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FIREing on one or two cars? - if you do not consume more than 6K-8K miles a year?
Old 08-12-2018, 08:30 AM   #1
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FIREing on one or two cars? - if you do not consume more than 6K-8K miles a year?

So I got a question for you folks who FIRED and do not drive more than 6,000-8,000 miles per year. I only drive about 5000 - 6000 miles per year - most vacations are by air travel. Would you keep 2 cars, or just keep 1 car and sell the other and keep the Money + save on insurance and car property tax?

I have an Audi station wagon that is 5 years old (2013 - 2018) and only has 29,800 miles and I barely use it anymore. I plan to keep this until it hits 150,000 miles. I reckon it will probably take me another 10 years to hit 80K-85K miles.

I got this other sporty BMW car with 22,000 miles, which I am using mostly at work. I plan to fire in 3 years and will be mainly using the Bimmer to and from work. DW does not drive. It's me driving these 2 cars, but the wagon is only for reserve now, if we really have to haul tons of stuff and bulk groceries from Costco. In 3 years, the bimmer will probably have 32K-35K miles. If I retire, I was thinking of probably selling the bimmer and just keep the cash.

Cars are depreciating assets so .. I always have that on the back of my mind money-wise.

Would you keep the second car for emergencies ? Or if you only had 1 vehicle, and your "one and only vehicle" needs to be repaired, would you just rent a car from Enterprise or Budget or Avis ?

If I sell the bimmer in 3 years when I hit 57 years old, I could get another car once I get Social security at 62-64. By then, my station wagon would have probably 60-65K miles.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:38 AM   #2
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We have 2 cars and will continue to have 2 cars. Mine is a 2016 Hyundai Accent (or roller skate) as DW calls it. I gave my 2003 Hyundai to my grandson because his car died. I use it for driving around town.

My wife's car is a 2017 Mazda CX-5 that has all the bells and whistles. We use it whenever we go anywhere together.

Both car are paid for, maintenance is minimal, so the only real expenses are insurance and license fees.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:39 AM   #3
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We are thinking about this, but only because DH and I both have our own cars. I'd never consider having a 2nd car for one driver, unless you just really love it. Emergencies are for uber/rentals.

We are ER'd, and both have our own cars now, but I drive far more often than DH as I'm the one running errands and stuff. When we go out together, we almost always take my car as it's bigger, nicer.

We can probably count on one hand the number of times a year that we'd both want to be out - separately - at the same time, thus both needing a car.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Would you keep 2 cars...
DW does not drive.
No. You can always rent if you need a temporary replacement.
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Old 08-12-2018, 08:45 AM   #5
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We had 2 cars for a long time after we retired, one day I looked at my Jeep and it had 4000 miles on it after 3 years. It was leased, we gave it back and have one car now. It works as we still only do about 7000 a year. We do 95% of things together, so it has proved OK.

I may get a Motor cycle of some sort, as we live on an Island and pottering around locally on one would be practical.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:04 AM   #6
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DW and I are fiercely independent and anticipate that we will always be that way thus 2 cars. She typically has the new car (2017 Kia Soul-all the bells and whistles) and I have the "other vehicle (currently a 2000 Chevy Silverado 4X4). Actually we have a third car but it is DD's (in Australia last year and now heading to Ireland for grad school). I drive DD's car when she is gone (2008 Nissan Sentra). It get's 34 MPG compared to my 18 MPG in the truck. We can easily afford the registration and insurance on 2 vehicles. For us the savings is not worth the lack of freedom that two vehicles provide.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:06 AM   #7
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2 cars for us. Together they get about 8000 mi. per yr. on them. TCO (total cost of ownership) is relatively cheap for the peace of mind of having a backup vehicle if need be or if one of us is out the other can go do something else. Neither was purchased new.

DW drives a 2011 CR-V bought with 40K miles in 2014. We use that one when we travel. Mine is a 2003 Olds Aurora which was my mom's car which I bought from my dad in early 2017 with only 23K miles on it. Biggest use is when I go visit my dad several times a year and who lives 300 miles from us.

also see previous discussion: One car or two?
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:11 AM   #8
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I have two cars, although I guess I don't strictly qualify as a super low-mileage driver since I typically log about 10K miles per year due to various 500+ mile road trips that I do from time to time. I'm not sure I will always have two cars, though, and I've given serious thought about getting rid of my fun little roadster when it needs its next big $$$ repair.

I think with services like Uber and Lyft so readily available in many cities (including mine), I would have to think long and hard about keeping two cars solely for the convenience factor and for emergencies, etc. — like when two people need to go somewhere different at the same time. When you consider the total cost of ownership and operation of a second vehicle, it's often far more cost efficient to just take the occasional Uber. IIRC, I did a back of the envelope calculation a few years ago and figured I could take 2-3 Uber rides per week and still come out ahead financially compared to purchasing and maintaining a second vehicle. All those registration fees, taxes, insurance, fuel, oil changes, tune-ups, tires, and repairs really add up.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #9
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one car for us, going on 12 years. We put between 15,000+ miles per year. Never been a problem. It is an inconvenience sometime, but not enough to shell out for a second car.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #10
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We knew we wouldn't need 2 cars and sold one of them immediately we retired. Where we lived in Texas it was "bikeable" so on the occasions we both needed to be at different places at the same time one of us would cycle there. I used to play tennis once or twice a week so always cycled there, with my kit bag on my back.

Now that we are in England we definitely don't need 2 cars and we sold our bikes before we left Texas as most everywhere is walkable where we live, and if there happen to be occasions several miles away where we need to be at the same time we have excellent bus services.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:19 AM   #11
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Interesting responses from those that have only one car.

As I look to the future, I have budgeted a second car.
Early in our marriage, we were in a position we could only afford a single car and I learned my DW felt stranded when I had the car. I don't want her to ever feel that way again.

With decades of marriage behind us now, we are rarely more than a room apart. With the feedback here, I may rethink maintaining a second car in retirement.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:19 AM   #12
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Two for us. We probably drive each about 5,000 miles per year. I’m sure we could get by with one, but we like the independence of being able to use both at the same time. Plus, my Jeep doubles as our “toad” which we tow behind our motor home. Hmmm, that reminds me, it’s about time to head out on another RV trip!
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:35 AM   #13
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One car for two of us. 2.5 years FIRE'd. Haven't missed having 2nd car. Expensive to keep 2nd car for occasional use. Can rent or Uber/Lyft if we need 2nd car. Rather spend the extra on travel.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:38 AM   #14
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We have two cars and probably always will, at least until we're both unable to drive. We live about 10 miles from town so a car is the only way we can get around. My wife drives one direction to go visit family or whatever, and I usually go the other to pick up something from Home Depot.

At some point, all cars break down. So it's nice to have the other vehicle to go get parts (car battery?), or even just to get groceries while the other car is out of commission.

In an emergency I suppose our daughter could drive us some where, but she has her own life and isn't always available.

We drive old cars with no loans, so the cost of ownership is relatively low. I work from home and drive less than 7000 per year (2K-3K on average), so I asked for the low mileage discount from my insurance. We'll do the same for my wife once we retire. Since our cars are so inexpensive, we don't have coverage on our own vehicles. We'll simply replace them if they are damaged significantly. Of course, the less we drive the less we spend on gas and maintenance.

Given a choice, we would both have electric cars, but right now the price puts them way outside of our budget. We've never paid more than $4500 for a car (I paid $1900 for my current car).
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:39 AM   #15
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Three for us. One north where public transit and walking are both great. Two south where we agree we need zero but keep them for convenience because we can. Our cost per mile is enormous because we drive so little.

(Had a BMW convertible for 2 years after retirement and finally sold it because I was only driving to justify it.)
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:44 AM   #16
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3 cars and a truck. Gotta cut back at some point. We only drive my 2001 corvette and her old 2001 Acura a total of 1000 miles a year.

Could get down to 1 car and my truck.

We survive the winter while snowbirding with 1 car, so cutting back to 2 vehicles would not be a problem.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:14 AM   #17
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We have a workhorse car, currently a 2010 SUV, which has about 80,000 miles on it. I had planned on trading it in next year, but may wait until 2020. I feel safe in it as we live in a northern state with sometimes dangerous driving conditions. The other car is our fun car, a 2007 Mercedes convertible, that has 50,000 miles on it and is only driven in the summer. We could easily do with one car, but the insurance and registration on the convertible run around $750 per year and in the rare instances where a child comes home for a weekend, it becomes their ride for their stay.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:16 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by cyber888 View Post
So I got a question for you folks who FIRED and do not drive more than 6,000-8,000 miles per year. I only drive about 5000 - 6000 miles per year - most vacations are by air travel. Would you keep 2 cars, or just keep 1 car and sell the other and keep the Money + save on insurance and car property tax?

I have an Audi station wagon that is 5 years old (2013 - 2018) and only has 29,800 miles and I barely use it anymore. I plan to keep this until it hits 150,000 miles. I reckon it will probably take me another 10 years to hit 80K-85K miles.

I got this other sporty BMW car with 22,000 miles, which I am using mostly at work. I plan to fire in 3 years and will be mainly using the Bimmer to and from work. DW does not drive. It's me driving these 2 cars, but the wagon is only for reserve now, if we really have to haul tons of stuff and bulk groceries from Costco. In 3 years, the bimmer will probably have 32K-35K miles. If I retire, I was thinking of probably selling the bimmer and just keep the cash.

Cars are depreciating assets so .. I always have that on the back of my mind money-wise.

Would you keep the second car for emergencies ? Or if you only had 1 vehicle, and your "one and only vehicle" needs to be repaired, would you just rent a car from Enterprise or Budget or Avis ?

If I sell the bimmer in 3 years when I hit 57 years old, I could get another car once I get Social security at 62-64. By then, my station wagon would have probably 60-65K miles.
Bolded - I think that is the key. I would go to one car and save some monies and rent when really need to.
We have 2 cars, as we sometimes do separate things and I waited years to drive my convertible all year round and not ready to give that up yet.
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:25 AM   #19
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As one of my sisters pointed out, I have a fleet... 4 cars... one is my son's who has it with him at college... one if DWs and another mine... the 4th is going to be for DD when she starts driving in two years...


Now, why keep a car for 2 years for her? Well, my sister bought a new car and offered her 'old' one to me really cheap... it is a 2013 Genesis and that is a really nice ride..


But even after all kids are gone we will have 2 for DW and me... because we go do our on things... I do not want to be stuck at home when she is gone even if I have no plans to go anywhere...


To me, the cost of a older car is so minimal that trying to save money on them is really stretching the LBYM mantra... but then again it matters where you live... if you lived in NYC you do not need a car...
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:32 AM   #20
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Assuming your DW can’t drive and never will, trade them both in on a new small SUV.

We still have two cars (2004 Acura MDX, 2017 Honda Accord). Rarely drive the older one but keep it perfectly maintained. I will lobby for one car when the MDX is done, maybe trading both in on another Acura to get DH to agree (he loves the Acura service including the loaner when we take it in).
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