Author Topic: What Should I do with My Car?  (Read 385 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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What Should I do with My Car?
« on: June 21, 2020, 08:51:48 AM »
Yesterday I bought a gently used car from Hertz to replace my 2015 Sonata.  Why?  The Sonata has 225,000 miles on it and the costs to maintain the Sonata were starting to add up.  The dealer only offered $1,000 for the car, so I kept it.

Do I sell the car myself or try to get at least $1,000 more use out of it?  If I kept it, I would only do minimal maintenance on it and drive it until it dies, then sell it for scrap.  I could sell it for more than $1,000, but I can't stand drama and, while there is nothing at all wrong with the car, I figure with 225,000 miles on the odometer anything could happen.  The last thing I want is the buyer to contact me a month after the sale to complain about something going wrong with the car.

What would you do?  Did I leave out any options for selling it drama-free?  I've sold to Carmax in the past for that very reason - not wanting to deal with the buyer after the sale.  But with the virus shutting down used car auctions, I think the market for used cars is depressed right now.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 85
Re: What Should I do with My Car?
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2020, 09:11:56 AM »
It sounds to me like one way or another, you should get rid of your Sonata. You need one car, and now you have two cars, one of which (the newer one) now suits your needs better than the other.  Maybe keep the Sonata around for a month or so as a hedge while you use the new car in case the new car proves to be a lemon, but why maintain two cars when you only need one?

I understand wanting to get your money's worth from a purchase, but it sounds like you already have in the case of the Sonata. Unless you literally want to drive the Sonata "until it dies," and likely get into an accident in the process, there has to be some tipping point where you switch over to a new(er) vehicle. And while you are out "getting another $1000 worth" out of your old car, your new(er) one is sitting there depreciating, and you are not getting your money's worth out of it. Perhaps I'm missing information, but this sounds like a sunk cost fallacy thinking situation.

If I'm understanding your post correctly, you got a quote on your Sonata from a dealer but not yet from Carmax, and have been okay with selling to Carmax in the past. So get a quote from Carmax too. Even if you ultimately sell the Sonata yourself, having more than one quote will give you additional information to work with. Maybe also look into seeing if you can donate the Sonata somewhere and get more than $1000 as a tax write-off, but I think that may be unlikely. Good luck!


  • Bristles
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Re: What Should I do with My Car?
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2020, 05:47:22 PM »
225k miles isn't that high for many vehicles these days. And only 5 years old? If I saw that locally I'd snap it up in a heartbeat, unless there were something majorly wrong with it.

What kind of maintenance items have you been seeing crop up? I could see something like a catalytic converter being expensive, but if it's just brakes, tires, maybe CV axles and bushings, that's really normal stuff.


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 113
Re: What Should I do with My Car?
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 06:09:34 PM »
A few years ago, we had a 1998 Honda Civic that had a blue book value of about $750 and needed about $1000 of work, so we donated it to Habitat for Humanity. Some guy showed up, I signed it over, and he drove off. No drama there whatsoever.

ROF Expat

  • Bristles
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Re: What Should I do with My Car?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 01:59:57 AM »
How much more are you paying for liability insurance for having two cars?  My guess is that would add a significant incentive to sell the Hyundai. 

Anybody who buys a sub-$1,000 used car with close to a quarter of a million miles on the odometer probably understands that there is a significant implied risk, but I understand if you'd feel badly caused a lot of heartburn for the new owner.  I'd either sell it to a Carmax-type place, donate it to charity for the tax deduction, or give it to someone in need (via church or other network) for no tax deduction, but good karma points.