Should I sell my car?

You’d think this would be simple, but apparently not for me.

My husband just retired, I’ve been retired for almost 2 years now, and for the moment, neither of us is interested in any manner of employment. If either of us still had a job, this wouldn’t be an issue.

We have 3 vehicles, not counting the Harley, which is a toy as far as I’m concerned:
[li]A 2006 Scion xA[/li][li]A 2009 Chevy pickup[/li][li]A 2012 Hyundai Sonata[/li][/ul]

The Scion is the only car I’ve ever owned that I really, really enjoyed driving. It gets good gas mileage (I’ve gotten 37-40MPG most of the time), it carries quite a bit for being a small car, and it has lots of features that I really like. But it’s the oldest of our vehicles and it has just over 106K miles on it. My car guy said it’ll need brakes pretty soon. I’ve had it in for service every 5K miles, and its flaws are cosmetic - a stain on the carpet in the back, something on the light gray headliner, and assorted bodily scratches courtesy of asshole coworkers (I’m pretty sure it was the one with the silver Charger.)

The downside - my husband is never comfortable in it - not enough leg room. And it’s cozy when both of us are in it - we routinely bump elbows. Plus it doesn’t have the fancy-schmancy satellite radio that the Sonata has and he hates broadcast radio.

All of our vehicles are paid off. The Sonata is really comfortable, especially for long trips. The truck is a necessity - we take our trash and recycling to the local convenience center, it’ll haul our utility trailer, and for things like buying lumber, it’s indispensable. Because of where and how we live, we really do need a truck.

I’ve done the math - between insurance and registration, owning the Scion costs us a bit over $500 per year. Add to that maintenance costs (even tho I don’t put a lot of miles on it now, it goes in for service every 6 months - if I keep it, I want it to last) and the fact that we really don’t need 3 vehicles, it makes sense to sell it. According to a variety of “What is your car worth” sites, I should be able to get $5500-$6000 for it (retail is over $7K) and that would fund a cruise my mother and I are planning next year.

Logic says sell it. I’m a very logical and frugal person. I’m not a car person. But I’m torn - one part of me wants to keep it. So, I’m open for comments and points of view. Do you see something I’m not seeing? Or do you want to buy my car?? (No, that’s not why I started this thread… :stuck_out_tongue: )

I don’t see any reason to keep it. If selling it means your cruise will be paid for, without dipping into savings or going into debt, then that’s what I’d do.

Another plus would be having more space in the garage, or wherever you park your vehicles.

Ah yes, the garage - that’s the other part I forgot about. A tree fell on our garden shed and left a gaping hole in the roof. If my car is gone, the riding mower will fit in the garage and we can tear down the shed without replacing it. Thanks for mentioning that, AuntiePam!

Not looking good for the Scion…

Three cars, two people? Seems like a no-brainer to me. Sell one of 'em.

I’m a very logical, practical person also (Accountant turned Insurance Agent), but I also have two particular cars from my past that I wish I had kept! The one I miss the most was a 1994 Acura Legend, I sold it in 2005 with 242,000 miles on it and it still looked almost new inside and out. I’ve never enjoyed driving a car like I did that one. I wish I had kept it, even if I bought a new car to use as my daily driver.

If you enjoy driving the Scion, it’s worth the expense to keep it. Maintenance costs on that vehicle are very low and is a very reliable and durable vehicle. You also should factor in the reduced miles on the 2012 Sonata which will increase the resale value of that vehicle! In five years, it will be worth a lot more with 35k miles vs. 65k miles, for example.

BTW, you could always have a SiriusXM capable audio system in the Scion for a few hundred bucks. I bought a 2012 Mazda CX-9 in November and it came with a 4-month SiriusXM trial. I was hooked on the first day!:smiley:

You can never have too many cars.

But you can have a way too high auto insurance bill!

In some states, insurers charge the full rate on each vehicle, no matter how few drivers you have. So two drivers with six cars could be paying as if all six cars are driven full-time.

In other states, insurance laws prevent or reduce this. They make the logical assumption that two drivers can’t drive six cars all the time. At any given time, only two cars will be on the road and the premium reflects that.

We live in the boonies - the Sonata is already over 30K miles, altho that does include 2 trips to Florida to visit the inlaws, plus half a dozen treks to Johnstown PA for work.

It’s funny how your view of money changes when your income drops to less than a third of what it had been. The $40/month savings from getting rid of the car translates to breakfast out a couple of times a month. When we were working, $40 was chump change. Now it’ll be a significant item in our monthly budget.

Even if I do keep the car, I wouldn’t bother with satellite radio - I prefer our local NPR station, static and all. What’s really weird about all of this - cars to me are just a means of getting from here to there and back again - a tool and nothing more. But there’s something about this little car that connected. And now it’s $$ vs. emotion…

And speaking of insurance, since the spousal unit is no longer commuting daily, I need to change our policy info. Wonder if that will make much of a difference?

Yes, let your insurance agent know you no longer need the cars for work - putting 2 miles on a car per day makes a difference than that 20 mile trip to work and back.

Two cars for two people who do not need the vehicles for work is ample.
Should one car break down, or simply need to be in the shop for a tune up, you have the other.

You might want to calculate how long the other vehicles will continue to run well before one might need to be traded in. Would you be able to afford a new/used car in 5-10 years to replace one of them? Or do you think the two vehicles will outlive the two of you? (Morbid, but having to buy a new/used car on a fixed income is not a treat…)

Selling it to go on a cruise is not the worst idea - but are you going to kick yourself in 3 years when one of the cars needs major repairs and you have to go out an buy another car?

Most standard and preferred insurance companies rate commutes on ranges of 0-5miles 5-15milles and 15+ miles or something pretty similar to that. Going from a 15+ to personal use only (no commute) can make a significant difference, but again it varies depending on insurance company. Also, if you plan to keep the Scion, you could drop rental car coverage on any of the other vehicles since you have a spare. Also, make sure that you aren’t paying for Roadside Assistance on the Hyundai, since they provide for 100k miles (if I’m not mistaken).

What are your deductibles for Collision and Comprehensive (aka- Other Than Collision)? Do you know what liability limits you currently have?

How often do you guys have to drive different places simultaneously? If that happens even occasionally, I would say the current situation is preferable to one in which you sell the Scion and the pickup becomes your husband’s daily driver. In addition to higher costs of ownership, it’s your most expensive vehicle and keeping miles off it will retain more value than keeping miles off your other two cars.

For that matter, while we’re being all rational about your vehicles, why on earth do you have such a ridiculously new trash-hauling truck? If I were in your position, I’d sell the Chevy (which is worth probably, what, $20k or so?) and then spend $3-4k on an older pickup to assume the trash hauling and lumber fetching duties. Then, go on 3 cruises!

If you don’t mind having an extra object in your car, you can also buy a plug-and-play radio with a car kit for about $50. This also has the advantage that if you buy a home kit, you can use the same radio in your house without paying for an extra radio on your subscription.

Based on all the advice my parents have gotten recently (Dad retired a few months ago, Mom just quit her job), . . .

Wait at least six months, better yet a year before making any serious decisions.

Especially this kind of thing which is significant but not earth-shattering.

Oh, BTW, when I first read your thread there was a spot of dust on my computer monitor and I swear I read your comment, “I have done the math…” as “I have done the meth…”

I thought, wow - these are pretty wild and crazy retirees.

His commute was something like 22 miles one way, and we had no rental car coverage or roadside assistance, tho we do have AAA. All of our deductibles are $1K and other than my collision with a deer 5 years ago, we’ve had no claims. I know we’ve got higher-than-required liability, and we’re paying $113/mo to cover all 3 vehicles.

GreasyJack - we bought the truck used for $13K about 3 years ago. It’s the most basic vehicle you can get - no power anything, no cruise, but it came with satellite radio. The big selling point for my husband was the 8’ bed - he loves that he can put a sheet of plywood flat in the back. When we were shopping, I was pushing for an old beater truck, but I think we made the right choice.

**DMark **- We’ve already planned for a replacement vehicle one day - we’re making “car payments” into savings. We kinda like buying our cars for cash. And we’re too young for morbid thoughts yet - I won’t hit 60 till January, and my sweetie is 3 years younger… yeah, I’m a cradle robber. :wink: And no, we don’t do meth, altho we do spend more than we should on ibuprofen… :smiley:

$113 is actually very reasonable for liability, collision and comprehensive on all 3 cars. Hopefully you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage also, if not you should add it! Approximately 16% of U.S. drivers are currently driving with NO coverage at all, so now more than ever UM/UIM is essential!

You’re wise to have AAA for roadside assistance instead of adding it on your insurance policy. Even though it’s cheaper from most auto insurers, every time you use it, a claim is registered on your CLUE Report and will stay there for up to 7 years. CLUE stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange which is the insurance equivalent of a credit report. A few roadside assist claims probably won’t affect most folks, but if you have another claim of any kind if the past three years, a few roadside assist claims could cause a non-renewal!

BTW, with no other recent claims, a collision with an animal (or any other not-at-fault claim) shouldn’t impact your rates. And most insurers only look back three years except for DUIs, which most count for 10 years!

Yeah, we’ve got UIM - I don’t know if it’s required in Merrylande, but we’ve got it anyway, just because it’s smart.

The deer accident didn’t affect our rates, and all things considered, it was a fairly minor claim. No major structural damage, but I did need a new headlight, fender, hood, and some trim. It was more of a glancing hit than a full-on collision, and the deer did run off. Just one of the things you deal with when you live in a mainly rural area.

I live in rural North Georgia, so I am all too familiar with animal-vehicle impacts. When I was 22, one of my best friends loaned me her 2-month old 1995 Z28 Convertible to take a date to an Atlanta Braves game. After I dropped my date off at her home, I decided to see what the big 350 V8 under the hood could do! I hit 120mph on a two-lane highway and while I was still going between 90-100mph, a deer jumped out in front of me!

The deer was killed instantly and launched over the hood, grazing the top of the windshield and barely missing the top of my head with the convertible top down!!! The nose of the car was fiberglass and a lot of the deer’s fur was melted thru the paint and imbedded in the fiberglass. By some miracle, my panic response was the hold the wheel straight and stand on the brake pedal as hard as I could. Luckily, it has anti-lock brakes so the car stopped very quickly and in a straight line, which kept me between the ditches of that 2-lane road!

I was glad to be alive, but called the cops so she’d have the report for her insurance company. Based on the the damage to the poor deer’s corpse and the fur melted into the nose clip, they gave me a ticket for driving too fast for conditions, and a speeding ticket for 84 in a 55mph zone (and the cop said he knew I was doing over 100, but 30mph or more over the limit is an immediate arrest, so he issued it for 29mph over.) The tickets cost me over $500 and she had a $1000 deductible plus I had to rent her a car for 8 days…and I never borrowed a car again or drove like a complete fucking idiot!!!

BTW, did you know if you hit an animal (or an animal hits your vehicle) it is covered by Other Than Collision and considered not-at-fault. But if you swerve to miss the animal and end up in a ditch or hitting a mailbox or tree, even if the damage is less than if you had hit the animal, it is covered by your Collision coverage and counts as an at-fault accident! Despite my love of animals, the moral of the story is to aim for the beast instead of trying to avoid hitting it!

I forgot to include this on my previous posting-

The worst animal-impact accident I’ve ever had was in 2007, shortly after I bought my new Mazda3. I hit a freakin’ moutain goat and did over $4k in damage! And the damn thing survived and tried to attack me thru the driver’s side window, ramming the door with it’s horns and the whole door skin had to be replaced also! I hope it eventually died…it looked evil!

Sell the Scion. Put the savings in an account to buy a new (used) car when the current ones need to be replaced.