Dh and I are in a bind financially, and need to make some big changes to find our way out of debt. One of our options is to sell our 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe with 95000 kms (in excellent condition and with 55000 km in extended warranty still available) and buying something smaller and more efficient on gas. We live about a half hour away from downtown (and love our area) but are beyond the transit system, so 2 cars are a must for us. Thankfully DH has a company vehicle that has deductions from his pay but at a very reasonable amount, and includes everything. I use the Santa Fe almost exclusively and love it and wouldn't change it at all unless I thought it made sense $$ wise.
I'm about to have baby #2 (in 6 weeks or so) and DS is 4. We definitely want a 4-door vehicle with a hatchback to make stroller and baby gear easier to take along. I'll be home for almost a year on maternity leave and will be driving less and use DH's work car whenever I can (with free gas).
There are lots of options of cars smaller and better on gas to choose from locally (Dodge Caliber, Pontiac Vibe, Mazda 5, Toyota Matrix...) but many are about the same in trade-in value as the Santa Fe, which is much more comfortable and roomy (and we'd never outgrow - baby #2 will be our last). Our Santa Fe is also good in snow, and with the extended warranty we bought has more warranty left than almost anything we could trade for.
Question #1: what's the best way to estimate real gas savings between different cars? Making a change seems like a better idea if we can free up more than just $20/month...
Question #2: how do I get my head around the 'value' of the Santa Fe now ($15000 Cdn or so, maybe a bit more but not more than $18000 likely) vs what it's worth to me? (Pretty much what we paid for it - $25000 Cdn 2 yrs ago). Complicated by the fact that we used our line of credit to buy the Santa Fe and with new items added in still have the full balance owing (part of our problem, of course) but to me it still feels worth the price. So a trade-in is acknowledging (admitting?) The mess we've gotten into owing more on a car than what it's worth. But since the SF is regularly higher priced than what we're looking at, might have better resale value later on?
Question #3: how do I weigh the value of our extended warranty (and lower repair costs over the next 2 yrs at our current mileage rate) vs lower gas prices on a car with little or no warranty left. Do the two cancel each other out?
Wow - sorry that was so long. Thanks to anyone reading this far with any ideas/ advice to share!
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