Author Topic: Should I replace my car?  (Read 2450 times)


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 204
  • Location: Maryland
Should I replace my car?
« on: August 09, 2013, 11:06:50 AM »
I was in a pretty terrible car accident on Monday.  Car is totalled, and I will get something ($) for it. According to Kelley Blue Book it was worth somewhere between $4-6k.

I'm thinking seriously whether I should replace my car or use the Zipcars that are at the metro stop by my home. 

My current auto insurance cost $700/year for full coverage with a $1000 deductible.    I spend about $40/month on gas.  Up to this point only had recommended maintenance on my 2005 vehicle, i.e., no huge repair bills. The most expensive bill was replacing tires. I do set aside $50/month to cover maintenance and future repairs. Registration/emissions testing about $150 every other year.  Toll rates to Baltimore (where I have a rental property) just increased to $4 each way. If I avg 12 trips per year, that's $96.  When I add those numbers together, I get $1951/year or $163/month allocated to driving.

I know insurance will go up after this accident. If I buy a beater with whatever payout I get for this accident, then I wouldn't have car payments.  If I decrease insurance to just liability, insurance might not go up at all.  With what I've already saved towards maintenance, and if I don't buy a lemon, I could probably keep the maintenance/repair line the same.

I looked into Zipcars website. With a $75/month commitment,
Depending on the car model, drive from $7.43/hour and $67.50/day (any 24-hour period) during the week and $9/hour and $75.60/day on Friday through Sunday. Gas, insurance and up to 180 FREE miles are included.
.  For clarity, the $75 commitment prepays the monthly or daily fee and when that gets used up you pay as you go.  There is a cheaper prepay plan that doesn't roll unused monies over to the next month, and a pay as you go plan that has an annual fee and higher hourly and daily rates.

This is how I typically handle transportation:

I live 2.5 miles from work, and normally take the bus or walk (~45 min walk), but will drive occasionally if I know I'll be working super late.

Groceries: I live right by a metro station but I typically drive, since I  buy in bulk when items are on sale, or shop at multiple stores which either aren't metro friendly or are in different directions from each other. 

Family: About every other week. I drive.  They're further out in the suburbs that are not metro friendly.

Rental property: About 50 miles away, so I drive.  I don't usually go at all in the winter unless there is an emergency or maintenance issue to deal with, but I go every two weeks in the summer to take care of the yard.  After YEARS of looking, I may finally have found someone who will mow for a reasonable fee.  They are taking care of the lawn for now while I recuperate.

Doctors: Could take metro and bus to PCP although I wouldn't want to.  Could walk to gyn and eye doctors.  Dentist -  could take a bus, but I'm not mustachian enough for that particular route which is very circuitous.

 I'm guessing that if I consolidated trips as much as possible, and continued working at the rental,  I'd average about 20hrs worth of Zipcar rental per month, mostly on the weekend, so minimum of $180 plus tolls. If I hired the neighbors for $50/month, I'd get down to 12 hrs ($108 + the $50).