Should I sell my car?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I sell my car?

    1) Mainly for financial reasons
    2) For the principle of the thing

    I'm a grad student so I don't make that much. My car is paid for (my mom bought it) and its a 2002 Nissan Maxima SE. Its a fine car and I like it but here is what it is costing me, even without a payment: Insurance = $75 / month, Gas (I don't drive much) = $30 / month, maintenance + repairs = $15 / month?, depreciation = ?.

    The car is currently worth $6000. So I was thinking if I sell while there is still value I should hold onto the money and buy a more practical economic car years later after grad school or something.

    OR should I keep the car since it is paid for and it is nice and reliable. $6000 plus $100 - $150 / month goes a long ways.

  2. #2
    AZ
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    Keep it , economical cars are not going to get cheaper .

  3. #3
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    keep it and 'non-op' it
    ~$10/yr IIRC
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  4. #4
    The Brutally Handsome
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    I have no way of knowing all the factors involved in your life, but my personal feeling is that you should sell the car. First, with the right bike setup, you can do almost anything you could do with a car. The more I ride, the more I have found this to be true, and I regret that I did not try going carless when I could have. Second, there is no reason to have that much money tied up in a depreciating vehicle. The fact that you have to pay another 100+ dollars a month to drive it seems like a waste.

    I currently own a Toyota worth about 900$ and I pay 25$ a month to insure it. At this point in my life, the car is a necessity, as I have two small kids. And the car is virtually worthless and inexpensive to keep, so, there is no sense in selling it. However, if I was kidless, in college and owned a car worth more than $2000, I would certainly sell it.

    That said, judging from your wiggles-dad name, I'm guessing you might have children (or else you're really into Greg, Jeff, Murray and Anthony). In that case, I would say you should sell it and buy something cheaper, like a $2000 honda.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    I`d say that just plain selling it right now would be jumping in with both feet, which may or may not be a good idea. If you`re longing to be car free, but think you`d be tempted with the car around or something like that, maybe that`s the way to lock yourself in. But if you have doubts and aren`t sure yet how well you`d handle life with no convenient internal cumbustion option, it seems like a better plan to keep it registered, insured, and unused but available for a few months before making any tough to undo changes. You can always sell it later. In fact, you`d probably get more money for it in March or April than you would right now.
    Recalculating....

  6. #6
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    Sell it and buy a Big Dummy. Life solved.

    I've been unchained from my automotive dependence for three years. The Big Dummy was the best thing I've done and it was only this summer. I had full racks and panniers before and it was great for grocery shopping and beer hauling but lacking everywhere else. My next purchase will be a trailer or I'll make one so I can haul appliances and whatever else bulky.

  7. #7
    Recreational Racer
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    Ask your insurance company if a raised deductable will lower your payments. Then get your self a reliable bike and ride it. Its hard to live with out a car but is easy to own a commuter and limit your driving. I commute about five miles round trip daily. I've only put gas in my car five times this year. I did get a touch of pneumonia in my right lung and had to dive for a month. I love to ride but not to the point of death.
    Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

  8. #8
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    Try and get your fuel bill down to $0 a month. Once you've done that a few months in a row sell it. I've been thinking of going car-less for a while now. The problem is I need a car to get my mountain bike up to the trails, and I'm in the process of doing up my house, and am making trips to the tip and the hardware store. I've reduced my fuel bill from about 50 a month to less than 20. I also had 100 knocked off my insurance by reducing my annual mileage from estimated 12k to 5k. If it wasn't for the occasional cross country drive my annual mileage would come in under 2k.

  9. #9
    local trails rider
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    What are your transportation needs?
    What do you "need" your car for?
    If you don't have it, what will you do instead?

  10. #10
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Hope your mtb trails are in biking distance. Otherwise, go for it.

  11. #11
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    +1 on keeping it and switching to non-operating. Save money on licensing fees and insurance. Just be sure to run it a little once a week or put some gasoline stabilizer in the tank.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  12. #12
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    Sell car, put $3k into a high yield savings account, then spend $3k on a bike, proper bike tools, spares, etc. I mean go all out. Big Dummy with all the fixins perhaps? Get educated on bike building and maintenance so you're never stuck without a ride. Keep a spare bike and always enough money on hand for bus/taxi fare for bad weather days.

    With $150 savings per month, you could tuck a little away in savings, and still have enough play month to do what you want.

    FWIW, I have the same car, and even though I love it, I'd sell it if I could, but I'm still $3k upside down on it Keep in mind that these cars aren't the cheapest to maintain when they get older....

    If you decide that being car-free is really too much, then you still have $3k in the bank to get a decent older car that will be easier to maintain and gas up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    Sell it and buy a Big Dummy. Life solved.

    I've been unchained from my automotive dependence for three years. The Big Dummy was the best thing I've done and it was only this summer. I had full racks and panniers before and it was great for grocery shopping and beer hauling but lacking everywhere else. My next purchase will be a trailer or I'll make one so I can haul appliances and whatever else bulky.
    I've been wanting to do this! I really want a Big Dummy or a Yuba Mundo but I can't justify the cost and need UNLESS I don't have a car.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Hope your mtb trails are in biking distance. Otherwise, go for it.
    I live in Salt Lake City. Mountain biking trails are within biking distance for sure. I use my car to go biking in Park City and other outside of the city trails but 90% with friends.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    +1 on keeping it and switching to non-operating. Save money on licensing fees and insurance. Just be sure to run it a little once a week or put some gasoline stabilizer in the tank.
    See I've thought about this option as well. But then why would I sit on a $6000 chunk of cash that is depreciating if I'm not going to use it. Wouldn't I be better off putting the 6K in my mutual fund account?

  16. #16
    ...a wiggle theres a way
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    do you go to the U?
    i commute from west jordan up there most of the time and when the weather is knarly i just ride to trax and go up that way.
    Going to park city without a car might be challenging with out a car seeing as we don't have a direct bike path, (in the summer you can go down guardsman to park city but winter makes it a non-feasible option)

    how often do you drive? do you buy your groceries all at once? do you have a way to transport them back (e.g. trailer/panniers)

    i have a car its old, more or less worthless but gives me the option to utilize it when a 240mile bike ride isn't an option (e.g. going to moab like this weekend)

    personally if you have a garage or some place to store it why not drop the insurance as one of the top posters suggested and just ride your bike than you can save the insurance and gas.

    joe

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggy
    do you go to the U?
    i commute from west jordan up there most of the time and when the weather is knarly i just ride to trax and go up that way.
    Going to park city without a car might be challenging with out a car seeing as we don't have a direct bike path, (in the summer you can go down guardsman to park city but winter makes it a non-feasible option)

    how often do you drive? do you buy your groceries all at once? do you have a way to transport them back (e.g. trailer/panniers)

    i have a car its old, more or less worthless but gives me the option to utilize it when a 240mile bike ride isn't an option (e.g. going to moab like this weekend)

    personally if you have a garage or some place to store it why not drop the insurance as one of the top posters suggested and just ride your bike than you can save the insurance and gas.

    joe
    I am a grad student at the U. I've ridden into Park City from downtown SLC but the ride was epic. Most of the time when we ride in PC we carpool anyway. If I'm riding solo I just ride the shoreline.

    I probably crank the car up once a week for some reason or another (but it is not necessary). Its nice to have but not a necessity. I grocery shop on my commuter and stuff a bunch of things into a huge backpack and then sometimes have extra bags on the handle bars. I'm only 5 blocks from Smiths.

  18. #18
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    Price what it would cost you to use a car-share service or rental to do your car trips for a month. If it's under $120, sell the car. Otherwise, hold onto it.

    Personally, I really like being able to drive myself to races and trails (too far to ride a mountain bike from where I live.) I also use it when I book work that's far away - presumably you're going to graduate at some point, and want to be able to interview, which is frequently a lot easier with a car even if it's someplace you'd ride to if hired. And there are winter days that are a real bummer to have to ride on. Depending on someone else having a car is a hypocritical and incredibly annoying way to go car-free, imho. Some of my friends do that, and I think the real result is that their lives are a lot less rich and they're limited to their neighborhood, not that they do the same things they did when they had a car but save money.

    Anyway, rental or car-share cars seem like for a very light car-user, they can take over for actually owning a car and get you the savings without being as limiting as taking some kind of hair-shirt approach to life.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
    weirdo
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    Renting a car sounds like an easy solution when you need one just once in a while, but make sure you can get to a rental shop easilly without a car. If it takes several hours of riding, walking and bus transfers (or $60 for a taxi) to pick up and that much again to drop off, it wouldn`t be such a great plan.

    Car share? Never heard of it, but it sounds interresting- anybody here ever used a program like that?
    Recalculating....

  20. #20
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Car share? Never heard of it, but it sounds interresting- anybody here ever used a program like that?
    http://www.zipcar.com/
    I've used them a little bit, basically instead of renting. They have their good and bad points - I think it cost under $20 to use a truck for a few hours several weeks ago, but if someone borrows a car for a full day or more, I think the costs exceed renting a car from Budget. My mother's office uses them to supplement their office car, since one is frequently not enough and they don't want to buy a second. The intension is for businesses to use instead of an office car or for individuals to use if they typically don't use a car but sometimes want one for short trips.

    In San Francisco, there are lots of parking lots with a couple of these cars, so it's pretty convenient, while it can be a little more of a pain to get to a more conventional rental car.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggles_dad
    I live in Salt Lake City. Mountain biking trails are within biking distance for sure. I use my car to go biking in Park City and other outside of the city trails but 90% with friends.
    Are there trails within ride distance of South SLC or even downtown?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jvan_wert
    Ask your insurance company if a raised deductable will lower your payments. Then get your self a reliable bike and ride it. Its hard to live with out a car but is easy to own a commuter and limit your driving. I commute about five miles round trip daily. I've only put gas in my car five times this year. I did get a touch of pneumonia in my right lung and had to dive for a month. I love to ride but not to the point of death.
    I wouldn't sell. I'd get as high deductible as possible and look for other ways that to lower the insurance ... including low mileage discounts.

    9 Ways To Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

  23. #23
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggles_dad
    See I've thought about this option as well. But then why would I sit on a $6000 chunk of cash that is depreciating if I'm not going to use it. Wouldn't I be better off putting the 6K in my mutual fund account?
    If you can get by 100% of the time without it, then go for it.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiggles_dad
    I live in Salt Lake City. Mountain biking trails are within biking distance for sure. I use my car to go biking in Park City and other outside of the city trails but 90% with friends.

    you totally do not neeed a car in SLC. the trax and uta are more than enough. Also things are very centrally located for the most part. How often do you go up to park city? What, you don't want to bike up parley's??? LOL.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCcripps
    you totally do not neeed a car in SLC. the trax and uta are more than enough. Also things are very centrally located for the most part. How often do you go up to park city? What, you don't want to bike up parley's??? LOL.
    I don't go to PC that often. In the summer time, its my refuge from the shoreline for mountain biking. This past season I also discovered that Snow Basin is an underrated, place to bike. It is nice to go for the occasional solo ride or go bouldering (I'm also a climber) alone. It would be for these reasons that I would keep my car (not the day to day need).

    I was thinking that with a Surly Big Dummy, I could haul my bike or crash pad somewhere but this would be an all day adventure. I'm still on the fence but I'm giving myself until April, when my insurance is up, to decide. Meanwhile you can sign up for car share for only
    $5 until Jan 15, 2010. The promo code is "CITYSHARE".

  26. #26
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    sounds like the perfect college car and it's paid off. ride that bastard into the ground.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by roc865
    sounds like the perfect college car and it's paid off. ride that bastard into the ground.
    Agreed. I am in the same situation as well, also a college kid and have a 2000 chevy blazer thats paid off and in great shape. Selling it just isnt in the picture right now. I still need it to go home (100+ miles) and use it in the winter (snowboarding) and hauling tools to work at my summer construction job

    Id say since its payed off, just keep on trucking until it dies, thats what im planning on doing. But it will take me awhile since I only put on 6500 miles last year (and 3500 of them were in june, july and august), and its only got 120,000 on the clock.

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