Author Topic: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?  (Read 2137 times)

DieHard_772

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My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« on: December 05, 2016, 03:06:04 PM »
Hi All:

I'm interested in your opinion on this.

About our vehicles:

MY CAR: 1992 TOYOTA CORROLA  (Paid off)

PLUSES: paid off, bought for only $1500, low expenses, very reliable in a pinch for me to get places.  27 mi/gal.

MINUSES:  deteriorating from lack of use/upkeep... broken passenger side door, bad windshields;  also, sucky sound system (no CD/tape/phone jack and staticky radio).  My wife won't drive in it usually because she feels safer in a bigger car after getting in accident a long time ago.

ANNUAL COST:  probably under $1000 for gas (maybe 7-8 tanks a year), registration, and low-cost insurance.

MY WIFE'S CAR:  2004 Ford Escort (Paid off)
PLUSES:  She loves driving it, If I'm driving with her, we are in this car.    It's completely paid off.  It's big enough to move my music equipment or her photo equipment.  Mostly has worked great, with some occasional servicing.

MINUSES: not fuel efficient... maybe 16 mi/gal.  Higher insurance premium, more gas expense.
ANNUAL COST:  probably $2000-$2500 for insurance, fill-ups and registration, some maintenance.

BIKES?
I don't currently own one but often walk to get places around town.  I am open to getting a bike.
My wife has not seemed open to it... she is not "outdoorsy" nor really all that athletic.  So far she has not warmed to this part of the
musichian ideals. 

THE QUESTION:
Should I...
... keep my car for the occasional use it brings me, and the added fuel efficiency, and relatively low cost?
.....or should I sell it,  use my wife's car as needed and if I absolutely need to get to a gig/rehearsal to I can rent (?) car for an afternoon?  I could take my chances and see. 
... somehow work on convincing my wife that we should sell our cars, and get a more fuel-efficient car that she still feels safe in, and take my chances that it will be enough for our use?


I should also add that my wife has repeatedly insisted that we both need a car, despite the fact that combined we probably drive fewer than 10K per year and both work from home much of the time.  I think she would go ahead with my choice if I sell my car, even if she is reluctant/unsure about it... however, I don't know if she will go ahead with the idea of us selling both our cars, since I have never brought it up.

I am open to doing the best option for me after I think this through, so your  Feedback is much appreciated. 

ketchup

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 03:22:51 PM »
It sounds like you could potentially benefit from moving from "his car" and "her car" to a single "our car."  But if you're going from "his car" and "her car" to only "her car" that could create issue.  You need to talk to your wife about this.

One "our car" plus occasional short-term high-mileage (as in many miles driven over only 2-3 days) rentals when needed is how my GF and I have been doing it for a few months now with both of us on board and it has worked out great.

Goldielocks

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 04:56:20 PM »
7 tanks of gas a year is not a lot...  less than 2500 miles per year maybe?  for $1000?  That is 40 cents per mile.
Instead you could have 15 days of car share service, or 50  - $20 taxi rides, etc.

So,   The best solution is to sell your car.
Buy an electric bike for short trips near you with the money you get.  Anything under 5 miles is safe and easy to do frequently.

Share wife's car.

Get a rental / taxi when the above are not practical...  e.g., up to 2x per month.


DieHard_772

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 06:44:41 PM »
It sounds like you could potentially benefit from moving from "his car" and "her car" to a single "our car."  But if you're going from "his car" and "her car" to only "her car" that could create issue.  You need to talk to your wife about this.

One "our car" plus occasional short-term high-mileage (as in many miles driven over only 2-3 days) rentals when needed is how my GF and I have been doing it for a few months now with both of us on board and it has worked out great.

Thanks for the excellent point.  I'm glad to say that I actually brought this up with my wife yesterday about us not really having "our car," and the thought of us getting one that works for both of us... and she liked it!  She agreed she didn't really want a gas guzzler... I was happily surprised by this.

DieHard_772

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 06:45:24 PM »
7 tanks of gas a year is not a lot...  less than 2500 miles per year maybe?  for $1000?  That is 40 cents per mile.
Instead you could have 15 days of car share service, or 50  - $20 taxi rides, etc.

So,   The best solution is to sell your car.
Buy an electric bike for short trips near you with the money you get.  Anything under 5 miles is safe and easy to do frequently.

Share wife's car.

Get a rental / taxi when the above are not practical...  e.g., up to 2x per month.

Excellent points,  good food for thought.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2016, 09:32:36 AM »
Did you mean Explorer? Escape?

They didn't make the Escort in 04, and Escorts preceded the Focus, and should get more than 16 mpg.

Could you sell both cars and buy something a little bit better on mileage?

Kansas Terri

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2016, 09:44:05 AM »
Personally, *IF* you have less than 175,000  miles on it, I would REPAIR your car, and give it a good cleaning! If you are closer to 200,000 miles on it, then the repair bill might be higher than the value of the use you get out of it.

The fact that you burn 7-8 tanks of gas a year in the less-favored car means that you will feel pinched if you go to one car, in my opinion.

So I will disagree with the majority. If the car has below 175,000 miles on it, I would repair it.

DieHard_772

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2016, 01:06:08 PM »
Did you mean Explorer? Escape?

They didn't make the Escort in 04, and Escorts preceded the Focus, and should get more than 16 mpg.

Could you sell both cars and buy something a little bit better on mileage?

Thank you, I meant Explorer.  I have updated the original post accordingly.

DieHard_772

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2016, 01:08:07 PM »

Could you sell both cars and buy something a little bit better on mileage?

This is a thought I've only had for a few days,  I brought it up with my wife, and she seemed warmer to it than I expected.
Definitely an idea, food for thought.

frugaliknowit

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Re: My cheap, low-use car... should it stay or should it go?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2016, 01:12:41 PM »
I think I would keep the car until it needs a major repair, then dump it.  Replace it with a combination of borrowing wife's car, taxis, ubers, bike.