Author Topic: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?  (Read 9696 times)

obstinate

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Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« on: April 16, 2014, 11:21:43 PM »
Hi, I've started reading this blog and a lot of the stuff is really resonating with me. I don't necessarily want to retire early, but I'd like for it to be an option. I would like to get to the point where I never have to work on anything except for exactly what I want to. I'm not ready to move out of the expensive real estate market I currently live in, but I would like to start taking smaller steps towards working on my financial independence.

My wife and I have always been natural savers (though not to the degree of being Moustachian). I also was lucky enough to study in an industry that has exploded in the last decade or so, so my income is in very good shape. I have only made two major splurges in the past half decade since college: the house and the car. The house will have to stay for now, but I'm thinking I might be able to part with the car.

What I have now is a 2013 MINI Cooper with around 8000 miles. I'm thinking about parting with it in favor of something like a late 00's Prius, Fit, or some other hatchback in that category. I can think of a few big reasons to do this:
  • We have a baby on the way, and the 2dr MINI is not very practical in that regard.
  • Through the magic of Craigslist, I can turn the MINI into $10,000, AND another perfectly serviceable car.
  • While I have really enjoyed the MINI, I am in some ways tiring of the manual transmission, and I wouldn't mind something that drives a bit quieter.
I don't drive much, maybe 4000-5000 miles a year, so I think perhaps something in the 50-100k miles range would work fine for me. Prii, Fits, and other small hatchbacks in that mileage range can be had for <$10k in decent condition.

I'm struggling with two things: is it stupid to sell a car I bought so recently (not even two years ago)? And, for any of you who have made a trade "down" like this, did you regret it?

gooki

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 01:00:58 AM »
Do it.

randymarsh

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 08:26:57 AM »
Definitely do it.

The Mini isn't working for your needs with the baby, is expensive to maintain, and you don't drive much to even enjoy it.

DirtBoy

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 09:06:29 AM »
I'd personally go for the Honda Fit.  I don't like the idea of having to pay for my own battery switch out on an old hybrid or replacing expensive light assemblies.  I look at not only the fuel economy, capacity, safety equipment, etc. ; also consider maintenance costs.  By maintenance costs I mean parts prices, availability, difficulty of working on the vehicle, and manufacturer exclusivity of certain work (can you reset certain codes with special software that only dealers have).  Even if you don't plan on doing the work yourself this will keep the costs down and if the work is easy you can find vendors other than the dealer to perform the work.  The Prius has some expensive parts on it as I've learned helping my friends on their cars.  It's a nice car, but I wouldn't go for it.

Hope my 2 cents helps.  ;)

creativenikki

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 09:13:23 AM »
I've been wondering the same thing; however, in my situation the car is barely worth more than we owe on it.  Would you still sell it in that case?  Or would you finish paying the loan on the car and just keep it forever?  We have 4 years left on the loan at 1.9% interest.  We owe about $20,000 on a car that's also worth about that much.  Obviously, it's a purchase we made before ever hearing of MMM (aside from our house it's our only debt though, so things could be worse). 

catccc

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 09:21:25 AM »
another vote to swap out that mini.  Also consider a toyota matrix or mazda 3.  both are plenty for a family of 4, in my experience.

BrianT

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 11:17:50 AM »
Regardless, the mini has to go because its not practical for babies :-)

It's a chance to try something new - I'd totally embrace this!

eliandjax1

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 06:59:23 PM »
I'd switch out the mini. I "downgraded" from a purchased new dodge suv to a used toyotA camery only 8 months after. We are much happier with the camery and my wallet appreciates at as well especially at the pump!

obstinate

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 07:06:42 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I've tentatively decided to get rid of the MINI. I have a weakness for snap decisions, so I'm going to wait a month before making this one final (I've got it on my calendar). In the mean time, I'll research the used market so I can get as much 'stache out of this transaction as possible. Thank you for the helpful words.

CarDude

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2014, 11:34:37 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I've tentatively decided to get rid of the MINI. I have a weakness for snap decisions, so I'm going to wait a month before making this one final (I've got it on my calendar). In the mean time, I'll research the used market so I can get as much 'stache out of this transaction as possible. Thank you for the helpful words.

I agree with getting rid of it. However...I'd recommend making sure at a minimum that whatever you buy still comes with side airbags. In other words, I wouldn't buy a Prius older than 2007, as that's when they became standard. Every Fit comes standard with side airbags. However, I'd suggest an '07 Prius over any Fit, due to the extra mass (the Fit is a minicar, like your MINI, while the Prius is a small car).

obstinate

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2014, 07:27:39 PM »
Hey guys, just wanted to circle back on this. I decided to do it, and did it. Bought an '08 Prius with 92k on it for ten and a half. I know that this isn't the most Moustachian car I could have gotten, but it's a big swing in the right direction. I haven't sold my MINI yet, but I will shortly. I think I can get $20k from it, thanks to some slightly more frugal consumer sucka than the sucka I was when I bought it.

I posted some thoughts on the issue to Facebook that I'm copying here, because maybe someone will find them edifying or interesting. This is shared with all my friends:

Needs and wants. The MINI is on its way out. This used Prius is my old-new baby.

I have a few reasons. And you know I'm gonna write 'em down.

- Baby on the way, and because of our schedules, WIFE'S-NAME and I will need to switch off having him or her with us. Easier to get a carseat in the back with a four door. Also, in the MINI, it would have been impossible for mommy to sit in the back with baby because of how far back my seat needs to be. Not so with this car.

- I have ALWAYS had a thing for hypermiling. Look, to get from CITY-A to CITY-B for my wedding, I rented a Prius and we hypermiled the crap out of that thing. And it was glorious. I think I got something like 60 mpg on the way down. But don't worry all y'all fast folks. The left lane is anathema to me, so I'm not getting in your way.

- While I still like the MINI a lot, I don't LOVE it any more. Shifting in the stop and go traffic back and forth from work has become a bit of a chore. Given this and the previous point, I don't think my net happiness-due-to-car will change much. I guess I should have bought this car two years ago rather than the MINI and saved myself a bunch of money, but seeing as how I didn't, we live and we learn.

- Between this deal and what I can sell the MINI for, there are ten thousand more little green workers in my investment account. I know it's a bit crass to talk about money in our culture, but I think it should be done more, and it is a motivating factor. *Especially* we should talk more about how we spend our money. If I think I'll be equally happy with both cars, why not be equally happy and ten thousand dollars ahead? It's not just the cash infusion either. My insurance drops by $200 per year. Given gas costs of around $500 per year, I guess I'll save another $125 there. And I expect the MINI would depreciate another $500 per year for the next six years, at least, while this vehicle has basically finished its depreciation due to age.

- Taking a step toward curing myself of/as a prophylactic against "tiny details exaggeration syndrome." For a moment let's just consider how insanely luxurious it is in the space of all possible human experiences that we can drive to work in a reliable car. On that scale, I moved barely an iota downward by selling my luxury car in exchange for something a little more practical. Do I want to be the kind of person to whom an iota matters? Voluntary "discomfort," if you can even call such an amazing car that, is sometimes healthy. As a philosophical statement, I think this transaction makes a lot of sense.

So, yeah, wanted to share that with y'all. And all that said, does anyone want a like-new MINI with 7k miles on it? It's a manual. Hit me up if so. We can work out a price real friendly-like.

DollarBill

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2014, 07:35:55 PM »
I just wanted to say I think a lot of people don't think about the taxes they pay on vehicles...well at least I don't, I've lived overseas a lot and driven cheap cars. Recently I bought a car for $10K and was surprised that I had to pay $800 in taxes, if I traded up in the future it would be another $800. Doesn't matter how long you keep it.

But I say sell it, you have baby on the way.

CarDude

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2014, 07:44:46 PM »
Hey guys, just wanted to circle back on this. I decided to do it, and did it. Bought an '08 Prius with 92k on it for ten and a half. I know that this isn't the most Moustachian car I could have gotten, but it's a big swing in the right direction. I haven't sold my MINI yet, but I will shortly. I think I can get $20k from it, thanks to some slightly more frugal consumer sucka than the sucka I was when I bought it.

I posted some thoughts on the issue to Facebook that I'm copying here, because maybe someone will find them edifying or interesting. This is shared with all my friends:

Needs and wants. The MINI is on its way out. This used Prius is my old-new baby.

I have a few reasons. And you know I'm gonna write 'em down.

- Baby on the way, and because of our schedules, WIFE'S-NAME and I will need to switch off having him or her with us. Easier to get a carseat in the back with a four door. Also, in the MINI, it would have been impossible for mommy to sit in the back with baby because of how far back my seat needs to be. Not so with this car.

- I have ALWAYS had a thing for hypermiling. Look, to get from CITY-A to CITY-B for my wedding, I rented a Prius and we hypermiled the crap out of that thing. And it was glorious. I think I got something like 60 mpg on the way down. But don't worry all y'all fast folks. The left lane is anathema to me, so I'm not getting in your way.

- While I still like the MINI a lot, I don't LOVE it any more. Shifting in the stop and go traffic back and forth from work has become a bit of a chore. Given this and the previous point, I don't think my net happiness-due-to-car will change much. I guess I should have bought this car two years ago rather than the MINI and saved myself a bunch of money, but seeing as how I didn't, we live and we learn.

- Between this deal and what I can sell the MINI for, there are ten thousand more little green workers in my investment account. I know it's a bit crass to talk about money in our culture, but I think it should be done more, and it is a motivating factor. *Especially* we should talk more about how we spend our money. If I think I'll be equally happy with both cars, why not be equally happy and ten thousand dollars ahead? It's not just the cash infusion either. My insurance drops by $200 per year. Given gas costs of around $500 per year, I guess I'll save another $125 there. And I expect the MINI would depreciate another $500 per year for the next six years, at least, while this vehicle has basically finished its depreciation due to age.

- Taking a step toward curing myself of/as a prophylactic against "tiny details exaggeration syndrome." For a moment let's just consider how insanely luxurious it is in the space of all possible human experiences that we can drive to work in a reliable car. On that scale, I moved barely an iota downward by selling my luxury car in exchange for something a little more practical. Do I want to be the kind of person to whom an iota matters? Voluntary "discomfort," if you can even call such an amazing car that, is sometimes healthy. As a philosophical statement, I think this transaction makes a lot of sense.

So, yeah, wanted to share that with y'all. And all that said, does anyone want a like-new MINI with 7k miles on it? It's a manual. Hit me up if so. We can work out a price real friendly-like.

Thanks for sharing this. I think you made the right choice.

Wesmon

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Re: Worth it to sell car and buy a cheaper one?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2014, 08:05:42 PM »
Thanks.

Since starting MM a while back we now look at everything in terms of assets, cash flow, opportunity cost. Everything.

It has helped miraculously!