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Should I sell my car?
Old 05-16-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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Should I sell my car?

I am trying to decide whether to sell my car to buy an older, less expensive car. I don't see a lot of downside to doing this and see a lot of upside. DH sees mostly downside and hardly any upside. The car in question is "my" car so it is up to me, but DH was negative enough about this that I want to see if I'm offbase.

The cars

We have 2 cars (actually 3, but one of the cars was given to our son who lives at home and attends college).

2012 Ford Explorer - This is my car. We have had it about 18 months and it has 30k miles on it. It is a Limited with most options. I get about 24 MPG. When we bought this car it had better gas mileage than the car DH was driving so we drove the Explorer most of the time. I was working a couple of days a week and would drive it to work.

The reason for the SUV was:

1. We have multiple large dogs and this will hold 2 large dog crates.
2. It will seat 7 people. We have 4 people in the home and whenever my mother or anyone visits need to carry 5, occasionally 6 people. We can also have 4 people in the car plus have a dog crate in the car. Lots of other options would allow a dog crate (or 2) but only if you put the back seat down.
3. It is convenient if we need to haul something larger than will fit in our other car.

Things I like about this car - I love the safety features: rear backup camera, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, collision warning. The first is easy to find, blind spot is becoming more common and the last 2 are difficult to find, usually only in newer, higher end cars.

I believe it could be sold for probably $30k to $32k.

2013 Hyundai Veloster - This is DH's car and was bought last August. Since buying it, we basically hardly ever use the Explorer except when I drive to work or we are doing something where we can't use the Veloster. This is because the Veloster gets much better gas mileage than the Explorer. Veloster can seat 4.

The Situation

On days I drive to work I spend 3 hours in the Explorer. I've loved it for my roughly 120 mile round trip commute on those days. It is a great vehicle.

However, I am probably going to fully retire sometime soon. Once that happens, the Explorer will be used rarely. Basically if we need to take a dog to the vet (usually once a year absent an illness) or to be boarded, or if my mother visits and all 5 of us want to go somewhere or if we need it to haul home something that won't fit in the Veloster. Of course, I would drive it if DH and I both needed to go somewhere different so we needed to drive separate cars. That happens sometimes.

Most weeks, the Explorer comes out of the garage only when I drive it to work. However, on those occasions when we need it - we really need it and the Veloster would not work at all.

I think that we don't need to have a car worth over $30k sitting parked in the garage the vast majority of the time. I want to sell the Explorer and buy a used car for $15k to $20k that will do for us what the Explorer does, but at lower cost. That is, be able to hold dog crates, seat at least 5 people and be able to haul around stuff as needed. It will also be our second car for when DH and I both need to drive different places.

Given this usage, it won't be going on the highway all that often or for long distance so - while I love adaptive cruise control and collision warning - I would look for something with blind spot warning and rear camera (yes, I do want those). From what I have seen I can find something that is from 2008-2011 in the $15k to $22k price range. We have a daughter that within a year we plan to buy a car for, so selling the Explorer and buying such a car would leave us more than enough money left over to buy that car.

DH's point of view is that we already have the Explorer, we know it is in great condition, it will last us for many years and it has all the features we really like. He doesn't like to buy used cars because you never really know if it will be reliable and if we bought a used car and it wasn't reliable then getting it repaired or even having to get rid of it and buy another car would eat into the savings from selling the Explorer.

My response - I do love the features of the Explorer but if we keep it we are paying a lot for features that we will get virtually no use out of since we will not be driving the Explorer very often. I would rather sell it, buy a less expensive car and end up with $10k to $15k left over.

I do agree we need a reliable used car so I would only buy a single owner car, with a good Carfax report that hasn't been wholesaled.

Once I am no longer working I think we will put somewhere between 3000 and 6000 miles a year on whatever car is our second car whether it is the Explorer or something else.

So....sell Explorer? Keep Explorer?
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
DH's point of view is that we already have the Explorer, we know it is in great condition, it will last us for many years and it has all the features we really like. He doesn't like to buy used cars because you never really know if it will be reliable and if we bought a used car and it wasn't reliable then getting it repaired or even having to get rid of it and buy another car would eat into the savings from selling the Explorer.

My response - I do love the features of the Explorer but if we keep it we are paying a lot for features that we will get virtually no use out of since we will not be driving the Explorer very often. I would rather sell it, buy a less expensive car and end up with $10k to $15k left over.
I agree with DH, keep your Explorer. It varies from state to state, but the frictional costs to buying and selling is not negligible. Plus, as DH says, you like this car, it is good, it fulfills functions for you that you need at times.

I would only sell if you were cutting down to one car, and in that case likely better to keep the Explorer and sell the smaller car. Gas mileage is not that big a deal, except at the extremes and if you are short of money, which I gather you are not.

Keep it!

Ha
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:54 AM   #3
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Have you verified your expected sale value with its Blue Book value?
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:01 AM   #4
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I vote to keep the Ford, you know what you have in terms of maintenance of the vehicle. You would not with a used vehicle.
You have absorbed the greatest amount of depreciation on your vehicle, so again I vote to keep.
I understand it larger than you need, but it is a large safe vehicle for you & family.

This is coming from a person who has never purchased a new vehicle for myself, DW yes.

Good Luck !!

Footnote: I keep a car well into 200K+ miles.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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I'd be inclined to keep the Explorer for the reasons others mentioned. We have a full-size 4WD pickup that while we don't often use the full capabilities, when we do, nothing else cheaper will do.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:10 AM   #6
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You've already taken the big hit depreciation-wise on the Explorer-- might as well keep it.

Plus, unless you are a professional vehicle buyer/seller and know how to really steal something at auctions or Craigslist I doubt if it will be worth all the trouble.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:09 AM   #7
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Why don't you just drive the better mileage car to work for the few remaining months left and keep the virtually new Explorer?

I can't see any reason to sell the Explorer. It sounds like you are always going to have one car being used less than the other once you fully retire so why not that one vs a cheaper older one.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:57 AM   #8
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You know you have a nice truck with a warranty. Why sell if for an older unit, probably without a warranty and have to pay sales tax (depending on whether you trade and the State) and then possibly end up with a problem.

If you trade down and then have a problem do you want to live with a "I told you so" from DH? I'm 100% for keeping your truck.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:58 AM   #9
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Wait until you ARE retired. Things change.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:42 AM   #10
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Unless you are financially very strapped, keep the Explorer.Hassle of sale/buy, unknown maintenance, tax/registration, lot of the same reasons others have pointed out.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:06 AM   #11
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You have already paid for the depreciation on the Explorer. That is a sunk cost. It is a good vehicle, which is not guaranteed with a used replacement. There are frictional costs of replacement. While you may not need the capacity in ER, you are not ER yet, and you may find the Explorer useful for trips you haven't even considered yet. My understanding is that the incremental cost of running the Explorer versus a replacement would not be a significant financial burden. I think you should keep the vehicle.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:01 PM   #12
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Interesting. I live in the land of tree huggers where a "SUV" is a Suburu Outback : )

I was going to say if you are going to work and commute much longer a Jetta TDI wagon would save you some $$ in gas. But then again those are small in comparison.

24 MPG from an Explorer is outstanding. I get 20 in a 3 series BMW although that is stop and go for a 15 mile commute to techville.

If you love it, keep it!!
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:13 PM   #13
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Though in my own world, I'd sell the car, in yours, I think it best to keep it. I have a very handy DH who can evaluate used cars VERY well and fix what goes wrong.

But for you, there is a lot of utility in knowing the car well enough and having a maintenance history you can trust. If it isn't a stretch, then keep it, but be sure to drop the coverage if your insurer offers it, to leisure driving once that is the case.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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Keep the Exploder Explorer. Ten or more years from now, replace it...
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #15
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If it was my decision I would keep the Explorer. You know what you have with a vehicle you purchased new. Selling it and buying another will not likely net you as much as you think plus you have the risk buying someone else's used vehicle.

I might think differently if I didn't like the Explorer, but you obviously do.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:21 PM   #16
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I appreciate the comments and I can see that most support DH. I still find it hard to justify keeping this car. I do agree that I have to be careful picking a good reliable used car at the right price. I would not sell this car unless I found a suitable replacement that I felt had strong evidence of being a good quality car. It may be months before I find such a vehicle. I'm not in any rush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
Have you verified your expected sale value with its Blue Book value?
Yes and I've been conservative. Obviously I would verify all numbers before doing anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cessna5354 View Post
I vote to keep the Ford, you know what you have in terms of maintenance of the vehicle. You would not with a used vehicle.
You have absorbed the greatest amount of depreciation on your vehicle, so again I vote to keep.
Basically I consider the depreciation that has occurred a sunk cost. But what happens in the future isn't.

Let me put it this way. Imagine that my car was totalled and the insurance company had paid me $31000 for it. And I wanted to get a replacement car for my usage once I retire.

Imagine that my brother who lives next door would sell me his 2012 Explorer for $31000 and I trusted his maintenance and knew everything about that car.

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Plus, unless you are a professional vehicle buyer/seller and know how to really steal something at auctions or Craigslist I doubt if it will be worth all the trouble.
I have done enough research to know that I can get something suitable whereby I net in my pocket at least $10k. That isn't a fortune, of course, but it is enough that I can buy the used car I plan to buy for my daughter next year. If I don't sell the Explorer I take $10k out of my portfolio for her car (at least) which means $400 a year less spending for me for the rest of my life.

Would I buy the car for $31000 or would I get a different car? I am 100% sure that I would not buy his car for $31000 and would buy a car for at least $10k to $15k less. I would see the Explorer as just wasteful for what I actually need.

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Originally Posted by heeyy_joe View Post
Wait until you ARE retired. Things change.
I've been semi-retired for 3 years. The only thing that will be different a month or two from now is that I won't be driving 250 miles to and from work each week. I already know how much we use that car when I'm not working (hardly at all).

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I might think differently if I didn't like the Explorer, but you obviously do.
I like it just fine when I am spending 3 hours in it each day that I drive to work. However, I resent it when I'm not driving it to work.

I am actually resentful at the idea of feeling forced to keep a vehicle that I do not want. Once I retire (probably within a month), I just basically see that car as being a bunch of dollar bills sitting in the garage when my needs could be met just fine with a much smaller bunch of dollar bills. (Yes, I have looked at all the numbers and I would net at least $10k after all costs of selling and rebuying).

Bear in mind that once I am retired I will drive the Explorer exceedingly rarely, probably not more than once or twice a month.

To me it is like when we had our 4500 SF house that had a guest house and two double garages. It was a great house that I thoroughly enjoyed living in. But, there came a time when our life had changed to a point where I felt it was a waste a money to keep it. Why should I be forced to keep living in an expensive house when I no longer needed a house of that size? It was great at the right time, but when I didn't need it any more I could save money by selling it and buying something else. (We actually did sell it - at a loss even! - but overall it has financially benefited us to have something that meets our current needs).
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:27 PM   #17
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Reads like DH has been outvoted. Throw out that jury verdict just like the military!
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #18
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I'm sorry, but I am voting to keep the car also for all of the reasons given above. What were the reasons that you bought this vehicle in the first place, rather than buying a cheaper used vehicle? I am only asking you to answer this question for yourself.
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:40 PM   #19
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Outvoted is probably too strong a word. I am thinking about the whole thing and at a minimum will be a more cautious about it. That is - I plan to keep looking for a car that I might buy to replace my car. If I find a likely candidate then I will show it to DH and we will go from there. On the other hand, I would only pick a car that would indeed save us the amount of money I project and one where the car history and seller is such that I feel confident that the car being bought was good quality. I may never find such a car. Or I may find one next week or 3 months from now. If I do, then DH and I both have more information and can make a decision at that time. (I won't do it if DH is strongly opposed at that time). And - all this is still percolating through my thoughts so no final decision made.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
I appreciate the comments and I can see that most support DH.
...

I have done enough research to know that I can get something suitable whereby I net in my pocket at least $10k. That isn't a fortune, of course, but it is enough that I can buy the used car I plan to buy for my daughter next year. If I don't sell the Explorer I take $10k out of my portfolio for her car (at least) which means $400 a year less spending for me for the rest of my life.
While I'm in the camp that would say keep it, it's clear you've run the numbers and thought this out. And if you are reasonably sure you can replace the Explorer with one that will do the job for you for as long and as reliably as the Explorer, then it makes sense to me. $10K is $10K.

I say if you can meet those requirements, go for it.

-ERD50
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