Author Topic: invest in old car or downsize?? Need advice now!  (Read 1468 times)

frugalmama

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invest in old car or downsize?? Need advice now!
« on: June 02, 2016, 08:27:37 PM »
In 2012 I purchased a 2010 Subaru Forester for $13,000 (+tax) with 80,000 miles on it.  I am now facing a large repair (about $1,000 for air conditioning issues, plus a little over $2,000 for some routine repairs that occur around the 100,000 mile mark.  I'm at 98,000 miles now.  I am trying to decide if I should bite the bullet and put the money toward the repairs, or trade in the car for something smaller and cheaper.  I have the money if needed, but I'd rather not dump any more money into cars right now.  I don't value having fancy cars but care about function.  We have two small kids and want a safe and reliable car.  We live in Wisconsin and have loved having all wheel drive for the winters.  The mileage we get isn't great, but it's been a huge luxury to have two cars that feel safe for driving our kids around. Our other car is a 2003 Forester.

I've been looking at other options that provide room for a family without breaking the bank, such as a scion or pontiac vibe but haven't found any great deals yet.  I know that I'll take a hit in selling my forester and don't know if it's worth it to downsize now or just repair it and drive it forever. Please advise! Thanks!

ketchup

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Re: invest in old car or downsize?? Need advice now!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 08:49:09 PM »
Whether you sell it or keep it, fix the problems and do the maintenance.  Shop around too, that sounds pricey (it might not be, I'm not too familiar with those cars).

You mentioned that your other car is also a Forester.  With two kids, keeping one of them might make sense, while the other car can be more minimalist.

If it was me, I'd probably just keep it and drive it forever, optimizing the next car purchase with that in mind.  Since you only drive ~4500 miles per year, gas mileage certainly isn't killing you.  And that kind of yearly mileage means that a 98,000 mile car will last you a very long time.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: invest in old car or downsize?? Need advice now!
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 08:55:51 PM »
yeah I'd stick with the Forester. If you fix it, it still has a decade left in it. Gas mileage isn't great but isn't terrible either

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tobitonic

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Re: invest in old car or downsize?? Need advice now!
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2016, 09:03:05 PM »
You're basically making a bet that whatever you buy won't also cost you $3,000 in repairs after 18,000 miles of driving it. Personally, I'd stick with the Forester.

Cyaphas

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Re: invest in old car or downsize?? Need advice now!
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 09:07:43 PM »
The repair costs do seem a bit on the extreme end of things. $3000 in repairs on a vehicle with only 98k miles seems really odd. It sounds like you're mostly happy with the car. If you have to have a 2nd car, I'd keep the one you have. The only reason I'd get rid of it, in your case, is if you were going down to 1 vehicle.

If you trade in, you're going to probably lose a bit of $ dealing with a dealer. Then you're probably going to pay a premium on whatever you buy new/used, because it's a dealer and you still don't know if it's going to have issues too. If you go the buy/sell DIY route, you run into possibly doing better on the margins but, I think you're more likely to wind up with a lemmon. All of this seems like it's not worth the risk if you can keep a car you like that you already know the issues/non-issues.

frugalmama

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Re: invest in old car or downsize?? Need advice now!
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2016, 09:13:25 PM »
Thanks, everyone!  Yeah, I agree, the repairs sound high to me too.  Mechanic is a friend, but it can't hurt to get another estimate.