Author Topic: Sell a "lifer" vehicle to gain a few k + a few months on payments?  (Read 2324 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 69
Hey all,

After graduating I got the standard advice of buy a new car and drive it forever. well I got a little trigger happy with my signing bonus and fancy new salary (that I didn't really comprehend) and bought a 2012 MazdaSpeed 3 for 23k. My intent was to keep it for its entire maintainable life. I figured a manual japanese 4 cylinder would be pretty good for that. It's a little bit fancy and I have since adopted a more mustachian regret for this purchase. The mileage is acceptable, but not great. It gets 32 HWY without much effort. Average for all of my driving is about 28mpg. It does need premium fuel though which is ridiculous.

I owe about 9500 on the loan now. Payments are 422/month and I am well ahead in payments. Right now the car has 35k miles. I could sell it for about 16k if I wait for the right buyer, eliminate the payment, and buy a used manual hatch car with roughly 50-70k miles with the left over money (if I can find a good one). I'd basically be trading 15000 miles of wear for a lower-performance vehicle and about a year of car payments. I'd also gain the reduced registration fees each year (currently about 400/yr). Since I'm ahead on the loan:value of the car I can sit for the right buyer.

Is this worth it, or should I just keep the warranteed new car and drive it into the ground as was my original plan?

Hoping to get a mustachian point of view on this. I'm having trouble deciding what to do because I'm right around the "break even" point and it's hard to quantify the more intangible aspects of this transaction - losing warranty, roadside, possible headaches of buying used, possibility of getting a lemon, am i really going to gain in gas mileage that much... etc etc
« Last Edit: December 21, 2013, 02:38:37 PM by drachma »


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 292
Re: Sell a "lifer" vehicle to gain a few k + a few months on payments?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 02:58:39 PM »
How long did it take you to put 35k miles on it?
What interest rate are your car payments?
How is your Mpg compared to the official tests (this will tell us how efficient you can expect the used hatch to be)?
How much would an aftermarket roadside assistance plan cost? (if you actually need one, I doubt you do)
What does the warranty cover? How much would comparable insurance cost (although again, you can just self-insure)
How much will the buying and selling process cost (advertising, mechanical inspections, paperwork, lost time)?

Without numbers it's difficult to provide much advice. If you've run the numbers and it is genuinely close to breakeven, then keep the nicer car (it's lower risk). If you're just saying you're around breakeven because it's a difficult gut decision, then do the numbers.


  • Magnum Stache
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  • Posts: 3691
  • Location: France
Re: Sell a "lifer" vehicle to gain a few k + a few months on payments?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 06:48:01 PM »
Yes; a Pontiac Vibe, manual 1.8l. You'll use 75% of the fuel, and regular not premium!

(Vibe is basically a Toyota Matrix).