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View Poll Results: How long to keep a car ?
till it drops 65 69.15%
At 100,000 miles 7 7.45%
I trade in my car frequently 2 2.13%
none of above 20 21.28%
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How long do you keep your car ?
Old 01-05-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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How long do you keep your car ?

My formerly reliable car has been acting up lately and since it is a 99 Camry Solara with 87,000 miles on it I've been debating whether to trade it now while it still has some value or drive it until it drops . What do you usually do ?
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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I keep mine at least ten years.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:21 AM   #3
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I try to keep mine until they are no longer cost effective. Usually the repair bills will rise slowly as they age, but as some point they will no longer be reliable or there will be a couple bigger ticket items needed at about the same time.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:23 AM   #4
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Kept the previous one for 18 years.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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I like till it drops. Rarely do I make that far without someone plowing into me and totaling my vehicle. Settling with the adjuster today lets hope hes still in the Christmas spirit
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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No set time limit. It depends on frequency of repairs, cost of repairs and remaining value of the vehicle. If we're repairing too often, or the cost of repairs are too high relative to what the car is worth, then it's time to get rid of it. As long as it's fairly reliable and isn't costing too much to repair, I'd keep it whether that's 100,000 miles or 300,000 miles.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
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When I was w*rking, I got a subsidized lease on new car every year as part of my compensation, but now that I'm retired, I plan to keep a car at least 10 years.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
My formerly reliable car has been acting up lately and since it is a 99 Camry Solara with 87,000 miles on it I've been debating whether to trade it now while it still has some value or drive it until it drops . What do you usually do ?
Are you thinking of trading your Solara in, if you buy another car? How much do you think you might get for your 99 Solara? That could affect your decision.

My car-buying habits didn't really fit the poll, so I checked the last option. I like to trade in a car once it starts having frequent problems because I would rather not deal with that. But even if it doesn't get to that point, I think maybe about 10 years old (give or take a year) is when I would trade it in. But that's just me and other approaches are good, too.

I am thinking of trading in my 2000 Solara in 2010, after our move north. But that is always subject to revision! Some days I think I would like a new car RIGHT NOW... and other days I think of the fact that I don't plan to drive much in ER anyway so why not put off that purchase for a while. For some reason I wasn't expecting to get a huge amount on trade-in so hadn't factored that in.

I noticed that maintenance on my Solara went way up this year. That was disheartening. I now have 37,000 miles on it, so I guess some of that was the 30K mile stuff - - plus tires, brakes, you name it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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Kept the previous one for 18 years.
How many miles were on that car when you finally retired it ?
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:39 AM   #10
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My car-buying habits didn't really fit the poll, so I checked the last option. I like to trade in a car once it starts having frequent problems because I would rather not deal with that. But even if it doesn't get to that point, I think maybe about 10 years old (give or take a year) is when I would trade it in. But that's just me and other approaches are good, too.
I tend to think about major discretionary purchases like new cars in terms of how much I want it versus how much longer I'd have to w*rk to pay for it...
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:45 AM   #11
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I tend to think about major discretionary purchases like new cars in terms of how much I want it versus how much longer I'd have to w*rk to pay for it...
Yeah - - it's really pretty much a matter of personal preference, isn't it. To me, the convenience of not having the car break down is worth some money as well, beyond what I would pay the mechanic. But when it gets to that point is just a guess.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:47 AM   #12
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Are you thinking of trading your Solara in, if you buy another car? How much do you think you might get for your 99 Solara? That could affect your decision.

The Blue Book value of my Solara is $3,350 .It's now in the shop because the starter went and burned up the selenoids so the repairs are getting more costly and inconvenient . I'd buy a new car now except I haven't seen any I really like and I hate to part with that much money for something I'm not crazy about .
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:51 AM   #13
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The Blue Book value of my Solara is $3,350 .It's now in the shop because the starter went and burned up the selenoids so the repairs are getting more costly and inconvenient . I'd buy a new car now except I haven't seen any I really like and I hate to part with that much money for something I'm not crazy about .
It doesn't sound like it would go down in value much if you decided to keep it another year or two, then. I know what you mean about not wanting to buy something you aren't crazy about.

How about a new Solara? I haven't really looked at them closely but I really like my old one. I also think a Highlander might be a good choice if I decided to switch to an SUV.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:55 AM   #14
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Yeah - - it's really pretty much a matter of personal preference, isn't it. To me, the convenience of not having the car break down is worth some money as well, beyond what I would pay the mechanic. But when it gets to that point is just a guess.
Well, yeah, that's the thing -- there is a certain "value" to having a car that isn't likely to break down on you on a dark, cold and rainy night 50 miles from home. When you find it breaking down too much, or upon inspection it looks like you'd have to spend thousands to "fix" things so a breakdown wasn't likely soon, then it's time to move on.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:56 AM   #15
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Well, yeah, that's the thing -- there is a certain "value" to having a car that isn't likely to break down on you on a dark, cold and rainy night 50 miles from home. When you find it breaking down too much, or upon inspection it looks like you'd have to spend thousands to "fix" things so a breakdown wasn't likely soon, then it's time to move on.
Exactly. I think it must be somebody's law that cars never break down at a convenient time or place!
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:06 PM   #16
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I am thinking of trading in my 2000 Solara in 2010, after our move north. But that is always subject to revision! Some days I think I would like a new car RIGHT NOW... and other days I think of the fact that I don't plan to drive much in ER anyway so why not put off that purchase for a while. For some reason I wasn't expecting to get a huge amount on trade-in so hadn't factored that in.

I noticed that maintenance on my Solara went way up this year. That was disheartening. I now have 37,000 miles on it, so I guess some of that was the 30K mile stuff - - plus tires, brakes, you name it.
You obviously don't drive a lot of miles so I would think you'd be able to keep your vehicle for several more years. Your trade-in value is less than $6000. I would keep it for a while longer.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:24 PM   #17
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You obviously don't drive a lot of miles so I would think you'd be able to keep your vehicle for several more years. Your trade-in value is less than $6000. I would keep it for a while longer.
I am thinking about it. My probable ER location has a personal property tax on cars based on their value, and it would come to an extra $400 a year or so on a new car. So, that would be another advantage to keeping my car. But also I came into some money last year, so I could afford a new car. After reading that Moemg is having car trouble, I am thinking that my car is only a year older so I might be next!

Maybe the smart thing to do would be to retire for a year or two, figure out what my ER expenses really are "in the real world" so to speak, and then buy a new car if that seems sensible at that time.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:33 PM   #18
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A 99 Toyota with 87,000 is just middle-aged to some of us!

But I know it gets questionable when you keep having repairs. We still have our 1990 Camry with about 140,000 miles on it. Our son is a senior in college and he drives it. We bought new tires and brakes last spring. It looks horrible (rust and a collision almost 2 years ago) but it is still reliable and drives well, especially with new tires and an alignment.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:43 PM   #19
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This is all my Mother's fault . She commented on how I should buy a new car and ever since then it's been breaking down . She probably hurt it's feelings .
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:44 PM   #20
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It all depends on the car or truck, and how much I like it...or dislike it. Also depends on how much I have to sink into it to keep it on the road. I like to shoot for 8-10 years...or more. And have succeeded a couple of times.

I totaled one that was only 3 years old, but I would have kept 'forever' otherwise. I had one, a '77 Camaro, that I traded in after only 4 months.....before I could kill myself in it (fast cars were meant to go fast, right). One night I was coming back from out of town, cruising at ~125mph, and got passed by a big ol' Buick Electra like I was standing still. Next morning I was at the dealer's hammering out a deal on a new van to customize (which turned out to be the afore mentioned one that I totaled).

I had a GMC pickup that I really liked, but unfortunately I needed more passenger room, so I traded it in after a little less than 2 years on a GMC van. A friend of friend bought the pickup about a week after I traded it in. I had had absolutely NO problems with it whatsoever. About 2 months after the guy bought it, it literally spent more time in the dealer's repair shop than on the road. It started having electrical problems, and after replacing nearly the entire electrical system....including the wiring harness twice.....GM declared it a lemon, and the guy got a different truck. When I first traded it in, I was kind of miffed at myself for doing it, but after seeing what happen to it 2 months down the line.....I easily forgave myself!

My Dad was always one to drive it 2 years, and trade it in on a new one. Rinse...repeat. After he passed away, my Mom said she thought it was time to trade her car in since it was now 2 years old. I convinced her to drive it a little longer. It finally started becoming less reliable, so she finally traded it in on a new one when it was about 8 years old. Her new one is now 4 years old, and she plans to drive it 'til the wheels fall off.
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