Author Topic: Thinking about second car  (Read 1842 times)

brian313313

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Thinking about second car
« on: March 24, 2017, 10:23:44 AM »
Hi,

My wife & I went to one car about six months ago. Initially she liked the idea but has not liked it since and has asked me to get a cheap car. Initially I didn't want to and she has agreed to continue since I am the only one working now with no plans of her going back to work. I am thinking about the second vehicle now also. The primary reason I am thinking about this is that I love to kayak and our primary car, Prius, isn't so great at this. I could haul car-top but that's not convenient and hauling a kayak (12-13 foot range) isn't the only good thing about a second car. We live in a condo so I can't store a trailer or work on a second car beyond simple maintenance. (Condo rules.)

Budget is probably around $2k but it's flexible. Finances are in order. Zero debt including home with 60% base savings rate. I'm trying to figure out how much the least expensive option will be. (Purchase price + ongoing expenses) We wouldn't do his/her car but first/second car. We would pretty much always use the Prius unless we needed two cars or I was going kayaking. I'm thinking probably minivan/wagon. A pickup would be most preferred but money goes twice as far in non-pickup options so I'll probably go with that.

Pros:
Haul kayak.
Also occasionally haul other things and save on shipping. I can and do rent a truck but it's more convenient to have something available.
Wife can shop while I'm at work. I only work in office 3 days/week though. We are in walking distance to stores but she's not going to do that.
Insurance will not likely go up because of multi-car discount. When we got rid of 2nd car we only dropped $2 every six months. That was a bummer because we expected some savings there.

Cons:
More expense for gas because she'll do more single errands instead of batching them up.
Extra maintenance expense.

Questions:
Any pros or cons I'm not thinking of?
Suggestions for lower cost options?

Thanks.

Syonyk

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2017, 09:04:20 PM »
If you can't or won't work on your own car for whatever reasons, you're not going to find a decent used car for $2k these days.  After Cash for Clunkers, that's now the price of what used to be a $500 beater.

Anything you get for $2k is going to need work, and having someone else do that work will be quite expensive.

HipGnosis

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2017, 09:30:34 PM »
Pros:
Having another car can lower the miles you put on the Prius, retaining its value.
Having two cars (or vehicles) makes things a lot more tolerable when either needs maintenance or repairs - it also has potential to save money because either being out of service doesn't need to be resolved ASAP at all cost. If doing your own maintenance, you can go get parts or tools you need.  If one needs tires (for example), you can park it until they go on sale.
If something should happen to you or the car, your wife can now come to your aid (or you to her aid).
Wife could get a job.   Or a hobby, that contributes to 'happy wife'.

Cons:
Registration (cost varies greatly)

Points & Qs:
Can wife drive you to work (and pick you up)?
Can (could) wife ride a bike to shop?
Only you kayak?  Why is a van or station wagon ok but not the Prius?
Where will you store a kayak? 
How far will you drive to kayak?  How often?

I have strong reservations against a $2000 vehicle.  Safety and reliability have value, and costs.  You usually get what you pay for...  I admit this is my personal opinion.

If you (the plural 'you') find that your wife doesn't drive that often, you could rent out your second car via turo.com (not sure if they are active everywhere).  The car has to be new enough and nice enough.  Your wife could decide when she needs or wants the car and rent it out other days.  You 'could' rent out the Prius, but (personally, again) I would never rent out my personal car.
Speaking of options; is Uber available in your area for her to use to shop when needed?




brian313313

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2017, 03:28:46 AM »
...that's now the price of what used to be a $500 beater.When I was 16, this was a $300 beater. I thought it had gone up to $500. I guess I'm out of it since I haven't bought one in quite a while.


Points & Qs:
Can wife drive you to work (and pick you up)? She can and does when necessary but it's not practical. It's 12 miles each way and about an hour round trip.
Can (could) wife ride a bike to shop? She could but she won't.
Only you kayak?  Why is a van or station wagon ok but not the Prius? It's only me that kayaks. Van or station wagon because I can fit the kayak inside. I could car-top it on the Prius but prefer inside for convenience. The other vehicle can be used to haul other things though related to hobbies.
Where will you store a kayak? We have a second bedroom that is for hobbies. I'll hang it from the ceiling.
How far will you drive to kayak?  How often? Drive 5-200 miles depending on where we go. Five miles is for the afternoon, 200 is the weekend. During the summer at least 2 weekends/month. Winter it slows down but I still like to go occasionally.

I have strong reservations against a $2000 vehicle.  Safety and reliability have value, and costs.  You usually get what you pay for...  I admit this is my personal opinion. This is something to consider. I thought $2k would get me more than it seems it will. I would be buying this at a wholesale auction most likely. I've gotten some pretty good vehicles for around this price but it's been at least 5 years.

If you (the plural 'you') find that your wife doesn't drive that often, you could rent out your second car via turo.com (not sure if they are active everywhere).  The car has to be new enough and nice enough.  Your wife could decide when she needs or wants the car and rent it out other days.  You 'could' rent out the Prius, but (personally, again) I would never rent out my personal car. We'd rather just have an older car. I'm happy to loan it to a friend though.
Speaking of options; is Uber available in your area for her to use to shop when needed? Uber is available and that's the current plan if there's an emergency.

Christiana

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2017, 08:57:59 AM »
I would think about replacing the Prius with something that is a little better for hauling kayaks and things.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2017, 09:33:50 AM »
We're a single car family and I'd be hard-pressed to ever go back--and we have two kids. I agree that getting a more kayak-friendly vehicle would be preferable to a second one. For the cost and hassle of maintaining a second car you can do a lot of renting when necessary, like perhaps for those longer kayak trips? Another option would be looking into you carpooling 1-2 times a week so your wife can count on having the car those days. I assume you don't have access to public transit or bikable commute paths, but if you do, you can also use that to help share the car better with your wife. She may be "at home" all day but with you using the Prius as a commuter, the care is just sitting in a parking lot all day when it could be very useful to her.

brian313313

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2017, 04:31:28 PM »
I hadn't really thought about just replacing the Prius. That is definitely an option. For carpooling, there isn't anyone. I'm on the early shift and don't want to change. Plus, most of my coworkers live out of the city and I live in the near suburbs. The job is in the far suburbs. Unfortunately, public transportation doesn't go that far out. I live right between two light rail stations (Marta in Atlanta) and can walk to either but it doesn't take me to my current work.

I'm looking into getting a trailer hitch now. Not to tow a trailer but they have kayak attachments that effectively lengthen the car and give a lot more stability for carrying a kayak. They may run quite a bit but it's still cheaper than getting another car and simpler. It may be hard to do with the Prius, but if I can I'll find out.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2017, 04:45:20 PM »
Hold up. You live in greater Atlanta? Ugh. That place has the WORST ability to get to and fro whether it be car, bus, bike, MARTA (it's smarta) etc. It's as if the entire region is designed to be as difficult to get around as possible. You have my sympathies. I once lived in town, worked in near burbs just outside the loop, MARTA stations in both places about 1 mile from home and office. They were about 15 miles apart. It would take nearly 2 hours to drive, there was NO WAY by foot or bus to get from the Marta station at my work to the office park less than 1 mile away.

hyla

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2017, 05:42:09 PM »
An alternate suggestion...

If it's inconvenience for transporting kayaks is your main problem with the prius, have you considered getting either
a) a more portable boat (a folding oru kayak, or an inflatable kayak or packraft) or b) one of those fancy kayak racks that lets you load your boat lower down and then slide it up onto the roof instead of a second car?  Both options would be cheaper than an additional car. 

I own a prius too, and have inflatable boats instead of hardshells partly because they fit in my prius easily. 

brian313313

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2017, 06:32:42 AM »
Hold up. You live in greater Atlanta? Ugh. That place has the WORST ability to get to and fro whether it be car, bus, bike, MARTA (it's smarta) etc. It's as if the entire region is designed to be as difficult to get around as possible. You have my sympathies. I once lived in town, worked in near burbs just outside the loop, MARTA stations in both places about 1 mile from home and office. They were about 15 miles apart. It would take nearly 2 hours to drive, there was NO WAY by foot or bus to get from the Marta station at my work to the office park less than 1 mile away.

Atlanta has a lot of traffic and not the best public transportation. I'm from Detroit originally though and they don't have anything so it's much better here. The "motor" city wants to make sure everyone needs a car. The bus system here in Atlanta is too unreliable to use but I've had luck with the train when working in Midtown. It's certainly no comparison to other major cities. Reliability is an issue but at least it will run even if late. Buses will just not run. We live in Sandy Springs near the Perimeter mall. There is a Target and Costco within about a mile of us, over 100 restaurants, and more. There are sidewalks so it's walkable. You have to be real careful though because the drivers around here are not used to pedestrians. People turning right don't look right so you have to make sure you have eye contact before crossing in front of them because they may decide to gun it for a small break in traffic and run you over.

An alternate suggestion...

If it's inconvenience for transporting kayaks is your main problem with the prius, have you considered getting either
a) a more portable boat (a folding oru kayak, or an inflatable kayak or packraft) or b) one of those fancy kayak racks that lets you load your boat lower down and then slide it up onto the roof instead of a second car?  Both options would be cheaper than an additional car. 

I own a prius too, and have inflatable boats instead of hardshells partly because they fit in my prius easily.

The folding or inflatable kayaks are not for me. I wish they were but I typically go 20 miles on a trip and see the ocean a lot. Those don't track well enough for the currents & waves. I can reach the roof fine to put a kayak on. The problem is I need at least a 12' kayak and the 2' spread on the typical roof rack won't give side-to-side stability with wind. I have had some ideas though and think I can get it worked out. I used to see a Porsche 911 with a kayak rack at one of the places I would go kayaking. If it can be done in a Porsche I'm sure I can figure out something for the Prius :). It may take a little time & money but still cheaper than another car.


brian313313

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 10:35:05 AM »
Ideally, I would like a Toyota Tacoma. I read something in another post about cars depreciating at 50% every 4 years. In theory, this would make a 30k truck 7500 when it's 8 years old. The 8 year old Tacoma is listed on KBB for 12,200 private party or 15k dealer fair market price. Mileage assumption is about 102k. In reality, when I check CL, Auto Trader, & EBay the prices are even higher than this. I'm checking Ebay sold listings only.

Most of the posts I'm seeing that argue to buy used only are not taking into account the real depreciation from a savings perspective. I have trouble seeing how it's worth half the price when the vehicle is at its half-life. You're missing the best half when it's new. I know there are opportunity costs but if I were to finance this is only about 4%.

Anyway, I don't want to spend $30k, nor 15k. A $5k Tacoma is so old it's somewhat out of the question.

The not having a second car has been an issue though. More so now because one of my coworkers left and I'm having to go into the office more. I'm just going to get a rack for my Prius to haul a kayak. That takes care of one issue. Now for another car for transportation... The same thing about the Toyota Tacoma applies to almost any Toyota/Honda I've checked. (The 2012-2014 Prius is an exception but I don't want two of them. The drop in gas prices has dropped demand for them and lowered prices.) How does it not pay to just buy new?

Is there a thread on here that shows good values in the used cars? Something that's kept up to date. I thought I saw one once but can't find it now. Internet recommendations tend to be too old to matter since it changes every 3 months or so.

brian313313

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Re: Thinking about second car
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2017, 08:09:04 AM »
I've been looking at Craigslist for cars in my area. Pretty much every FSBO vehicle I've seen online under 5k is way over the KBB price. KBB=3500, asking=5000 is about as good as it gets. Usually it's closer to double, KBB=2500, asking=5000. Is this typical or is KBB off? I have been looking for Truck/SUV/Minivan which are in higher demand from what I understand.

Thanks.