Author Topic: Car Dilemma  (Read 3795 times)

wifeytini623

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Car Dilemma
« on: July 21, 2014, 10:40:29 AM »
Hey all - I have a car dilemma I'm hoping you might help me with.

Here is my question: We have two used cars. We own them free and clear. The first is a 2003 Toyota Matrix with 100k miles. We paid $5k for it, four years ago, never had a problem with it. We were a one-car household until just last fall/winter, when my youngest needed to start seeing specialists at a hospital an hour away and I didn't have car access during the day. We bit the bullet, raided our savings, and spent $9k on an immaculately maintained 2003 Honda Pilot. I considered it a good purchase at the time - having a second car was not something we wanted, but it was truly a necessity for us when we bought it. It was the only car for sale in our area under $10k and under 100k miles, and it was in superb condition.

Fast forward to just a few months ago, and my husband is now working from home. We still have both cars, and I'd like to sell one. However, I'm not sure which one to sell. The Matrix is smaller, with better gas mileage. The Honda is larger, the gas mileage sucks, but it has room for strollers and a tv in the back so the kids aren't screaming when we take long car rides up to the city (for the specialists). I love having the room to carry groceries and it puts me at ease that someday, if we decide to have a third child, we will have a car to accommodate him/her. The strollers, groceries, and possible orthotic equipment/wheelchair for my son won't all fit in a Matrix. Also, the Honda has lower mileage.

I'm leaning toward selling the Matrix, but I'd be lucky if I could get $3k for it, I think. I would get undoubtedly a LOT more for the Honda, but it fits our needs as a family so much better. Which one should I sell?! 

Cwadda

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2014, 10:45:20 AM »
Do you need to sell one? The Matrix is a good car and it only has 100k miles on it. It's good for double that. It's also good on gas. I would say keep both cars unless you have some problematic debt that you need to get rid of right away.

wifeytini623

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2014, 10:53:21 AM »
Truthfully, we have some student loans that we are trying to get rid of. And I'll probably get punched in the face for saying this, but we live with my parents right now. We moved in with them a couple years ago as a strategy to pay down our loan debt as fast as possible, and we are down to $8k (we started at $63k, so we're almost done!!). I'd really just like to kill my debt as fast as possible, so we can start saving for a downpayment on a house.

I don't *want* to get rid of one of the cars necessarily, but it feels ridiculous to be 26, living at my parents' house, and have two cars in their driveway, WHILE $8k in student loan debt...:-/

wifeytini623

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2014, 11:02:31 AM »
Oh, also.  I know this car falls under "ridiculous clown car" category. BUT - it was the only car in our area that fit our qualifications (room for wheelchair/orthotic gear/strollers/groceries; under 100k miles as we plan to drive it into the ground; a honda or a toyota since those can last forever; under $10k; very well maintained with no accidents). Plus it has a TV in the back (unexpected bonus) that keeps the kids quiet on the drive into the city. Just adding this bit of info in case I get some "wahhh, you have a clown car!" comments. :)

Cwadda

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2014, 11:16:59 AM »
You've already done the right thing by NOT buying brand new $25k cars. You bought cars for $5k and $9k with under 100k miles on them. Plus they are mustachian cars and last forever like you said. You have $8k left. Are you really in that much of a hurry to part with a $3k car? If you ever need a car later you'll have to go through the whole buying process all over again.

If you are living with your parents and decide to move out soon, then what do you think is going to happen when you and your family are living away from your parents and you don't have anyone to tote around the kids if needed? One car to do all that by yourself? What if you have another baby and you can't bring the kids all around on your own with 1 car?

Keep both cars IMO. You're not in any serious debt (assuming you're at 6.8% or lower interest rate). If it was credit card debt...but it's not. You don't have much left on your loan and the extra $3k isn't going to contribute to your debt/downpayment goals much. I understand being debt-free is so close you can taste it, but I would be patient on it and use the motivation to cut expenses elsewhere and get that much closer to your goals.

wifeytini623

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2014, 11:23:21 AM »
That's fair. However, we usually tote the kids around in one car anyway. The other car (the Matrix) is just sitting in the driveway, maybe only used a handful of times since husband started working from home. Part of me enjoys the idea of having an extra car in case the Honda breaks down, but the other part of me loathes paying $75/month to insure it and buy vehicle stickers for it when it's just going to sit in our driveway...

Ohio Teacher

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2014, 11:30:29 AM »
Keep both cars, but get rid of the comprehensive/collision coverage.  At $75/month, there's no way that's just liability coverage.  You don't need anything more than liability on an 11 year old car.

wifeytini623

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2014, 11:33:50 AM »
Totally did not even think of that!! thanks!

daverobev

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2014, 02:00:58 PM »
Sell the Honda, buy a hitch for the Toyota, and a small rear cargo platform or trailer.

ketchup

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 07:14:03 AM »
I'd ditch the Honda.  I've never wished my car had more space for groceries (including buying in bulk), and I have a much smaller car than your Matrix.  That Honda is tying up a lot of your cash.

jabber

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 06:59:29 PM »
How old are your children and what is the seat configuration with the wheelchair in the Matrix?

So far, I recommend selling the Honda.  You will have 8 months to shop for a car by the time you find out about the next kid.

I second the recommendation to get a post-market hitch and use that to mount a tray to carry the wheelchair.

I would be interested in your input on my clown car dilemma posted earlier. Thanks.

defenestrate

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 09:45:20 PM »
rent one on relay rides...

Amy

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Re: Car Dilemma
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 12:20:37 AM »
I have a Pontiac Vibe, which is the Matrix twin. I don't have young kids anymore, but I feel certain three kids would fit in the back of my car, car seats and all. And the hatch is HUGE. (Depends on the size of the wheel chair, of course.)

I vote for selling the Pilot since you are living with your parents to get out of debt and your remaining debt about equals what you could get for the Pilot. At the very least, it would be a gesture of good faith towards your parents who are letting you live with them. I sense some defensiveness re: the Pilot, so my guess is that you would feel better if you sucked it up for a while and paid off that debt. You can always get a bigger car later if you do have more kids. The world is full of good used SUV's and minivans, and you are young and life is long.