Author Topic: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?  (Read 3395 times)

TheMightyAtom

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Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« on: September 01, 2017, 03:11:46 PM »
Hi fellow Mustachians,

I discovered the MMM world very recently, and this is my first post on the forums, so I apologize if this question has been asked before.

TL;DR: I have two used cars on my hands, both of which are great vehicles by MMM standards, and I need help deciding which one to keep.

I am a recently-graduated electrical engineer with a good starting salary (80K) and no student debt. I've been living at home to save money and help my aging parents, and I've been maintaining a 50% savings rate. However, I am currently in possession of two automobiles, and I am having a very difficult time deciding which one to keep.

Hear me out, and you'll see why.

(1) My old car is a 2001 Toyota Camry, 140K miles. Bought in 2014 for $3600, put $1200 of routine maintenance into it since then (timing belt, water pump, etc....all normal stuff for these cars). It's been reliable, and my mechanic says it should last a while. However, the car had 6 previous owners and was given a salvage title in another state. I don't know how the previous owners maintained it, and I will have a hard time selling it with its salvage history.

(2) Now, here comes my confession --- in very un-Mustachian fashion, I recently financed a 2004 Pontiac Vibe, 100K miles. It was a 1-owner vehicle with a perfect Carfax and an immaculate maintenance history. The car is in beautiful condition (seriously, you'd have to see it to know what I mean). My loan is at 10% interest due to my age and the age of the car.

Here's where I need some advice:

I jumped on the Vibe purchase because I will be moving to Colorado in about a year, and I'd like to be involved in outdoors activities like snowboarding, mountain biking, and kayaking. The Vibe's cargo space seems great for this kind of lifestyle. However, I can't keep both cars, and the Vibe is going to set me back about $6700 with taxes and tags. And that doesn't include any interest I might accrue on the loan.

On the other hand, my old Camry will cost me nothing in the next few years besides routine maintenance.

So I have two great cars, both of which could last me a long time, and both of which have advantages to them. I'm stuck!

Given my income, my cheap lifestyle, and my savings rate, what would you folks recommend? Should I sell the Vibe and try to keep my old Camry as long as possible? Or do you think it would be good to keep a Vibe that is in this excellent condition?

Also, to those of you who live in Colorado: do you think I will miss having the cargo space of the Vibe, or could I get by with my Camry if I want to go snowboarding, kayaking, and mountain biking?

Sorry about the wall of text. Thanks for reading. Any advice will be appreciated.

4alpacas

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 03:19:36 PM »
Sell the Vibe. 

You could always get a roof rack for the equipment you have.  However, you can also put down the backseats and fit a fair amount of stuff in your Camry.

Optimiser

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 03:24:26 PM »
I don't think keeping the Vibe is a terrible idea assuming you can pay off that loan very quickly (a couple of months), which you should be able to do given your income and living situation.

TheMightyAtom

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 05:55:26 PM »
Thanks for the input, folks. I think 4alpacas has a point --- I can probably get by without the Vibe's cargo space.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 09:20:49 PM »
I have a 2003 Vibe with 205K miles. I bought it in August 2014 with 165K for $2500. I love the Vibe for the price, mpg and cargo space. It seems like your purchase price is a little high for a 2004 Vibe.

I live in the Denver area for 4 months out of the year and I usually get about 10-12 days of snowboarding in a year. It's awesome for that. I bought an ultragauge and I get about 35 mpg on my snowboard trips. I average 32.5 mpg with about 80% highway driving.

dleavitt

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2017, 01:18:18 PM »
Short answer: I'd keep the Camry and sell the Vibe.

Long answer: I guess I'm confused how you ended up financing the Vibe in the first place, with a $80k salary and a 50% savings rate.  Even at $6700 (which I think is too high for a economy car of that age) you should have been able to pay cash.  Anyway, I'd suggest you pay off the Vibe and have the title in hand prior to selling, as that will make the transaction easier.  Should only take you a couple months to cash flow it or if you have cash savings I'd used that.  10%?  Jesus!

TheMightyAtom

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 03:20:06 PM »
dleavitt, thanks for your input. I'm leaning towards agreeing with you --- I should keep the Camry for at least a little while longer.

I guess I'm confused how you ended up financing the Vibe in the first place, with a $80k salary and a 50% savings rate.

I ended up financing the Vibe because I only just started working about a month ago, and I've only had three paychecks since then. I had no debt upon graduation, but I had no money saved either. And I started saving 50% of my paychecks right away, with my 401K and my index funds. So I haven't really built upon any cash yet. I was able to put $1500 down for the Vibe, but no more.

I have a 2003 Vibe with 205K miles. I bought it in August 2014 with 165K for $2500. I love the Vibe for the price, mpg and cargo space. It seems like your purchase price is a little high for a 2004 Vibe.

I live in the Denver area for 4 months out of the year and I usually get about 10-12 days of snowboarding in a year. It's awesome for that. I bought an ultragauge and I get about 35 mpg on my snowboard trips. I average 32.5 mpg with about 80% highway driving.

That sounds great. I really do like the Vibe/Matrix. It just seems like I ought to keep the Camry for now, at least for another year or so. Once I move out to Colorado, I can decide if I want to get a Vibe or not.

Thanks for sharing.

ysette9

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2017, 06:20:20 PM »
I don't think you can go too wrong keeping either car. If it were me I'd get rid of the Camary, but that is just a personal taste because I find the car to be a huge, boring boat. :) I much prefer smaller cars that are more fun to drive. To each their own though.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2017, 06:49:27 PM »
I have a Vibe and an active lifestyle.  I'd sell the Camry and pay off the Vibe ASAP.  You'll thank me once you move to Colorado!

Congrats, by the way, on getting your life started right!

RWD

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 09:35:06 PM »
I'd sell the Camry and pay off the Vibe ASAP.

I vote for this as well. Setting aside the loan (which you should have paid off very soon), the Vibe will be the better vehicle for longer.

bortman

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 11:46:25 AM »
Keep the Camry .. and sell the Vibe to me!

Dave1442397

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2017, 12:27:47 PM »
I'd sell the Camry and pay off the Vibe ASAP.

I vote for this as well. Setting aside the loan (which you should have paid off very soon), the Vibe will be the better vehicle for longer.

I agree with this too. Whatever you get for the Camry can go towards paying off the Vibe. My BIL has had his Vibe for over ten years and close to 200,000 miles with no issues. It would be a much more versatile car for your lifestyle.

TheMightyAtom

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2017, 08:47:58 PM »
I'd sell the Camry and pay off the Vibe ASAP.

I vote for this as well. Setting aside the loan (which you should have paid off very soon), the Vibe will be the better vehicle for longer.

I agree with this too. Whatever you get for the Camry can go towards paying off the Vibe. My BIL has had his Vibe for over ten years and close to 200,000 miles with no issues. It would be a much more versatile car for your lifestyle.

Thanks for the input! I do think the Vibe will be a good option for life in Colorado. Lots to think about!

Congrats, by the way, on getting your life started right!

Thank you! :) I have forums like this one to credit for that.

I appreciate the input, everyone.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 11:35:02 AM »
I don't understand why you own two cars and why you would finance a 13 year old car...?

Where in Colorado?  Denver?

How often will you be heading into the mountains?  Maybe you could keep the Camry, then rent suitable cars as you need them....If you will be living, working and socializing in Denver, maybe you don't need to own a car...?

TheMightyAtom

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 05:36:31 AM »
I don't understand why you own two cars and why you would finance a 13 year old car...?

Where in Colorado?  Denver?

How often will you be heading into the mountains?  Maybe you could keep the Camry, then rent suitable cars as you need them....If you will be living, working and socializing in Denver, maybe you don't need to own a car...?

I only own two cars because I haven't decided which one to sell. I jumped on the Vibe thinking I would need it in Colorado, but I afterwards realized I might not need it. Rookie mistake. Only financed it because I just graduated and didn't have much cash saved up.

Depends on how you define "Denver" --- my work location will technically be in Littleton, and I was thinking of living within a half hour drive of it. Perhaps Castle Rock? Not sure yet. But I won't be right in the middle of the city, so I'm not sure how practical it will be to not own a car.

My goal would be to head into the mountains whenever I could --- probably every other weekend or so. I'm planning to be a SWAMI, instead of quitting the workforce entirely by 30, so I don't mind the added expense of my hobbies. They're worth it, IMO.



clarkfan1979

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2017, 01:07:05 AM »
West Littleton would be at least 30 minutes closer to the mountains. You are talking 1 hour 15 minutes to Keystone instead of 1 hour 45 minutes. I've done both drives many times in the past because my in-laws used to live in Littleton and they now live in Castle Rock.

TheMightyAtom

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Re: Camry or Vibe --- Which Car to Keep?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2017, 06:02:49 AM »
West Littleton would be at least 30 minutes closer to the mountains. You are talking 1 hour 15 minutes to Keystone instead of 1 hour 45 minutes. I've done both drives many times in the past because my in-laws used to live in Littleton and they now live in Castle Rock.

Good to know, thanks.