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WWYD re: car purchase?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Here's the situation:

I have a 2006 car, almost paid off- I owe $4000 on it. DP has a 2009 motorcycle and a 1978~ish big truck with a camper shell- the big kind, with beds and stuff, lol.

We both drive about 45 minutes to work, him 5x/wk, me just 3-4x/wk. We can't commute together because we work opposite shifts.

DP really LOVES his motorcycle and rides it almost every day. But sometimes it's really extra miserable or just unsafe. We're in a fairly temperate climate, so no snow or anything, but lots of rain can be pretty scary on a bike. When he can't ride, he'll take his truck.

However, his truck is failing. He thinks that the clutch might be going out, and there's something about a tie-rod? that he's talked about. He gets super awful gas mileage in the truck, maybe 12 mpg or so.

He told me the other day that he wasn't sure if his truck would make it to work even one more time. Sigh.

I was planning to pay off my car with part of my tax return plus $$ that I currently have in savings. But we're going to have a new baby in a few weeks and he really does need a way to take the baby places if he needs to while I'm gone, plus he needs to be able to get to work safely.

I mentioned to him that maybe we should think about spending the $4000 on a used car so that he wouldn't be so stuck. He's not excited about that, he'd rather pay off my car and get his clutch repaired. I feel like his truck is 32 years old with horrid gas mileage and we'd be throwing money down the drain by repairing it. He's worried about buying someone else's problems with used car and doesn't want to "trade one piece of crap for another".

Oh, and apparently he can't remove that camper shell without camper jacks to put it on... which are a few hundred dollars. So it's a huge vehicle that isn't even useful as a truck to haul things... sigh!

Public transportation is awful here and not an option in any practical sense.

So- WWYD?
post #2 of 20
I would probably agree with you... get a second used car for him to drive to work or with the baby. You can find really good used cars, especially if you have a mechanic to take it to who you trust to check it out before you buy.
post #3 of 20
What would it cost to get his truck repaired? Have you got estimates?
post #4 of 20
I'd get something used but newer for DH. He'll be saving money on gas & insurance.
post #5 of 20
I'd also go with a used car. Gas mileage is a big deal. And not all used cars for sale are for sale because they are problem cars.
post #6 of 20
I'd get a little used car for DH that gets good gas milage. Thats what we did (I have a 99 accord thats the 'family' car and DH has a 01 or 03 civic thats his car, which I occasionally drive if I'm running into town w/o the kids. It just makes more sense, then putting mroe $$ into an old crappy car w/ craptastic gas milage.

(Actually, now that I think about it we were in *almost* that exact situation when we got married/had DS1: I had a 96 ford ranger and DH ad an old crappy jeep explorer. My dad traded me his accord for the truck, and DH kept the explorer, then he bought a motorcycle & sold the explorer for like $200... and then he got in an accident on the motorcycle and I declared 'no more motorcycles' and we ended up with the civic through the extreme kindness of lots of people...)
post #7 of 20
How about selling the camper shell if you don't really want it and use that to fund the clutch repair. If it's just the clutch that needs fixing but the rest of the truck is in sound enough condition keep it.

If you pay $4,000 for a car that gets 20 mpg and gas prices average $2.50 a gallon and you drive it 5,000 miles a year (you mention he doesn't drive it that often because he takes the motorcycle most of the time) it will take you 9.6 years to make up that $4,000 in gas savings.

Now, if the truck needs a lot of other major repairs it might be worth it to get something newer but if it is just the gas mileage I don't see that being worth it for $4,000 (unless he drives it a lot more then it might be worth it).
post #8 of 20
If it were my decision, he'd sell the motorcycle and use the money from that plus the $4K and buy a good used car.
post #9 of 20
I think the idea of selling the camper and using that money to fix the clutch is a great one. It's spring, and people are starting to think about camping again. Take a look on Craigslist and see how much similar campers are listed for.
post #10 of 20
Sell the camper, truck and motorcycle. I'm sure you can figure out something for jack stands.

Use the tax money to pay off your car and the money from the rest to buy spouse a reliable older car, cash. Put your car payments aside into savings.

If he insists on keeping the cycle, up his life insurance.

Liz
post #11 of 20
For me it would depend on the cost of repairs.
post #12 of 20
Sell the truck/camper and motorcycle. Take that money and some or all of the 4000 and buy him a used but newer commuter car.
post #13 of 20
I'd sell the truck and camper and buy him a used car.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshire View Post
How about selling the camper shell if you don't really want it and use that to fund the clutch repair. If it's just the clutch that needs fixing but the rest of the truck is in sound enough condition keep it.

If you pay $4,000 for a car that gets 20 mpg and gas prices average $2.50 a gallon and you drive it 5,000 miles a year (you mention he doesn't drive it that often because he takes the motorcycle most of the time) it will take you 9.6 years to make up that $4,000 in gas savings.

Now, if the truck needs a lot of other major repairs it might be worth it to get something newer but if it is just the gas mileage I don't see that being worth it for $4,000 (unless he drives it a lot more then it might be worth it).
I suck at math so I won't try to go that far. Depending on where you live, you're not going to see $2.50/gallon. In my area today it was 2.83. I'm sure by summer it will be higher. And you could always get a car that is going to get closer to the 30mpg mark.... I had a 93 Civic that did better than that with over 150k miles.

Do you go camping? If you do and the truck is something that can be easily/cheaply repaired, you might keep it. If you spend the couple hundred to get the stands to park the camper shell, the trucks gas mileage might improve by 2-5 or so mpg. It would still be a gas hog, but maybe not cost as much to operate on the few times he does need to drive it to work. If the truck isn't salvageable, you can still get a decent cheap car for $1000 for your DH to get to and from work in poor weather.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
If it were my decision, he'd sell the motorcycle and use the money from that plus the $4K and buy a good used car.
This was what I was thinking, too. But, my dh has a motorcycle and it will be a cold day in he$$ before I could ever convince him to sell his baby.
post #16 of 20
Buy a used honda or chevy/geo prism. really can't go wrong they run forever and most get good gas mileage.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies!

Yeah, he's not going to sell the motorcycle. And really, although I worry- he loves it and I wouldn't want him to. Enjoyment of life and all.

We don't camp or use the camper, but I also don't think it's worth anything... It leaks and is really old!

No estimate yet- he neglected to leave the keys on Friday, and the shop is closed on the weekend. He didn't hear anything yesterday or so far today. I, of course, would like to call or have him call and ask. He, of course, is all about "they'll call when they know something". We compromised with him calling by the end of the day. Lol.
post #18 of 20
Have you checked into Cash for Clunkers? Or is that program over?
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the idea- but I think it's over and his truck is actually too old- ironic, huh?
post #20 of 20
I've heard of new clutches costing about $800, but that's for a car. My guess is that it will be more since this is a truck. Tie rod ends are also pricey. We repaired those on one of our cars, and it was over $200.

This truck is over 30 years old, and its most likely going to start nickel and dimeing you. I recommend getting something else.

I haven't looked at used car prices lately, but I have talked to a family member and a friend about their leases that are coming due this year. You may be able to get a 3 year old car that's a lease turn in for about half of its original sticker price. Usually, there's nothing wrong with these cars. People either turn them in because they're sick of the car and just want something new. Or the residual (the buyout of the lease) isn't worth it. (My grandfather would pay *more* to buy out his lease than he could buy the same car off of a dealer's lot!)
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