013 Ford Focus and my wife drives a 2005 Corolla. One major need is we have a small boat that needs towing. The boat+trailer probably weighs around 1500#s, which is right about the tow capacity of the Corolla. The logic at the time of when I bought the focus was my inlaws had an SUV that could tow the boat for when we had longer trips and I didn't feel comfortable towing with the Corolla. Unfortunately they sold the SUV shortly after I bought the Focus.

The Focus technically isn't rated to tow in the US. That being said it has more HP,torque, better brakes and ABS than the Corolla. I bought it because I was coming from a TDI Jetta that was constantly breaking and I wanted something shiney, manual and fun. In hindsight I wish I bought an older Toyota Highlander because the Focus has already had a few issues and is depreciating like crazy. I bought it for $12,500 2.5 years ago and it's currently worth like $8,500. It has 38k miles.

The Corolla has been a fantastic car. Almost no issues but the clutch is starting to slip and it's in need of a paint job. My wife has had it since new and it's probably worth $3,500 now. A normal person would probably replace this car since it's older and more beat up but it truely has been a phenomenal car.

What I probably should have bought was a Toyota Highlander instead of the Focus. I would probably find the nicest AWD available for approximately $9k. It would probably have triple the mileage of the focus and be way less nice than the Focus but be more reliable, depreciate less and be a better tow vehicle. Otherwise I could replace the Corolla but then I have a higher cash outlay and I still have the depreciating and less reliable Focus. I only drive about 8k miles a year so the gas hit wouldn't be too bad and I would probably make up the transaction costs/gas pretty quick with better depreciation and less repairs.

TL DR - I'm thinking of selling the Focus in exchange for a V6 AWD Highlander. In a few years I would likely replace the Corolla with a Prius.  I think the ideal situation 3 years down the line would be I'm driving the Prius, my wife is driving the Highlander for our future kids and we have an F350 for the upcoming boat purchase. The bad part of that plan is my wife gets shafted because she never gets to drive the "new" car (since she drives more miles than I do).

bender

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 11:26:59 AM »
Financially your best move is to keep the cars and get rid of the boat.  How about a smaller boat (maybe without a motor) that can be towed or mounted more easily to one of your vehicles?  How often do you use the boat - it may be cheaper to rent one on-site if not used much.

There's really not enough info to give real advice here.  If you're set on keeping the boat - It may make sense to get a SUV to tow it.  This is a slippery slope of increasing expenses though.  If you're FI and this is a budgeted luxury purchase then go for it!  If not, you may want to run some numbers to see how much of a setback this is to your FI plans.

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 12:27:12 PM »
Financially perhaps you are correct. However from a lifestyle POV it's not going anywhere. I also already have a kayak, canoe and sailboat in addition to the powerboat. They are all staying! Boating is important for us, so much so that in the next 3 years I plan on spending $60k+ on another boat plus another $10k on a F350.

Financially a bad idea but it brings great happiness for that reason I consider it mustachian.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 01:25:24 PM »
Boating is important for us, so much so that in the next 3 years I plan on spending $60k+ on another boat plus another $10k on a F350.

Then why not skip the interim SUV and go straight to the F350?

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2017, 01:28:08 PM »
Because daily driving the F350 sounds like a nightmare. Ideally the boat would be kept on a lift and I would only need to use the F350/trailer when towing to the Fl Keys or the east coast. Alternatively I could skip the F350 and just rent a truck when that happens 8-10 times a year.

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 01:29:21 PM »
To be clear we would be a 3 car household once the truck is around, but the truck wouldn't be driven very often. We would drive the prius/highlander (or possibly a minivan).

ixtap

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 01:33:57 PM »
Boating is important for us, so much so that in the next 3 years I plan on spending $60k+ on another boat plus another $10k on a F350.

Then why not skip the interim SUV and go straight to the F350?

This is a good choice.

How often to do you tow the power boat? Could you rent a vehicle once in a while? This way you would keep the lower maintenance and lower gas cars, but have the safety needed for towing.

Do you always boat at the same location? Are their storage areas close to that location for a reasonable price?

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 02:53:25 PM »
The interim SUV wouldnt be interim. The F350 would be in addition to the SUV. We tow the power boat locally probably an average of once a week. The corolla is able to handle this for the most part but the clutch is starting to slip. For longer trips where i wouldnt feel comfortable with the corolla that probably happens 4-6 times a year.

It's important to note that we're only talking an additional $400 or so a year in gas for the SUV vs Focus. In addition  the SUV has lower insurance, depreciation and probably maintenance costs (even with higher miles/being older). There would be a transaction cost with buying it though but that would be first year only.

Optimiser

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 02:59:51 PM »
Financially perhaps you are correct. However from a lifestyle POV it's not going anywhere. I also already have a kayak, canoe and sailboat in addition to the powerboat. They are all staying! Boating is important for us, so much so that in the next 3 years I plan on spending $60k+ on another boat plus another $10k on a F350.

Financially a bad idea but it brings great happiness for that reason I consider it mustachian.

Would you please point me to the blog post where Pete mentions spending insane amounts of money on hobbies is okay as long as it makes you happy.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 03:07:36 PM »
Sounds like you've thought it through and have pretty much made up your mind. So...what's the question?

dycker1978

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 03:17:44 PM »
Fix the clutch, rent the 5 or 6 times a year you are going farther.  Keep the cars.  Don't buy a 60K boat, and 10k 350.

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 03:27:26 PM »
Sounds like you've thought it through and have pretty much made up your mind. So...what's the question?

Do I sell the Corolla or Focus for a Highlander. To me the logical thing would be yes sell the Focus. I just feel wrong for only owning a used car for 2.5 years

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 03:29:07 PM »
Would you please point me to the blog post where Pete mentions spending insane amounts of money on hobbies is okay as long as it makes you happy.

I think what a lot of forum members miss from Pete's teachings is the goal is to not live a consumerist lifestyle and to build your finances to give you freedom to do what you enjoy. I enjoy boating and I am building a portfolio to support these goals.

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 03:34:08 PM »
Fix the clutch, rent the 5 or 6 times a year you are going farther.  Keep the cars.  Don't buy a 60K boat, and 10k 350.

Opinion noted but I want to point out that this is probably more expensive than buying the SUV. A rental is going to run $150-200 per rental (trucks aren't cheap) so figure that's around $750. The SUV is likely going to cost ~$1000 more the first year for transactional costs/gas (excluding depreciation) and then $400 more a year after that. So really after 2 years I would break even (depreciation would make that even shorter) and after 2 years having the SUV would be cheaper.

I dont want you guys to think I've already made up my mind. To me the logical choice would be to switch to the SUV. It's just hard for me to admit that I bought the wrong car and I hate the idea of only owning the Focus for 2.5 years and selling it because it's in really good condition with only 38k miles while the SUV will likely be 5+ years older than the focus with 3x the miles.

dycker1978

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 03:50:30 PM »
Fix the clutch, rent the 5 or 6 times a year you are going farther.  Keep the cars.  Don't buy a 60K boat, and 10k 350.

Opinion noted but I want to point out that this is probably more expensive than buying the SUV. A rental is going to run $150-200 per rental (trucks aren't cheap) so figure that's around $750. The SUV is likely going to cost ~$1000 more the first year for transactional costs/gas (excluding depreciation) and then $400 more a year after that. So really after 2 years I would break even (depreciation would make that even shorter) and after 2 years having the SUV would be cheaper.

I dont want you guys to think I've already made up my mind. To me the logical choice would be to switch to the SUV. It's just hard for me to admit that I bought the wrong car and I hate the idea of only owning the Focus for 2.5 years and selling it because it's in really good condition with only 38k miles while the SUV will likely be 5+ years older than the focus with 3x the miles.

A couple of things - you say in your OP that the SUV will be more reliable then the focus.  What is this based on?  I would think that the SUV which I am assuming will be older and higher millage, will not likely be more reliable.  You are also looking at a AWD, which does give more things to go wrong.  I also would question less depreciation.  From my experience, SUV's are the quickest depreciating vehicles on the road.

I also did a quick Google search, and see that the average MPG for the focus is 28 and the average for the highlander is 18.  These are both combined city and highway.  At 10 MPG and $3.00 per gallon, it does not take many miles to make up $400 difference in price.  You may want to revisit your calculation there. 

If you are looking for people to say go ahead and trade your 2.5 year old car off on a SUV, you may be on the wrong site.

mtn

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 04:01:21 PM »
Ok, POV from someone who isn't as hardcore mustachian as others, and owns/co-owns/has unlimited access to 7 boats ranging in price from $50 to $60,000 new ($40,000 current) and weight from 40lbs to 3900lbs... And has towed with everything from a Miata to a 3/4 ton Chevy Pickup.... Oh, and there was a Corolla that did tow duty for awhile too!!!!


First thought: 1500 is nothing. If you're on good ramps, I'd just replace the clutch on teh Rolla assuming the vehicle doesn't bore you to death like it did me. Maybe consider trailer brakes.

Second thought: What kind of boat are you getting that requires an F350? That seems like either overkill on the tow vehicle, or else not something that I'd want to be towing (read: get a slip at the marina)

Third thought: How far are you towing with the Corolla?

Optimiser

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2017, 04:08:48 PM »
Would you please point me to the blog post where Pete mentions spending insane amounts of money on hobbies is okay as long as it makes you happy.

I think what a lot of forum members miss from Pete's teachings is the goal is to not live a consumerist lifestyle and to build your finances to give you freedom to do what you enjoy. I enjoy boating and I am building a portfolio to support these goals.

Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
Therein lies the whole reason this blog is useful to anyone. If I were telling you to spend less money just so you could get out of debt, save up a fortune, and then eventually spend loads of money (which I recall is a paraphrase of the Dave Ramsey slogan), the advice would be useless.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/25/why-should-i-be-frugal-when-im-so-rich/

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2017, 08:06:33 PM »
Fix the clutch, rent the 5 or 6 times a year you are going farther.  Keep the cars.  Don't buy a 60K boat, and 10k 350.

Opinion noted but I want to point out that this is probably more expensive than buying the SUV. A rental is going to run $150-200 per rental (trucks aren't cheap) so figure that's around $750. The SUV is likely going to cost ~$1000 more the first year for transactional costs/gas (excluding depreciation) and then $400 more a year after that. So really after 2 years I would break even (depreciation would make that even shorter) and after 2 years having the SUV would be cheaper.

I dont want you guys to think I've already made up my mind. To me the logical choice would be to switch to the SUV. It's just hard for me to admit that I bought the wrong car and I hate the idea of only owning the Focus for 2.5 years and selling it because it's in really good condition with only 38k miles while the SUV will likely be 5+ years older than the focus with 3x the miles.

A couple of things - you say in your OP that the SUV will be more reliable then the focus.  What is this based on?  I would think that the SUV which I am assuming will be older and higher millage, will not likely be more reliable.  You are also looking at a AWD, which does give more things to go wrong.  I also would question less depreciation.  From my experience, SUV's are the quickest depreciating vehicles on the road.

I also did a quick Google search, and see that the average MPG for the focus is 28 and the average for the highlander is 18.  These are both combined city and highway.  At 10 MPG and $3.00 per gallon, it does not take many miles to make up $400 difference in price.  You may want to revisit your calculation there. 

If you are looking for people to say go ahead and trade your 2.5 year old car off on a SUV, you may be on the wrong site.

The difference would be I'm going form a Ford product to a Toyota product. These Toyotas are indestructible. Technically the car is 5 years old, I've only owned it for 2.5

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2017, 08:09:16 PM »
Ok, POV from someone who isn't as hardcore mustachian as others, and owns/co-owns/has unlimited access to 7 boats ranging in price from $50 to $60,000 new ($40,000 current) and weight from 40lbs to 3900lbs... And has towed with everything from a Miata to a 3/4 ton Chevy Pickup.... Oh, and there was a Corolla that did tow duty for awhile too!!!!


First thought: 1500 is nothing. If you're on good ramps, I'd just replace the clutch on teh Rolla assuming the vehicle doesn't bore you to death like it did me. Maybe consider trailer brakes.

Second thought: What kind of boat are you getting that requires an F350? That seems like either overkill on the tow vehicle, or else not something that I'd want to be towing (read: get a slip at the marina)

Third thought: How far are you towing with the Corolla?

Normally we are only towing a few miles down the road to the ramp. Sometimes it's across town (15-20 miles). It's just a 15' Whaler. I agree that the Corolla can handle it around town. Where I get nervous is when we're towing 6 hours to the Keys with a car full of 4 people and scuba/spear/camping gear.

Next boat will be a 27-31 center console like a Contender. The other reason I want the F350 is to get a slide in camper and do some ski bumming out west.

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2017, 08:14:19 PM »
Would you please point me to the blog post where Pete mentions spending insane amounts of money on hobbies is okay as long as it makes you happy.

I think what a lot of forum members miss from Pete's teachings is the goal is to not live a consumerist lifestyle and to build your finances to give you freedom to do what you enjoy. I enjoy boating and I am building a portfolio to support these goals.

Quote from: Mr. Money Mustache
Therein lies the whole reason this blog is useful to anyone. If I were telling you to spend less money just so you could get out of debt, save up a fortune, and then eventually spend loads of money (which I recall is a paraphrase of the Dave Ramsey slogan), the advice would be useless.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/25/why-should-i-be-frugal-when-im-so-rich/

Touche. Though I will defend myself by saying I don't plan on spending a fortune. Once the boat is purchased the ongoing costs aren't extreme and wouldn't deplete the stash. It's purely a vehicle to get me where I want to go and experience things/expose my kids to things I want to expose them to.

bender

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2017, 08:31:27 PM »
B ust
O ut
A nother
T housand

Sorry, I had to do it!  Larger boats are insanely expensive. The idea that it's not expensive beyond the purchase price does not compute for me.  That said - if you're loaded, please do enjoy your wealth!

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2017, 09:09:34 PM »
You say that but it really depends on your experience. As an example I was able to make ~$11k off my last 2 boat purchases (a 15 whaler and an Air Nautique)

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 09:13:57 PM »
Ok, POV from someone who isn't as hardcore mustachian as others, and owns/co-owns/has unlimited access to 7 boats ranging in price from $50 to $60,000 new ($40,000 current) and weight from 40lbs to 3900lbs... And has towed with everything from a Miata to a 3/4 ton Chevy Pickup.... Oh, and there was a Corolla that did tow duty for awhile too!!!!


First thought: 1500 is nothing. If you're on good ramps, I'd just replace the clutch on teh Rolla assuming the vehicle doesn't bore you to death like it did me. Maybe consider trailer brakes.

Second thought: What kind of boat are you getting that requires an F350? That seems like either overkill on the tow vehicle, or else not something that I'd want to be towing (read: get a slip at the marina)

Third thought: How far are you towing with the Corolla?

Random question, do you GRM?

mtn

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2017, 11:57:40 PM »
Ok, POV from someone who isn't as hardcore mustachian as others, and owns/co-owns/has unlimited access to 7 boats ranging in price from $50 to $60,000 new ($40,000 current) and weight from 40lbs to 3900lbs... And has towed with everything from a Miata to a 3/4 ton Chevy Pickup.... Oh, and there was a Corolla that did tow duty for awhile too!!!!


First thought: 1500 is nothing. If you're on good ramps, I'd just replace the clutch on teh Rolla assuming the vehicle doesn't bore you to death like it did me. Maybe consider trailer brakes.

Second thought: What kind of boat are you getting that requires an F350? That seems like either overkill on the tow vehicle, or else not something that I'd want to be towing (read: get a slip at the marina)

Third thought: How far are you towing with the Corolla?

Random question, do you GRM?

Do you mean grassroots motorsports? If so, then yes.

mtn

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2017, 11:59:16 PM »
B ust
O ut
A nother
T housand

Sorry, I had to do it!  Larger boats are insanely expensive. The idea that it's not expensive beyond the purchase price does not compute for me.  That said - if you're loaded, please do enjoy your wealth!

I've not had this experience at all.

KiloRomeo

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Re: Should I sell my Ford Focus and buy a SUV?
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2017, 07:10:58 AM »
Ok, POV from someone who isn't as hardcore mustachian as others, and owns/co-owns/has unlimited access to 7 boats ranging in price from $50 to $60,000 new ($40,000 current) and weight from 40lbs to 3900lbs... And has towed with everything from a Miata to a 3/4 ton Chevy Pickup.... Oh, and there was a Corolla that did tow duty for awhile too!!!!


First thought: 1500 is nothing. If you're on good ramps, I'd just replace the clutch on teh Rolla assuming the vehicle doesn't bore you to death like it did me. Maybe consider trailer brakes.

Second thought: What kind of boat are you getting that requires an F350? That seems like either overkill on the tow vehicle, or else not something that I'd want to be towing (read: get a slip at the marina)

Third thought: How far are you towing with the Corolla?

Random question, do you GRM?

Do you mean grassroots motorsports? If so, then yes.

Nice, great website. I'm on there all the time.