Downsize to 1 car? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-23-2011, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have 2 vehicles, a 2004 toyota matrix with 90,000 (paid off) and a 2008 kia sedona with about 40,000 and 36 months of payments left.  DH works from home and we never drive the matrix.  We have 2 children now, but are looking to have another one in about a year or so. I think we can get 3 seats in the matrix.  

 

Our van payment and insurance are about $500 per month and then there is the fuel efficiency.  I think we can get just about enough to pay off the van if we sell it for bluebook value.  

 

We don't need to sell it financially,but I am really trying to move toward a simpler life.  

 

Anyways, does it make sense to sell it?  What about if we needed to buy a bigger car in  a year or two?


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#2 of 11 Old 09-24-2011, 12:39 AM
 
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I would sell the toyota and keep the minivan if you are thinking about having more kids.  The $$ from the matrix should pay a chunk toward the minivan,


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#3 of 11 Old 09-24-2011, 04:37 AM
 
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We have had only one car for 7 years now...and after growing up in the suburbs it took me a looooong time to adjust!  I would sell the minivan and keep the Toyota - my last Toyota got 235,000 miles on it before finally throwing a rod - i was 300 miles overdue for an oil change!!  take good care of teh Toyota and it will last longer than the Kia. 

We now have a Nissan Versa which is a pretty small car - we have three kids 16, 13 and 1 yr.   Its pretty cramped if we wanted to drive anywhere over an hour.  We often rent a larger vehicle for long road trips.  (maybe once or twice a year as I have family all over the state)  

But for short hops it isnt an issue.


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#4 of 11 Old 09-24-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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I'm going to completely disagree with Zebra.  Your Matrix is not worth much and should give you many years of cheap driving (good fuel economy, cheap to insure, cheap to fix).  I have a 2004 Vibe and it has 130K on it and still doing great.  I think three car seats are doable in the Matrix if you go with seats with narrow footprints.  If you end up with another kid in two years you will have two years not to spend the current $500 per month.   If you end up with just two kids it should work as long as it continues to run.

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#5 of 11 Old 09-24-2011, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies-

Now to convince DH. Like I said.... it is not a ned for us (financially), but it would be great to have the extra money to save or pay off the house quicker.  

 

He doesn't like the idea  of hauling the  kids around in such a small car.  Lots of people do it, right?  


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#6 of 11 Old 09-24-2011, 12:16 PM
 
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I know people with two kids who drive VW Beetles, so I think you can manage in the Matrix just fine.  We've been a one car family for a year now, my husband rides his bike to work most of the time.  


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#7 of 11 Old 09-24-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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We have 2 kids and manage with one car, but they are both teens and are independent on public transit, cycling, skateboarding or good ol' walking. We were also car-free for a couple of years and it was fine. We used public transit mostly, and rented a car once in while. 

 

Since your children are so young, you may not yet have faced conflicting schedules for schools and extra-curriculars. It's possible that they end up at different schools or signed up for different extra-curriculars at the same time and you need 2 cars to go in different directions at the same time of day. Of course, you can simply avoid schedule conflicts, but if you have 2 cars and 2 drivers, at least you can manage if you really want. 

 

If it's likely that they will participate in extra-curriculars that need a lot of equipment, then keep the mini-van. For us, two kids in hockey meant we had 2 huge hockey bags in the vehicle and usually more if we were giving a lift to teammates. DS played double bass, so that excluded a lot of cars (in fact, most) for us. Again, you probably won't be confronted with this issue for a few years, but it's worth thinking about now if you are planning to stick with one vehicle for several years. 

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#8 of 11 Old 09-25-2011, 12:50 AM
 
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You could trade the kia in for something you can straight out afford to buy.

You could also do like me.. I don't like the idea of not having a car in emergencies, but lately we've been only driving one car since dh works at home now. What you can do with the insurance company is put a car on "storage" I think up to 6 months. You still pay full price for insurance and technically your car is covered for a few miles a month (legally a car has to be insured even in the driveway here I think). Anyway when you choose to take it out of storage you will get 75% of the insurance paid back. Of course as soon as I did this dh blew all his money to get my car new tires, balance a wash and it drives like a sports car. Men! I still just drive his car. I'm determined to get that kick back in the future and it's a waste to have two cars here right now, but one day I am guessing he will be working out of the home again.

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#9 of 11 Old 09-26-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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First, I would make sure you really only want to have one vehicle. Is it likely your dh's work could change? Is public transit available if you needed it? 

 

If you are sure about being one car. I would get rid of the van. Unless you spend endless hours in the car there's no reason two - even three - kids can't make it in a regular car. It might be wise to save that $500 a month for a while and then when you have your third and the kids get older if you feel the need for the van then you could buy it outright. 

 


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#10 of 11 Old 09-26-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

First, I would make sure you really only want to have one vehicle. Is it likely your dh's work could change? Is public transit available if you needed it? 

 

If you are sure about being one car. I would get rid of the van. Unless you spend endless hours in the car there's no reason two - even three - kids can't make it in a regular car. It might be wise to save that $500 a month for a while and then when you have your third and the kids get older if you feel the need for the van then you could buy it outright. 

 


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I would have a hard time getting rid of our second car (even though I WAH & DH is unemployed) because there is NO public transportation here & it's not an area where you can walk or bike either. There are still lots of times when both of us are out, using both cars, and the thought of having only one vehicle makes me feel very... trapped. However, our insurance is really low and we don't have payments or anything... So I guess my other thought is that rather than getting rid of the van, could you downsize to something cheaper? Though it sounds like your DH is more concerned about having a small car than about having only one vehicle. I don't really see any problem with having a small car, except that you will never be able to carpool or offer a friend a ride home, but that's not a huge deal for most people. Honestly, I always think it's a bit funny when I see people with a van when they only have a couple of kids. It just seems like overkill to me, why not use something more fuel-efficient? So yeah... if you want to get rid of the van, go for it, you can always buy one down the line should you need it!

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#11 of 11 Old 09-26-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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Since it's not a financial issue to sale the van , but a lifestyle change you're thinking about. How much do you drive the van now? Your op said you never drive the matrix now. Maybe you should start using the matrix now if you want to get rid of the van so you can really see how it does on a daily basis. Small cars are fine for some families, but don't work out for others. I would be worried about selling the van then deciding we needed it and be tempted to go buy another car.

We've been a one car family twice before, but now that we live farther out with no public transport we keep 2 cars. Dh drives the small car to work and the SUV stays home most days (except when we need 4x4 for snow). Our insurance to keep it is like 50 a month which is worth it for my peace of mind.


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