Author Topic: When do you replace your car?  (Read 5537 times)

nara

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When do you replace your car?
« on: June 20, 2017, 05:55:27 PM »
I have an 8 year old Corolla that I had purchased brand new. Nothing major is wrong with it. It has over 150k miles. I'm not in a rush to get rid of it (except that I would prefer a 4WD vehicle in the winter). But I once read somewhere that it is better to sell a vehicle when it's 5-7 years old because of how quickly it depreciate.s Is there any truth to this? How do you determine when it's time to replace a vehicle other then waiting until you start breaking down on the side of the road?

Retire-Canada

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 06:05:50 PM »
My truck is 7yrs old and I expect to own it another 10yrs or so. I have no specific target for when to replace it. Two things that will force my hand are 1) it becomes unreliable enough I don't want to take it any place remote and 2) repairs are getting exorbitant. My last truck was 15-16yrs old when I got rid of it and it was used much harder than this one.

Depreciation is worst at the beginning so after 5-7yrs that would not be a factor in thinking about selling it.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 06:29:06 PM by Retire-Canada »

BigLou

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 06:24:53 PM »
Just two months ago I finally got rid of my 1996 Ford Ranger which I drove for 21 years. The criteria that I used to determine when it was time to get rid of it was that it finally got to the point where the problems I started having with it were going to cost more to fix than the truck was worth. I really got lucky with that truck; up until a couple months ago it never had to go into the shop for any major mechanical problems. I always had the basic maintenance done on it every year, and that was enough to keep it running fine for 21 years, but when the mechanic told me it was going to cost me 2k to repair when it finally did start having problems, I knew it was time to replace it, so that's what I did.

ixtap

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 06:28:48 PM »
The worst depreciation is over at that age, so why would you sell it then?!

They say until the wheels fall off, but the only time that ever happened to me, I just had it repaired and marvelled that it hadn't happened ten minutes earlier when it might have been fatal.

Now that you make me think about it, my answer has always been when it costs more to repair it than replace it or when I move out of the country, currently running about 50/50 between the two options.

Retire-Canada

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 06:31:59 PM »


DavidAnnArbor

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 07:12:10 PM »
IF you buy a new car for $25K and have it for 10 years, then you can do a straight line depreciation of $2,500 per year. If your old car is going to cost more than $2,500 in a given year to repair, it might have been cheaper to have had a new car with no repair needs.

lbmustache

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 09:12:52 PM »
When it becomes to unreliable to drive daily and/or needs expensive repairs that are not routine items (example: random transmission parts breaking is not ok, spark plugs, brakes, etc. are ok).

JLee

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 02:14:03 AM »
I have never replaced a vehicle due to excessive mileage.  I usually get bored and want something else.  Barring rust or crash damage, basically everything is repairable.

My SUV is approaching 185k and my car is somewhere north of 260k (engine was swapped before I bought it - I rebuilt the engine about 3 years ago and am rebuilding the head now - valve guides were loose).

IF you buy a new car for $25K and have it for 10 years, then you can do a straight line depreciation of $2,500 per year. If your old car is going to cost more than $2,500 in a given year to repair, it might have been cheaper to have had a new car with no repair needs.

That argument only holds true if the old car consistently costs more than $2,500/year to repair (assuming we value the $25k car at 0 after 10 years, which isn't realistic).  A $2,500 car that needs a $2,500 repair once is going to be dramatically cheaper than the $25k car.

bludreamin

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2017, 03:06:24 AM »
The depreciation argument for selling doesn't make​ sense as already discussed (depreciation would be the reason to buy used). But this is something I've been thinking about lately so interested to see where the discussion goes.

My 2002 Corolla only has ~110k miles but has lived it's life in areas that salt in winter so rust is an issue. I got the Corolla in 2005 only because my grandparents were replacing it with an AWD vehicle (because snow) so I got a great deal. The Corolla replaced a 1989 Dodge Aries so I always joked I'd consider replacing a car when it was old enough to get it's license...but now that the Corolla is approaching 16 (it rolled off the assembly line in October 2001) - I'm not sure I want to deal with hassle of car shopping (which admittedly I've never done before). So I'm not sure what's going to trigger the Corolla's replacement.

researcher1

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 05:17:24 AM »
I have an 8 year old Corolla that I had purchased brand new. Nothing major is wrong with it. It has over 150k miles. I'm not in a rush to get rid of it (except that I would prefer a 4WD vehicle in the winter). But I once read somewhere that it is better to sell a vehicle when it's 5-7 years old because of how quickly it depreciate.s Is there any truth to this? How do you determine when it's time to replace a vehicle other then waiting until you start breaking down on the side of the road?

Another thread from someone who wants a new car and comes up with illogical reasons to justify getting a different vehicle....
- I've had a Corolla for 8 years, but really want a 4WD monster truck for all of those horrible snow storms.
- Do I wait to replace until it breaks down on the side or a dark, isolated road at 2AM in a blizzard?
- I ONCE read SOMEWHERE that it is better to sell a vehicle after 5-7 years.

These are really weak arguments for getting rid a new vehicle.  As I said in another thread, if you want a new car and can afford it, then go buy one.  But don't come up with these goofy, illogical reasons in a desperate attempt to justify a car replacement.

If you spent more than 2 minutes researching this online, you would find dozens of sources that explain how wrong your "sell after 5-7 years" idea is.  That is when the vast majority of depreciation occurs.  There is comparatively little depreciation after 7 years.

aceyou

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2017, 06:46:22 AM »
Your car is entering it's sweet spot.  Why would you sell it when it's finally reaching it's lowest total cost of ownership when taking into account

depreciation
maintenance / repairs
gas
insurance

If you currently have full coverage insurance on the car, you can almost certainly justify going down to PLPD coverage on it, right? 

And you probably have VERY few mechanical problems right now, right? 

And it's only going to depreciate like 500-700/year for a while, right? 

You've got it good right now.  These are the good times for your car, enjoy them!!!

wenchsenior

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2017, 08:45:28 AM »
We have two cars available (one per household).  We purchase a new car about every 12 years, and cycle our old one to the second household, OR we purchase a new car when our oldest car becomes consistently unreliable and is costing several thousand per year to repair (somewhere between the 15 and 20 year mark).

Our current 'new' car is 8 years old. Our 'old' car is 17 years old. We are planning to buy our next new car in about 3-4 years, or whenever our old car falls apart (it's falling apart physically at this point though it still drives ok locally).

ketchup

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2017, 09:55:45 AM »
I've gotten rid of cars due to crash damage (at the time 25 years old and 69,000 miles), vehicle needs changing (at the time 18 years old and 168,000 miles), engine throwing a rod (17 years old and 182,000 miles), engine flat out dying (24 years old and 200,775 miles), and most recently, engine giving out after overheating (8 years old and 261,000 miles).

Depreciation concerns would be a reason to BUY an eight year old Corolla, not sell one.  You're fine.

RelaxedGal

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2017, 06:41:20 AM »
we purchase a new car when our oldest car becomes consistently unreliable ]

Depreciation concerns would be a reason to BUY an eight year old Corolla, not sell one.  You're fine.

Both of these.  How reliable do you need your car to be?  Can you bike or take public transportation in a pinch?  Do you have family nearby that could loan you a car?  They all factor in but realistically your car is a great choice just budget a bit extra for maintenance.

I replaced my 2005 scion xA in 2015 with 140,000 miles.  I need my car to be very reliable and she was letting me down.  Normally I'd say BUY a car like that, and from what I've heard she is being great for her second owner. I still miss her but my 2012 Nissan Leaf has been rock solid - admittedly about as much $$ in repairs, but all done when I was ready/none were emergencies/only dealers touch electrics and that makes repairs expensive.

BlueMR2

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2017, 03:52:32 PM »
Great question.  I've not yet replaced a car...  My daily driver was built in December of 1990 and has 285,000 miles now.  My fun car was built in October of 1994 and has 135,000 miles.  Both have had extensive repairs before (more than the value of the car which is many people's trigger).  I like to look at expected cost per mile and condition.  So far I've not yet hit the situation where buying something newer makes sense to me.  It'll probably happen when I can no longer get any parts (I've already had to have parts custom made for the newer one, but even that only cost $20)...

nara

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2017, 06:30:49 PM »
Thanks all! I'm not in a rush to sell my car. I have only ever owned one other car and it started having major mechanical problems after reaching 150k miles. So I genuinely have no idea how long the life of a car typically is--but I believe that a Toyota will last longer than a Pontiac. The Toyota has some electrical problems (the tire pressure light is always on) and I still have trouble in the snow even with Blizzak snow tires--but it's nothing major.

How and when do you start saving for your replacement car? Do you just take it out of your emergency fund or do you specifically start saving for it?

Retire-Canada

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2017, 07:00:51 PM »
How and when do you start saving for your replacement car? Do you just take it out of your emergency fund or do you specifically start saving for it?

I have no plans for the next vehicle. I don't have an emergency fund. If my truck died tomorrow I would get a bus pass, ride my bike and walk. I'd give some thought as to what to get next and start working out how to pay for it. For the moment I would likely go car less for a year or three as hitting my FIRE $$ target is more important to me than having a vehicle.

ixtap

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2017, 07:07:09 PM »
Thanks all! I'm not in a rush to sell my car. I have only ever owned one other car and it started having major mechanical problems after reaching 150k miles. So I genuinely have no idea how long the life of a car typically is--but I believe that a Toyota will last longer than a Pontiac. The Toyota has some electrical problems (the tire pressure light is always on) and I still have trouble in the snow even with Blizzak snow tires--but it's nothing major.

How and when do you start saving for your replacement car? Do you just take it out of your emergency fund or do you specifically start saving for it?

Do you have a budget? If so, you should calculate how much to save a month to get a new to you car every...well it depends on how old the car is when you buy it. I bought my last car new (I haz reasons) and expect it to last 15 years. That comes to $125/month.

Realistically? If my car died tomorrow 1) I would cry, I love that car, 2) I would not replace it with a new car, as I just want to get through a few more years, and 3) it would come out of general savings. In setting my budget, I might still use that $125/ month, based on how many months until we expect to FIRE and leave the country.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2017, 07:15:17 PM »
Do you just take it out of your emergency fund or do you specifically start saving for it?

Having to buy a new car due to the current car dying sounds like something that'd be a good reason to access an emergency fund :)

Maybe bump up the old E-fund savings if one anticipates that the car's on borrowed time.

Guide2003

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2017, 07:51:25 PM »
But I once read somewhere that it is better to sell a vehicle when it's 5-7 years old because of how quickly it depreciate.s Is there any truth to this? How do you determine when it's time to replace a vehicle other then waiting until you start breaking down on the side of the road?
Have you looked up the valuations of 5-8 year old Corollas? I'd imagine it's not depreciating as fast as you think, and toyotas last a long time. I've only bought and sold cars when my life circumstances changed (kids, no kids, new construction job, etc) and I typically don't spend more than three paychecks on a car so it's pretty easy to save up for. I can't afford to miss work because of a breakdown so I exclusively buy reliable models (like Corollas!) but I get the 6-10year old versions.

JLee

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2017, 07:09:14 PM »
Thanks all! I'm not in a rush to sell my car. I have only ever owned one other car and it started having major mechanical problems after reaching 150k miles. So I genuinely have no idea how long the life of a car typically is--but I believe that a Toyota will last longer than a Pontiac. The Toyota has some electrical problems (the tire pressure light is always on) and I still have trouble in the snow even with Blizzak snow tires--but it's nothing major.

How and when do you start saving for your replacement car? Do you just take it out of your emergency fund or do you specifically start saving for it?

That's more likely an electrical system working properly than it is a problem.  Are all of your tire pressures (including spare) correct?

nara

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2017, 07:30:15 PM »
Thanks all! I'm not in a rush to sell my car. I have only ever owned one other car and it started having major mechanical problems after reaching 150k miles. So I genuinely have no idea how long the life of a car typically is--but I believe that a Toyota will last longer than a Pontiac. The Toyota has some electrical problems (the tire pressure light is always on) and I still have trouble in the snow even with Blizzak snow tires--but it's nothing major.

How and when do you start saving for your replacement car? Do you just take it out of your emergency fund or do you specifically start saving for it?

That's more likely an electrical system working properly than it is a problem.  Are all of your tire pressures (including spare) correct?

Yes. After being swindled by several tire salesman who told me my tires needed to be replaced, I did bring it in to Toyota and established that it is indeed an electrical problem. Since the tire pressure light is always on, I feel OCD now about checking the tires every single time I get in the car since I would have no indication if a tire is flat or not. I have lived long before tire pressure lights even existed in cars, but I have come to depend on this now I guess.

madhadron

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2017, 04:21:23 PM »
At 150k miles and 8 years old, a Corolla has settled into the long, simple part of its existence. Now you drive it until 2038.

And be glad you bought a Toyota. We're looking at replacing our car, a 2009 BMW 328i that we bought used. The numbers didn't make sense to get rid of it despite its miserable gas mileage (18mpg) because we drive such short distances, but it required $3000 of repairs in December and now we're looking at another $8000, including replacing the transfer case. Give than the car's blue book value is only $11,000, we're planning to go sell it and get a Prius.

MrsPete

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2017, 05:37:31 PM »
We keep our cars 'til they really, really won't go any more.  We typically have to give them away to the Kidney Foundation because they are worth literally nothing.  Typically our cars keep going two years after we say to each other, "Any day now". 

My current car was bought new and is now at 130,000 miles and in three months will be a decade old.  I've changed the oil and tires, but I really haven't spent any maintenance money on it until the last year.  I anticipate it will last me another five years, and I'm quite happy with that.

SwordGuy

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2017, 07:25:57 PM »
When do I replace my car?




lizzzi

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2017, 10:40:26 AM »
Yeah, same here:  when it's dead, Jim.

nara

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2017, 05:48:51 PM »
What about this?

Replacing a vehicle with another one similar in age and price, but with less miles? So replacing an already depreciated vehicle with another already depreciated vehicle with a small upgrade? I guess I just don't understand waiting till it dies... that sounds extreme. Especially when one really needs a reliable vehicle and doesn't want to have to be at the mechanic all the time.

lizzzi

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2017, 05:51:56 PM »
Well, I don't actually wait until I'm sitting by the side of the road waiting for the wrecker. My criterion is when I take my car into the dealer and ask what they would give me on a trade-in...and they burst into laughter and fall on the floor in hysterics...then I know it's time.

Paul der Krake

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2017, 05:57:43 PM »
If you cannot cashflow a new car purchase with 2-4 months of regular savings, you are probably buying too much car.

MrsPete

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2017, 07:29:52 AM »
When do I replace my car?


Great answer.

ice_beard

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2017, 12:25:40 PM »
My Subaru Outback was costing me a $300-600 repair every 6 months or so.  I made a few repairs myself but realized I really don't like auto repair.  My thinking regarding the repair costs were essentially the equivalent to a $50-100 car payment a month.  This might have been slightly delusional but it worked for a couple of years.
   
Eventually, the car left me stranded a couple times because one of the problems that had been intermittent suddenly wasn't.  I ended up spending about $600 to repair it so I'd be able to sell it and got a measly $1000 for it.  Selling a $1000 car on craigslist is not fun, fyi.   

So my thoughts are to sell the car before you get too deep into problems with the car or be prepared to practically give it away.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: When do you replace your car?
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2017, 08:43:30 PM »
My Subaru Outback was costing me a $300-600 repair every 6 months or so.  I made a few repairs myself but realized I really don't like auto repair.  My thinking regarding the repair costs were essentially the equivalent to a $50-100 car payment a month.  This might have been slightly delusional but it worked for a couple of years.
   
Eventually, the car left me stranded a couple times because one of the problems that had been intermittent suddenly wasn't.  I ended up spending about $600 to repair it so I'd be able to sell it and got a measly $1000 for it.  Selling a $1000 car on craigslist is not fun, fyi.   

So my thoughts are to sell the car before you get too deep into problems with the car or be prepared to practically give it away.

That's the case for me with my Toyota Prius at 271,000 miles and 10 years of age. But it's still cheaper than buying a new Prius or other car, so I'll just keep going for a while longer I think.