SoCalGal wrote:I'm trying to figure out whether buying two SUVs will be a sane/good financial move.
I had set aside $40K in the bank right now, originally to save towards a house downpayment. I drive a 2009 Minicooper and my husband a 2000 mitsubishi eclipse. I'm not a very good driver that drives about 45 minutes to work everyday. My husband have some medical conditions that if he were to get into a car accident, he will be more likely to die than the average joe or become severely disabled. In the case of his disability, our household income would be cut by 75%.
We recently had two friends, through no fault of their own, get into car accidents. The first friend's career has been severely derailed while the second friend's accident was bad enough that if it happened to my husband, he would suffer disabilities.
So even though it would pretty much wipe out our house downpayment fund, I am seriously considering buying 2 used SUVs. One to protect my husband and one because I am a bad driver. Is this a sound decision? We currently have 3 months worth of emergency fund in our bank. We also support our parents financially with stipends and am considering having a baby in the upcoming year.
Any advice would be great! Thank you!
Some responses to the questions:
I think increasing the emergency fund to 6 months is a good point. I guess the house thing is going to have to wait for long long while.
- The main concern about the mini cooper, even though it is safe, is simple law of physics. A massive vehicle hitting a smaller will pretty much flatten a mini cooper. Not sure the mini cooper is the best especially if I start driving a baby around.
- About me being a bad driver - I'm not that bad. I have not gotten into any accidents yet and I try to be alert. I'm just nervous and feel its a matter of time. Especially after a long day at work I may not be that alert.
- My husband has haemophilia and a rare form of osteoperosis. Any accident there is a likelyhood of bleeding to death or his bones being crushed.
Actually for their size minis are pretty safe.
From the data, it looks like:
- modern cars are best because of better quality safety equipment, especially ESC, especially on an SUV
- I can see the attractions of a hunk of metal around you, eg a Volvo SUV. For your husband, this extra safety may be worth it. I perceive Volvo, Mercedes, BMW to be high on safety, but one should check Consumer Reports and other sources
- you should consider a minivan which appears to have the highest safety record of all
To get a very safe, modern, car for your husband I would consider leasing. OK it's not great economics, but this isn't purely an economic situation.
One should understand. In a crash, an SUV might protect you better. In terms of getting into a crash situation, or causing that crash, it might be worse. Physics pertains Kinetic Energy = mass x velocity-squared. A bigger car has more kinetic energy, therefore is harder to stop and harder to control.
You are a 'bad driver' and we'd have to get to the bottom of this
. What do we mean? Is it because you multi-task when driving? Too nervous? Or simply that you have had a couple of accidents and so label yourself a 'bad driver'.
Because if you really are a bad driver, all the SUV in the world won't save you
. And even if it does, you might have the death or severe injury of another person on your conscience.
This may be fixable by education. You can progress to quite a high level of driving skills via special courses. With any motor skill, practice does indeed make perfect (if practice is coupled with effective feedback and repetition). People don't become tennis pros by training 30 minutes a day.
If it's a mental thing, then stuff like learning to meditate can help.
By the by, are you dyspraxic (aka 'clumsy child syndrome' difficulties in the visual sphere with coordination, sense of direction etc.-- the visual hemispheric version of dyslexia with writing)? There are forms of physical therapy that can help with this. Dyspraxia might make you a 'bad driver' eg bad depth perception.