When would you replace a car?

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notmyhand
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When would you replace a car?

Post by notmyhand » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:48 am

DH and I work at the same place so we often carpool. We drive a 2015 Subaru Forester most of the time. Our backup car is my ten year old Honda Civic with 200,000 miles on it which doesn't heat/cool and has a permanent problem with the tire sensor. We use that car about twice a week when we have different plans before/after work. Unfortunately we live in a rural area on a mile of gravel road that the Honda cannot get through in the snow. It suited us fine because if it snowed we would just change plans, no big deal. We found out that we are now expecting our first at the end of the year and all my new brain can think about is being stuck in the house in an emergency with the baby with no way to get into town. Reasonable fear or just a good excuse to buy a new car? We've already laid out 2018 and 2019 financial goals so they would have to change if we are to buy a car as I really don't want to add debt (justified or not?).

2018 financial goals:
-Bump up to 9 month emergency fund (30k)
-Max our 2 401ks (37k)
-Save for maternity leave (10k)
-Backdoor two roths (11k)
-One person's share of IBonds (10k)
-Pay down mortgage (40k extra this year - trying to pay off mortgage within the next two-three years as I can't stay home while we have the mortgage)
-Stretch goal: Add 12k to 529

What would you do? Wait to get a car or add a car and bump down one of these financial goals?

btenny
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by btenny » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:01 am

I suggest you look around and find a nice used car for $10K or so after trading in your old Honda. You like the Subarus so look for a nice Forester or a Imprezza. You have all summer to find a good used car so you should be fine. I suggest taking the money from the extra house $$$.

Good Luck.

JBTX
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by JBTX » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:09 am

We usually replace around 175k to 200k miles. After that repairs get expensive and more likely to be unreliable. We usually buy low mileage used cars in the $20k range, such as an Avalon or Lexus. I imagine you could get low mileage basic Camry for 15k give or take, less 2 to 3k trade in for your existing car. I always use cars.com to search for cars.

mrpotatoheadsays
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by mrpotatoheadsays » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:28 am

Yes, very drama queen... a new child does not justify a car purchase and a broken tire sensor is not the end of the world.

1. Cut the emergency fund to 6 months.
2. Use the emergency fund reduction and the iBonds to buy a used car.
3. Sell the Honda.

Consumer Reports' best used cars under $10,000....

Pontiac Vibe 2008-2010
Toyota Matrix 2008-2010
Kia Soul 2010-2012
Mazda3 2009-2012
Scion xB 2008-2012
Toyota Corolla 2008-2011
Toyota Prius 2008-2009
Mazda6 2009-2011
Honda Accord 2008-2009
Toyota Camry 2008-2009

I bet snow tires and snow chains will fit on each. I bet a bag of sand will fit in the trunk.

IowaFarmWife
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by IowaFarmWife » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:50 am

We live in a very hilly area with about a mile and a half of gravel road to drive through, and I know that gravel roads in the winter are tough at best. I would get another AWD or 4 WD for your second car, and fund it with part of your efund. Our winter gravel road-worthy cars have included Honda CRV's with 4WD, Huyndai Tucson 4WD, Chevy Equinox AWD, and a Suburban (probably more car than what you need at this time.) This is just my 2cents worth as a person who has had to deal with these driving conditions for over 20 years. :) Congrats on the baby, too! :sharebeer

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dm200
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:13 am

I would replace the car and spend, perhaps, about $10k for a good used one.

Perhaps you could commute in this other car part of the time as well. That might extend the life of the normal commuting car.

LarryAllen
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by LarryAllen » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:17 am

Get a new, or nearly new, safe car. New baby deserves it!

bikechuck
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by bikechuck » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:36 am

I will express a contrarian point of view. You are doing an outstanding job of savings and with a child on the way your life will be filled with joy but you will also have less time available for inconveniences such as car maintenance and repairs. I have owned both used and new cars in my 60 plus trips around the sun. Reflecting back on things I feel that by far the best value for my family has been to purchase high quality basic new cars and drive them for approx 150,000 miles and 12 - 15 years or so.

We have owned 3 new Civics each of which lasted 150,000 miles or so. I did learn that it does not always make sense to spend money on major repairs once they reach this point. Once my kids became active with soccer, swimming, ice skating etc we purchased a new mini van as a second car and we kept that for 150,000 miles also and replaced it with another new mini van when the kids were in High School. This was a great vehicle in the college years because we could get a full dorm room in the van. We also take bicycle and camping trips and the van was great for that because we could get the bikes and camping gear inside the car.

Savings are great but there is a fine line between savings and hording and I believe that people should relax a bit and give themselves permission to enjoy the journey and for us that meant enjoying the benefits and peace of mind associated with purchasing new cars.

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dm200
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:42 am

As you describe your older, backup car - it seems unsafe. Replace it..

Keep your eyes and ears open, perhaps, for someone ready to trade in an older, low mileage well maintained car. Dw and I got a gem that way 3 years ago - 18 model year old Camry with only 71,000 miles for under $3,000 :)

quantAndHold
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:52 am

mrpotatoheadsays wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:28 am
Yes, very drama queen... a new child does not justify a car purchase and a broken tire sensor is not the end of the world.

1. Cut the emergency fund to 6 months.
2. Use the emergency fund reduction and the iBonds to buy a used car.
3. Sell the Honda.

Consumer Reports' best used cars under $10,000....

Pontiac Vibe 2008-2010
Toyota Matrix 2008-2010
Kia Soul 2010-2012
Mazda3 2009-2012
Scion xB 2008-2012
Toyota Corolla 2008-2011
Toyota Prius 2008-2009
Mazda6 2009-2011
Honda Accord 2008-2009
Toyota Camry 2008-2009

I bet snow tires and snow chains will fit on each. I bet a bag of sand will fit in the trunk.
Of course not a single one of those will work better than OP’s current car on the gravel roads. If getting stuck in my driveway was a regular thing, and I now had three family members needing to go places instead of two, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to be dealing with chains at all, and it would be time to replace the car. Also, I have a car with no heat. I’m fine driving it around Southern California, but if I had to potentially drive a baby around in the snow, I wouldn’t do that.

The sentiment is right, though. The April issue of Consumer Reports has lists of reliable used cars at every price range. Find one with all wheel drive.

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dm200
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:55 am

No mechanic here -- BUT I would wonder whether a car without heat had some serious underlying problems that made it unsafe?

jehovasfitness
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by jehovasfitness » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:01 am

I'd cut my losses on a car with 200k miles sell for what you can now and put that towards a replacement vehicle.

Soon as a major repair hits the car will be worthless

jehovasfitness
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by jehovasfitness » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:02 am

FWIW I had an 04 civic and it handled snow quite well.

Front wheel drive does a great job in snow. I would think on gravel pretty good as it should help with traction to a degree

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dm200
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:04 am

I would also not be opposed to financing a replacement with a low rate used car loan from a credit union..

notmyhand
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by notmyhand » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:08 am

jehovasfitness wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:02 am
FWIW I had an 04 civic and it handled snow quite well.

Front wheel drive does a great job in snow. I would think on gravel pretty good as it should help with traction to a degree
The problem is the hills, it can't get up a gravel hill in the snow (it doesn't get plowed). We've tried. It ended up stuck in a field for most of December last year when I lost control trying to get it up one.

quantAndHold
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:14 am

notmyhand wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:08 am
jehovasfitness wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:02 am
FWIW I had an 04 civic and it handled snow quite well.

Front wheel drive does a great job in snow. I would think on gravel pretty good as it should help with traction to a degree
The problem is the hills, it can't get up a gravel hill in the snow (it doesn't get plowed). We've tried. It ended up stuck in a field for most of December last year when I lost control trying to get it up one.
Not saying you shouldn’t replace the car (you should), but do you have snow tires? In your situation, even with an all wheel drive car, I would have snow tires in the winter.

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wander
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by wander » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:37 am

Unless you like to work on car, otherwise, it is about time to replace your Honda.

Chris K Jones
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by Chris K Jones » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:03 pm

Congratulations on the baby on the way. You have done real well with the car, but I would replace it soon. I'd look for a good used car. You can get a good one for 10 k or less. Best wishes.

ofckrupke
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by ofckrupke » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:04 pm

notmyhand wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:08 am
The problem is the hills, it can't get up a gravel hill in the snow (it doesn't get plowed). We've tried. It ended up stuck in a field for most of December last year when I lost control trying to get it up one.
When an impending snowfall threatens 2WD access, park the Honda overnights at the main road end of the gravel; until the section again becomes 2WD-passable, drive DH out to it each workday morning and fetch him at the parking spot at day's end.
Or have him walk that mile twice each day, as well as drive the Civic, so the decision becomes about his endurance rather than your anxiety.
Or split the difference: shuttle out in the AM, hike home in the PM.

3funder
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by 3funder » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:51 pm

jehovasfitness wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:01 am
I'd cut my losses on a car with 200k miles sell for what you can now and put that towards a replacement vehicle.

Soon as a major repair hits the car will be worthless
+1.

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bottlecap
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:23 pm

I don’t get scared of major repairs. They are rare even on high mileage cars. And I don’t care if you car is worhless. My vehicle has been worth salvage value for at least five years now.

However, babies need heat in the cold weather and cool in the hot weather. If you can’t fix the heat for a decent price and you will be stuck with the Honda in the snowy months, it sounds like it may be time to make a change.

Look around to see what you can find used that would be suitable. Might set your plans back a bit, but cars are for convenience. Sounds like the Honda is no longer convenient for you.

JT

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Watty
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by Watty » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:30 pm

notmyhand wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:48 am
2018 financial goals:
-Bump up to 9 month emergency fund (30k)
-Max our 2 401ks (37k)
-Save for maternity leave (10k)
-Backdoor two roths (11k)
-One person's share of IBonds (10k)
-Pay down mortgage (40k extra this year - trying to pay off mortgage within the next two-three years as I can't stay home while we have the mortgage)
-Stretch goal: Add 12k to 529
Just eyeballing it you have something like $110,000 in disposable income that you are putting into savings. :shock:

Read that again $110,000 in disposable income.

There is a huge difference between being frugal and being obsessive and driving a car with 200,000 miles with no heat that can't always get up your road with a new baby is getting way into being obsessive. :oops:

There is no way that you can't afford a good used car that will get up the hill. Something like a new base model Forester is not all that expensive so that would also be a reasonable option. :beer It would even be reasonable to get a new car with a lot of the new safety features that might be options on a Subaru. :beer :beer

One option to look at would be to refinance the house into something like a ten year loan if you needed to do that to be able to be a stay at home parent. :wink:

multiham
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by multiham » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:37 pm

You will have enough to worry about, stress over, etc with a new baby. Get a new or newer car that has all the features you are looking for. Just imagine after countless nights of not getting enough sleep, you have a day where you need to go someplace. You spend the 15 minutes getting the baby ready, bundled in their car seat, and your car either doesn't start (best case since your still home) or breaks down. Take some worry off your plate and buy a "new" car!

JoeRetire
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:38 pm

notmyhand wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:48 am
Our backup car is my ten year old Honda Civic with 200,000 miles on it which doesn't heat/cool.

Unfortunately we live in a rural area on a mile of gravel road that the Honda cannot get through in the snow.

We found out that we are now expecting our first at the end of the year and all my new brain can think about is being stuck in the house in an emergency with the baby with no way to get into town. Reasonable fear or just a good excuse to buy a new car?
That combination of facts would do it for me. I'd be seeking a better backup car immediately.
We've already laid out 2018 and 2019 financial goals so they would have to change if we are to buy a car as I really don't want to add debt (justified or not?).

2018 financial goals:
-Bump up to 9 month emergency fund (30k)
-Max our 2 401ks (37k)
-Save for maternity leave (10k)
-Backdoor two roths (11k)
-One person's share of IBonds (10k)
-Pay down mortgage (40k extra this year - trying to pay off mortgage within the next two-three years as I can't stay home while we have the mortgage)
-Stretch goal: Add 12k to 529

What would you do? Wait to get a car or add a car and bump down one of these financial goals?
For me, I'd get a car nearer the end of the year. Not new, but more reliable. Babies need heat/cooling. And they tend to need a doctor at the most inconvenient times.

If necessary, I'd dial back on maxing out the 401ks. That was nice, but baby comes first.
-Pay down mortgage (40k extra this year - trying to pay off mortgage within the next two-three years as I can't stay home while we have the mortgage)
I don't think I understand this.
Where is the money to pay off the mortgage coming from? If the mortgage wasn't paid off, you could use this money monthly for the mortgage payment, right?
And the baby will arrive before the next two-three years anyway. Are you currently planning to work for years post-baby?

Balance
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by Balance » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:12 pm

LarryAllen wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:17 am
Get a new, or nearly new, safe car. New baby deserves it!
Totally agree with this. A newer car will have a lot better safety and technology upgrades which are important for driving especially when you are tired and distracted because of your child who will at times be temperamental in the car. Plus your Civic doesn't have heat or air.

When we had our first child, we had a Prius and my old 2006 Honda Civic. We thought we could make it work with these two cars but I wrenched my back more than once trying to get my son into the car seat because of the lack of space. We sold the Civic and bought a used Accord and it was so worth it.

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Sasquatch
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by Sasquatch » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:21 pm

My kids are grown up and out on there own now so me and the missus on our own now. I was maxing the 401k and living below my means during the family years. For me it really in the end it came down to a simple question I had to ask myself. “If my family was spared injury or death because they had a reasonable vehicle would I regret the purchase?” That does not mean you can’t be prudent with your next auto purchase. Buy a capable AWD vehicle ( I am partial to Subaru, Honda, Toyota) a couple of years old, be very diligent with your maintenance and sleep well at night. Best wishes to you and your family.

jehovasfitness
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by jehovasfitness » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:28 am

notmyhand wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:08 am
jehovasfitness wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:02 am
FWIW I had an 04 civic and it handled snow quite well.

Front wheel drive does a great job in snow. I would think on gravel pretty good as it should help with traction to a degree
The problem is the hills, it can't get up a gravel hill in the snow (it doesn't get plowed). We've tried. It ended up stuck in a field for most of December last year whe n I lost control trying to get it up one.
Gotcha

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gasdoc
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by gasdoc » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:45 am

I can't believe there is so much debate over replacing a car with $200K miles on it which also no longer meets your needs. I would splurge on a good quality used car that fits your (revised) budget. With a baby on the way, you really need two reliable cars.

gasdoc

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bottlecap
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by bottlecap » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:58 am

gasdoc wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:45 am
I can't believe there is so much debate over replacing a car with $200K miles on it which also no longer meets your needs. I would splurge on a good quality used car that fits your (revised) budget. With a baby on the way, you really need two reliable cars.

gasdoc
I guess it would depend on how you define debate.

Not one person has argued for keeping the 200k mile car.

JT

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dm200
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:13 pm

gasdoc wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:45 am
I can't believe there is so much debate over replacing a car with $200K miles on it which also no longer meets your needs. I would splurge on a good quality used car that fits your (revised) budget. With a baby on the way, you really need two reliable cars.

gasdoc
No "debate" about replacing the car - just what and how

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gasdoc
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by gasdoc » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:51 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:13 pm
gasdoc wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:45 am
I can't believe there is so much debate over replacing a car with $200K miles on it which also no longer meets your needs. I would splurge on a good quality used car that fits your (revised) budget. With a baby on the way, you really need two reliable cars.

gasdoc
No "debate" about replacing the car - just what and how
OK. I'll stand corrected.

gasdoc

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jharkin
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by jharkin » Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:12 pm

Absolutely a 200k car has served its duty and can be replaced with kids on the way. When we where expecting we traded a similar age Corolla for a certified preowned Pilot SUV ( we had twins, needed space)


Another thought .., be ready for the chance that after a few months with baby maternity leave plans may change. We had thoughts of a short term leave or me WFH a couple days a week so she could work... Then reality hit and my wife ended up a SAHM for 6 years.

RetiredCSProf
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by RetiredCSProf » Thu May 03, 2018 8:32 pm

I replaced my 8-year old car three months after my son was born. I had a 2-door hatchback; getting my infant son into the rear-facing car seat in the back was nearly impossible for me. I gave the hatchback to my nephew and purchased a new Lexus sedan, which I drove for 20 years.

My criteria for the new car were:
-- 4 doors
-- quiet, smooth drive
-- CD player
-- low maintenance
-- good A/C and heater

golfCaddy
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by golfCaddy » Thu May 03, 2018 11:33 pm

You can more than afford a newer, safer car, but snow doesn't make the best justification. If the roads are too bad for a Honda with snow tires, and chains, you should seriously think about whether the roads are just too bad to drive on period. A 2018 model with AWD doesn't make you invincible.

OnTrack2020
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Re: When would you replace a car?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Fri May 04, 2018 8:20 am

Definitely replace with something new/newer and the features you want. I think the vast majority of people in this thread are saying the same. Babies get sick a lot and at the most inopportune time also. Doctors appointments are pretty standard for the first few years and during pre-school years. Driving a vehicle with no heat in the winter stinks! Trying to get out of a gravel road that hasn't been plowed after a major snowstorm, well, forget it. It won't happen without the right vehicle. Even major rainstorms are a pain on a gravel road.

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