Author Topic: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?  (Read 5104 times)

chilliepepper

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Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« on: April 10, 2013, 11:34:40 AM »
DH and I are batting around the idea of getting rid of the Honda Civic that he bought 5 years ago when he had a very antimustachian commute which he has since gotten rid of, thank goodnes. Since we now live close enough to his work that he can bike there, the Civic seems to serve two purposes: 1) Tempt him to not ride his bike and 2) Solve the occasional logistical challenges that occur in a family of five with three still in carseats or boosters.

We've had a couple of situations recently, and others not so recently, where we really could have used a pickup. One was to get a kids' play structure that a friend was giving away (ended up not getting it and DH built one himself much to our sons' and the neighborhood kids' delight), the other was getting a load of free dirt to fill in some low spots in our yard that were becoming mud pits when it rained (haven't done that yet but could always rent a pickup from Home Depot which is only about a mile away). In addition, the pickup could be that second vehicle that saves the day when different family members really need to be in two different non-bikeable locations at the same time, or when the weather just really doesn't allow for biking. We live just outside DC in Maryland, so we do get some nasty winter weather but for the most part not unsurpassable. Or when DH's bike is being repaired, which is the case right now, causing him to use the car to get to/from work on these beautifully bikeable spring days.

But none of the above seems that compelling to me. For the occasional load of dirt or whatever, we can rent a pickup. As for split-family logistics, it seems like we should usually be able to either reschedule something or, if worse came to worse, rent a car for the day. For days when the weather is just absolutely nasty to the point of being unsafe, I could probably drop DH at the bus stop or even drive him in to work.

So we're leaning in the direction of just selling the Civic and becoming a one-car family. I have a Ford Freestyle that seats the five of us plus two additional passengers, and which can be used for small hauling jobs provided one of us can stay home with the kids (can't haul much when we're using all 3 rows of seats). Funds from the sale of the Civic could buy him a second bike for use when one bike needs repair, and maybe it could be a more hardy all-terrain bike. We'd then have a lot left over to invest or whatever.

I guess I'm just posting here because I'm wondering if I'm missing anything. Any other mustachian one-car families of five out there?

superheropunk

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 03:23:47 PM »
I'll chime in as a homeowner who doesn't own a truck and there have been many times at least I thought a truck would be useful. Sometimes they are so useful, I rent one at home depot or lowes.

I think in the long run not having a truck is better because all those projects or other stuff you could haul with it that cost money but don't have a truck will discourage a lot of it and save all that money on something that really wasn't all that needed anyway.




GoStumpy

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 05:06:55 PM »
We have a 4 door sedan, and a pickup truck.

The pickup is used for yard work for me and 3 neighbours, taking stuff to the dump, picking up big stuff, and we love to camp in the summer and have bought a cheap ($1000) 13' Camping trailer to tow around... we also fish so the boat & gear go in the truck.  I couldn't live without a pickup truck...

My thinking would be to get rid of the car & get a 4 door pickup truck ;)

CrochetStache

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 05:21:13 PM »
We just rented a van/pickup, etc as necessary when we lived car-free. Even if you get a pickup for $1k there is all the additional taxes, registration, insurance, repairs, etc that you'll have to pay that add up to more than the initial purchase of the vehicle.

Even when paying delivery fees for a couple of things, it was still much less expensive than the expense and headache of owning a second vehicle.

Spork

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 05:23:19 PM »
We just rented a van/pickup, etc as necessary when we lived car-free. Even if you get a pickup for $1k there is all the additional taxes, registration, insurance, repairs, etc that you'll have to pay that add up to more than the initial purchase of the vehicle..

While this is true... there are expenses involved with just owning a car....  I traded a large pizza (with everything) for my pickup.  Cash value: $25.

Faraday

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 06:48:11 PM »
I have been trying, trying, trying NOT to have a pickup so I can save gas, taxes, maintenance, etc. I've considered both a small towable trailer for use with the car and even a bicycle trailer.  I'm finding that those options might help but may not completely replace a pickup truck in all circumstances. I'll admit to you that a pickup truck will never be a "net positive investment", however, in the right scenario, it can give you control and capability where before you had none. See if these scenarios apply to you:
- If you do not pay for trash pickup, it's perfect for that job and protects the car from nasty spills from trash liquids
- If you need mulch, you can get it FAR cheaper by the pickup truck bed than by the bag (this is true for ANY bagged product that you might need in a pickup-truck-sized load)
- If you buy a washer/dryer, it saves you the $80 delivery if you are able to hook up the pair yourself
- Any time you need lumber or plywood from a hardware store, a pickup truck saves you from having to rent theirs to bring it home
- If you have a relative who's yard you have to mow, you can transport the mower to/from their house in the pickup
- Any time you rent an aerator or other yard equipment, you need a pickup truck to bring it home
- If you are replacing a vehicle with a bicycle and the bicycle fails while out on the trip, you go rescue the person on the bike with the truck
- If you use it for towing a camper of any kind (or even hauling camping gear) then it's allowing you to avoid $100-$200/night hotel rooms in favor of $20-$40/night campsites.

The one thing I can say is that if you are struggling with whether or not to have a pickup truck, then you are already practicing Badassity: you buy a pickup truck for what it can do, not for consumption or lifestyle reasons. The key is, I think, getting that pickup truck cheaply enough for it to be a badass move.

My pickup truck is a 1997 Mazda bought for $1000 over 10 years ago. I can get 35mpg with it every time I drive it. I keep liability insurance only on it and taxes are the lowest possible.

It's nearing the point where we can't find parts for it, so when it does finally go for the last time, I'll replace it with another pickup. The challenge will be replacing it for a low-enough capital cost to make it a badass buy vs. a wasteful buy.

It's a tough question. Just be honest with yourself that you are buying a piece of equipment that will regularly help you avoid cost and continue meeting your savings objectives. Nothing outweighs those considerations.

Jack

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 07:45:22 PM »
I have a pickup truck as a second vehicle. It works for me not only because the truck itself is useful for all the reasons mefla mentioned, but also because my other car is similarly old and not as reliable as some might prefer, so I like to have the second vehicle as a backup.

It's not the most Mustachian arrangement, but for me vehicles are a hobby so I want them to be interesting (which is why my main car is a diesel Volkswagen and my truck is a 4x4, and both have manual transmissions).

My pickup truck is a 1997 Mazda bought for $1000 over 10 years ago. I can get 35mpg with it every time I drive it. I keep liability insurance only on it and taxes are the lowest possible.

It's nearing the point where we can't find parts for it...

You've got to be kidding... a 1997 Mazda B-series is pretty much the same as any other Ford Ranger all the way up until they quit making them in 2012. Considering how many they sold, parts for these things will be around for essentially forever. My truck is a 1996 Ranger, and I foresee no issues keeping it on the road for another 17 years, and beyond.

By the way, how the Hell did you get what was then a 5-year-old truck for $1000?!   Did you forget a zero or something?

GoStumpy

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 10:00:14 PM »


My pickup truck is a 1997 Mazda bought for $1000 over 10 years ago. I can get 35mpg with it every time I drive it. I keep liability insurance only on it and taxes are the lowest possible.

It's nearing the point where we can't find parts for it...

You've got to be kidding... a 1997 Mazda B-series is pretty much the same as any other Ford Ranger all the way up until they quit making them in 2012. Considering how many they sold, parts for these things will be around for essentially forever. My truck is a 1996 Ranger, and I foresee no issues keeping it on the road for another 17 years, and beyond.

By the way, how the Hell did you get what was then a 5-year-old truck for $1000?!   Did you forget a zero or something?

I thought the same thing... that's damn near the most popular truck ever made, every wrecking yard is FULL of them!

I drive a 2005 Ranger for work, and it's basically the same as a 1994 Ranger...

Faraday

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2015, 12:32:54 AM »

My pickup truck is a 1997 Mazda bought for $1000 over 10 years ago. I can get 35mpg with it every time I drive it. I keep liability insurance only on it and taxes are the lowest possible.

It's nearing the point where we can't find parts for it...

You've got to be kidding... a 1997 Mazda B-series is pretty much the same as any other Ford Ranger all the way up until they quit making them in 2012. Considering how many they sold, parts for these things will be around for essentially forever. My truck is a 1996 Ranger, and I foresee no issues keeping it on the road for another 17 years, and beyond.

By the way, how the Hell did you get what was then a 5-year-old truck for $1000?!   Did you forget a zero or something?

Sorry for the late reply - was reviewing my old posts and I found this question, it deserves an answer:

Whenever possible, I buy vehicles that are previously wrecked, have been repaired, and now have a SALVAGE title. The Mazda was a salvage truck I bought from one of my brothers. Recently, I got a 2005 Ford F-150 for $3500 that has the salvage title.

As a bonus, taxes and insurance on a salvage vehicle are far lower than on a new "high value" vehicle. I never carry collision and comp on a salvage vehicle, only liability. If a salvage vehicle is crashed, the insurer is usually going to total out the vehicle and pay you book value.

JLee

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2015, 07:54:43 AM »
I used my truck a lot. I decided I didn't "need" it enough to justify keeping it, but I will likely buy a trailer. Being able to move furniture, mattresses, dirt, engines, etc. is very useful for a DIY'er.

Syonyk

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 08:38:43 AM »
A Ford Ranger or similar (regular cab light truck) is a cheap, surprisingly fuel efficient way of hauling a lot of stuff when you need to.

I have a truck as our second vehicle, and while mine is a bit overkill, I use it a decent amount for hauling (not as a daily driver, though - I can literally go months on my tanks of diesel, though that's not terribly weird to many people here).  There's also the benefit of being "the guy with a truck," which can either be annoying or profitable, depending on your free time and willingness to help people with random projects.  Personally, I don't mind collecting random debris from other people and getting a free or nearly free dump run in.

Unless you have a good reason to buy something larger, though, I'd definitely suggest a light truck (sub-F150).  They're cheap, easy to maintain (since they have nothing in the way of "features"), good on gas, and will still haul a lot of stuff.

tlars699

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Re: Replace 2nd car with a pickup, or become a one-car family?
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2015, 09:10:53 AM »
My first boyfriend had a manual 1984 VW Rabbit Pickup truck that he had inherited from his father.
That was a spunky little truck, and totally fun to drive. Also way easier to park than a bigger rig, with just as much towing power considering it was a V8.
*shrug* If I were to get a truck, that would probably be my sort of vehicle.