Author Topic: Fixing a bad vehicle choice - when to make the switch?  (Read 2744 times)

DougStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Fixing a bad vehicle choice - when to make the switch?
« on: May 25, 2013, 08:07:49 PM »
Good evening Mustachians!

I am in the process of fixing some mistakes from my less-Mustachian past.  Most of my money decisions are great (we save ~55% of take home pay), however I will cut straight to the issue at hand: ~2 years ago I bought a brand new 2011 Dodge Charger R/T (V8).  Being the "financially savvy" guy that I am, I paid it off in one year.

Recently I have started taking the bus to work and biking for most errands. I drive the charger once a week for our big grocery store trip; I am not yet badass enough for a bike trailer, but take my bike if everything will fit in my backpack.  Long story short, my fiance and I can definitely get by on one car after we are married in 3 weeks.  Hooray!

My fiance currently drives a '93 beater that is on it's last leg.  It's alright for in-town trips, but not to be trusted on longer trips.  I plan to keep it as a project car to learn more about car maintenance.

On to my actual question:  When should I sell the Charger and replace it with something for practical for our main vehicle?  The obvious answer is NOW NOW NOW (or, perhaps, after combining finances after marriage).  The sticking point is that we are still transitioning to a more Mustachian lifestyle; riding around in my leather/heated seat muscle car has skewed both of our perceptions of what to expect in a car.  I've found as soon as I stopped driving it every day, I quickly became disenchanted with the $25,000 on wheels that now sits in my garage.  At some point we plan to sell the Charger for something more practical.

Previously my fiance had her heart set on a brand new 2014 Subaru Forester.  I talked her down to a 2013, then a "three year new" Forester.  We're getting better, but still not ideal for a vehicle that is largely used as a commuter vehicle that moonlights on snowboarding trips twice a year.

Would you rectify this mistake ASAP?  Or would you wait it out until we both share a more Mustachian mindset and can make a financially awesome agreement on a car, and both be happy with it?

WWJD? WWMMMD?

workathomedad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 189
Re: Fixing a bad vehicle choice - when to make the switch?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 09:23:38 PM »
If it was me, I'd consider a older used Toyota, Honda, Lexus or Acura. You should be able to find an older model with some higher-end features (leather seats, heated seats) if you don't want to drop the luxuries. Check ConsumerReports for the most reliable years and what to look for, and match up to your new price goal.

For example, for $10,000-$15,000 you can get a 2004-2005 Infiniti G35 which is considered among the most reliable luxury vehicles.

Alternatively, your best sub-$10,000 frugal choice would likely be 2004-05 Scion XB (according to Consumers Reports).

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5109
Re: Fixing a bad vehicle choice - when to make the switch?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 09:49:30 PM »
You have a lot going on right now with the wedding coming up.  It's good that you agree on a more frugal choice, but a few weeks while you get hrough the wedding won't change much.  As you start to combine your finances you will get a better idea of what you have and what you can afford.  In your shoes, I would enjoy the car for another couple of months while you sort things out.

olivia

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 770
  • From Consumerism to Minimalism
Re: Fixing a bad vehicle choice - when to make the switch?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 09:57:32 PM »
I've been surprised by how bad the gas mileage is on our Subaru.  We have a 2007 Subaru Outback.  It's really my husband's car-I sold mine and wish we could sell the Subaru, too, although I admit it is convenient to have.

If I had to do it again I'd probably get a Honda Fit or a Prius if I could find a good used one.  We rarely drive, and if we do it's typically on the highway, because we have to drive several states away to see my parents.  One bonus is that most Subarus have heated seats, even the cheaper ones.  I LOVE that feature.  It's the first car I've ever had with heated seats!  So you may be able to keep the cush seats after all.  :P

DougStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 97
Re: Fixing a bad vehicle choice - when to make the switch?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 07:48:44 AM »
Thanks for the input!  I agree it will be best to wait a few months and wait for everything to settle down and see what we want/need at that point in time.  However, I did want to clarify a few things:

If it was me, I'd consider a older used Toyota, Honda, Lexus or Acura. You should be able to find an older model with some higher-end features (leather seats, heated seats) if you don't want to drop the luxuries.

It's not so much about the luxuries - in fact we've already decided on cloth non-heated seats.  Really, the reason we're focused on the Forester is because my fiance has been saving her money quite well, with getting a Forester as her motivation.  I'm hoping as we both drive less, she'll become less enchanted with a car just as I have.

You have a lot going on right now with the wedding coming up.  It's good that you agree on a more frugal choice, but a few weeks while you get hrough the wedding won't change much.  As you start to combine your finances you will get a better idea of what you have and what you can afford.  In your shoes, I would enjoy the car for another couple of months while you sort things out.

You are correct, plenty is going on.  However all the big stuff is under control so I've been working through our plan for combining finances.  Thing's are looking quite bright for the DougStache household, with zero debt, a 6 month emergency fund, and a good start on a house down payment.  It is not so much about what we can "afford" (I hate that word) as it is about what will set us up best for financial independence future in the next 10 years.