Keep it or sell it?

Help me out, YNAB fam...

 

I'm a bit of a car person, so I own several. Most of them I buy very cheap, and fix them up.  My last daily driver, I owned for 15 years and it had 310k on it when I sold it 3 years ago. At that time, I decided to buy a new car, a 2017 Ford Fiesta ST. Which is an insanely fun car to drive, but I am making payments on it.  The loan is $268/mo, and 3.5%. 

 

I keep teetering on the fence of if I should sell it or not. It is the most fuel efficient vehicle I own. I average 35mpg in it with normal driving, and can get that a fair amount lower when playing, but usually keep it over 30. 

 

Perspective: I own an 88 Chevy G20 van ($400), what I'm working on turning into a camper to sell. Van market is hot right now. I own an 02 Ford E350($1000) to turn into a camper for myself. I recently picked up an 02 Ford Ranger 4x4 for cheap ($2300, not running, now it runs great).

 

So I clearly don't NEED the Fiesta. Part of me wants to keep it because it's fun, and also fuel efficient. But I could probably save a fair amount of money selling it (KBB value has it around $15,500, bought it for ~$19k). Do I keep the car because it is fuel efficient, or get rid of it because it has payments?

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Fuel efficient

No repair costs for awhile

Not bad on insurance

 

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Payments

Higher insurance than other vehicles

Colorado registration is higher on new cars (started at $350, goes down every year until 10 years old)

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  • My suggestion would be to look at it from a perspective of hobby vs. daily transportation and don't mix them together.

    Like 6
      • WordTenor
      • I have the honor to be your obedient servant
      • WordTenor
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

       This. And if you’re flipping cars,  can you make $3216/yr profit on the flipped cars? Then the Fiesta is a free side benefit of your hobby. Or you can think about the profit on the hobby cars as funding the hobby. But I’d separate the two...you have a hobby that takes money and you have a car that takes money. Maybe that’s more money than you ultimately want to spend and maybe it’s the hobby that goes instead of the fiesta! Who knows. 

      Like 1
  • How much driving are you doing? If you're doing enough that the fuel efficiency is useful, then it's worth keeping because it's costing you a lot compared to the others (and what it would cost to drive them longer distances frequently), but if you're not doing a lot of driving, then it's probably costing you a fair amount because the fuel efficiency isn't paying for itself. I would guess the Ford Ranger probably gets decent mileage, compared to the others anyway, so $268 a month is a LOT to pay to save a few dollars on gas, especially if you're only filling up once or twice a month due to not driving.

    Like 1
      • Mitch
      • Cyan_Hammerhead.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual Covid makes it hard to answer that question. For awhile, I was driving 70 miles each way to work. But I'm not doing that right now. There is a chance I could go back to that, or possibly not. Which is part of the reason I'm on the fence. If I start commuting again, the fuel efficiency makes more sense. But I don't know how long it might be until something like that starts again.

      And the Ranger only gets about 20 highway. The big vans get 15 highway. I've squeaked 16/17 out of the E350 before, but that's not the norm, and that was on a road trip.

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  • Appreciate all the replies. Been thinking more about this, and decided to figure out the actual cost of keeping the Fiesta a little better.

     

    The Ranger is here to stay. I wanted a truck, and now I have one. The difference is driving the Fiesta on the regular, or selling it. If I sell the Fiesta, I daily the Ranger. So that said, here is math:

     

    If I start commuting again down to the Springs, that's 75 miles each way, 4 days a week. That comes out to 2400mi/month. At today's Costco price, that's $1.87/gal, and at worst 17mpg highway, that comes to $264/mo in fuel for the Ranger. 

     

    The alternative to driving the Ranger that much, is driving the Fiesta those 2400 miles. At 35mpg, and with a premium fuel price (which is what I always run) of $2.23 Costco, that's $153/mo in fuel. Savings of $111 in fuel cost/mo.

    But, since the alternative is to sell the Fiesta, I have to factor in registration, insurance, and payments. $268+$515/6(6mo premium)+$300/12(yearly registration)+$153 fuel gives me $532/mo for the Fiesta.  I would appreciate if someone would check that my logic and math is correct here.

     

    That means, there is no way the Fiesta is saving me money by keeping it. The question is then, is it worth the $532/mo to keep it. Even if I don't drive the Ranger hardly at all, that's at best $421/mo to keep the Fiesta.

    Like 1
  • I've decided keeping the car is not worth the debt. I'd rather get debt free, then consider buying a newer car again. 

    That said, the market for selling a used car seems to be good right now. I've gotten pretty good cash offers from Carvana and Vroom currently, which takes the hassle out of selling private party. And their offer isn't that far behind private party value.

    I'll ditch the $268/mo payment, drop $515/6mo of insurance, won't have to pay another $300 in March on registration, and currently get about $3500-4000 cash after paying off the loan. That should go a long way to digging myself out of the hole I dug over the last several years, pre-YNAB.

    Like 5
      • Bruce
      • Software Engineer
      • Bruce
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Mitch Nice!   Sounds like a smart choice.  nice windfall, and lower monthly expenses to boot.  You're right, having better fuel consumption is not worth that much right now.

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      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Mitch It probably does not change the results of your calculation but you based everything on the monthly payment on your loan.  You never mentioned what you owe and how long you'd still be paying on it.   Car sales people use this same approach to get people to spend more than they can really afford.  How long do you have to pay on the loan.  How long will the ranger last compared to the fiesta,  what would be the expected maintenance on the ranger vs the fiesta over that time period etc.  Again, you might come to the same conclusion but I believe it is a mistake to evaluate it strictly on your loan payment. 

      Like
      • Mitch
      • Cyan_Hammerhead.5
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Herman My initial intent was to keep the car as long as I kept my last car, 15 years. However, my last car could go down the dirt roads in Colorado, the Fiesta cannot. I neglected to factor this in when I bought a new car. That is why I started looking for a truck instead. 

      I bought the car February 2018, just shy of 3 years. With another 3 years of payments to go. And true, the fiesta will require less maintenance than the Ranger, but I do my own maintenance so the cost difference isn't great. With multiple vehicles, it usually pretty easy to take one down for a few days to repair something on the cheap. Plus, I did all the major items already on the Ranger when I got it (tires, shocks, plugs, wires, etc). So unless something catastrophically fails, the Ranger is good for a few years.

      The other factor, not mentioned before, is a possible deployment in about a year. In which case, I would probably sell the car then anyways. And the market is desperate for used cars right now, since dealer lots are empty. It might be worth keeping the car if I was driving it all the time, but I'm not. Between Covid spikes, everything shutting down and such, I just don't see the value in payments on a car that sits in the garage 90% of the week. I would have no problem keeping it, if I owned it outright and it was sitting in the garage.

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      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Mitch sounds like you've done significantly more analysis than presented here. Good for you and I'm sure you've made the right decision for you.  Best of luck!

      Like 1
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