Author Topic: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?  (Read 6573 times)

Calvin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« on: September 21, 2014, 09:19:46 AM »
Hi Mustachians,

A little background: Soon before getting into MMM, I bought a 2014 Subaru Forester. I used to have a 2007 yaris, but it had some issues and I was concerned about safety. Safety was one of the main reasons for buying the Forester (Yes, I read the MMM safety illusion article. Nonetheless, I refuse to die by a texting driver hitting me so I can save $10k). Since then, I moved and now live only 3 miles from work on some quiet roads. The biggest trips I'll probably take are 2hr drives to see sister/friends in Albany and 6hr drives back home. I'll probably be driving ~5000 miles a year, less if I start biking. The main reason I'm thinking about getting rid of it is that I won't hit 100k miles for potentially 20 years unless my driving habits swing upwards.

Some financial context:

Assets (sans car):
401k: $95k
Roth: $30k
Taxable Vanguard Account: $35k
Checking/Savings: $35k

Debt:
None, just credit cards that are always paid in full

Income:
A bit over $100k gross plus bonus (10-15%)

Savings Rate:
~70% of net income

What I need for auto transportation:
- Very reliable (I'm not that handy, don't want to deal with a rust bucket, but I can learn)
- Safety (at least I need ABS/side airbags/good crash ratings)
- Good in the snow (I live in NH)

Why I'm rationalizing keeping the forester:
- I already save 70% of my income, so what's the big deal?
- I would probably only save $10-15k, worth the hassle if I could be driving a nice 2014 forester for the next 15+ years?
- MPG is good (~35 highway) and my variable costs are already very low from low amount of driving
- I don't want to buy a car off craigslist that turns out to be a complete hassle, lots of repairs
- It will be a hassle to sell it unless I trade it in

Questions:
- Is it worth downgrading my car given the financial context? If so, why? Give me some numbers. I like numbers.
- HOW would I go about doing that? Sell to dealer? Sell on craigslist? Can I sell this new of a vehicle on craigslist? I have no idea of what to do outside of selling to a dealer/CarMax.
- What should I get instead that's safe/reliable and where to get it without inadvertently buying a lemon (I've done that before)?




Nyarlathotep

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Kailua, Hawaii
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2014, 10:12:55 AM »
I would suggest off loading the new Forester and picking up an older one for a fraction of the price. I have heard nothing but good things about that type of car as far as performance, maintenance and safety goes. As far a getting rid of the new one goes I would think that craigslist or ebay might be best. I have never really dealt to much with car dealers but I would imagine that they would end up trying to low ball you.

But yeah... An older model should suit you just fine. Just keep on top of your fluid changes and what ever you decide to pick up should last you quite a while.

Glenstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2118
  • Location: Seattle!
  • Target FI date 2027 (maybe?)
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2014, 10:57:43 AM »
Your car is a depreciating asset. The less you spend on a car, the better. Your current car is in the neighborhood of 5% of your assets. You can reduce that by half and have little appreciable difference in car utility. For every $1000 you reduce your car value, and assuming you invest it, at a 5% return you are getting $50/yr plus compounding over that 20 years to get you to 100k ($52.50 the second year, etc). An older car can also allow you to reduce your insurance (doesn't change what you should carry for liability, but you can significantly reduce things like comprehensive... YMMV). When I sold my shiny pickup truck and bought a POS subaru I calculated that the depreciation that I wouldn't be absorbing on the truck would just about cover the cost of the used car I bought if I kept it for 2-3 years (obviously the accounting works a bit differently, but the cost savings are real).

Subarus can be great cars. The early 2000s have some known issues (head gaskets being the big spendy one). A RAV4 or CR5 could be another good option for you, and is less likely to have mechanical issues than the subaru. MMM has a listing in his blog somewhere of mustachian cars... worth a look. He also has a blog on the true cost of car ownership where he breaks down the numbers.

In your specific situation, you have the ability to play the long game. It is much easier to buy a new (to you) car than sell one. Use blue book and local listings to figure out a value and list it on Craigslist. If you haven't gone through the process before, read a minimum of 5 articles on how to sell your used car from different sources with at least one being the documentation requirements and process in you local dept motor vehicles. Set a firm price limit and stick to it as you don't *need* to sell- you will hopefully find some of the lowball offers amusing. Meanwhile keep an eye on the market for a good deal on a used car that meets your needs to get a sense for the market. If you come across a good deal jump on it provided there is enough interest in your vehicle that you can sell in the next 2 months after buying the found deal. Winter can be a slow time for selling cars.

Don't involve dealers unless you want to sell for less and buy for more. They are referred to as 'stealerships' by some for a reason. They are on commission and are not a charity. A few years back before I had better financial savvy, I went through the dealership process and thinking back on it still gives me heartburn. 

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3152
  • Location: Mississippi
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 12:19:36 PM »
I probably would have picked a used 2012 Impreza over a new Forester to prioritize safety, AWD, cost, and practicality. At a 70% savings rate it's not killing your finances though.

Dicey

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9920
  • Age: 61
  • Location: NorCal
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2014, 12:24:15 PM »
At a 70% savings rate it's not killing your finances though.
+1

Derek

  • Guest
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 04:23:39 PM »
It's a luxury but at your savings rate I would keep it, will not make much of an impact.

stlbrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 05:03:36 PM »
I would keep the forester you already have and enjoy it, but remember the lesson you learned from it.

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5429
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 05:09:27 PM »
I would keep it.  You will enjoy driving it for decades.

Calvin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2014, 07:07:54 PM »
I would keep the forester you already have and enjoy it, but remember the lesson you learned from it.

I would keep it.  You will enjoy driving it for decades.

Thanks everyone for your replies!! I believe I will keep it. As pointed out by Derek, it is a luxury, but shouldn't hold me back from hitting FI within the next 6-7 years anyway. And I agree with what Cassie/stlbrah said. I think part of the reason I feel a little bit guilty about it is simply that my parents were pretty much mustachians and my dad's salary of half my current salary supported a SAHM and five kids! They obviously didn't have something as nice as a new car so I feel a twinge of guilt for having something so nice!

Going forward, I'll enjoy the Forester (when not walking/biking of course) and focus on keeping that savings rate high!

RapmasterD

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 589
  • Location: SF Peninsula
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2014, 11:01:15 PM »
Keep it, take great care of it, run it into the ground, and hope it doesn't experience the growing plethora of maintenance issues that older Foresters did -- I drive a 2001 that's been on the road for more than 14 years. I know of what I speak.

thedayisbrave

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 700
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • CFO @ My Life
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 07:12:40 AM »
Another vote for keep it.  You don't list a car loan under debt so I assume you paid cash.  Take care of it and it should last you a long time :) I bought a new car pre-MMM as well (Nissan Sentra) and I plan on keeping it until it hits the 100K mark at the minimum and based on my driving, that's another 6-7 years of use. 

sleepyguy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 671
  • Location: Oakville, Ontario
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2014, 07:43:15 AM »
70% savings rate!?!

I agree, if you enjoy the car and gives you peace of mind.  Keep it.  I have an 09 Forester Ltd, great small SUV that feels like a car!

Elderwood17

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 525
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2014, 08:48:47 AM »
I would keep it, maintain it well and run it into the ground.  Next time buy used.

MrFrugalChicago

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 340
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2014, 10:20:48 AM »
If you are keeping it 10+ years, I would keep it. Your savings rate is pretty insane already.

I think the real urgency to buy used is the new car every 3 years types. Buying a new car every 3 years can easily average out to 5-10k per YEAR in car cost / depreciation.

Buying a new car and keeping it 14 years, vs buying a 4 year old car and keeping it 10 years.. only a few $100 a year difference, and at least with the new car you know no one before you wrecked it.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 10:22:32 AM by MrFrugalChicago »

gt7152b

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2014, 11:41:41 AM »
I would keep it. I am keeping my 2014 Forester that I bought pre- MMM. One of the reasons I bought new instead of used was the gas mileage improvements with this model year (thanks CVT). I looked at some older ones at first and calculated that the gas mileage savings combined with longer life span was worth buying new. As others have said it won't be as useful to keep for the short term, only as a long term vehicle.

pagoconcheques

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 187
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2014, 12:55:14 PM »
I am keeping my 2014 Forester that I bought pre- MMM. One of the reasons I bought new instead of used was the gas mileage improvements with this model year (thanks CVT). I looked at some older ones at first and calculated that the gas mileage savings combined with longer life span was worth buying new.

I also have a 2014 Forester (manual transmission) I bought new for pretty much the same reasons.  Subarus seem to take their worst depreciation hit after warranty runs out, so you could probably get out of it pretty reasonably.  Still, I'd keep it for the long run as they are great vehicles and relatively economical for their capabilities. 

HairyUpperLip

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 897
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2014, 03:00:58 PM »
If you truly enjoy the car then keep it. You make good money and your savings rate is great. At least it is an extremely practical vehicle to have.

Snow White

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 169
  • Location: Texas
Re: Should I sell my Subaru Forester?
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2014, 03:51:37 PM »
I am on my third Forester since they were introduced and they all been work horses with minimal problems.  One I bought used and the other two were new but all were purchased for cash. No car payments.  Could I get by with a less expensive vehicle? Sure.  But I am FIRE and can afford it.  I also do a lot of outdoor activities where a high clearance vehicle is useful and often essential and the Subaru fits that niche perfectly. 

I think the MMM philosophy is about buying thoughtfully and prioritizing purchases that matter to you and doesn't always require that we spend the least amount of money possible.