Author Topic: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?  (Read 3038 times)

Felipe

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Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« on: March 30, 2015, 11:28:44 AM »
Hi,

I'm a 22 year old Civil/Environmental Engineering student, about to go to upper division (September), where I'll get a free county bus pass. I recently began biking for groceries and local goods so local driving is becoming less and less of an issue.

I have a paid off 2011 Chevy volt with a Kelly Blue book of $15,700. I'm looking into selling my Volt to free up at least 10k of working capital and replacing it with a 2001 Prius or another older car with 45+mpg costing under $4000. I'll also bike more as a side effect of not enjoying the electric local trips.

My Volt gets about 40 miles on a charge then about 40mpg but I like biking and I can take free public transportation for the next few years as I finish my degree, having that extra 10k in capital working for me.

Please share your wisdom on this. Should I sell the Volt for an older efficient car?
Thank you,
-Felipe




epipenguin

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Re: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 12:14:03 PM »
Do you even need to own a car? Is there something like zipcar in your area that you could join and use on the rare occasion that you need to drive? Or even could you just rent a car?

Cwadda

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Re: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 12:26:36 PM »
Quote
another older car with 45+mpg costing under $4000
A note, this is going to be hard to come by. Older and efficiency kind of go in opposite directions.

Your thinking makes sense to me. You could sell the Volt, probably decrease your insurance with an older car, and save a bit on depreciation. A Prius is a good choice, but they do not follow typical depreciation curves. You can expect about $8000+ for an older Prius with 100k miles on it.

Felipe

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Re: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 01:12:54 PM »
]
Do you even need to own a car? Is there something like zipcar in your area that you could join and use on the rare occasion that you need to drive? Or even could you just rent a car?

There's no hard need, zipcar, uber, lyft, rentals are all very available but they seem relatively expensive as I'm gas free (but not depreciation-free) for 40 miles. I love hiking in all the mountains 30+minutes away where public transportation isn't available. I also do occasional trips down the coast (to San Diego) to enjoy the beaches and nature down there with my lover, giving up a car would make this more expensive.

I'm open to the idea of ultimately letting go of a car. I could bike to nature or take a car service but I'd do it less often. It's about $120 round trip to San Diego and back by bus/train and I could bike once there. But having a "downsized" car would feel much more comfortable as a transition.

Your thinking makes sense to me. You could sell the Volt, probably decrease your insurance with an older car, and save a bit on depreciation. A Prius is a good choice, but they do not follow typical depreciation curves. You can expect about $8000+ for an older Prius with 100k miles on it.

I agree, but I'm thinking a 150k miles will cost under $5000 if I look. I know there's a few reliable, 45+mpg models of cars out there that people want to get rid of as the much sexier models come out. I'm not sure how to know the mpg they'll get as they begin aging and there is the risk of car issues costing more than the car. Ideally hatchback but if it's really reliable with high mpg I'm open to it, any cars you'd recommend?

Here's a cheap Prius I found not too far away. I'm sure there's more like this.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/cto/4950668271.html

neo von retorch

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Re: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 01:41:35 PM »
Another forum member recently bought a ~2000-2001 Insight for ~$4-5k. Some of these have high mileage, but are still rocking and rolling and getting great mileage. Add it to your search, at least :)

Cwadda

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Re: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 01:52:13 PM »
Just understand the implications of buying an older vehicle. Know what kind of car you want to get and learn everything there is about it. I.e. for a Prius know that the hybrid battery ($1000ish?) may need to be changed after certain mileages, if the car's been in any accidents (light vehicles are prone to damages), etc.

Retired To Win

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Re: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 03:35:28 PM »
... I'm looking into selling my Volt to free up at least 10k of working capital and replacing it with a 2001 Prius or another older car with 45+mpg costing under $4000. I'll also bike more as a side effect of not enjoying the electric local trips... Should I sell the Volt for an older efficient car?

My short answer is "yes, sell it."  Get that $10K out of your present car while you still can, because depreciation will just continue eating at that cash value.  And keep up the maintenance on whatever older car you get; that's the key to making those things last.  (My vehicle is a 1996 and still going strong.)

Felipe

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Re: Should I Sell my Hybrid for a Cheaper, High MPG Car?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2015, 09:48:47 PM »
Nobody seems to think it's smart to hold onto the Volt. After running more calculations I think it'd be wise to sell the Volt now or over Summer break when I have a little more time, the challenge lies in finding a good replacement.
I'm really hoping for high mpg car for the 2000-5000 price range, under 150000 miles, ideally a hatchback so I can transport bikes.

Using Craigslist & http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.shtml
Honda Insight Yr 2000, $3000, dying battery (costs 2000+), 53mpg-137k miles
Honda Civic Yr 2003, $3000, 30mpg, 170k miles
Ford Focus: Yr 2000, $2500, 25mpg-140k miles
Toyota Prius: Yr 2001, $3000, 45mpg, 131k miles

I think Prius is coming out on top. But it's a light car and 15 years old, how can I tell it hasn't been in any accidents or poorly maintained?

Also, can I use the purchase of a car for rewards through travel cards?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 11:09:53 PM by Felipe »