Poll

Should we sell, buy, or do nothing?

Sell both old cars - 96 Honda and 89 Chevy - and buy a new car - $18k expense
5 (6.3%)
Sell 96 Honda but keep 89 Chevy - and buy new car - $19.5k expense
3 (3.8%)
Don't sell any car and don't buy any car - $0
39 (49.4%)
Sell 89 Chevy truck but keep 96 Honda Accord - $1.5k profit est
32 (40.5%)

Total Members Voted: 75

Author Topic: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!  (Read 2182 times)

jane x

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Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« on: May 18, 2017, 02:16:59 PM »
Ok mustachians - here is a challenge for you.  Recently I was left stranded twice by both of our old vehicles.  They both had to be towed.  As a 49 yo woman, I was rattled by being stranded on the freeway and became concerned for my safety in driving such old cars.  Thus began a period of stressful debating whether to fix the old cars, get rid of them and buy a new one, or... As fate would have it, we had to repair both cars at the same time - since they were not running they could not be sold or driven.  The repairs were larger than we had wanted, of course, and now we're trying to figure out where to go from here.

Our initial reaction was to get rid of both old cars and buy a new reliable car for DH commute and I would inherit his 12yo Honda Accord Hybrid (60k miles) as my car.  Research led us to a Toyota Camry LE for $21k.  Now that we got the repaired cars back, and spending $1200 total, we are torn about spending the extra money to buy a new vehicle. 

Cars we own:
1996 Honda Accord - 106k miles - appx resale value $4300 less $700 repair = $3600 profit est
(family hand me down, cost was $3.5k in 2006)

1989 Chevy S10 truck - 50K miles - appx resale value $3500 - less $500 repair = $3000 profit est
(this is a hobby truck, meaning we don't really need it anymore, although we once used it a great deal when we bought our fixer upper house.  we are loathe to get rid of it because DH (who is super frugal) uses it for his community and volunteer work. bought from employer when they upgraded their grounds maintenance vehicles, purchase price was $1k in 2002.  annual expense = appx $400 for ins/taxes/registration/repairs)

2005 Honda Accord Hybrid - 60k miles
(family hand me down - cost $5k in 2016)


Car we're thinking of buying:
2017 Toyota Camry LE - $21k cost

We have savings to cover the cost of the new car, but it would take up all of our savings (not including emergency fund) and it would take us appx 2-3 years to replace the funds.  We are a single income family.  If we buy the car, we will have to delay and/or skip Roth IRA contributions for this year.  DH will keep his employer-matched 401K contribution.  We are mortgage free.

Help us make a smart decision.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 03:04:52 PM by jane x »

marielle

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Re: Vehicle dilemma
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2017, 02:26:06 PM »
Do you need two cars?

Personally it sounds like your income isn't high enough to justify a car that's $21k. But you can still get something very reliable in the $10k range or even less. But remember that even with a brand new car, there is still potential to be stranded on the highway or in a parking lot. Flat tires and dead batteries can happen to any car.

Also, all of your cars seem very low mileage. How much do you drive? Perhaps Uber or similar can fill in some of the gaps in your driving, which may make you feel a bit safer without the expense of a brand new car. Or would a AAA membership or similar make you feel better about driving the older cars?

dandarc

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 02:30:35 PM »
Why does a replacement car, if you go that route, have to be brand-new?  You could look for something in the 2012-2015 model year range and probably spend a lot less.

As marielle points out, with the low miles on these quite old cars, do you even need a 2nd car?  If so, would a Nissan Leaf cover your usual usage?  Used Leaf's are dirt-cheap in a lot of places right now.
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ysette9

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 02:32:17 PM »
I think what you experienced was a fluke and that you have two great cars which should last you a long time. I don't see the value in keeping the third vehicle (truck) but if it is cheap to keep then so be it. You have low-mileage Hondas which is pretty much exactly the type of used vehicle everyone around here would recommend you drive, so stick with it. $1200 isn't that much for total repairs.

I vote for keeping the cars, considering getting rid of the unnecessary truck, and just building up a bit of savings for the inevitable car maintenance/repair that is part of car ownership.
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jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2017, 02:34:06 PM »
Thanks marielle.

2 cars is very convenient because I can take care of many things during the week while DH is at work - vet, doctor, groceries, etc.  And when I take DH's car in for service, he takes my car to work.  He commutes 52 mi a day and his schedule is very erratic. 

The truck - which is a 3rd vehicle - is tricky because it was such a good deal to purchase, has been a great vehicle, and we MIGHT need it sometime.  Not the most frugal decision to keep it, but essentially it functions as a hobby for DH.  Dh is very, very frugal and he spends his free time doing community and volunteer work and he uses the truck for that.  Because it's an old truck, we never have to worry about it getting dented or anything.  It's also a real workhorse.  If we keep it, we would treat the expense as a hobby - just like a gym membership for me because I like to swim.  As a vehicle expense, it doesn't make sense to keep it.  As a hobby... it's about the same price as my gym/ymca membership would be, so it seems fair. 

p.s.  you're right - any car can leave you stranded!  this probably left me more rattled because I didn't have a cell phone on me and I was coming home from a difficult doctor's appt.  Thanks for the perspective. It stressed me quite a bit.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 02:38:26 PM by jane x »

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 02:41:59 PM »
Thanks ysette9.

You're right that it was a fluke that they both broke down at the same time.  And as marielle pointed out, any car can leave you stranded.

We were thinking that the 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid was getting too old to be a reliable commute car, but maybe we need to give it more time. 

We were also worried that the 1996 Honda Accord might become a money pit and that we would be better off buying something new.  But I can take the car in and have it thoroughly looked at to see if anything major is due to be replaced soon.  That will give us a chance to evaluate and save for the repair if needed, before it happens.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2017, 02:44:56 PM »
hi dandarc - when we looked at the used Toyota and Honda models, they were not much cheaper for used than the new ones.  Especially for low mileage vehicles.  when we factored in the new vehicle warranty, it pretty much broke even cost wise. 

I'm not familiar with a Nissan Leaf - I'll have to check it out.

ysette9

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 03:13:10 PM »
Quote
We were thinking that the 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid was getting too old to be a reliable commute car, but maybe we need to give it more time.

We were also worried that the 1996 Honda Accord might become a money pit and that we would be better off buying something new.

Yep, any car can leave you stranded. A few months back in a massive rain storm my 2012 car left me stranded in the work parking lot because I hit a massive pothole on the drive in that gave me a flat tire. Dark + raining sideways + work clothes made me leery of changing the flat myself. So I sat for 2+ hours waiting for rescue.

If I were you I would ignore the years of your cars and instead focus on the mileage. You have REALLY low mileage cars for those years. A 60K Honda should give you another 150K miles minimum. A Honda with 106K miles is barely reaching middle age. As a point of reference, the last car my husband bought was a 2005 Toyota with 80K miles on it and he's expecting it to last him a long time.
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jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2017, 03:21:05 PM »

Yep, any car can leave you stranded. A few months back in a massive rain storm my 2012 car left me stranded in the work parking lot because I hit a massive pothole on the drive in that gave me a flat tire. Dark + raining sideways + work clothes made me leery of changing the flat myself. So I sat for 2+ hours waiting for rescue.

If I were you I would ignore the years of your cars and instead focus on the mileage. You have REALLY low mileage cars for those years. A 60K Honda should give you another 150K miles minimum. A Honda with 106K miles is barely reaching middle age. As a point of reference, the last car my husband bought was a 2005 Toyota with 80K miles on it and he's expecting it to last him a long time.

Yikes! your stranded was worse than mine.  I had to wait 2+ hours in the heat and sun but it was during the day.  Glad you got home safely.

Ha!  I guess my Honda and I are reaching middle age together.  :)  Now I feel really bad about possibly ditching it for a newer model. 

JLee

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2017, 03:22:28 PM »
Quote
We were thinking that the 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid was getting too old to be a reliable commute car, but maybe we need to give it more time.

We were also worried that the 1996 Honda Accord might become a money pit and that we would be better off buying something new.

Yep, any car can leave you stranded. A few months back in a massive rain storm my 2012 car left me stranded in the work parking lot because I hit a massive pothole on the drive in that gave me a flat tire. Dark + raining sideways + work clothes made me leery of changing the flat myself. So I sat for 2+ hours waiting for rescue.

If I were you I would ignore the years of your cars and instead focus on the mileage. You have REALLY low mileage cars for those years. A 60K Honda should give you another 150K miles minimum. A Honda with 106K miles is barely reaching middle age. As a point of reference, the last car my husband bought was a 2005 Toyota with 80K miles on it and he's expecting it to last him a long time.

I have had friends with new and CPO cars with more problems than my old/used cars.  Age / mileage is not necessarily a reliable indicator of what'll leave you stranded.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2017, 03:22:56 PM »
I'm wondering if men feel differently about hanging on to an old reliable truck.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 03:24:34 PM by jane x »

prognastat

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2017, 03:32:06 PM »
If it were me I would say keep the two cars and sell the truck and use the proceeds either for an emergency fund if that hasn't been completed yet or invest it. 3k is $120 a year for the rest of your life.

However you are in a marriage and if the truck is a hobby to your husband he has a say and though you could offer your opinion that selling it could be for the best pushing too hard for it could lead to resentment and if it's costs aren't ridiculous for a hobby it may not be worth the conflict.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2017, 03:54:55 PM »

However you are in a marriage and if the truck is a hobby to your husband he has a say and though you could offer your opinion that selling it could be for the best pushing too hard for it could lead to resentment and if it's costs aren't ridiculous for a hobby it may not be worth the conflict.

With DH being so frugal, and his hobby being that of caring for his community and others, the truck seems like a reasonable expense.   I've been looking at joining a gym or the Y to have access to an indoor pool because I really enjoy swimming.  And the cost of keeping and maintaining the truck is about the same as my swimming hobby.  It seems fair to have the expense if it provides him the same amount of enjoyment that swimming offers me.  And I think classifying it as a hobby makes sense in letting him be the one to decide if and when the hobby no longer serves him. 

That would be an interesting thread topic - not very frugal hobbies that mustachians indulge in.

405programmer

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2017, 04:37:17 PM »
I would say sell the Accord and put that money in a "looking for good deals" fund. Then when you see a good deal on a reliable used car jump on it! I think there's a lot of options between brand new and 90's model sedan ;)

The truck should be able to drive a while longer but at that age basically all of the rubber is going to be wearing out. I would definitely try to budget some time and money to replacing many of the rubber parts like belts, hoses, tie rods, all boot covers etc. Not all at once but gradually and methodically. Then you can think about retiring the truck for good around 2030 ;)

nick663

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 05:22:41 PM »
2 cars is very convenient because I can take care of many things during the week while DH is at work - vet, doctor, groceries, etc.  And when I take DH's car in for service, he takes my car to work.  He commutes 52 mi a day and his schedule is very erratic. 
How many miles do you really drive in the typical week?  Could you use uber and a bicycle instead and be money ahead?  Could your husband carpool with a coworker or work from home 1 day a week so you could run your errands?

The truck - which is a 3rd vehicle - is tricky because it was such a good deal to purchase, has been a great vehicle, and we MIGHT need it sometime.  Not the most frugal decision to keep it, but essentially it functions as a hobby for DH.  Dh is very, very frugal and he spends his free time doing community and volunteer work and he uses the truck for that.  Because it's an old truck, we never have to worry about it getting dented or anything.  It's also a real workhorse.  If we keep it, we would treat the expense as a hobby - just like a gym membership for me because I like to swim.  As a vehicle expense, it doesn't make sense to keep it.  As a hobby... it's about the same price as my gym/ymca membership would be, so it seems fair. 
Good deal to purchase does not mean you have to keep it forever.  If you wouldn't go out and buy it today for what you could sell it for then you should sell it.

What is he doing while volunteering that he needs a truck?  Could he be using the trunk of a car or a wagon/minivan instead?

hi dandarc - when we looked at the used Toyota and Honda models, they were not much cheaper for used than the new ones.  Especially for low mileage vehicles.  when we factored in the new vehicle warranty, it pretty much broke even cost wise. 
I have had similar luck when browsing.  You also have to factor in promotions and lower interest financing (although my CPO VW was 1.75%).

I'm wondering if men feel differently about hanging on to an old reliable truck.
I actually need a truck (meaning I can't find a way around it) maybe once a year.  In those circumstances I rent one for $20 from the local Home Depot or Menards and complete the task in an hour.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 05:24:25 PM by nick663 »

prognastat

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2017, 05:30:38 PM »
I'm wondering if men feel differently about hanging on to an old reliable truck.
I actually need a truck (meaning I can't find a way around it) maybe once a year.  In those circumstances I rent one for $20 from the local Home Depot or Menards and complete the task in an hour.

That's actually exactly what we do too.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 12:58:49 PM »
Thanks for the votes and suggestions everyone! 

I'm glad to see that 2 people voted for buying a new car - that way we don't feel like complete idiots for thinking about it!  :)

We're considering doing a family hand me down of the truck that could be handed back when no longer needed - and then sold if not needed by us or kept if useful. 

If we don't do a family transfer, DH is leaning towards selling it. 

I"m going to go have a mechanic do an inspection report on the 96 Honda so that we can see what repairs and maintenance will be coming up.  It will give us a good idea of how much we should plan on putting into it in the near future.

affordablehousing

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2017, 01:05:30 PM »
I personally would vote for keeping the hobby truck and if you feel after having a mechanic check them out, that you need another daily driver, look into a used car rather than new. That was a great deal for the truck, and if you itemize taxes, you may be completely paying the annual expenses on it through your volunteer mileage deductions driving it. It would be hard to find a truck for that cheap again, though of course renting them from home depot isn't that hard.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2017, 01:14:14 PM »
Yes, the truck was a fantastic deal.  And we've had several guys ask if we're interested in selling when we get oil changes on it.  The mechanic says it's got a great engine. 

405programmer had a good suggestion about setting up a plan to replace the rubber before it gives out.  If we keep it, that's what we'll do.

We're hoping we can do a family transfer to someone who can use it.  Unfortunately, most of our siblings are of the "buy new, buy big" mentality so not a lot of opportunity.

bender

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2017, 01:15:25 PM »
the resale values stated seem quite high - are these USD or another currency?  In my area these vehicles would fetch less than half.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 01:19:00 PM »
the resale values stated seem quite high - are these USD or another currency?  In my area these vehicles would fetch less than half.

I guess the values are wishful thinking USD. :)

Although these cars are in pretty high demand where we live.  I've had several people come to my door and ask to buy the 96 Honda when I have it parked in the driveway.  And the truck always gets interest and offers to buy when I take it in for oil change.  But we've never actually priced it out as we have not been interested in selling until now.

daverobev

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2017, 01:44:06 PM »
More info needed - what were the repairs required, why did the vehicles leave you stranded?

Both are pretty low mileage. Assuming there is nothing major wrong with them (rust), I would certainly take a repair on a low mileage, 'cared for' vehicle. I don't think either 'owe you' anything, and the comparison with $21k for a new(er) car is massive.
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Laura33

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2017, 01:45:05 PM »
First, the new car is right out -- if buying the car would require foregoing retirement contributions/emptying savings, you can't afford a new car.  So I was going to say sell both and and look for a reliable used car.  But your "hobby" description for the truck made sense to me, especially at $400/yr; and then that "reliable used car" is basically what you're already driving!  So now I am all the way back at "keep what you've got."

I get the frustration and the fear -- I once dumped an 8-yr-old car when it blew up on me (literally -- radiator expansion tank blew out), and I realized that if that had happened going 75mph on I95 with my kids in the car, we could all be dead.  But in that case, it was also only the last of a long line of maintenance issues that had cost me about $1500 for each of the past two years (and the mechanic warned me that more would likely be coming).  In your case, though, it sounds like the car has generally been reliable.  And even a periodic repair bill is cheaper than the depreciation on a new car!

So don't overreact to a one-time event.  If you are worried about safety/being stranded, you can get a AAA membership for a lot less than a new vehicle.
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ketchup

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2017, 01:53:24 PM »
We were thinking that the 2005 Honda Accord Hybrid was getting too old to be a reliable commute car, but maybe we need to give it more time.
Yeah, maybe another 10 years or 150k miles.  It only has 60k on the clock?

It sounds like you really don't need new cars, nevermind *new* cars.  Your current cars are very low miles for the age, so unless anything has recently changed you should have plenty of miles and years left.  This assumes that there aren't any rust issues, as those are their own beast.

Maintain your current cars well, and buy a AAA membership if that'll help you sleep at night.

I just recently had my car die (for good) at 261,000 miles when I was 150 miles from home and leave me stranded.  Yeah, that sucked, and it ruined my day.  But I'd rather ruin my day once than ruin my year by getting a new car and foregoing retirement savings.

dcozad999

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2017, 03:02:52 PM »
I'd keep all 3.

The Hondas should run forever.  The truck is paid for and doesn't cost much to maintain. It's always nice to have a truck around.

But if you want a new(er) car and can afford it, go for it.

Then again I'm not as mustachian as many of these guys.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2017, 03:14:17 PM »
the resale values stated seem quite high - are these USD or another currency?  In my area these vehicles would fetch less than half.

X2 on this.

If you can actually net that $ for those two vehicles, I'd sell them both in a heartbeat.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2017, 03:14:24 PM »
I see the truck is starting to get some love in the polls.  :)

DH is trying to decide whether to keep it or sell if we can't do a family transfer.  He knows that financially it makes sense to sell it, but it will be hard on him if he ends up doing it.  It's his first truck, which he used to renovate his first home, and that he uses for volunteer work and helping out our older friends and neighbors.  But I think since we've started calling it a hobby, he won't feel bad if he does decided to keep it.  It's the only thing he spends money on for himself.  This is a guy who literally wears his clothes and shoes until they wear out.   


HipGnosis

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2017, 03:19:56 PM »
The truck should be able to drive a while longer but at that age basically all of the rubber is going to be wearing out. I would definitely try to budget some time and money to replacing many of the rubber parts like belts, hoses, tie rods, all boot covers etc. Not all at once but gradually and methodically. Then you can think about retiring the truck for good around 2030 ;)
+ 1
Most car maintenance is suppose to be done per age of the vehicle (or parts) OR by miles.  This includes timing belts.   Most people go by miles since most people drive enough to go by that schedule.  Vehicles with low miles for their age need a somewhat different maintenance schedule because of this.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2017, 08:35:06 PM »
The truck should be able to drive a while longer but at that age basically all of the rubber is going to be wearing out. I would definitely try to budget some time and money to replacing many of the rubber parts like belts, hoses, tie rods, all boot covers etc. Not all at once but gradually and methodically. Then you can think about retiring the truck for good around 2030 ;)
+ 1
Most car maintenance is suppose to be done per age of the vehicle (or parts) OR by miles.  This includes timing belts.   Most people go by miles since most people drive enough to go by that schedule.  Vehicles with low miles for their age need a somewhat different maintenance schedule because of this.

This is a good point and one I think DH and I often overlook.  Plus we are not mechanically minded at all.  Maybe DH can take a auto mechanic course as part of his hobby.  Our local community college has a program and it might be a lot of fun plus save us money!  Or at least he might meet a few people who are handy with cars and he can befriend them.  Maybe I could even take the course.... it would help me feel less clueless and vulnerable when taking the vehicles in for maintenance and repairs.

Actually, I just looked up the program and they offer a bunch of certificates as well as associate degrees and an American Honda program.  Something to think about.  It could prove quite handy to know about vehicles.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 08:49:19 PM by jane x »

bender

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #29 on: May 19, 2017, 08:50:37 PM »
the resale values stated seem quite high - are these USD or another currency?  In my area these vehicles would fetch less than half.

I guess the values are wishful thinking USD. :)

Although these cars are in pretty high demand where we live.  I've had several people come to my door and ask to buy the 96 Honda when I have it parked in the driveway.  And the truck always gets interest and offers to buy when I take it in for oil change.  But we've never actually priced it out as we have not been interested in selling until now.

I think if you research on kbb or edmunds and see actual private party resale values, it will help drive your decision towards keeping them.  The vehicle would have to be quite exceptional to get more than the private party resale listed on these sites.

I'm in a similar situation where my car is worth next to nothing, but it is still operational with the occasional repair work.  I've decided to keep it running as long as possible.

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2017, 10:58:35 AM »
Ok - the kbb/edmunds numbers:

96 Honda Accord
KBB = $1,766
edmunds = nothing available

89 Chevy truck
KBB = data doesn't go back that far, so nothing
edmunds = nothing, yr 1989 not even an option

So if we adjust the estimated profits from $6k to $3k ..... let me see if I can edit the poll.

I adjusted the est profits down.  I suspect that the real profit would be somewhere in the middle (or I would hope) but there's really no way to tell.  So it makes sense to estimate down - better to understimate and overinflate possible gains.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 11:00:54 AM by jane x »

jane x

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2017, 09:49:20 AM »
Based on the feedback, we are leaning towards keeping the 96 Accord and not buying a new vehicle.  We haven't decided on the truck yet.  Part of the reason we wanted a new car is that we are totally clueless about how vehicles work.  And when we take our older cars to the mechanic, we have no idea if we are being ripped off. 

So I decided to educate myself!  I just enrolled in our jr college so I can take their automotive courses beginning this fall.  They have a beginner's course which covers all the basics of automotive systems and inspection, maintenance, repair, and diagnostic work. It's an intense 6-wk course (4 hours a day, 4 days a week).  The cost is $161.  We will actually be using the tools and equipment and doing the work - each lecture is followed by a 3 hour lab.  I'm pretty excited about it.  And they offer lots of other courses after the beginner one, focused on specific areas. 

wordnerd

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2017, 10:00:07 AM »
Based on the feedback, we are leaning towards keeping the 96 Accord and not buying a new vehicle.  We haven't decided on the truck yet.  Part of the reason we wanted a new car is that we are totally clueless about how vehicles work.  And when we take our older cars to the mechanic, we have no idea if we are being ripped off. 

So I decided to educate myself!  I just enrolled in our jr college so I can take their automotive courses beginning this fall.  They have a beginner's course which covers all the basics of automotive systems and inspection, maintenance, repair, and diagnostic work. It's an intense 6-wk course (4 hours a day, 4 days a week).  The cost is $161.  We will actually be using the tools and equipment and doing the work - each lecture is followed by a 3 hour lab.  I'm pretty excited about it.  And they offer lots of other courses after the beginner one, focused on specific areas.

What a cool idea! I should look into something like that in my area.
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10dollarsatatime

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2017, 10:05:41 AM »
I owned an '89 Chevy S-10.  Still my favorite truck.  I've always regretted getting rid of it instead of fixing it.

I paid $450 for it.  I sold it (half functional) for $300.  It literally wouldn't run when the sun was out.

Anyway.  My vote is to keep the vehicles you have.  As everyone else says... Hondas will run forever.  And the Chevy isn't difficult to work on.  (Replacing the bad sensors would have taken only a couple of hours...)
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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2017, 10:51:46 AM »
@wordnerd - I know, right?  I hope you find something in your area.  It looks like a great course.   And it will be so great to have some measure of confidence around vehicles.  I hate feeling so ignorant about such a major expense in our lives.

@10dollarsatatime - The S-10 really is a good truck.  Small overall but with a good sized bed and it runs really well.  Glad to hear that they're easy to work on.  I'm looking forward to finding out about the engine.  Sorry that you let yours go.  Maybe you'll find another one of these days.  And if you're ever in the Bay Area you can come and visit ours!  :)

We are still on the fence about the truck!  I suspect we will end up keeping it at least through the end of the year. 

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2017, 12:44:45 PM »
I just scheduled a full vehicle inspection for both of our old vehicles.  This will help by a) giving us a better idea of what kind of expenses to anticipate for the 96 Honda, and b) help us decide on whether to keep the truck based on its current condition and upcoming expenses.  I don't know why it took me so long to do this. 

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2017, 12:49:20 PM »
I just scheduled a full vehicle inspection for both of our old vehicles.  This will help by a) giving us a better idea of what kind of expenses to anticipate for the 96 Honda, and b) help us decide on whether to keep the truck based on its current condition and upcoming expenses.  I don't know why it took me so long to do this.
Just make sure that this is a trusted mechanic and not someone that will jerk you around or try to scare you.  I once took my SIL's 2013 Toyota to the dealership for an oil change (at her request; we were borrowing it) and the guy there told me it desparately needed ~$900 in work, which was of course, bullshit.  It was still basically a brand new car with less than 50k on it.  It needed $24 in filters, $20 in windshield wipers, a $5 bulb, and $400 in tires a year later.

I also had a jackass tell me I "desperately" needed new rear brakes on my (then 24-year-old) car to the tune of $600 for shoes, cylinders, and drums, and the car was unsafe to drive.  I looked at it myself and everything was 100% fine with no leaks, maybe needed new shoes a year later (which I happened to already have a spare set of).
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 01:06:16 PM by ketchup »

frugaliknowit

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2017, 01:49:57 PM »
My $.02:  Get rid of both vehicles, replacing with ONE good used vehicle (~$10-15k).  I don't see the point of owning a truck if you don't need one.  Just rent one when/if you need one.

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2017, 01:54:04 PM »
buying the new car is ridiculous used vehicles cost much less than new go back to a 5-8 year old car and you can get a reliable camry or honda much lower than the 17k you're quoting. plus property taxes are less. 
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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2017, 10:13:54 AM »
I just scheduled a full vehicle inspection for both of our old vehicles.  This will help by a) giving us a better idea of what kind of expenses to anticipate for the 96 Honda, and b) help us decide on whether to keep the truck based on its current condition and upcoming expenses.  I don't know why it took me so long to do this.
Just make sure that this is a trusted mechanic and not someone that will jerk you around or try to scare you.  I once took my SIL's 2013 Toyota to the dealership for an oil change (at her request; we were borrowing it) and the guy there told me it desparately needed ~$900 in work, which was of course, bullshit.  It was still basically a brand new car with less than 50k on it.  It needed $24 in filters, $20 in windshield wipers, a $5 bulb, and $400 in tires a year later.

I also had a jackass tell me I "desperately" needed new rear brakes on my (then 24-year-old) car to the tune of $600 for shoes, cylinders, and drums, and the car was unsafe to drive.  I looked at it myself and everything was 100% fine with no leaks, maybe needed new shoes a year later (which I happened to already have a spare set of).

This is exactly why I'm excited about my course this fall!  If told something like the above, I'd just say, "Okay."  Never knowing when I'm getting ripped off.  Thanks for the warning.

The full vehicle inspections will be done at 2 mechanics recommended by two of our neighbors (1 vehicle at each).  The last few years I've been losing trust in our regular mechanic.  Of course, there is still now certainty that they won't lie.  But I can use that report when I'm learning my way around the vehicles.  And at some point I will need a regular mechanic so this gives me a chance to suss them somewhat.  I hope that one of these places proves trustworthy.  It's exhausting to worry about things like this.


@frugaliknowit and boarder42- getting rid of the old and replacing with new would be the easiest for sure.  Although based on our research, used low-mileage cars for a good price are in short supply here.  So through the process of deduction we arrived at buying a new car.  But we've also realized that the reason we are able to plan for an early retirement in a HCOL area is that we are willing to make some sacrifices in order to make that happen.  This is one of those sacrifices.  I'd rather drive an old car and get to sleep in, enjoy the California weather, and not worry about a job.  Buying a new car would be easier, but the cost would be substantial in terms of our retirement goals. 

And yeah, you're right about the truck.  Financially it doesn't make sense.  The difficulty is that it's not a financial decision but an emotional one for DH.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2017, 10:23:40 AM by jane x »

Dicey

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2017, 10:44:25 AM »
Based on the feedback, we are leaning towards keeping the 96 Accord and not buying a new vehicle.  We haven't decided on the truck yet.  Part of the reason we wanted a new car is that we are totally clueless about how vehicles work.  And when we take our older cars to the mechanic, we have no idea if we are being ripped off. 

So I decided to educate myself!  I just enrolled in our jr college so I can take their automotive courses beginning this fall.  They have a beginner's course which covers all the basics of automotive systems and inspection, maintenance, repair, and diagnostic work. It's an intense 6-wk course (4 hours a day, 4 days a week).  The cost is $161.  We will actually be using the tools and equipment and doing the work - each lecture is followed by a 3 hour lab.  I'm pretty excited about it.  And they offer lots of other courses after the beginner one, focused on specific areas.
Badass!

One of my tricks for rekindling my love for an older car is to have it detailed. It really helps. FWIW, I voted to keep all.
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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2017, 03:46:29 PM »
Based on the feedback, we are leaning towards keeping the 96 Accord and not buying a new vehicle.  We haven't decided on the truck yet.  Part of the reason we wanted a new car is that we are totally clueless about how vehicles work.  And when we take our older cars to the mechanic, we have no idea if we are being ripped off. 

So I decided to educate myself!  I just enrolled in our jr college so I can take their automotive courses beginning this fall.  They have a beginner's course which covers all the basics of automotive systems and inspection, maintenance, repair, and diagnostic work. It's an intense 6-wk course (4 hours a day, 4 days a week).  The cost is $161.  We will actually be using the tools and equipment and doing the work - each lecture is followed by a 3 hour lab.  I'm pretty excited about it.  And they offer lots of other courses after the beginner one, focused on specific areas.
Badass!

One of my tricks for rekindling my love for an older car is to have it detailed. It really helps. FWIW, I voted to keep all.

You're right Dicey - I am a Badass!  :)  And I'm pretty sure I'll be the only middle-aged woman in the class.  That's ok though, I'll enjoy the eye candy.  ;)

And thank you for the vote. 

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Re: Vehicle dilemma - you get to vote!
« Reply #42 on: June 13, 2017, 01:18:14 PM »
I wanted to update and thank everyone who replied to my post.

We took both vehicles (our old ones) to have full inspection reports to assess the cost in keeping them.  The 1996 Honda Accord came back quite good.  It has some things that need replacing/repairing due to the age of the vehicle, but we should be able to have everything done for around $1,500 to get it in tip top shape.

The truck came back with much more work needed, we even took it to two places for assessment and they both came back similar.  It would take around $5,000 to get this one to optimal shape.  About 25% parts, 75% labor.

Since we do not actually need the truck, we are selling it.  DH is willing to give it up if it means saving $5k plus annual expenses.
We are keeping the 1996 Honda Accord, doing the work recommended, and hope to get many more years use out of it.
We are not buying a new vehicle! 

We are hoping to recoup a bit of the money spent on the truck when we sell it, but knowing the shape it's in, we are ok with just a few hundred dollars.

Overall, we should come out significantly ahead financially since we are not buying the new vehicle.  Especially when you factor in the sales tax, DMV fees, comprehensive insurance and annual registration on a new vehicle.  That alone should more than make up the cost of upgrading the Honda Accord to optimal shape.

Thank you all for your votes, your replies, and your suggestions!!!