Author Topic: 3 cars for 2 drivers. Facepunch.  (Read 2456 times)

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4018
3 cars for 2 drivers. Facepunch.
« on: February 23, 2014, 02:19:11 PM »
We have two 2003 civics, with 100k and 120k miles. Paid off, worth 4-5k each.

We were recently gifted a 2004 sienna minivan with 175k more.  Even with more miles it is supposedly worth 7k.  Maybe bc it is fancy with leather and power doors? I don't know.

We can't get rid of the sienna right away. The gift is from a dear friend who would be very hurt. They gave it so we would have a larger vehicle, which we have long wanted but never been able to justify purchasing ourselves.

We could sell a civic now and put the money in the bank.  Then we would have to actually drive the van, though, and the fuel economy is awful. Currently we use the van only for bike transport, camping, or garden projects.

We could wait a few years and then sell a civic and the van, and buy something a little bigger and newer (Camry or accord maybe, or Mazda5. Having a slightly newer car will be good at some point, as we drive 12 hours to see family and the civics won't be reliable forever.

For background we have a 4 and 6 year old, h drives about 2 miles to work and cannot bike due to unsafe roads, and I stay at home and drive around town and also to the nearby city for doctors and shopping. Moving closer in to town is on the agenda for summer 2015 so that I can bike the kids 90% of places.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 02:22:21 PM by MayDay »

Gin1984

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4753
Re: 3 cars for 2 drivers. Facepunch.
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 02:32:39 PM »
How much would the civic bring in, and how many miles would you drive on the sienna to equal that amount (between the two mpg).

the fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1037
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: 3 cars for 2 drivers. Facepunch.
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2014, 02:38:02 PM »
Here's the math I see:

Keeping a third car that you never drive would cost about $30-50/month in liability-only insurance coverage. Perhaps also a very small maintenance cost as parts wear out due to age, but not use (e.g. tires do this). This would only be a few dollars per month. You're also keeping a few thousand dollars tied up in a vehicle (worth $23/month if invested in stock market), which we can assume won't depreciate for simplicity and because it's so high mileage. You also have to keep the car registered, and that cost varies by state but I'd guess it's about $5/month. This is option 1.

Option 2 is to sell one of your civics. Your gas cost will go up if you drive the minivan instead, but by how much? Is it more or less than the amount you would save from freeing up that tied up cash and not paying insurance/registration? This is a function of gas mileage and how many miles you put on the car that's driven the least, but I suspect it would work out that selling a car is your best option.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: 3 cars for 2 drivers. Facepunch.
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2014, 03:27:09 PM »
Get a roof rack for bikes, a small trailer for hauling garden project stuff, give back the Sienna.  Or sell it after a time when it seems acceptable.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4018
Re: 3 cars for 2 drivers. Facepunch.
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 05:54:25 PM »
Get a roof rack for bikes, a small trailer for hauling garden project stuff, give back the Sienna.  Or sell it after a time when it seems acceptable.

Selling it altogether is certainly possible.  We just got it at Christmas so we will see how much it gets used.  I plan to haul some serious manure in it this spring, and have already used it multiple times to carpool, which I didn't mention previously.  In a few more years when kids are out of car seats I will be able to carpool in the civic.  Currently I can only fit my two in the civic. 

I wonder if you can put a hitch on a civic and what it would cost.  And can a civic even pull anything?  I assumed not, but have no basis for it.  Getting a small trailer, or one of those rack things that hooks onto a hitch, is a great idea.  If we hadn't been given the van, the plan was to get some kind of strap-on plastic box roof contraption.  No idea what those are called, but my parents have an old one sitting in their garage that we can have.  Used to see Sears brand ones called "Escargo" if I remember correctly from my childhood. 

If we do follow through in the plan to move next summer (which assumes DH continues at his current employer and that we can find a same or cheaper house close to town, and sell ours for enough to fund a good DP) it seems like it might make sense to wait until then to sell off a civic.  In the mean time I should keep track if what I am actually driving, because I have no clue.  I fill up twice a month usually, at about 12 gallons a pop, but I don't know what my actual mileage is.   DH fills up once a month at most, so regardless of the details, if we dump a civic now, he would take the van to work most days, unless I was definitely staying home for the day. 

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: 3 cars for 2 drivers. Facepunch.
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 07:18:56 PM »
While the Hondas aren't tow monsters, they can tow a light utility trailer.  A hitch designed for your model may be available from U-Haul or some other place.  Inquire at the dealer even.  Search online.  But they are surely available.

If you share cars and both do gas stops, keep a logbook in the car, or use the checkbook register to keep track.  Each time you fill it (you have to fill it) note the trip mileage and reset.  Next fuel stop repeat.  The elapsed mileage divided by the gallons gives you your mpg.  It's a good way to track expense and also helps notice when somethings wrong with the car when the mileage drops for some reason.