Author Topic: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?  (Read 4450 times)

tylerlekang

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Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« on: November 30, 2015, 10:06:51 AM »
I'm going to be taking the bus to my job, so we're going down to one car to save money. We're going to buy a different car. The decision has been made, for better or worse.

Her car is very basic and not the best in winter. She hates driving my car. So just selling off one of the cars and keeping the other is not an option. Sorry. Trust me, I tried to convince her to just drive my car. Can't be done.


We have:

- 2011 Chevy Malibu LS, PAID OFF, 65k miles, "Good" condition except: lots of dings in rear bumper, big crack in front bumper and tires are just about toast ($650 to replace tires)
- 2010 Honda Fit, owe $4000, 47k miles, "Good" condition except: one ding in passenger side (might still qualify for "Good condition")
- both of us have great credit scores


Factors to consider:

- neither of us have sold a car privately before, but we're willing to learn and do it if necessary
- we live in Minneapolis, not the best neighborhood but hardly the worst -- I suppose there's always a risk that something bad/shady could happen off Cragislist no matter where you are

- we won't pay income tax on a private sale of either, because both are well at a loss by now
- but a trade-in at the dealer will directly reduce the sale price of the new car, which then reduces the sales tax (MN 6.5%)   --- for whatever reason, a down payment does not have the same effect


So, what's the best way?

A) sell both cars privately, use money as down payment on new car
B) sell my car privately, use money as down payment on new car  &  trade her car in
C) trade both cars in


And questions:

1) would there be any hope or reason to think that replacing the tires on my Malibu would get me more than $650 on the trade in/sale?
2) should I try to replace either or both of the bumpers myself, to regain that value? I have no idea if I could pull it off, but maybe? I'm guessing there's no way I'd recoup the cost from taking it to a body shop
3) similarly, any good reason to fix the ding in the side of the Fit?
4) would there be any good reason to pay off the Fit before selling or trading it in? Or is the just going to be the same money either way?



Thanks! PS - if you want to just link to relevant web pages or previous threads/posts on this forum, I wouldn't begrudge you! :)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 10:17:57 AM by tylerlekang »

lthenderson

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2015, 10:38:02 AM »
Personally, if I was trying to sell two cars and purchasing a third, I would just trade in the two during the new car transaction. You won't get as good of price as you would selling them privately but it is definitely a lot less hassle and you can do everything all in one day versus taking weeks/months to sell the cars privately.

The ding I on the Fit I wouldn't fix. Too much work/expense to do a good job and a crappy job is just as noticeable as the dent. I'm not familiar with the Malibu and where all the airbag switches are located. That would be my big concern in replacing bumpers. If it is just the plastic skin, those are fairly easy to replace but I'm not sure it would be worth the effort. In general, I find fixing up defects in selling used cars is rarely worth it unless they are higher value cars. I would try selling it first (assuming you go the private route and not the trade-in route) and if someone balks due to a defect, offer to take off X amount of dollars off the price so they can get it fixed.

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2015, 11:15:47 AM »
Thanks for the reply!

I understand your advice, just wondering about two things explicitly: a) don't do any repairs to the used car, even replacing the tires? and b) nothing to gain by paying off Fit before trading/selling?

lthenderson

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2015, 11:36:16 AM »
Thanks for the reply!

I understand your advice, just wondering about two things explicitly: a) don't do any repairs to the used car, even replacing the tires? and b) nothing to gain by paying off Fit before trading/selling?

In my experience, it isn't worth doing repairs to the used cars. People in the market for used cars are looking for deals and generally aren't interested in paying top dollar. You can point out the fixed shiny bumpers and new tires but I have found, that you will rarely get your money back in full. Using the tires for example, price the car $650 higher than you need to get out of it and when they point out the worn tires, tell them you will knock $650 off which is what a new set costs. You get your price and they get the feeling they are getting a deal. If it were a newer car or a collector car, fixing cosmetic things can get your money back but an ordinary 4 year old Malibu, I doubt it. As for your second question, there is nothing to gain financially by paying off the fit before trading/selling. However, by paying it off first and receiving the title before selling it, you can speed up the transaction time and perhaps interest more people in buying it. Buying a car with a loan means that it takes more time to receive the title, sometimes weeks to a month. If it is paid off, you can hand off the title at the transaction.

sisto

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2015, 12:21:03 PM »
It's not worth fixing the cars first, but I would sell them both myself. You will get the most money that way, trading in is a bad idea. I suggest that you meet in a neutral area to do the deal and have a friend nearby if possible to be extra safe.

Sibley

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2015, 12:26:41 PM »
For research sake, you should find out what a dealership would offer for the cars as is. also check with Carmax, etc. Information can't hurt.

Post ads on craigslist, etc. Can't hurt.

And stop using one car now. If you're going to 1 car, then you need to get used to it, sooner the better.

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2015, 12:34:00 PM »
It's not worth fixing the cars first, but I would sell them both myself. You will get the most money that way, trading in is a bad idea. I suggest that you meet in a neutral area to do the deal and have a friend nearby if possible to be extra safe.

Thanks for the suggestion.

My only question would be: is the extra money over the trade-in worth the hassle (and risk) of the private sale, when you factor in the sales tax decrease from trading?

For example, buy $20,000 car and get $6,000 trade-in for Malibu, $4,000 net trade-in for Fit:

- trade in neither, 6.5% sales tax is on $20k = $1,300
- trade in Malibu only, 6.5% sales tax is on $14k = $910  (-390)
- trade in both Malibu and Fit, 6.5% sales tax is on $10k = $650  (-650)

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2015, 12:39:32 PM »
For research sake, you should find out what a dealership would offer for the cars as is. also check with Carmax, etc. Information can't hurt.

Post ads on craigslist, etc. Can't hurt.

And stop using one car now. If you're going to 1 car, then you need to get used to it, sooner the better.

Appreciate the advice. I know we're solid with one car, have had plenty of time simulating it.

That is a good idea to see what a dealership would offer. Of course, the offer that matters is the dealership where the next car is at ... if we decide to trade in. I'd like to think they'd match, but don't know for sure.

JPinDC

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2015, 03:53:16 PM »
Is it possible to make some improvements to her car to make it better for winter driving (i.e.: snow tires)? Good snow tires would make a big difference, and obviously are much cheaper than a new car.

I got a quote from CarMax the first time I sold my car and then brought it to the dealership where I was going to buy. They matched it so I did a trade-in there and that was very easy.

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 05:38:17 PM »
Is it possible to make some improvements to her car to make it better for winter driving (i.e.: snow tires)? Good snow tires would make a big difference, and obviously are much cheaper than a new car.

I got a quote from CarMax the first time I sold my car and then brought it to the dealership where I was going to buy. They matched it so I did a trade-in there and that was very easy.

I think it's a problem of the weight and the size of the tires, rather than the grip, per se. The thing is a skateboard. It's a great city commuter on dry roads. But it doesn't even have things like arm rests, cruise control or keyless entry (I'm talking like, no fob).

We take road trips in the summer, so if we're going down to one car ... no way I'm driving that thing for 10+ hours. My foot would fall off.


I will check out CarFax. Thank you for the suggestion! (I think someone else suggested the same, as well)

seattlecyclone

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2015, 08:07:30 PM »
Let's back up to the original premise. She isn't wiling to drive your car. Okay, I'll accept that as a given. Let's move on to her car. What about it, specifically, makes it unsuitable for winter driving? I have driven several low-end cars through Midwestern winters and lived to tell the tale. Make sure the car is safe, but don't trade away a perfectly functional car just because it's too "basic." That phrasing just screams anti-Mustachian to me. It's likely that a good set of snow tires would make it suit your needs just fine.

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 08:15:46 PM »
Let's back up to the original premise. She isn't wiling to drive your car. Okay, I'll accept that as a given. Let's move on to her car. What about it, specifically, makes it unsuitable for winter driving? I have driven several low-end cars through Midwestern winters and lived to tell the tale. Make sure the car is safe, but don't trade away a perfectly functional car just because it's too "basic." That phrasing just screams anti-Mustachian to me. It's likely that a good set of snow tires would make it suit your needs just fine.

I hear ya. If it were up to me, she'd just drive my car. It's great in the winter and it's great for road trips. But she won't do it. She wants a different car. So there's not much I can do here ...

But thanks for the feedback.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 09:05:02 PM »
No, what's wrong with her car?

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2015, 07:33:54 AM »
No, what's wrong with her car?

I knew what you were getting at. And I hear ya ... but that's just not on the table. The first line in the original post says it all.

Still appreciate any and all advice. Thanks!

frugaliknowit

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2015, 08:40:43 AM »
Sell the cars private party, separately.  Do the transactions at the buyer's bank (nowhere else).  That way, you know the cerified/cashiers check or cash is real.  There will be witnesses and cameras.

If you must, you can buy a car after you sell one.  That way, you won't be carless after selling the 2nd one.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2015, 09:14:40 AM »
No, what's wrong with her car?

I knew what you were getting at. And I hear ya ... but that's just not on the table. The first line in the original post says it all.

Still appreciate any and all advice. Thanks!

I'm sorry, but I just won't put my blessing on the idea that trading in a perfectly functional car because it's too "basic" is ever a good financial move. You know your partner and I trust you when you say she is unwilling to drive your car. Fine. If you want to get ahead financially, you should re-examine your own mental block against driving her "basic" car. It's only five years old. It has lots of life left in it if you give it a chance!

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2015, 10:50:47 AM »
Sell the cars private party, separately.  Do the transactions at the buyer's bank (nowhere else).  That way, you know the cerified/cashiers check or cash is real.  There will be witnesses and cameras.

If you must, you can buy a car after you sell one.  That way, you won't be carless after selling the 2nd one.

Thank you for the suggestion about the buyer's bank. That sounds very reasonable to me.

As I've been reading these responses and doing some research, I'm/we're leaning towards private sales for both cars (without fixing anything).

Even $10,000 of sale price reduction from the trade-ins only saves $650 in sales tax. I think it's quite reasonable to expect more than that in private sales over the trade-in offers.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 10:53:37 AM by tylerlekang »

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2015, 10:52:54 AM »
No, what's wrong with her car?

I knew what you were getting at. And I hear ya ... but that's just not on the table. The first line in the original post says it all.

Still appreciate any and all advice. Thanks!

I'm sorry, but I just won't put my blessing on the idea that trading in a perfectly functional car because it's too "basic" is ever a good financial move. You know your partner and I trust you when you say she is unwilling to drive your car. Fine. If you want to get ahead financially, you should re-examine your own mental block against driving her "basic" car. It's only five years old. It has lots of life left in it if you give it a chance!

Well, I don't think I'm going to convince you that we need a different car, no matter what I say. But I will add that it's not simply a matter of me saying "I'm not going to drive your Fit, because it's too 'basic' for me".

There's more to it than that. Suffice to say, the decision has been made.

But I still value all inputs and opinions, regardless.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2015, 12:55:37 PM »

Well, I don't think I'm going to convince you that we need a different car, no matter what I say.

That's not true. If there's a good reason why the Fit can't meet your transportation needs, you should absolutely buy a new car. You so far haven't shared any such reason with us. That's fine. You're entitled to keep your reasons private if you want, and you're entitled to spend your money on a new car if you want. I just find it curious that you want to go down to one car to save money, while simultaneously plowing most of this money into a new car that you might be able to do just fine without.

bobertsen

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2015, 01:52:29 PM »
It simply sounds like tylerlekang's wife is non-mustachian. Tylerlekang plans to ride the bus to work rather than own a car, which sounds pretty mustachian to me. I don't think tylerlekang is the one with a mental block against keeping one of the current cars...

seattlecyclone

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2015, 02:53:13 PM »
It simply sounds like tylerlekang's wife is non-mustachian. Tylerlekang plans to ride the bus to work rather than own a car, which sounds pretty mustachian to me. I don't think tylerlekang is the one with a mental block against keeping one of the current cars...

His partner is unwilling to use his car, and he is unwilling to use hers. If she was the only one who was picky about automobiles, they wouldn't be selling both cars. They would be using hers.

bobertsen

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2015, 09:19:32 AM »
I missed the post about road trips in a basic car.

@tylerlekang - The Fit is just about the perfect mustachian vehicle. I suggest re-reading MMM's post about converting his Scion for road tripping. He was able to add cruise control to save the foot, and rear storage. It's definitely worth consideration.

Also, regardless of vehicle weight, you can get great winter road handling through the installation of the right snow/winter tires. I've read several road tests that show better handling and stopping distances in a FWD car with snow tires than an AWD vehicle with all season tires. The Fit would be great in the snow with snow tires. I used to drive my '90s Ford Escort (just as small, light, and basic as the Fit) to work in local "snow emergency" conditions with less problem than all the pickups stranded on the side of the freeway.

tylerlekang

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Re: Going from two cars down to one car ... the best way?
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2015, 10:19:19 AM »
I missed the post about road trips in a basic car.

@tylerlekang - The Fit is just about the perfect mustachian vehicle. I suggest re-reading MMM's post about converting his Scion for road tripping. He was able to add cruise control to save the foot, and rear storage. It's definitely worth consideration.

Also, regardless of vehicle weight, you can get great winter road handling through the installation of the right snow/winter tires. I've read several road tests that show better handling and stopping distances in a FWD car with snow tires than an AWD vehicle with all season tires. The Fit would be great in the snow with snow tires. I used to drive my '90s Ford Escort (just as small, light, and basic as the Fit) to work in local "snow emergency" conditions with less problem than all the pickups stranded on the side of the freeway.

I understand the argument. I'm not dead set against it.

It is probably possible to install cruise control aftermarket on a 2010 model, for some cost. Not sure if a dealer would do that or it would require a specialty shop. Or where the part(s) would come from. Guessing it would have to be pulled from another 2010 Fit.

It may be possible to switch out the seats for those with arm rests and heating elements, as well. (that's another one of her must haves, heated seats) And may be possible to purchase a fob that can toggle the auto-lock/unlock mechanism, if there is a receiver already install and functional.

And of course updates to the dash/controls for these new features.


These things may all be possible, for some price. I've never looked into doing any of those things. I suppose it's at least worth the effort to price it out.

Fair enough.


However, I think this will be a hard sell.  I think she has a bit of the fever for a different car, and to be completely fair probably me too.