i have a car i want to trade in. we still owe on it, but less than blue book value. it's two years old. i don't feel that it is a super reliable car and just am starting to feel antsy about taking it on long trips - even though it's only broken down once (on vacation at less than 5k miles!). since then, i've just clinched my butt on long trips :) seriously.
now, i'm thinking we should trade, while it's still in it's prime wrt value. but that's gonna add to our years toward getting this paid off and of course, not something we want to do - does anyone?
so my question for you all is this: what's the breaking point where you decide it has to happen - when the car just broke it's last leg or while it still has a lot of life left in it?
we have 3 small children and the inlaws live 8 hours away. reliability is REALLY important to us.
talk me down!
whatever you think!
ps i'm going to a dealership tomorrow. just looking.
I would not be considering trading a 2yo vehicle.
When you write that you owe less than blue book, do you mean trade-in or dealer retail? I would strongly recommend against trading in if you will be immediately upside-down on a new vehicle (well, more upside-down than what happens when you drive it off the lot).
I'm considering it right now! Our car is a 2008 that we bought used in April and it has been serviced for 4 things already since we've had the car. All of them have been covered by warranty but it worries me that the warranty is running out and we've had so many things on such a new car. We will be making a decision in the near future. Good luck to you!
We do not get rid of cars until they are D.E.A.D. Our newest car is a 2001, which I would not trust to leave town. We take our '99 Odyssey out of town for trips - both of our children live 1 hr plus away, and having something reliable is very important to us, too.
Considering our driving style, our opinion is that a couple of repairs a year is still cheaper than years worth of car payments. We get rid of a car when our mechanic tells us there is really no more hope for a vehicle. We only got rid of our '95 this fall. Since it was paid off in '99, that was a lot of "free" driving. We have rented a car a few times for trips, and are still ahead.
I hope (and pray) to be able to afford a brand new car next year. In my ideal world, if I could afford it, I would always have a perfectly reliable car, so I understand your desire. But not having a car payment since 2004 is really nice too!
I am currently motivated keeping my car because its all paid off (a few years ago). I bought it new in 2003 after I was stranded in a parking lot with my 6 mth old in my old VW Fox. I had been repairing the Fox monthly it seemed and each time I thought that would be the last repair for a while it konked out again. I took it in and determined it was not worth the work (and my stress levels) any more and as a new mom I needed/wanted something much more reliable.
I have had my "new" car for 8 and a half years now (have driven it 110,000miles) and it is still reliable and drives well. DO I want a new look or a change, yeah sure, sometimes. But then I think how its nice to not have a payment and still have a reliable car and I know its history.
I agree with pp. get rid of car when a trusted mechanic says it's time.
cant even comprehend a 2yr old car being unreliable. I never buy new so any car I'm looking at is at least that old. My car is a 97 and going strong.
Well if it broke down with less than 5K on it it was some defect in manufacturing and I wouldn't worry about it since it has obviously been a while and is resolved. Why worry about what probably won't happen? And a breakdown isn't really the end of the world. Personally my Tahoe has 170K on it and I feel like it is super reliable and plan on driving it until the wheels fall off. No payments ever again for me.
Iowaorganic- mama to DD (1/5/06), DS1 (4/9/07), DS2 (1/22/09), DS3 (12/10/10), DD2 (7/6/12) and a new kid due in early 2014
I'm interested to see what you end up doing, jackson's mama. I understand the opinions of others who posted about driving cars until they won't drive anymore and I feel that way about the Saturn VUE that we have (rarely a problem, it's paid off, still running strong at 8yrs old) but my opinion is completely different with my 3 yr old car that has already been to the shop 4 times. I just picked mine up yesterday and am worried that if we keep it and don't purchase an extended warranty (which is really not in our budget either) that we will be in trouble. I have the same question as to whether trading now while the car is more valuable is a better idea. I look forward to your update
Curious to hear which make and model of cars are so bad.
but if the car makes you feel that restless, I would get rid ASAP. Why not, you just have to make more payments and possible repairs if you keep it. Especially if you need to get rid of it before word gets out that the model is a lemon.
Like PPs, I would never trade a car that was two years old (unless it had major, major, major issues). In fact, I don't think I've ever owned a car less than three years old. My goal with every car is to pay it off and then drive it for as much longer as I possibly can. My current vehicle is a 2001. It leaks/burns oil, has no a/c, and is not reliable for anything other than driving around town, and I'm just now deciding it's time for a different car. If we didn't have other reasons for needing a different car (we need a big tough SUV with 4WD so we can drive on rough mountain roads), I would actually try to drive this car for another year or so.
What I hear in your post is something that I myself have problems with. I call it automotive hypochondria. I am always nervous about long road trips, even if there's no reason to think the car will break down. I try to just suck it up and remind myself that no vehicle has a guarantee of complete reliability--as you've witnessed with your car breaking down with less than 5k miles on it. The car will probably not break down while you're on a trip, and if it does, make sure you have roadside assistance and a cell phone so you can call for help. Not a huge deal, people do it every day.
I'd never trade. The dealer is always the one who wins in a situation like that. If you decide you're too nervous about the car's reliability (and some of them are just lemons, no matter how old/new they are), I'd take the time/effort and sell the car myself. If you owe less than Blue Book, you should come out with a little bit to use for a down payment on a different vehicle, which you should also buy private party to save more money!
Married to my loving hubby, proud mama to Ethan (9/09) and Rowyn (7/12) and aspiring homesteader
Missing my twins, Owen and Sophia, born too soon, July 2011
If you want to trade the car in because it makes you uncomfortable, see what you can get for it. Its hard to sell a car if you don't have the pink slip, so trade in is an option.
And there are other ways--we sold our car to the dealership, and they offered us waaay more then what the trade in value would have been (honda crv with low miles, but older). We needed a bigger car so we had to trade it in (not enough seats and I have to drive my kids to school).
The dealership was very generous--I am sure they made some money off of it, it is a business afterall, but we were very happy with the offer it was as much as we would have sold it for to a private party--considering it needed things like tires, a some other things.
So find a car you want, talk to the dealership, if you don't like what they offer you, walk away.
I am another non-trader. When we have wanted something different we have bought something else and then sold the other car in the weeks that followed. When you keep vehicles as long as we do you get way more from them in a private party sale than in a trade in.
Right now we have a 2002 (with about 110,000 miles on it) and 2004 (with about 135,000). I feel they are both still very reliable and would not hesitate to drive either of them eight hours away (my folks and in-law are both far away like the OP) since DH and I both work less than a mile from home and my kids walk to school we could get by with a single car pretty easily. I am more anxious about hitting a deer with one of them and totaling a car that on paper is not worth much, but that was purchase new by us and had been well maintained kwim?
I wouldn't trade in or sell a car until it was paid for and I had the cash to purchase another vehicle. We have a '99 Accord with 185K miles and a '05 Corolla with 110K miles. Both have needed repairs recently (stranding us once), but it's much cheaper to repair than to replace. We will probably keep them both for at least another 3 years when we'll likely have another kiddo and it would be quite difficult putting 3 car seats in the Corolla (which we take to visit my family 10 hours away). We'll try to find a nice, fairly new, used minivan at that point and sell the Accord. We bought the Corolla new and did the car payment thing and it SUCKED and we decided we'd never purchase another vehicle without cash in hand. The Accord needs about $1000 worth of routine maintenance done on it (timing belt needs to be replaced every 90K-100K miles) and we won't hesitate spending the money so we don't have to replace it yet.
Hi Jackson's Mama, sorry to hear you were unlucky with your car: some of them just come off the assembly line that way.
If your car is two years old chances are it's still under warranty. As the consumer, you do have rights (like, to a properly functioning product). Work on the dealer to get the problem(s) fixed by the end of the warranty period. This is the end of the year and they need to accrue those "satisfied customer" points.
This IS the end of the year and dealers need to accrue those new sales points too. So if you are lucky and determined, you may be able to find a good deal, what with the trade-in value of your current car being still high. But in general, buying a new car is expensive. I came to that conclusion while doing the math on whether to keep a gas-guzzler or to trade it for a new one with higher mileage.
But I agree with you, the car MUST be reliable. Especially if you use it to transport children. Good luck in your decision!
well, i'm hoping the drama is over, and maybe i'm making too big of a deal out of it. it's just weird stuff like occasionally faulty electronics (dvd player, auto door opener, auto window), and then there's the brakes - all repaired and covered, but i was told to basically make sure i'm driving correctly so i'm not overusing them????? this is the only car i've ever owned needing break work at 10k miles. and then at a little less than 12k! now, i see a little bubble in the paint on the hood. grrrrrrrrrr. i doubt body issues/paint would be in the warranty, right?
i'm sure it's staying with us. i keep thinking that now with 30k miles on it that all of it's kinks are worked out. i really wanna build our new house right now. NOT have to extend car payments.
I'm starting to want to sell or trade our car. It is a 2002, and it has well over 200,000 miles on it. (We bought it used in '07.) It's totally paid off, and has been for two years now. It runs fine, but there are a few minor things going wrong, and the high mileage makes me nervous. I really REALLY don't want a payment, but I'm debating whether I should drive it into the ground (which could be at any time, really) or trade it in now while it still has a tiny bit of value left.
|Finances , Frugality|