Choosing Which Car to Sell
My wife and I have each been lucky enough to have our own vehicle for more than a decade (major age hint drop). Vehicles have become a part of our daily routine. Recent changes in our life have now offered us an opportunity to make the major move from two vehicles to one. We now live about two miles away from our jobs, we live 1 block from a major bus line that takes us to within a few blocks of them, and we don’t have any consistent commitments directly before or after work.
You could say that the combination of these factors has made it a no brainer, right? Not exactly. The thought of not always having my own personal vehicle to get me around in whatever situation I may need it for has been a little difficult to accept. It’s a convenience thing. I had become accustomed to the idea of always being a car owner, almost looking at ownership as a right or duty. What’s been even more difficult to decide is which one I should sell off!
So, Which Car Should I Get Rid of?
Let’s take a look at the profiles, and at the same time look at the factors you should consider when deciding which vehicle you should sell. Personally, I am most concerned with the financial, longevity, ethical, and functional characteristics of the vehicles:
Corner #1: Pontiac Grand Am
- Model year: 2000
- Miles: 116,000
- Motor: 4 cylinder, 2.4 liter, automatic
- $ left in loan payments: $0 – the car is entirely paid off
- Insurance cost: annually – $129, monthly – $11
- Fuel cost on estimated 3,000 miles driven/year: annually – $535, monthly – $45
- Total estimated cost of ownership (excluding maintenance): annually – $672 , monthly – $56
- Carbon footprint based on an estimated 3,000 miles driven per year: 1.6 tons of CO2 emitted
- Gas Mileage according to actual user reports on the fueleconomy.gov site: low – 18 mpg, high 26 mpg, average 21.9 mpg
- Gas Mileage according to EPA: city – 19, highway – 28
- Issues or other factors: the vehicle is missing a rear view mirror from a rare run-in with a hobo and when you use the blinker it takes 2 minutes for the blinking noise to stop running. These things might make the vehicle difficult to sell. On the other hand, they are somewhat annoying to me personally. Other than that the vehicle runs perfectly and could probably get another $50K miles on it.
Corner #2: Pontiac Vibe
- Model year: 2003
- Miles: 60,000
- Motor: 4 cylinder, 1.8 liter, automatic
- $ left in loan payments: $7,500 ($216/mo. for about 3 more years)
- Insurance cost: annually – $426, monthly – $35
- Fuel cost on estimated 3,000 miles driven/year: annually – $439, monthly – $37
- Total estimated cost of ownership (excluding maintenance): annually – $3,456, monthly – $288
- Carbon footprint based on an estimated 3,000 miles driven per year: 1.3 tons of CO2 emitted
- Gas Mileage according to actual user reports on fueleconomy.gov site: low – 27 mpg, high – 34 mpg, average – 31.1 (I took a 1,500 mile trip in this car once and hit 35 mpg)
- Gas Mileage according to EPA: city – 25, highway – 33
- Issues or other factors: The car was previously owned by a smoker and now and then on a hot day a lingering odor will come back from the dead, which can drive me mad as a non-smoker. Other than that, it runs great, no issues. This car is great at hauling things around as well, with rear fold down seats and a roof rack. The Grand Am simply can’t compete in these categories and as a homeowner, cargo space is a factor.
- This vehicle has a 3 year warranty remaining on it. Not quite bumper-to-bumber, but covers just about everything besides general maintenance. Right after I bought it, I had to have the radiator completely replaced, a $600 job, and didn’t pay a dime.
Soliciting your Feedback: Which Car Should I Sell??
I’d like to collect reader feedback over the next week and then I’ll come back with an ultimate decision in a future post. Here’s what I’d like to get your opinion on:
- Which car you think I should sell off and why?
- What are the characteristics that you would be concerned with the most?
- Have I missed any major points of consideration that you would consider?