Author Topic: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car  (Read 7423 times)

schof

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Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« on: November 26, 2012, 03:48:09 PM »
I have an SUV (paid off) that gets 19 MPG. I drive about 1 hour to and from work each day (1.5-2 hours total daily commute). Before you state the obvious, I don't wish to move closer to work because I am lucky enough to live rent-free where I am.

In the last 12 months I've put about 20,000 miles on my car. My average cost per gallon has been $4.05.

I don't wish to sell/trade in my SUV because (a) I really like it, and (b) I'd like to keep it for road trips, hauling, etc. Again, it's paid off, so my only costs are insurance and licensing (and insurance would be reduced if I don't drive to work in it).

This leads me to the conclusion that I'm paying about $4263 yearly in fuel. Getting a car that gets 35 MPG would save me $1948 a year, or $5846 in three years.

Most of the recommended Mustachian vehicles are around $6000-$10,000. For my situation, I think a better budget would be around $2000-$4000. I don't want to wait more than two years for the investment to pay off.

I live in California, so rust is generally not a concern in used vehicles.

Also, my wife has a $25,000 student loan at 5% that we're paying off as quickly as we can. (Prioritizing that over saving for investment, as a guaranteed 5% return may be better than we can get through investment.)

Your thoughts? Find an older, high mileage, high MPG car for $2000? Bite the bullet and buy a newer, lower-mileage high MPG car for more? Or stick with the car I've got? Or am I being an idiot, and I should sell the SUV? (But what about road trips then?)

Thanks very much!

iamlindoro

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 04:02:49 PM »
Yes, you should sell it.  I know this isn't the answer you want, but look at your justification for keeping it:

a) You really like it.

Do you like it more than the concept of an additional $5-10K in your pocket, or even better, used to pay off any debt you may have?  Read the MMM article on hedonic adaptation-- you will quickly adapt to not having it, and I promise you won't miss it for long-- if at all.  Six months after selling it you won't be pining for it, saying "I sure miss my SUV."  It's not an ex-girlfriend.  ;)

b) Road trips and hauling.

People and families have been taking road trips in regular, fuel efficient cars since the invention of cars.  You don't need an SUV to do a road trip and you can fit 4 adults comfortably in a sedan just as well as in an SUV.  How often do you plan to do road trips where a) you are the driver and b) that you think it's worth keeping an SUV for that specific purpose?  How many road trips have you taken in the last year, and does that number justify a $5-10K (assuming it's a 6-7 year old vehicle) lawn ornament for the ~51 weeks out of the year you wouldn't be using it for that purpose?

A fuel efficient vehicle can be fitted with a tow ball too-- sure, it might look silly to you now, but it won't feel silly when you're that much closer to FI.

As a follow up question, what is your debt situation?  If you have any at all, there is no justification for keeping a second vehicle.

BTW, if you won't move closer to your job, what about finding a job closer to home?

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 04:11:05 PM »
In your shoes, I would suck it up, sell the SUV, and buy a reliable, really high MPG car.  Not sure where you are in California or what you do for a living, but longer term, I would look for a job and/or living situation that reduced the commute significantly.  Rent an SUV or van for roadtrips.

Another alternative would be to carpool, if someone else at work or who works near there lives in your area.

Either way, I would sell the SUV and put any excess proceeds toward the student loan.

Jamesqf

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2012, 04:18:44 PM »
I'd say buy the cheap high-mpg car for commuting.  Just don't make the mistake of thinking of 35 mpg as high.  Look for e.g. Geo Metro, late 80s to early 90s Honda Civic, etc.

As far as keeping the SUV, why not?  IF you enjoy it and/or really need the capability.  But you might want to keep thinking about whether it returns its money's worth in enjoyment.  And screw that hedonistic adaptation: it's only true up to a point, beyond which it's pure BS.  If, just for an instance, you derive a lot of your enjoyment of life from driving to remote trailheads to go hiking or cross-country skiing, then you won't ever hedonistically adapt to staying in the (sub)urbs.

iamlindoro

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2012, 04:40:10 PM »
And screw that hedonistic adaptation: it's only true up to a point, beyond which it's pure BS.  If, just for an instance, you derive a lot of your enjoyment of life from driving to remote trailheads to go hiking or cross-country skiing, then you won't ever hedonistically adapt to staying in the (sub)urbs.

Not that he would need an SUV to do any of those things.  I'm in California too-- people drive out to remote trailheads and go skiing with non-SUVs all the time.  A sedan isn't a death sentence-- you're not stranded in the 'burbs once you buy one, and there is precious little that SUVs can do that a sensible vehicle can't.

Further, there are plenty of fuel efficient vehicles with ample towing, cargo, and inside space.  Many of the Subarus come to mind.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 04:41:50 PM by iamlindoro »

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 05:03:24 PM »
I have an SUV (paid off) that gets 19 MPG. I drive about 1 hour to and from work each day (1.5-2 hours total daily commute). Before you state the obvious, I don't wish to move closer to work because I am lucky enough to live rent-free where I am.

In the last 12 months I've put about 20,000 miles on my car. My average cost per gallon has been $4.05.

I don't wish to sell/trade in my SUV because (a) I really like it, and (b) I'd like to keep it for road trips, hauling, etc. Again, it's paid off, so my only costs are insurance and licensing (and insurance would be reduced if I don't drive to work in it).

This leads me to the conclusion that I'm paying about $4263 yearly in fuel. Getting a car that gets 35 MPG would save me $1948 a year, or $5846 in three years.

Most of the recommended Mustachian vehicles are around $6000-$10,000. For my situation, I think a better budget would be around $2000-$4000. I don't want to wait more than two years for the investment to pay off.

I live in California, so rust is generally not a concern in used vehicles.

Also, my wife has a $25,000 student loan at 5% that we're paying off as quickly as we can. (Prioritizing that over saving for investment, as a guaranteed 5% return may be better than we can get through investment.)

Your thoughts? Find an older, high mileage, high MPG car for $2000? Bite the bullet and buy a newer, lower-mileage high MPG car for more? Or stick with the car I've got? Or am I being an idiot, and I should sell the SUV? (But what about road trips then?)

Thanks very much!

I would sell the SUV. Insurance costs go down, but not that much unless you label the vehicle as totally undriven. You'll be spending at least $400 a year just to park that thing in your garage, all while it depreciates whether or not you're driving it. Figure out your vehicle's resale price and multiply by about .10-.15 and call that P. That's about how much your car will lose in value the next year even if it's just parked (probably closer to .1 if it's really not being driven at all). Add that to the annual insurance costs, call that I. Take the present price of the vehicle and multiply by .05 to get a rough estimate of the amount of interest you would have gotten if you sold your car now and invested the money, call that the opportunity cost, O.

P+I+O= amount you lose just having the car, not counting gas or repairs. We can quibble about the amount of interest and whether or not you use the money to buy the new car, but this should be a ball park estimate.

How many times this year did you need to haul anything that couldn't fit inside an ordinary midsize sedan? 1 or 2? How many times this year did you take a road trip? 2? 3? Sum those up, call that H.

(P+I+O)/H= cost per trip of having the SUV around just for these trips, not counting maintenance, repairs or gas. My conservative guess is that this is probably over $100, maybe well over that. At that rate, it would be cheaper to rent a pickup or SUV from a rental agency for the day when you need it, even if you don't have something like Zipcar in your area.

What about road trips? Well what about them? Are you driving off road, through thick mud in the middle of a beautiful forest? How many kids do you have? If two or fewer, you probably can fit everything in the old beater you buy. Or you just rent an SUV for a weekend, heck you might find it's cheaper to rent a shiny BMW SUV for the weekend that let keeping your old SUV around. Everyone will get a kick out of that. Or you might have a friend with a bigger unused car, you know, maybe someone who wanted a more efficient car but didn't want to sell their old one because they liked it.

Finding an old high MPG car for $2000-4000 is a tad tough. At that price end you'll encounter a lot of old cars with questionable maintenance, body damage and a dearth of safety features we take for granted, like front and side airbags, which is probably a bit more of a concern if you'll be driving for 2 hours a day. Also the general selection may be a bit limited depending on how dense an area you live in.  Yes, I can pull up a lot of pretty decent high MPG cars that have a blue book price in that range, but whether or not you actually can find such a car with the seller asking something in that range might be another question. I think a lot of people with cars in this price range are not the kind who routinely get new cars, so they'll often only sell after an accident, breakdown or a significant life change. You may find your choices are limited more by what's available than what you want. The $6,000-$10,000 range will definitely have any and every possible vehicle you could want. But there's no harm searching.



schof

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 05:23:28 PM »
Yes, you should sell it.  I know this isn't the answer you want, but look at your justification for keeping it:

b) Road trips and hauling.

How many road trips have you taken in the last year, and does that number justify a $5-10K (assuming it's a 6-7 year old vehicle) lawn ornament for the ~51 weeks out of the year you wouldn't be using it for that purpose?

A fuel efficient vehicle can be fitted with a tow ball too-- sure, it might look silly to you now, but it won't feel silly when you're that much closer to FI.

As a follow up question, what is your debt situation?  If you have any at all, there is no justification for keeping a second vehicle.

My wife has a student loan of $25,000 at 5%. We're paying it off as fast as we can. Other than that we're debt-free.

We definitely can't use our Honda Civic (or whatever hypothetical high MPG car we get) for trips, as we go camping and I've had our SUV completely filled with gear and people. However, renting a SUV for the 3-4 road trips/camping trips we do a year would probably make more sense. Without doing any comparison shopping I got a one-week rate of $339 from dollar.com for a mid-size SUV.

So looks like we could rent an SUV for five weeks a year and still end up saving money -- and since I only get 3 weeks of vacation a year, renting is definitely a better choice than owning.

You folks are talking me into selling my baby (Damn. But it certainly appears to be the right choice.) and replacing it with a car in the 5000-10000 range. The value of my SUV would cover that with some left over.

iamlindoro

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2012, 05:35:22 PM »
We definitely can't use our Honda Civic (or whatever hypothetical high MPG car we get) for trips, as we go camping and I've had our SUV completely filled with gear and people. However, renting a SUV for the 3-4 road trips/camping trips we do a year would probably make more sense. Without doing any comparison shopping I got a one-week rate of $339 from dollar.com for a mid-size SUV.

I think you're thinking along the right lines-- even a rental would be a significant cost savings for you.  I applaud you for being flexible and thinking critically.

But before you do that, consider the Civic/whatever combined with option 3 in MMM's article below:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/08/turning-a-little-car-into-a-big-one/

You can spend $320 at Harbor Freight *once* and have equal-or-greater-than-SUV gear storage capacity for road and camping trips.  Worth at least some consideration.

EDIT:  The price of this trailer has actually dropped to $279 now!

http://www.harborfreight.com/950-lb-capacity-foldable-4-ft-x-8-ft-utility-trailer-with-8-inch-wheels-and-tires-42709.html
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 05:39:53 PM by iamlindoro »

Forcus

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2012, 08:02:39 PM »
I'm going to offer a slightly different opinion. Ask yourself, is the SUV worth the alternative, that is, saving x amount per year? If not, then I see no issue keeping it. I hope I am not looking at Mustachianism the wrong way but my interpretation is to UNDERSTAND where your money goes and make conscious choices about how it is spent.

For example, I have 4 cars. I will probably not have less than 3 cars, ever. One is the wife's DD, one is my DD. The third car is a one owner Grand Marquis that my grandpa bought new, gave to me 20 years later, and I've been trying to keep it in mint condition. It will never be sold. The other is my International truck, that my wife gave me as a wedding present. It will never be sold either. Other people would say, how foolish, to house and maintain objects. And I can't blame them for thinking that. However, I recognize the trade off and sacrifice other things in my life (for instance, my DD is a beat up 10 year old Focus) and I am good with it.

Slightly different opinion 2. What about a higher mileage SUV? I really like the Jeep Liberty diesel which was available in 2005-2006 (I believe). I've read that they can get close to 30 MPG highway with a couple mods. It might be a good compromise if you really do offroad / camp a lot.

Slightly different opinion 3. I am going to my winter / rally setup on my Focus. This entails lifting it a couple inches, fitting rally / snow tires, rally lights, mudflaps, etc. This type of setup would work in (mild) offroad conditions - including sand, mild to moderate trails, dirt roads, river washes, etc. Maybe a Subaru wagon with AWD might be a good transition?

Jamesqf

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2012, 08:25:57 PM »
Not that he would need an SUV to do any of those things.  I'm in California too-- people drive out to remote trailheads and go skiing with non-SUVs all the time.  A sedan isn't a death sentence-- you're not stranded in the 'burbs once you buy one, and there is precious little that SUVs can do that a sensible vehicle can't.

We possibly have rather different definitions of "remote", though I grant that there are a lot of SUVs that wouldn't make it some of the places I like to go.

Quote
Further, there are plenty of fuel efficient vehicles with ample towing, cargo, and inside space.  Many of the Subarus come to mind.

I wouldn't think of any recent Subaru as being particularly fuel efficient. 

But for the OP, I think it comes down to money versus hassle.  You aren't in debt, or worse, making payments on the vehicle you have, so your ongoing cost is registration & insurance, plus whatever you might earn on the money you get from selling it.   If you rent for occasional trips, you have the cost - roughly equal, you said - plus the hassle of dealing with rental agencies, travelling to pick up & drop off the rental, etc.  Your call as to whether escaping this is worth the minimal cost difference.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2012, 07:05:08 AM »
I'd definitely stop using the suv to commute.  That thing is eating up all your money!

If you are mechanically inclined, there are tons of deals to be had for cheap cars... (just hop onto CL).

I parked my giant ford expedition that we use for hauling large objects. (It's paid for and has basic insurance-cheap)  I purchased a 1997 honda civic hx with 150k on the clock. Yes there were a few things that needed attending to but I still have less than $3k into it and over 208k miles as we speak. It's not a beauty queen but, I don't care. If I drive reasonably, I can get over 43mpg! (for a $3k car, that's not too shabby). Oh, and because it's old and cheap- insurance can be kept to the bare minimums and registration and taxes are cheap too!  (This would help you a lot in CA- I remember yearly registrations were very painful)  Repairs are also very cheap.

If you NEED the suv for hauling stuff on a regular basis, just park it and buy a beater. If you don't use it regularly to actually justify it taking up space in your garage or driveway, sell it (just rent one when you need one). And buy a beater anyway. Then take the surplus to aid in paying down your debt emergency.

BTW, I like my stupid little gutless Honda so much that we actually prefer it for the road trips if it will accommodate all our stuff.  Driving past gas stations is addictive!

Paul der Krake

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2012, 08:41:04 AM »
And screw that hedonistic adaptation: it's only true up to a point, beyond which it's pure BS.  If, just for an instance, you derive a lot of your enjoyment of life from driving to remote trailheads to go hiking or cross-country skiing, then you won't ever hedonistically adapt to staying in the (sub)urbs.

Not that he would need an SUV to do any of those things.  I'm in California too-- people drive out to remote trailheads and go skiing with non-SUVs all the time.  A sedan isn't a death sentence-- you're not stranded in the 'burbs once you buy one, and there is precious little that SUVs can do that a sensible vehicle can't.
Agreed 100%. There is virtually no road steep enough that a chained-up car in second gear can't handle. My parents took us skiing in the French alps every year. 2 grown adults and 4 kids in an old 806 peugeot, all with 10 days worth of clothes/ski gear. Climbing 3,000 feet, sometimes at over 7%. Never had a problem.

Jamesqf

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 10:34:15 AM »
There is virtually no road steep enough that a chained-up car in second gear can't handle. My parents took us skiing in the French alps every year. 2 grown adults and 4 kids in an old 806 peugeot, all with 10 days worth of clothes/ski gear. Climbing 3,000 feet, sometimes at over 7%. Never had a problem.

It's not steepness, but the condition of the road.  Don't know the French Alps well, but spent a bit of time in the Swiss Alps, just the other side of Lac Leman/Rhone valley.  The roads may be steep - 7% grade?  Try 18% - but they were almost invariably paved.  Around here the last few miles of any trip are often on minimally maintained (or in some cases maybe not maintained) dirt, with washouts, large rocks, streams to ford...

mlipps

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 07:21:48 PM »
Last night, my boyfriend and I traded in our 2009 Jeep Liberty for a 2010 Toyota Matrix. We lost 7 cubic feet of cargo space and gained 12mpg in highway fuel efficiency. Like you, we go camping often. I made this Google Docs of most of the cars on the recommended list from MMM.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ao1XSBz4nTP3dEVnT3ZTQm5qbnRfbld1NEpqaEdkMnc

First, I looked up the reliability of each on Consumer Reports, 5 being best, 1 being worst.

Then, for all the 4's and 5's (and those w/no data for a given year but good overall data), I looked up combined MPG (if I did it again I'd do city/highway, but this was really time consuming to start with) on Fuelly. If the data on Fuelly was sparse, I pulled it from the EPA.

For all those w/above 27mpg combined, I researched the max cargo capacity w/the seats folded down. I also estimated the KBB based on the base model, 2012=12,000 miles, 2011=24,000 miles, etc.

I'm quite proud of it :) Last night, we paid $2,500 under KBB for the Matrix and got KBB for the trade in on the Jeep. Could have done better selling it ourselves & buying private party, but I made compromises here to make my boyfriend happy.

Anyway, I agree you should ditch the SUV. I think if you did something simliar to this for some older cars, you'd find something with perfectly adequate cargo space and significantly better MPG.

schof

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 01:12:28 PM »
This is my first post to this forum, and I'm overwhelmed with all the helpful, thoughtful answers where people actually read my question before answering. (Sounds like faint praise, but if you've spent time in other forums, it's actually rare and valuable.)

Thanks to everyone who replied! I'll definitely be spending a lot of time here in the future.


Schof

schof

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 05:18:57 PM »
I've created a Google spreadsheet (feel free to take a look): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArIpSyCz42e2dFEzMkw4dmwxNmNCT3dVcklFVk5seUE

The numbers are a mix of real numbers from my situation and made-up numbers for example purposes.

If you're logged into Google Docs, you can make a copy of the spreadsheet to your own Google Docs Drive and make changes to it. Or download it as an Excel file and make the changes there.

It seems to show that for many situations, buying a High-MPG car while keeping the Low-MPG car is actually WORSE than just having a Low-MPG car. (It's the insurance, plus the fact that if you have two vehicles, both are depreciating that does it.)

For my situation, this makes it very clear that I should sell my SUV and use the funds to buy a cheaper high-MPG car.

I very much appreciate the help I've gotten here, and hope my spreadsheet helps others in the same situation. Since I'm very new at financial analysis of any kind, it's possible the spreadsheet has some gaping holes or huge errors in it. If so, please let me know and I'll correct them.

Schof

iamlindoro

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 05:21:52 PM »
You're the man-- great decision and great attitude.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 05:33:51 PM »
I've created a Google spreadsheet (feel free to take a look): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArIpSyCz42e2dFEzMkw4dmwxNmNCT3dVcklFVk5seUE

The numbers are a mix of real numbers from my situation and made-up numbers for example purposes.

If you're logged into Google Docs, you can make a copy of the spreadsheet to your own Google Docs Drive and make changes to it. Or download it as an Excel file and make the changes there.

It seems to show that for many situations, buying a High-MPG car while keeping the Low-MPG car is actually WORSE than just having a Low-MPG car. (It's the insurance, plus the fact that if you have two vehicles, both are depreciating that does it.)

For my situation, this makes it very clear that I should sell my SUV and use the funds to buy a cheaper high-MPG car.

I very much appreciate the help I've gotten here, and hope my spreadsheet helps others in the same situation. Since I'm very new at financial analysis of any kind, it's possible the spreadsheet has some gaping holes or huge errors in it. If so, please let me know and I'll correct them.

Schof

No I think you've got it. You can niggle about tiny values (maintenance, vehicle taxes) but 99% of the time just getting in the ballpark of costs based on your situation will give you the right answer, and that's all you want.

mlipps

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2012, 06:16:11 PM »
This is neat. Here's my spreadsheet with our recent trade. Even with a very low # of miles driven, conservative estimate of 4k, we're still saving almost $1,000/year. Admittedly, that's mainly due to the fact that I can reasonably expect the Matrix to depreciate slower than the Liberty would have.

Plus, I now feel like we can actually expect to keep the car 10-15 years, where as with the Liberty, I felt like it was a ticking time bomb for major mechanical problems. I'm happy with the decision, hope you will be too!

happy

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2012, 02:15:31 AM »


It seems to show that for many situations, buying a High-MPG car while keeping the Low-MPG car is actually WORSE than just having a Low-MPG car. (It's the insurance, plus the fact that if you have two vehicles, both are depreciating that does it.


Yes, I agree, I did some maths on this for my own situation and that's what I concluded. Also you have 2 lots of $ invested in the cars, one of which which could be earning money, not losing.

Captain and Mrs Slow

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2012, 08:25:01 AM »
Reading this discussion it amazes me how often we make bad terrible choices because we feel there is no other alternative. Like a person who drives a gas guzzling SUV  and then complains about not being able to make ends meet. Because no one has ever told them of good alternatives they continue to do make bad decisions.

I actually commented to my wife had we on our first bankruptcy been given this kind of help we'd be retired by now. Instead the moment our credit history was cleared went out and ran up 1000s in CC debt, paid it off, and then did it again!!!!! 

Finally 7 years I stumbled across Trent's blog (www.thesimpledollar.com) and like a starving man at a banquet I read every post (4 years worth) and applied it all. Still it took us 7 years to get out of debt and only now are we focused on savings.

Oh how I wish I had this when we first got married, some 30 years ago

rob

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2012, 08:54:20 AM »
Not that he would need an SUV to do any of those things.  I'm in California too-- people drive out to remote trailheads and go skiing with non-SUVs all the time.  A sedan isn't a death sentence-- you're not stranded in the 'burbs once you buy one, and there is precious little that SUVs can do that a sensible vehicle can't.

We possibly have rather different definitions of "remote", though I grant that there are a lot of SUVs that wouldn't make it some of the places I like to go.
I drove my Pontiac Vibe, a gussied-up Corolla, the length of this road, laden with most of my worldly possessions:
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=burr+trail&ll=37.848866,-111.026309&spn=0.010268,0.019205&hnear=Burr+Trail,+Boulder,+Utah+84716&gl=us&t=k&z=16
That's pretty remote. Granted, had the road been wet, I probably would have been better off with 4-wheel drive, but a sensible small car can do a lot. There is even an AWD version of the Vibe, though you lose a few MPG with that. You can always toss some mountain bikes on the back of your small car to tackle the gnarsty truck trails with: with a bit of sensible equipment, you could go bikepacking, and tackle stuff that even SUVs can't do.

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Re: Whether to buy a high-mileage car without trading in current car
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2012, 10:37:37 PM »
Tough decision, Driving that far daily in a truck bites, i can count on my fingers and toes how many times my truck has been to work (wich is a similar distance to you) especially if there is traffic backed up, it just drinks the fuel.  Is your wife's commute short.? Could you pawn the suv off on her for a lesser commute then get a high mpg car for your drive in? That would be value added to the suv instead of it sitting.  My wife and I burn about the same amount of gas, I drive a economy car and her a truck, she doesn't drive near as much. 

I keep hearing Subaru come up being attributed to good gas mileage! Yes I like them and there cool cars but the mileage on them is brutal for the small cars they are.