Author Topic: Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?  (Read 710 times)

EscapedApe

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Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?
« on: October 10, 2019, 11:29:55 AM »
Hey all, I wanted to get your input on something.

So a friend of mine gave me his car to use while I get back on my feet financially. It's a super nice gesture for which I am eternally grateful to him.

In effect, the car is mine. I can do whatever I want with it, including selling it (as long as I pay him what I sold it for - no deadline on the payback).

Problem is, it's a super gas guzzler older model luxury sedan. 18-24 MPG on average. ~145,000 miles, and starting to show some maintenance problems, recently had to pay $700 to fix its driveshaft. Car is worth about $2,000-$3,000 optimistically.

On the plus size, I don't drive much. I live out in the sticks, and make a single 250 mile round trip once per month to visit family and do a Costco shopping run. This comes out to about 3,000 miles driven per year. Otherwise, I ride my bike to work and around my small town. I only use the car for that one once-monthly trip.

I remember MMM saying that the price of the car matters more than the MPG for a car you don't drive often. However, the approaching maintenance issues might shift this. I don't know.

Should I sell the aging luxury sedan and replace it with a cheaper, low MPG hatchback with lower miles? Or should I keep it, and keep my fingers crossed for no maintenance issues? What would you do?

JLee

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Re: Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 11:42:01 AM »
Sounds like it's time to make a spreadsheet.  What's it cost you to own this car per year, and what would it cost you to own something else?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 11:43:15 AM »
Keep the car, use it rarely, make sure there is $ being put up for eventual repairs/replacement.

I do hope you've got the car titled and insured in your name and not relying on friend's insurance. Even if you drive it rarely, driving it without basic coverage and causing an accident could wipe out everything you've worked/saved and then some.

EscapedApe

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Re: Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2019, 12:12:50 PM »
Sounds like it's time to make a spreadsheet.  What's it cost you to own this car per year, and what would it cost you to own something else?

I could do that. I'll do a mock up today after work. Just wanted to get people's general experiences too, since issues like sudden maintenance are not really predictable on a spreadsheet.

Keep the car, use it rarely, make sure there is $ being put up for eventual repairs/replacement.

I do hope you've got the car titled and insured in your name and not relying on friend's insurance. Even if you drive it rarely, driving it without basic coverage and causing an accident could wipe out everything you've worked/saved and then some.

I do have the car titled and insured in my name. Liability insurance only, bare minimum plan with a low-cost insurer. As far as ancillaries go, it's as cheap as it can be. The main drain is the six cylinder engine and (now) unpredictable maintenance issues as it approaches 200,000 miles.

six-car-habit

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Re: Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2019, 12:48:27 PM »
 Keep it.  Any " gas-sipper" small car you buy will likely cost the same $2000-3000, and have just as many miles on it [ and here's a secret - won't be any cheaper to fix when the new car needs a transmission , ,or power steering pump, etc ].

You'll go 55,000 miles before you get to 200,000. At your expected rate of 3000 miles a year - Thats 18+ years !
What will you be able to find that might take you back and forth to see family for 18 years at $111 annually  [ $2000/18]  ??

Put aside money for new battery, and an extra $500 for the next repair it needs / tires.

If it's titled in your name, it is yours. Although if you sell it , as you said, you should give the money to him.  So where does the $$ come from to buy the new small "Fuel effecient" car ?    Drive it until it's worth nothing, or next to nothing.  Bring dinner over to your friends house a few times in thanks.

Bernard

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Re: Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 01:53:03 PM »
Keep it. If you were to drive 30K miles a year, my answer would be different, but at 3K . . . a no brainer.

Not sure why you had them put a gold-plated driveshaft in it. A good used driveshaft costs $60 to $80, installation takes about an hour, so $50 to $65 on the free market, bringing the total to less than $150. Everything above that is for suckers. If the heater core started leaking, would you pay them $3,500 to replace it?

EscapedApe

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Re: Keep a free gas guzzler, or pay money for a low MPG car?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 02:47:30 PM »
Keep it. If you were to drive 30K miles a year, my answer would be different, but at 3K . . . a no brainer.

Not sure why you had them put a gold-plated driveshaft in it. A good used driveshaft costs $60 to $80, installation takes about an hour, so $50 to $65 on the free market, bringing the total to less than $150. Everything above that is for suckers. If the heater core started leaking, would you pay them $3,500 to replace it?

It's more than just the driveshaft, but yeah. I winced at the price. I'm not yet in a position where I can perform maintenance on my own vehicle (no garage, no tools), but I'm working on that. Currently have a negative NW with student loans, need to knock that out first.

Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I'll keep the leather-seated six cylinder wheelchair and use it as a driveway shade for the time being.