Author Topic: Is it time to sell the car???  (Read 2782 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Is it time to sell the car???
« on: June 11, 2015, 12:47:15 PM »
I shared over here that my husband finally got a job at a school in our county -- woot!

That quickly turned into a conversation about cars, which I'm bringing over here as it's evolved into an advice thread.

The situation:  We have two cars (no loans) and are considering dropping down to one. 
2005 Toyota Corolla w/ 108K  (this is the one on the chopping block)
2009 Toyota Matrix w/ 110K

Transit Needs:  We are co-dependent and do just about everything together on the weekends (or one goes out while the other stays home).  It's super rare that we both need the car on the weekend.  Probably just on like mother's day so we can drive in opposite directions to see our parents (and mine is accessible by a combo of Uber and public transit).
Like most people, the weekdays are more challenging.  I work from home Mondays and Fridays (and can request additional one-off days if need be) and mostly bike to work at the office, which is 4 miles from home.  I can't bike when its snowy (route isn't cleared) and sometimes wuss out on rainy/cold weather.  Occasionally I need a car for work to drive to satellite locations, although if I plan ahead I think there is theoretically a work car I can secure for these trips.  The other challenge is when I have PT or have to see a specialist for something during business hours as those locations are not bikeable.

My husband previously had a clown commute but was just offered a job in the county we live in.  His main school is 7 miles from home, 3 miles from my work.  We are super excited.  He wants to bike commute sometimes too but he hasn't yet figured out a safe route (v. congested area) and I'm not sure he's going to.  Regardless, clearly we could carpool and car-share if he is only three miles from my office.

Benefits: Selling my car now would net us about 4K (probably a conservative estimate).  It would also save us about $500/year in insurance+maintenance.  Plus it will help us avoid a situation where it needs a pricey fix and we can't decide if its worth it on a car we don't really need to have.

Risks: Since this is a new school for him there is always the possibility DH might not like the principal and will ask for a transfer.  Or the school system could just transfer him based on their own needs.  (Either way he is likely to remain reasonably close to home, but could easily wind up in the opposite direction as my work.)  Or, we could hate sharing one car and fight over it all the time.  Logistics are not DH's strong point so I don't anticipate a few situations of being left in the lurch over a misunderstanding.  If one car doesn't work out we'd have to buy an unfamiliar used car that may come with problems.

A.  'Practice' having one car the first two months of school and then sell
           Benefit:  Have a better idea of what car sharing will be like (although I kinda think this unnecessary, I 
                     already know what it'll be like really)
           Costs:   Miss the summer selling season.  If mistake, will need to buy an unknown used car.
B. Take a risk and sell the car now
           Benefit:  Sell the car for current value, save on current costs.
           Costs:   If this is a mistake, will need to buy an unknown used car

C. Maintain two cars until one dies
           Benefit:  Won't be taking a risk by selling one car.  When one dies, can try to live on one, if that
                    doesn't work then we will buy a second car.  No real inconvenience.
           Costs:   Opportunity cost of 4K sale, plus $500 annually until a car dies

D. Drop the insurance on my car (and therefore all costs) but hang onto it in case we need it in the future.
           Benefit:  Won't be taking a risk by selling one car.  No real inconvenience.
           Costs:   Opportunity cost of 4K sale.  Small risk in case of weather damage, car depreciation by not being driven, etc.

What would you do??


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Is it time to sell the car???
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 01:16:04 PM »
D. At least wait until you see how the new job affects your life.


  • Guest
Re: Is it time to sell the car???
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 01:30:26 PM »
As I noted in the original thread, I'd go with A but make the probationary period longer. We kept our second car around for probably six months or more before finally deciding to pull the plug and go single car. Winter is the crucible of bike commuting and any sort of moderately inconvenient transportation lifestyle changes.