Author Topic: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?  (Read 2981 times)

griffam

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Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« on: April 01, 2016, 09:10:04 AM »
Hello everyone! A little embarrassed to be posting this, but a situation has come up for which I need your input. My wife [26F] and I [26M] own one car, a small, fairly new SUV with good gas mileage, with which we only drive about 6,000 miles per year. I take a bus to work and she works from home. We have decided to start trying to have kids, and this is where this situation comes in.

My parents recently purchased a new car and offered to sell us their car, a 2003 Honda Pilot with high mileage (great maintenance record, though) for what is a very reasonable price (about half of market value). Right now we definitely do not need a second vehicle, but I wasn't sure how that would change after we have a child. If this deal makes sense I would go ahead and do it now, so that it is taken care of. I'm just not sure if we would definitely need a second car once we have a child.

FWIW, my wife will continue to work and will not be able to take care of the future child during the day, so they would be in some kind of daycare facility (as much as I hate doing that). Does anyone have any experience raising a child with one vehicle? If this is a great deal, should I go ahead and pull the trigger, or wait until we actually might need a vehicle? Any input is greatly appreciated, as we need to make the decision very, very soon. (The new car would only add about $12-$15 to our monthly auto insurance, and would not be driven very often.) Any resources you can point me toward would also be extremely helpful.

Thank you, you great mustachians!

Tjat

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 09:17:59 AM »
You're looking at a minimum of a year before you may potentially need this second car. Seems very unnecessary to purchase it now. No matter the deal your getting, if you truly need a second car when the time comes around, you can probably find an older used car for a relatively low price. You also don't need a giant vehicle. Car seats can fit in a compact. I have one installed and I'm 6'3 driving a mazda 3.

You may also find that you won't need a second car. Sounds like you're in an area that's walking accessible, could you walk to the daycare? Or, could one parent do drop off/pick up in the same car?

bobechs

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 09:22:36 AM »
It's not too late to rethink the kid thing. 

That will save an enormous bundle of money.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 09:41:08 AM »
Let me get this straight. Right now you have one car that you are not reliant on to go to either workplace. Once baby comes, the car will be used to drop baby off at daycare. There is no other commute change.

There is no scenario in your story that regularly requires two simultaneous vehicles.

Sibley

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 09:53:19 AM »
Tell your parents thank you for the offer, but you don't need the car. Continue with your current routine. Once you actually have a baby, keep taking the bus to work and your wife can take the baby to daycare. Or, you drop the baby off on your way to work. Or see if you can find a daycare within walking distance.

Don't use having a baby as an excuse to destroy your budget.

AZDude

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 09:58:45 AM »
You do not need the car. I'm trying to think of a scenario where you absolutely needed a second car. The only ones I can come up with are far fetched one-time incidents where you could easily call a taxi/uber/take public transportation. There will be lots of doctor appointments, etc... when baby is young, but if you take the bus then mom can use the car for that, along with the WFH flexibility. If you wanted to be there at the appts, then she could pick you up on the way.

If you want the convenience of a second car, a used high mileage Honda Pilot seems like overkill. Even with getting a good deal on it, its still going to be higher maintenance, insurance, and gas than something else like a used Leaf, etc...


starbuck

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 10:08:28 AM »
We have a baby and we have one car. You'll be fine with the one car.

FWIW, my wife will continue to work and will not be able to take care of the future child during the day, so they would be in some kind of daycare facility (as much as I hate doing that).

A friendly reminder - either parent can stay at home, this is not a gender specific role. :) If it's important to you, which it sounds like it is, then take a good look as a family at ALL your child care options, including you staying at home and your wife continuing to work. (As a bonus, if you chose to stay at home, and your wife worked at home, she wouldn't even have to pump if she were breastfeeding!)

KCM5

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 10:24:11 AM »
We have a 3 year old and one car.

We did buy a second car for about 6 months when we both worked different hours/directions and the kid was too young for the bike.

But now, we both work (and not at home). I mostly bike, but when the weather doesn't allow me to take the kid with on the bike (she's wimpier than I am, those whinging 3 year olds ;) ) we carpool - our hours are the same so one of us just waits around for 20 minutes, no big deal.

Actually, we also go offered my parents older high mileage SUV for a low price a year or two ago. We told them no, we didn't want to deal with a second car.

Make sure you have Uber/cab for emergencies and you're good to go.

chemistk

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 10:33:23 AM »
You won't need the car. My wife and I have two cars and if we didn't need to go in opposite directions daily, we could get by just fine with one car.

if you do ever feel like you need a second car, you could buy something smaller and more reasonable down the road.

griffam

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 11:23:11 AM »
First of all, thanks everyone for the insightful input - it is greatly appreciated. As suspected, I was turning myself into a clown. Thank you all for the preemptive face punch. I will let my parents know that we aren't interested.

We have a baby and we have one car. You'll be fine with the one car.

FWIW, my wife will continue to work and will not be able to take care of the future child during the day, so they would be in some kind of daycare facility (as much as I hate doing that).

A friendly reminder - either parent can stay at home, this is not a gender specific role. :) If it's important to you, which it sounds like it is, then take a good look as a family at ALL your child care options, including you staying at home and your wife continuing to work. (As a bonus, if you chose to stay at home, and your wife worked at home, she wouldn't even have to pump if she were breastfeeding!)

Just to clarify, I didn't mean that one would expect my wife to be the one to stay at home - I simply meant that her working from home did not mean that she could also take care of a little one while being a total bad ass professional (which she definitely is - this woman, wow!). To be honest, I would much rather be a SAH dad and would be completely open to it if it was economically feasible. Sorry if this was off-putting to anyone, just bad phrasing by me.

Ceridwen

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 11:32:16 AM »
Let me get this straight. Right now you have one car that you are not reliant on to go to either workplace. Once baby comes, the car will be used to drop baby off at daycare. There is no other commute change.

There is no scenario in your story that regularly requires two simultaneous vehicles.

I totally agree with this.

We are two working parents with 2 kids in daycare, and 1 car.  We use the car for daycare, and public transportation to get to and from our respective offices.

Platypuses

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 12:37:15 PM »
How much is your current car worth?
Wouldn't it make more sense to sell your fairly new SUV and buy a reliable 13 year old Honda for half the market value?

You don't need two cars though.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2016, 12:47:31 PM »
You definitely don't need two cars right now. Selling your current car and taking them up on the offer might be a good idea, or they should just get market value for their vehicle.

griffam

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2016, 12:49:55 PM »
How much is your current car worth?
Wouldn't it make more sense to sell your fairly new SUV and buy a reliable 13 year old Honda for half the market value?

You don't need two cars though.

Well our current vehicle is a 2009 Subaru Forester with around 70,000 miles on it - I'm also embarrassed to say that it is financed at 2.25%, with about $6000 left on the loan. It's in great condition and haven't had any problems with it, so I guess fair market value would be somewhere between $10k-$12k? Just a guess. We are almost done with around $50k in student loans ($8.5k left) after graduating grad school in 2014, and afterwards we will pay off the vehicle fairly quickly.

It is a reliable Honda, but it also has 180,000 miles on it. It's been very well taken care of thanks to my pop, but still that's a lot of miles. Also, gas mileage is about 30% worse than the Subaru, and we mainly use the vehicle for out of town driving.

CindyBS

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2016, 12:55:27 PM »
We have 1 car and 2 kids, one of whom is 5'7" tall.  We have never owned an SUV, van or other large vehicle.  We did have 2 cars when the kids were younger, but that is also pre-Uber days.

Our kids think nothing of sitting in the backseat of our Civic, even for long trips, because they don't know any different.  We have always rented sedans when we fly places.  Its that old hedonic adaptation thing again. 

We decided not to get a big vehicle with the idea we could always rent one if needed.  We have rented a van exactly once in 13 years. 

If your circumstances change, then get another vehicle, but until then you will probably be fine. 

Platypuses

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Re: Clown Car Advice: Future Parents, Gas Guzzlers, Two Cars?
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2016, 01:43:17 PM »
How much is your current car worth?
Wouldn't it make more sense to sell your fairly new SUV and buy a reliable 13 year old Honda for half the market value?

You don't need two cars though.

Well our current vehicle is a 2009 Subaru Forester with around 70,000 miles on it - I'm also embarrassed to say that it is financed at 2.25%, with about $6000 left on the loan. It's in great condition and haven't had any problems with it, so I guess fair market value would be somewhere between $10k-$12k? Just a guess. We are almost done with around $50k in student loans ($8.5k left) after graduating grad school in 2014, and afterwards we will pay off the vehicle fairly quickly.

It is a reliable Honda, but it also has 180,000 miles on it. It's been very well taken care of thanks to my pop, but still that's a lot of miles. Also, gas mileage is about 30% worse than the Subaru, and we mainly use the vehicle for out of town driving.

180,000 is a lot of miles, but you have to remember it is a Honda. The Subaru will be entering the mileage (90-120,000) when a lot of maintenance items are due and typically a small repair or two comes about. If you can get $10-12k for your Forester and buy the Pilot for $2-3k you would end up with no more car payment and likely some extra money to put towards student loans. The gas mileage is not a big factor when you are driving only 6,000 miles/yr (cost you about $300/yr more). You also have to take into account the drop in insurance. I would assume that you would get a cheaper rate since you would not have to purchase comprehensive for your Pilot.