Author Topic: "Free" Car  (Read 828 times)

canisius

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Dallas, TX
"Free" Car
« on: August 16, 2018, 10:18:22 AM »
I have three kids, my wife and I work.  My wife drives the car (2014 Dodge Journey) and I either bike to work or she drops me off at work during inclement weather.  I live 1.8 miles away from work.  My parents are getting a new car and are offering to give us their car.  It would be free, but there would be the additional gas, mechanical, and insurance costs.  I would still plan on biking to work mostly.  Quality of life . . . it would help when the kids are in two places at once . . . . also a back-up car when ours is in the shop (which happens maybe once every two years ).  I don't know, advice?  If lifestyle creep doesn't come in, it seems to be cost-neutral (although not environmentally neutral) and it can be sold as an asset later.  However, I hate any new expenses.  Suggestions?

JanetJackson

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 735
  • Location: United States
    • How I actually made $50 just for taking a survey and being in the healthcare marketplace
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 10:22:00 AM »
How old are your kiddos?  If they're close enough to driving age could this car benefit them as a vehicle to pass down to them or potentially have them purchase at a reasonable price?
My parents "sold" me their old car when I became driving age for much less than it was worth to teach me how to save up for a larger purchase ($700 or whatever is a LOT when you're 15).


BicycleB

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
  • Location: Live Music Capital of the World
  • Older than the internet, but not wiser... yet
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 10:39:29 AM »
Your comments suggest it's not cost neutral. There is no guarantee that the operating costs, which rise over time, equal the residual value of the car when sold, which declines over time. My guess is that you lose $ compared to not having it, which means it's lifestyle creep on it's own.

I think it's legit to consider whether the benefits are worth the cost, but it's still lifestyle creep. 

Alternate choices: Offer to sell the car for mom & dad, dedicate the money to Fun With Grandma and Grandpa Fund that pays for outings where the kids play with your parents. Or, say that you have enough cars, but you would be willing to buy stock for the kids with the proceeds. Or just offer to solve the "what to do with car" problem by selling it for them and letting them keep the money - be a good son, show you have enough money to say no, help them out. All these options convey strength and Mustache ethics. Not saying you have to do these, just that they're options.

As is accepting the lifestyle creep. You're a person, not a Mustache robot. Your call. Deep down, which option will you feel is best when you look back on it ten years from now?

canisius

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Dallas, TX
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 11:17:43 AM »
How old are your kiddos?  If they're close enough to driving age could this car benefit them as a vehicle to pass down to them or potentially have them purchase at a reasonable price?
My parents "sold" me their old car when I became driving age for much less than it was worth to teach me how to save up for a larger purchase ($700 or whatever is a LOT when you're 15).

9,5, and 2.  It might survive till then, but that's a good point.  My parents did the same as yours.

BrightFIRE

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 189
  • Location: Philadelphia
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 11:19:18 AM »
A couple of years ago my FIL bought a stupid retirement SUV and gave his old, reliable Honda (2008) to my SO. The deal was that my SO's even older Honda (2003) would be donated to the Purple Heart Foundation. Win/win. And we still have the hardly-ever-driven 2008 Honda.

Lady SA

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 465
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Midwest
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 12:15:11 PM »
If the new car they are offering is newer/better milage/mpg rating/etc than your current car, is it a possibility to accept the new car and sell your existing car? I'd say your family is rocking the single-car family thing and there isn't a glaring need for another vehicle, and your parents are getting rid of theirs. Either way, one of the vehicles in the situation will be sold. I'd say, optimize and keep the best car and sell the other, and depending on which car gets sold and by whom, split the proceeds fairly.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3375
  • Location: France
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 12:17:04 PM »
Not much reason to add another vehicle to the household, from your initial post, OP. So, I'd say no.

erutio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 402
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 01:19:37 PM »
What kind of car is the new (to you) car?

dcozad999

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 630
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 01:31:43 PM »
If you are a one car family, and you have to ask whether you should accept a free car, I'd say the answer is probably no. I on the other hand would jump at the chance for a free car, however you pretty much have to drive everywhere where I live.

What does your wife say?

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1671
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2018, 02:35:42 PM »
Your comments suggest it's not cost neutral. There is no guarantee that the operating costs, which rise over time, equal the residual value of the car when sold, which declines over time. My guess is that you lose $ compared to not having it, which means it's lifestyle creep on it's own.

I think it's legit to consider whether the benefits are worth the cost, but it's still lifestyle creep. 

Alternate choices: Offer to sell the car for mom & dad, dedicate the money to Fun With Grandma and Grandpa Fund that pays for outings where the kids play with your parents. Or, say that you have enough cars, but you would be willing to buy stock for the kids with the proceeds. Or just offer to solve the "what to do with car" problem by selling it for them and letting them keep the money - be a good son, show you have enough money to say no, help them out. All these options convey strength and Mustache ethics. Not saying you have to do these, just that they're options.

As is accepting the lifestyle creep. You're a person, not a Mustache robot. Your call. Deep down, which option will you feel is best when you look back on it ten years from now?

+1

My $.02:  There's no such thing as a FREE car.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3875
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: "Free" Car
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 10:26:12 PM »
Rain gear/snow tires for your bike are a lot cheaper than registration/insurance for another car.

I'd say pass.