Author Topic: Best option for second car  (Read 3437 times)

themagicman

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Best option for second car
« on: October 01, 2015, 12:26:56 PM »
My lease on my current car up in a couple of months and I wanted to plan ahead on what I should do for transportation. I was hoping to get some insight on what my best option for transportation would be and if there were any options that I was not thinking of! Thanks for the help!

I live about 6 miles from my work and my wife works about 6 miles in the opposite direction. Once the lease is up, we will be down to one car. Some of the options that I was thinking

Bike/Walk : I recently bought a bike and started trying to bike around my area but I think I am a long way away from being able to bike 12 miles round trip up some pretty big hills on roads that are not very bike friendly (No alternative routes).

Buy a $2k-4k car : I do not mind the looks of the car and I do not think the gas mileage would be a big issue with the length of the commute. The main worry is a lot of maintenance and being in this same issue in a few years

Buy a $6k-8k car: I do not think it is worth spending that much money for how little I would be using the car and the fact that there are other solutions. But would be nice not to worry as much about maintenance and getting several more years out of the car.

Buy a scooter : I can buy one very cheaply, they have low maintenance, great gas mileage, and do not require insurance. The main disadvantage to me is safety. I live in an area where there are not many scooters or bikes on the road and do not want to end up seriously injured trying to save a little money.

Drop my wife off for work: I could drop my wife off at work in the mornings and come back and pick her up on the way home. After work and weekends would not be an issue as we are usually together. But it would be an inconvenience doubling my commute and would be a pain if one of us has to leave early/stay late. Also I travel a few times a year with work and would be an issue not having a car. I could rent one?

Public transportation : I would say this is out, there is a bus that has tons of stops, takes about an hour and costs 2.50 each way.

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 12:57:24 PM »
What does your current income/balance sheet look like?  If your hair is on fire with high interest loans, I would probably go the $2-4k route, so you can dedicate as much cash as possible to paying off debt.  If things are pretty solid, I would prefer the $6-8k route, as it stretches the time between repairs and the next car purchase (which I hate).  Either way having the ability to make a round trip will ease the logistics of repairs as needed.  What's the speed limit on the roads to work?  If the Scooter could hang with traffic I would consider it to be more viable, but still not my top choice.  I had a motorcycle and hated driving it in heavy traffic, not to mention inclement weather.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 01:05:47 PM »
If I needed a second car, I'd consider a used i-Miev, which would be bad as a primary car but is cheap as well ($7000 sometimes) and won't need a lot of maintenance since it's an EV.

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 01:10:08 PM »
My lease on my current car up in a couple of months and I wanted to plan ahead on what I should do for transportation. I was hoping to get some insight on what my best option for transportation would be... I live about 6 miles from my work and my wife works about 6 miles in the opposite direction. Once the lease is up, we will be down to one car. Some of the options that I was thinking...

Buy a $2k-4k car : I do not mind the looks of the car and I do not think the gas mileage would be a big issue with the length of the commute. The main worry is a lot of maintenance and being in this same issue in a few years

Buy a $6k-8k car: I do not think it is worth spending that much money for how little I would be using the car and the fact that there are other solutions. But would be nice not to worry as much about maintenance and getting several more years out of the car.

Drop my wife off for work: I could drop my wife off at work in the mornings and come back and pick her up on the way home. After work and weekends would not be an issue as we are usually together. But it would be an inconvenience doubling my commute and would be a pain if one of us has to leave early/stay late. Also I travel a few times a year with work and would be an issue not having a car. I could rent one?

I think any of the 3 options I've bolded above would be reasonable options for you.

Don't be too scared of older vehicles.  I personally drive a 1996 Dodge Dakota and my wife drives a 1998 Subaru Forester.  With proper preventive maintenance, both vehicles have proven to be extremely reliable.

So, you could go to an older vehicle like that (something in the $5K range?) and still plan to drive your wife to work.  You are right that car rentals (rent a wreck, even) would cover any periods that required a 2nd vehicle because you needed your main one for business travel.

Good luck.

themagicman

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 01:42:22 PM »
If I needed a second car, I'd consider a used i-Miev, which would be bad as a primary car but is cheap as well ($7000 sometimes) and won't need a lot of maintenance since it's an EV.

Yeah, I currently have a nissan leaf and had thought about just buying it after the lease but it is going to be pretty expensive (About $14k)

themagicman

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 01:46:33 PM »
What does your current income/balance sheet look like?  If your hair is on fire with high interest loans, I would probably go the $2-4k route, so you can dedicate as much cash as possible to paying off debt.  If things are pretty solid, I would prefer the $6-8k route, as it stretches the time between repairs and the next car purchase (which I hate).  Either way having the ability to make a round trip will ease the logistics of repairs as needed.  What's the speed limit on the roads to work?  If the Scooter could hang with traffic I would consider it to be more viable, but still not my top choice.  I had a motorcycle and hated driving it in heavy traffic, not to mention inclement weather.

Current income/balance sheet are pretty good (80% savings rate, $250k net worth) so its not a matter of not having the funds its just not sure if I am wanting to use them. I definitely like stretching the next car purchase and mentally I do prefer larger one time expenses then more nickel and dime ones.

The speed limit is 35-40 on the way to work. At the times I am going to work and coming home most people are driving 25-30 because of slight traffic

themagicman

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 01:49:18 PM »
My lease on my current car up in a couple of months and I wanted to plan ahead on what I should do for transportation. I was hoping to get some insight on what my best option for transportation would be... I live about 6 miles from my work and my wife works about 6 miles in the opposite direction. Once the lease is up, we will be down to one car. Some of the options that I was thinking...

Buy a $2k-4k car : I do not mind the looks of the car and I do not think the gas mileage would be a big issue with the length of the commute. The main worry is a lot of maintenance and being in this same issue in a few years

Buy a $6k-8k car: I do not think it is worth spending that much money for how little I would be using the car and the fact that there are other solutions. But would be nice not to worry as much about maintenance and getting several more years out of the car.

Drop my wife off for work: I could drop my wife off at work in the mornings and come back and pick her up on the way home. After work and weekends would not be an issue as we are usually together. But it would be an inconvenience doubling my commute and would be a pain if one of us has to leave early/stay late. Also I travel a few times a year with work and would be an issue not having a car. I could rent one?

I think any of the 3 options I've bolded above would be reasonable options for you.

Don't be too scared of older vehicles.  I personally drive a 1996 Dodge Dakota and my wife drives a 1998 Subaru Forester.  With proper preventive maintenance, both vehicles have proven to be extremely reliable.

So, you could go to an older vehicle like that (something in the $5K range?) and still plan to drive your wife to work.  You are right that car rentals (rent a wreck, even) would cover any periods that required a 2nd vehicle because you needed your main one for business travel.

Good luck.

Any tips on knowing if an used car that I am looking at buying had proper preventive maintenance done? Things that stand out to look for when inspecting it? (I do not know a ton about cars)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 06:57:58 PM by themagicman »

themagicman

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2015, 06:58:31 PM »
My lease on my current car up in a couple of months and I wanted to plan ahead on what I should do for transportation. I was hoping to get some insight on what my best option for transportation would be... I live about 6 miles from my work and my wife works about 6 miles in the opposite direction. Once the lease is up, we will be down to one car. Some of the options that I was thinking...

Buy a $2k-4k car : I do not mind the looks of the car and I do not think the gas mileage would be a big issue with the length of the commute. The main worry is a lot of maintenance and being in this same issue in a few years

Buy a $6k-8k car: I do not think it is worth spending that much money for how little I would be using the car and the fact that there are other solutions. But would be nice not to worry as much about maintenance and getting several more years out of the car.

Drop my wife off for work: I could drop my wife off at work in the mornings and come back and pick her up on the way home. After work and weekends would not be an issue as we are usually together. But it would be an inconvenience doubling my commute and would be a pain if one of us has to leave early/stay late. Also I travel a few times a year with work and would be an issue not having a car. I could rent one?

I think any of the 3 options I've bolded above would be reasonable options for you.

Don't be too scared of older vehicles.  I personally drive a 1996 Dodge Dakota and my wife drives a 1998 Subaru Forester.  With proper preventive maintenance, both vehicles have proven to be extremely reliable.

So, you could go to an older vehicle like that (something in the $5K range?) and still plan to drive your wife to work.  You are right that car rentals (rent a wreck, even) would cover any periods that required a 2nd vehicle because you needed your main one for business travel.

Good luck.

Any tips on knowing if an used car that I am looking at buying had proper preventive maintenance done? Things that stand out to look for when inspecting it? (I do not know a ton about cars)

Also what do you man by rent a wreck? I am not familiar with that.

terran

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2015, 07:35:36 PM »
Out of the box thought: Would you have any interest in moving close enough to either your work or your wife's work so you would only need one car? You'd have the same 24 mile total commute to buy gas for, but only one car and less insurance.

themagicman

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 06:34:16 AM »
Out of the box thought: Would you have any interest in moving close enough to either your work or your wife's work so you would only need one car? You'd have the same 24 mile total commute to buy gas for, but only one car and less insurance.

We had thought about that but decided against it. We bought our house a little over a year ago and do not want to have to pay the real estate fees so immediately. Also, where we currently live is in a better area (Safety, schools, workability) then where either of us work.

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 06:46:02 AM »
If you think an area is too scary to bike in, I strongly suspect that it would be too scary to use a scooter in.  The scooter is also kinda the worst of two worlds.  Bikes are cheaper, cleaner, and better for your health.  A motorcycle is faster, has larger wheels that will better deal with rolling over bad roads/debris, and will actually be able to keep up with traffic . . . which I have to figure will result in fewer drivers doing stupid things that endanger you.

smalllife

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 03:28:04 PM »
Scooters are not just the slow ones ;-) We sold our second car and have a scooter that can get up to 50mph before the wind makes you want to slow down. Easier to ride than a motorcycle but all the financial advantages.  For reference,  my work is 4.5mi and I usually bike on side roads but take the scooter on the main thoroughfare when scheduling calls for it. Its a good middle ground in my experience

darkadams00

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Re: Best option for second car
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2015, 03:52:07 PM »
First and foremost--What will you do for stretches of inclement/cold weather? If carpooling with DW is an option for such days/weeks, then you could consider the bike/scooter/motorcycle. If you think the carpool would get old or be too much trouble, you've already made the car/no car decision. Then it's just a matter of how much car to buy.

Days of rainy weather and/or cold temps are a primary reason people refuse to give up a car, even if they live close to work (and 6 miles one way is close in my book). In the sunny weeks of summer, our company's motorcycle parking and bike racks can get full on some days. If it's threatening rain or less than 50 degrees, there might be 1-2 motorcycles and one other bike besides mine.

One other thought--If you decide you're definitely dumping your lease for another option and you want to give a non-car option a try, then you're in a great time to do so. You can buy a car any day of the week, but once you buy one, you've set yourself up  psychologically and financially to stick with that option. When our DS1 bought one of our cars, I decided to start biking to see how we would work as a one-car but two-jobs family before we bought another car. Several years later we're still a one-car family, I've racked up thousands of miles on the bike and lost a lot of weight. We still have the occasional difficulty managing transportation/schedules, but we're satisfied overall and don't have any plans to change back to that two-car setup again.