Author Topic: Time for a new car? High maintenance?  (Read 1401 times)

dios.del.sol

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Time for a new car? High maintenance?
« on: August 24, 2016, 01:39:52 PM »
Got this nagging feeling that my car costs are silly. It's a 1989 Jeep Cherokee XJ. I drive it because it's been in the family since it was new and I hate getting rid of things just to upgrade. It's a fabulous car as long as it's not breaking down. And apparently I have a soft spot for cars.

Here are the stats:
  • Average cost of maintenance since 2012: $2300/year or $0.40/mile
  • Average cost of fuel in the last year: $416 at 16.5 mpg (mostly city)

OK, so I can stop driving it, but that can be tricky in Los Angeles, city of cars, with two working parents and daycare, so let's assume I get a new one. Say I get a used car. Perhaps it's a minivan because of the kids, but a Mazda 5 which is on MMM's list. We're looking at $12k or so for a 5ish year old car. So with greatly reduced maintenance I come out ahead in about 6 years. Of course, maybe I just bought myself another maintenance hog. What is a reasonable maintenance estimate for a newer car? Will I be able to save significantly over the long run?

Opinions solicited. Have at it.

daverobev

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Re: Time for a new car? High maintenance?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2016, 02:23:43 PM »
Got this nagging feeling that my car costs are silly. It's a 1989 Jeep Cherokee XJ. I drive it because it's been in the family since it was new and I hate getting rid of things just to upgrade. It's a fabulous car as long as it's not breaking down. And apparently I have a soft spot for cars.

Here are the stats:
  • Average cost of maintenance since 2012: $2300/year or $0.40/mile
  • Average cost of fuel in the last year: $416 at 16.5 mpg (mostly city)

OK, so I can stop driving it, but that can be tricky in Los Angeles, city of cars, with two working parents and daycare, so let's assume I get a new one. Say I get a used car. Perhaps it's a minivan because of the kids, but a Mazda 5 which is on MMM's list. We're looking at $12k or so for a 5ish year old car. So with greatly reduced maintenance I come out ahead in about 6 years. Of course, maybe I just bought myself another maintenance hog. What is a reasonable maintenance estimate for a newer car? Will I be able to save significantly over the long run?

Opinions solicited. Have at it.

You don't drive much (if I'm reading those numbers correctly - about 5k miles a year). Can you use a short term rental service? Or a normal car rental?

Mostly city might mean an electric, Nissan Leaf, would work. Check out sol's thread on his one.

Mazda5s have suspension issues, I think, but other than that they are good. I would not buy that new in LA, though - no salt like up here, meaning vehicles should last longer.

$12k is a LOT of money. Do you NEED 6 seats? Something like a Hyundai Elantra will be a LOT cheaper for the age.

dios.del.sol

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Re: Time for a new car? High maintenance?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2016, 10:25:56 PM »
You don't drive much (if I'm reading those numbers correctly - about 5k miles a year). Can you use a short term rental service? Or a normal car rental?

Thankfully. I try to work from home as often as possible and replace shorter trips by bike/foot. Commutes are too frequent for a rental to work. I wish I had a car share service in my neighborhood. I used to commute much more by bike but the daycare/work routine has proven to be quite tricky.

Mostly city might mean an electric, Nissan Leaf, would work. Check out sol's thread on his one.

I'll try to find it. If you happen to have the link handy that would be helpful. I've considered an electric, especially if it's *just* a city car.

$12k is a LOT of money. Do you NEED 6 seats? Something like a Hyundai Elantra will be a LOT cheaper for the age.

No. Not at all. In fact, I half expected to be taken to task for this. My wife and I were just discussing this morning that if we need cargo space we can just rent a truck. If we need extra seats for when we have guests we can drive both cars. The other one is an Elantra, so that would be a nice addition.

daverobev

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dios.del.sol

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Re: Time for a new car? High maintenance?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 10:30:33 AM »
Much obliged