Author Topic: What should I do with my car?  (Read 3914 times)

darkspork

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What should I do with my car?
« on: June 08, 2014, 01:32:09 PM »
So in 2012 I did something very antimustachian and bought a new car. It was a 2013 VW GTI and I own it outright. To make a really long story short about why, it does everything I want and I bought it hoping it would be pretty reliable (problem is I should have trusted reliability statistics, but instead decided to gamble). So far it has already needed a new water pump (fixed under warranty) and from reading around it will probably continue to need expensive repairs through it's life. I would really hate to see it go, but at the same time, I understand dumping a bunch of money into keeping it would be an emotional decision rather than a smart decision. It has a about a year/10,000 miles left on it's basic warranty and 3 years/35,000 miles left on the powertrain warranty. So with all that said I'm considering a few options.

1. Buy an extended warranty for the car since I do really like it, keep it through the length of the extended warranty. Alternatively I can keep it for an extended period of time an hope any out of warranty repairs add up to be less than the cost of an extended warranty. I already feel like I spent way too much money on this car and although I really like it, I think financially keeping it would be a bad idea (although is somebody can correct me on this I'd be happy to hear it).

2. Sell/trade it to get something more reliable. I do a lot of long distance driving (my family lives over 250 miles away and I see them somewhat frequently, driving is the most economical/practical way to get there), I also tend to drive for business since I'm reimbursed for mileage and lodging, so I do need something that won't kill my back. These are the cars I'm considering:
a) Honda Fit M/T: I think this car would be good for anything I do short of long trips, I could probably walk away with an extra $5,000 from selling my VW. Unfortunately, most of my miles are long trips since I walk places whenever possible, I have a suspicion that I'd probably land up spending money trying to make this car something it's not. Another downside is this would cost an additional $100/year to insure over my VW.
b) Honda Civic M/T: I think this is a better choice than the Fit due to the type of driving I do. I'd lose some utility and it only gets comparable fuel economy to my VW. I'd probably break even, except that like the Honda Fit it costs an extra $100/year to insure.
c) VW Golf 2.5 M/T: I didn't see this car on the list of cars for smart people. It rates very well in consumer reports for reliability and has a very good reliability rate on truedelta.com. They are priced comparably to the Honda Fit, and are about as efficient as my current car. It would cost me $30/year less to insure than my current car and I think it would fit all of my needs fairly well. The biggest downsides I can see to this car is that it takes 6 liters of synthetic oil for an oil change and it's a little more difficult to do than an oil change in other cars.  It gives the versatility of a hatchback, but unfortunately can only be had as a 2-door with the M/T. Like with the Fit, I could come out of the transaction with an extra ~$5,000. Given that it rates well for reliability

So it seems to me my best option is probably to get the Golf 2.5 before my basic warranty is up. I think if I wait for the powertrain warranty to expire I'll be out a lot more money. Does anybody have any advice on what I should do? Are there options I'm missing?

CarDude

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2014, 02:13:25 PM »
Sell it for the M/T Civic, and drop your insurance coverage level until it's even with (or lower than!) that of your VW. I'm presuming the Civic is 2006 or newer?

darkspork

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 02:23:34 PM »
Sell it for the M/T Civic, and drop your insurance coverage level until it's even with (or lower than!) that of your VW. I'm presuming the Civic is 2006 or newer?

Yes, it's hard to find anything from 2005 or older with lower miles, these cars are about 10 years old now. My intent is to keep whatever I have for 10 or more years. I read the article about it being cheaper to buy older cars more often than newer cars less often, but with the effort it would take to find a good older car I think I'd rather pass. I consider the Civic a good option, but other than the oil requirement is there any reason I should count out the 2.5L Golf which is also statistically reliable? The main thing that comes to mind for me is that it may sometimes require specialized tools for repair. German resale value is not great, so it would cost the same for me to get a nearly new Golf as a fairly well used Civic.

CarDude

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2014, 02:26:59 PM »
Sell it for the M/T Civic, and drop your insurance coverage level until it's even with (or lower than!) that of your VW. I'm presuming the Civic is 2006 or newer?

Yes, it's hard to find anything from 2005 or older with lower miles, these cars are about 10 years old now. My intent is to keep whatever I have for 10 or more years. I read the article about it being cheaper to buy older cars more often than newer cars less often, but with the effort it would take to find a good older car I think I'd rather pass. I consider the Civic a good option, but other than the oil requirement is there any reason I should count out the 2.5L Golf which is also statistically reliable? The main thing that comes to mind for me is that it may sometimes require specialized tools for repair. German resale value is not great, so it would cost the same for me to get a nearly new Golf as a fairly well used Civic.

Yup, 2006+ is also better from a safety POV. Regarding the Civic vs. Golf, I'd stick with the Civic because your gut is right; it's going to be the easier of the two to repair. The Golf is more reliable than the typical VW, but it's still in the same family, which means you're still going to get random WTF repairs and have a harder time with the normal repairs (e.g., the oil change complexity). That kind of nonsense is up and down the VW line unfortunately, which is a big part of why resale value is so low for these vehicles; no one wants them because no one can fix them easily.

darkspork

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 02:42:33 PM »
That makes sense. It's hard to go wrong with a Honda. I bought my ex wife a 2001 Accord and it's been pretty reliable. She still has it, over 180,000 miles on the original clutch and it's her first manual. It just feels like Hondas are really overpriced when it almost cost the same to buy new as it does used. The main thing that makes me hesitant about going with the Civic is I do use the utility of my hatchback about once a month and it would be a challenge finding other ways to transport bulky items. I know the Fit is an option, but I need my car to be suitable for long distance more than I need it to haul stuff.

I think if I consider a ~2010 manual Accord they're actually somewhat of a bargain compared to a Civic (nobody seems to want the 5 speed), I just think they're huge/excessive for my needs. Should I ignore the fact it's excessive and consider it anyways?

Cassie

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 05:14:51 PM »
WE recently bought a 2010 Honda Accord & just love it!  The FIT is just too small to be very safe.  We did a lot of research before buying because we drive cars forever & our last one was a Volvo which costs a fortune to repair.

CarDude

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 06:38:11 PM »
That makes sense. It's hard to go wrong with a Honda. I bought my ex wife a 2001 Accord and it's been pretty reliable. She still has it, over 180,000 miles on the original clutch and it's her first manual. It just feels like Hondas are really overpriced when it almost cost the same to buy new as it does used. The main thing that makes me hesitant about going with the Civic is I do use the utility of my hatchback about once a month and it would be a challenge finding other ways to transport bulky items. I know the Fit is an option, but I need my car to be suitable for long distance more than I need it to haul stuff.

I think if I consider a ~2010 manual Accord they're actually somewhat of a bargain compared to a Civic (nobody seems to want the 5 speed), I just think they're huge/excessive for my needs. Should I ignore the fact it's excessive and consider it anyways?

Yes, they're definitely overpriced; everyone knows how long they last, unfortunately. From a car safety perspective, I say go with the Accord. Yes it's big and excessive, but it's reliable and will get the job done. You can also hypermile manual transmission cars and get much better numbers than EPA figures if you're willing to work at it.

CarDude

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2014, 06:43:24 PM »
WE recently bought a 2010 Honda Accord & just love it!  The FIT is just too small to be very safe.  We did a lot of research before buying because we drive cars forever & our last one was a Volvo which costs a fortune to repair.

Agreed. The Fit is a great little car and in a country where drunk men didn't drive large pickups everywhere, I'd recommend it over and over again. But in the current day US, I'd definitely recommend skipping the minicar class entirely (Fit, Fiesta, Mazda2, etc) and at least moving to the small car class (Civic, Focus, Prius, etc) or mid-size class (Camry, Accord, Sonata, etc).

avongil

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2014, 07:29:19 PM »

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2014, 08:11:53 PM »
I don't believe in extended warranties, because they wouldn't be selling them if they weren't profitting from them.

c) VW Golf 2.5 M/T: I didn't see this car on the list of cars for smart people. It rates very well in consumer reports for reliability and has a very good reliability rate on truedelta.com. They are priced comparably to the Honda Fit, and are about as efficient as my current car. It would cost me $30/year less to insure than my current car and I think it would fit all of my needs fairly well. The biggest downsides I can see to this car is that it takes 6 liters of synthetic oil for an oil change and it's a little more difficult to do than an oil change in other cars.  It gives the versatility of a hatchback, but unfortunately can only be had as a 2-door with the M/T. Like with the Fit, I could come out of the transaction with an extra ~$5,000. Given that it rates well for reliability
I used to have a GTI, and now I have a Jetta Sportwagen 2.5 M/T.  It feels like the same car, just slower and has a lot more cargo space.  I was kinda shocked to learn that the maintenance schedule only had the oil changed every 10k miles, but I'm totally okay with not going in for service so often.

darkspork

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2014, 08:53:35 PM »
In regards to the Accord, I just checked insurance cost and it is the cheapest car to insure of any car I mentioned. It is starting to look like a logical choice.

FrugalSpendthrift,
Although the 2.5L Golf/Sportwagen appeals to me emotionally, the manual Accord appears to be a better option given comparable pricing. CarSafetyGuy has convinced me I should pass on the VW option. The main reason for me to get the Golf would be that it's a hatchback and provides additional utility as such. I need to do some figuring out, but I think the Accord has a pretty cavernous trunk, so I'm not sure how disadvantaged I'd be. I'll need to see it in person, but if it's anything like a Crown Victoria you can fit small furniture in it. The main turnoff for me is that the Accord is huge and as a single 25 year old, I really don't want/need a car that big, but I guess it does everything else well and is a cheap car in the long run.

avongil

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2014, 07:26:07 PM »
Mr DarkSpork,

I challenge the article on buying old cars more often being cheaper than purchasing something with exceptional fuel mileage that is 2 years old. This is generally cheaper in a 10 year period for people driving 12K miles per year or more. If you drive minimally like MMM does, then any car will do. It's incredibly tough to buy an older vehicle at this current point in time and have it be cheaper than a newer high fuel efficiency model.

If you check out the spreadsheet above, you can see some real numbers. The sprint is a great example of what you can do with an older car. Its cheap. Very cheap. But not that much more than a well purchased used Prius and you have the advantage of it lasting longer and being safer.


greaper007

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2014, 09:14:35 PM »
Sell it for the M/T Civic, and drop your insurance coverage level until it's even with (or lower than!) that of your VW. I'm presuming the Civic is 2006 or newer?

Yes, it's hard to find anything from 2005 or older with lower miles, these cars are about 10 years old now. My intent is to keep whatever I have for 10 or more years. I read the article about it being cheaper to buy older cars more often than newer cars less often, but with the effort it would take to find a good older car I think I'd rather pass. I consider the Civic a good option, but other than the oil requirement is there any reason I should count out the 2.5L Golf which is also statistically reliable? The main thing that comes to mind for me is that it may sometimes require specialized tools for repair. German resale value is not great, so it would cost the same for me to get a nearly new Golf as a fairly well used Civic.

Yup, 2006+ is also better from a safety POV. Regarding the Civic vs. Golf, I'd stick with the Civic because your gut is right; it's going to be the easier of the two to repair. The Golf is more reliable than the typical VW, but it's still in the same family, which means you're still going to get random WTF repairs and have a harder time with the normal repairs (e.g., the oil change complexity). That kind of nonsense is up and down the VW line unfortunately, which is a big part of why resale value is so low for these vehicles; no one wants them because no one can fix them easily.

I have an 03 golf and find it's fairly easy to work on, though it does tend to break a lot.

darkspork

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Re: What should I do with my car?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2014, 04:58:57 PM »
I challenge the article on buying old cars more often being cheaper than purchasing something with exceptional fuel mileage that is 2 years old. This is generally cheaper in a 10 year period for people driving 12K miles per year or more. If you drive minimally like MMM does, then any car will do. It's incredibly tough to buy an older vehicle at this current point in time and have it be cheaper than a newer high fuel efficiency model.

Although I do a lot of distance driving, my commute is relatively short and I tend to walk to stuff that's in the neighborhood. I may drive a lot by MMM standards, but total mileage is about average by American standards. I'm in belief that if fuel costs more than repairs on average, I'm doing well. In hindsight, selling my Focus rather than fixing it and making it pass smog was a mistake. With all else factored, no reason to drive something inefficient for no benefit.

Also I just really hate the Prius. I've driven it and it's one of those cars when you get behind the wheel you immediate wish somebody else was driving. I'd much rather have a 3 cyl subcompact.