Car dilemma -- which is the better deal? I need help ASAP with the math and logic. WWYD? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Keep the car I own, or trade it for an identical model with more mileage at a cheaper price?

My friend who helped me get my current car (2005 Honda CRV) is a retired used-car dealer. A good ex-neighbor and he's been helpful to me. Last year, I asked him to buy me a specific car at auction, and he financed it for me. Unfortunately my time-frame was narrow and we didn't get a great price, but it was within my "car budget," I needed it then, and I went with it. I invested some money into fixing/repairing/replacing EVERYTHING that needed it, and I've kept up with maintenance. It is definitely the right car for me and I'm expecting it to last another 15+ years.

After hearing how much I loved mine, he bought an identical one for his wife when one came up at auction. She drove it for a year and I believe he took good care of it. He told me when he bought it that it was in better shape than mine. They swap cars like some people swap fashions, and after a year she convinced him to get her a new Prius, so he's interested in selling the CRV.

Math like this makes my head spin, and I need help figuring out if the better deal is to keep my car or offer to trade him for his wife's. He financed my car for me and would do the same for this one, I'm sure.

Mine has 90K miles on it. I currently owe him (payoff amount) ~$10,500. Blue Book value is about ~$11,000.
Hers has 120K miles on it. He's willing to sell it for ~$8,500. Blue Book value is about ~$9000.

I estimate that I'll be driving about 10K/year. How much difference does 90K vs. 120K make in the life of the car? My plan was to get a car with decently low mileage that I would drive into the ground, which with this car will take many years (I'm assuming it's good for another 15-20 years. They routinely go to 250-300K.)

It's possible that I could get him to re-negotiate the financing, which would bring my payment down. I'm currently paying $250/month. Looks like it would go down to about $170 even if we did an even swap. That's a pretty significant difference. If he didn't change the monthly payment amount, I'd then have it paid for in 50 months instead of 60. It's unconventional, but he would likely be willing to do me this favor if it benefited me financially (and didn't hurt him any, except for going through the extra paperwork).

Is it worth it to ask him to trade?


It seems to me that this could be a really good chance for me to pay less for essentially the same car.  What I would owe on both cars would be $500 below book price, so it's kind of a wash there, right?  Or would I be due some trade-in credit?

 

Her car = $2000 cheaper and 30K miles more used up (= 3 years based on my driving)
My car = $2000 more expensive and 30K (= 3 years) less used up

Is 30K worth $2000?
 


I welcome thoughts, and perhaps supporting calculations, from those of you who are not allergic to math the way I am...what would you do, and why?


- single homeschooling mom to 16, 14, almost-12, and 10
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#2 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 01:17 PM
 
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Unless the car needs more repairs, I'd stick with the one you have.
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#3 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Unless the car needs more repairs, I'd stick with the one you have.


Why?


- single homeschooling mom to 16, 14, almost-12, and 10
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#4 of 8 Old 05-23-2013, 02:45 PM
 
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You know this car, and the other one is unknown as far as what repairs may be needed in the near future. Also, the one you have has less mileage, so it is the better value. Consider insurance costs and coverage, which I didn't when I first answered. Over 100,000 miles there's an increased chance of transmission trouble, or so I've been told. My gut response is simply you know what you have invested in this car, whereas the other is an unknown of more mileage. I'd prefer the devil I know to the one I don't, that's all.

I hope someone else has a more rationalized response for you.
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#5 of 8 Old 05-25-2013, 02:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

You know this car, and the other one is unknown as far as what repairs may be needed in the near future. Also, the one you have has less mileage, so it is the better value. Consider insurance costs and coverage, which I didn't when I first answered. Over 100,000 miles there's an increased chance of transmission trouble, or so I've been told. My gut response is simply you know what you have invested in this car, whereas the other is an unknown of more mileage. I'd prefer the devil I know to the one I don't, that's all.

Yes.  This. 
Also don't forget sales tax, unless you happen to live in a state that doesn't have that added fun surprise. 
You've invested the money in minor fixes, who knows if he did as well.  You know how your car reacts, it's quirks, and it's a solid, good vehicle.  Kinda sounds like an annoying thing to deal with for a barely less expensive car with more mileage.  Although with a CRV, you likely won't have transmission issues (different story with a 99-04 Odyssey though, oof).

And yes, 30k miles can equal $2K.  We bought a brand new 2008 CRV back in fall 2007 for $21K.  We sold it two years later (I was unexpectedly pregnant with #4) for $19K with right around 30K miles (or maybe 27K?  I forget, it's been several years).  They hold their value stunningly well, it was a better investment than the stock market at that point in time.  :D 

If you only put 10K miles/year on the car, if you can handle the [price of the] lower mileage vehicle, I'd totally go with that.  We ended up getting a newer Corolla than we intended just because we found a low-mileage vehicle with enough of our needs (the sunroof and frat boy spoiler I could've done without, but whatever) for a screamin' deal.  It's reliable, and will stay reliable for a number of years if the past is any indication - that was what was important for us what with how much driving my hubby does.


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(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
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#6 of 8 Old 05-25-2013, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

You know this car, and the other one is unknown as far as what repairs may be needed in the near future. Also, the one you have has less mileage, so it is the better value. Consider insurance costs and coverage, which I didn't when I first answered. Over 100,000 miles there's an increased chance of transmission trouble, or so I've been told. My gut response is simply you know what you have invested in this car, whereas the other is an unknown of more mileage. I'd prefer the devil I know to the one I don't, that's all.

I hope someone else has a more rationalized response for you.

 

I agree with the bolded part. Don't forget what you have invested in it and it is known in terms of repairs. If there was a drastic difference in price I would consider it but this isn't enough, I don't think.

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#7 of 8 Old 05-26-2013, 09:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

You know this car, and the other one is unknown as far as what repairs may be needed in the near future. Also, the one you have has less mileage, so it is the better value. Consider insurance costs and coverage, which I didn't when I first answered. Over 100,000 miles there's an increased chance of transmission trouble, or so I've been told. My gut response is simply you know what you have invested in this car, whereas the other is an unknown of more mileage. I'd prefer the devil I know to the one I don't, that's all.

I hope someone else has a more rationalized response for you.

 

this exactly! also i'd always pick lower miles (unless it was a total lemon or something)


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#8 of 8 Old 05-26-2013, 09:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by StarJune View Post

 

I agree with the bolded part. Don't forget what you have invested in it and it is known in terms of repairs. If there was a drastic difference in price I would consider it but this isn't enough, I don't think.

 

lol, great minds, i just skimmed the thread and didn't see your post.


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