Author Topic: 25 years old (dream-)car - sell it, keep it?  (Read 1341 times)

GeorgeWood

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25 years old (dream-)car - sell it, keep it?
« on: April 25, 2017, 12:49:33 PM »
We have a 1992 Volvo 240 which we bought in late 2015 for EUR 3,800. We are considering selling it because recent and future repair costs seem to amount to unreasonable sums, but we are very unsure of what the best course really is. Several points worth noting:
  • Since we bought the car (1.5 years ago), we have spent at least EUR 3,200 in repairs for things I haven’t been able to fix myself (plus the parts for what I did myself, maybe another EUR 400). When we bought the car I had zero mechanics skills, and I have since learnt a lot about my car, about cars in general and how to fix certain things on them. That said, I lack two essential means to fixing future ailments: a car lift and time (both availability and willingness to spend). So, it seems the proportion of things I might be able (and willing) to fix in the future is unlikely to increase.
  • The Volvo’s body currently is in very good shape with very little rust. It’s likely to deteriorate in the next few years since we have no garage (also, salt in the winter is an issue). The electrical system is starting to behave funny, as are various other parts (A/C gave up a few weeks ago, that’s going to be another EUR 150-800, depending on what’s wrong with it. Oh, and the driver’s side power window quit, too – probably “just” a cable failure though).
  • We use the car about once or twice a week for very short trips (I use the bus and train system for commuting) and roughly ten times a year for longer (1-5 hrs) out-of-town trips. That’s why variable costs (e.g., fuel economy) are not a strong point against keeping the Volvo.
  • With the Volvo being a US model, its parts alone are likely to be rather sought after over here. I have been quoted a possible sale price of EUR 5,000.
  • While most of the points above point towards selling the car, we are absolutely in love with it: its no frills-simplicity, its 70’s design, its huge trunk, its “hyggelighed” like the Danes say. Also, I do not see myself ever getting a speed ticket in the 240. I have never understood how emotionally invested some people are with their cars until we acquired the 240.
  • Also, what other car would we buy instead – for most likely more than the 240’s sales price? Newer cars also have their ailments, which often are even more expensive to get fixed, while the DYI-part is becoming less and less the more modern the car is.
As I see it, we have these options:
  • Sell it, buy a newer (used) car without the 240’s soul – some Toyota or something, or even an early Volvo V70. I will likely always think back to the “good old” (and short) times we drove the 240. Also, a newer car will have its issues too. I also hate thinking about the hassle of selling it and doing due diligence on a newer car to buy. The worst option emotionally but probably the best option financially.
  • Keep it (for now) and keep pouring our money into it as new issues emerge, trying to maintain a best-as-possible state. Maybe sell at a later date. Probably the worst option, financially.
  • Keep it, fixing only the issues really necessary for safe operation, doing all I can myself but trying not to push myself beyond certain time and stress limits. Would be a pity watching the body deteriorate, and who knows what issues are coming up next?

Reading my post, I guess it boils down to a tradeoff emotion vs. money/time. I also realize this is a rather minor problem compared to some here. I don’t expect a definite answer, but would appreciate your thoughts.

FrugalFisherman10

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Re: 25 years old (dream-)car - sell it, keep it?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 01:20:07 PM »
how many km does it have on it?

That would factor into my decision just as much if not more than the age in years.

If you do get EUR 5000 for it, I'd say EUR 2000 wasn't too bad to spend on car ownership over those two years.

If you use the car so little, and you live in europe, wouldn't it be pretty practical to take trains even on the out of town trips of 1 - 5 hours away, 10 times a year? So you could get rid of the car altogether? (This displays a pretty narrow view of Europe..realistically I understand you can't get everywhere you'd want to go via train.)

keeping a car to be used so little kinda stinks because you pay for car insurance and other holding costs, that as you mentioned, don't change with usage.

I too love my vehicle, and the way I see it currently is that continuing to own it and fix things incrementally will for a long time be cheaper than outright buying another car.


liz lemon

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Re: 25 years old (dream-)car - sell it, keep it?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2017, 01:48:14 PM »
I have a 1991 245 with similar issues (AC died two years ago, a touch of rust, some electrical weirdness from time to time, odometer stopped a year ago).  I've considered selling it but, like you, I have an emotional attachment to my car and I can't bear to part with it.  So I'm keeping it for now and will reassess if the costs to keep her running get to be exorbitant.

Gumption

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Re: 25 years old (dream-)car - sell it, keep it?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 08:21:29 AM »
those old volvos are great. now they are certainly hip (and that comes with a maintenance price)
get a nice picture of you with it, frame it, put it on the wall, and then sell that mofo.

GeorgeWood

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Re: 25 years old (dream-)car - sell it, keep it?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 07:04:29 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts. Still unsure what to do, but we're leaning towards selling it. Great idea with the pictures!

Oh, and it has 179' miles (288' km) on it, so not a lot for its age.

Gumption

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Re: 25 years old (dream-)car - sell it, keep it?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2017, 07:46:51 AM »
i saw one of those the other day with my wife. it was is pristine shape. I told her, "I should've just bought one of those 15 years ago when i wanted one and kept it...think of how much money we would have saved over the years!"
it used to be my dream car as well, but at the time, I didn't have the money to purchase a used one. Probably 5k at the time.