Good idea to sell car or not?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by upsguy27, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. upsguy27 macrumors 65816

    upsguy27

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    I have a 2004 Acura MDX that I inherited from someone else last May, and since then I've come to realize just how terrible the gas mileage is. I drive around 200 miles a week, and considering the price of gas, the fact that this car requires premium gas and that it gets 14 MPG, I pay around $175 for gas every month. However, this car has had to have a ton of repairs and maintenance done in the past 8 months, so much so that the dealer I take it to knows the entire car inside and out, so I know the history of it and my dealer is familiar with it. With a used car, I still don't know the full history of it and what could potentially go wrong.

    Would it be a good idea to trade it in and get a smaller, more fuel efficient car to cut what I have to pay a month in half or more, or because this car has already had so much done to it, over $2000 in maintenance, would it not be worth it to get another car after I've put so much extra money into this one?
     
  2. EmmEff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #2
    The short story is that at some point you will want to cut your losses. Sure, you just paid $2000 for repairs but that's not to say there won't be more repair bills in your future.

    The "Lemon Aid" books (do you have those in the US?) give 5-10 years as the useful life of a vehicle. Your MDX is 7 model years old now. After that, the expenses add up and they say it's no longer cost effective to keep it on the road.

    My advice would be to sell it now that it's repaired. You won't get your money out of it, but since you inherited the vehicle, $2k is all it cost you. But, don't sell it on the premise of fuel economy alone. You do not drive enough to justify changing vehicles for just that.
     
  3. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #3
    Utilize public transit if available as it saves money and is fun! If you are a social person, use that time to talk to strangers and make some new friends. I met a girlfriend once that way riding the "drunk bus" in Ocean City MD.
     
  4. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68030

    Mac'nCheese

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #4
    As long as u can afford it, of course, sell and get yourself a reliable, fuel efficient car. Lots of small cars that aren't too expensive to choose from. I needed a three row car for the wife and just got a rav 4 for 125 bucks a month using a four year old fit for a trade in. Jan is a great month to get a deal on a new car.
     
  5. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I absolutely love my Honda Fit. I get 40mpgs have lots of room, have had no maintenance in over a year (sans oil) and it's really fun and nimble. Test drive one. What can it hurt? Oh and they are inexpensive as well!
     
  6. upsguy27 thread starter macrumors 65816

    upsguy27

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    Well, saying I do decide to sell it, would it be best to trade it in to a dealer to get a used car for the same price from them, or sell it privately and buy privately? If I did the second one it would be kind of hard to deal with not having a car in the time from having sold the car and looking for a new one.
     
  7. EmmEff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #7
    You will get more for the vehicle by selling privately than trading in to a dealer. Whether this is worth the hassle to you is your decision.
     
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #8
    If the car is in good working order, sell it privately - you'll get more for it, most likely.

    On topic, there's a LOT more than just fuel economy to consider when making this decision. Sounds to me like the age of the car and the cost of repairs will FAR outweigh fuel costs.

    Say you buy a car that gets twice the mileage (28 mpg). Instead of spending $175 a month on gas, you'll spend $87.50. I imagine you're going to reach the point where repairs are going to run you more than $100 a month on average (if you're not there already), so mileage is really just a small piece of the puzzle.
     
  9. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2010
    #9
    Least a few grand more. If you need to sell fast, CarMax buys cars outright and gives you a check the same day. They give a pretty decent offer for a retailer, but private sale will almost always bring the most. You can sell cars on Craigslist for no listing costs or selling fees whatsoever.
     
  10. upsguy27 thread starter macrumors 65816

    upsguy27

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Arizona
    #10
    In regards to wanting to cut down the time of not having a car after selling my current one, would CarMax let me get one of the cars off their lot for the price of what they bought mine for, like an even trade almost?
     
  11. EmmEff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #11
    Yes. You're best to tell them your concerns and they will help.
     
  12. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    #12
    If mileage is your primary concern then yes you probably could do to replace your current vehicle.

    It looks fairly feasible you could still easily get $10k+ for the car (without knowing trim, condition, mileage, where you live, etc this is hard to guesstimate - but at least $10k).

    You should be able to get a relatively new (08 at least) sedan type car getting significantly more mileage for relatively cheap, or at least in terms of the cost difference to you.

    If you DO go to a dealer make sure to know what your car is worth. There are a lot of sites out there to look at (nadaguides.com or kbb.com can give you a good idea at least) to get this. Dealers will have no problems offering you less than it's worth. Only knowing what it actually is worth will allow you to avoid this :)
     
  13. EmmEff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #13
    Yeah, $10k looks feasible for sure.

    I agree with ender land. Don't go to the used car dealership without having a good idea what you want for your vehicle.
     
  14. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #14
    If you can get $10k for the car, I'd put that as a downpayment on a brand new car in the $15k range (Jetta, Civic, etc). Then you can either finance $5k or better yet, if you have the cash, pay the difference. That way, you don't have any of those concerns you mentioned about buying a used car.
     
  15. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #15
    The 2004 MDX did have transmission issues, so I would find out if it's been replaced, recalled or corrected. Other than that, Acuras (Hondas) will run for a very long time with minimal repairs.

    As far as going to a fuel efficient car, you would have to go with a compact car with a small 4 cylinder engine to get a realistic 28mpg average. Is the 4wd useful? Do you utilize the space? Do you carry passengers, especially small children? These would all weight on my decision. For $1200 a year in fuel savings, it's probably not worth swapping.
     
  16. wvuwhat macrumors 65816

    wvuwhat

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    #16
    At 200 miles a week, you fall under the 12k/year 36k/3 year stipulation that most low-mileage leases want. I'd say go for that, have a new car every three years and not have to worry about mechanical issues. You're trade-in would cover A LOT of the cost of the lease.

    Of course, a lot of people say don't do a lease (in my case, I'm leaning toward a lease for my next car), but I'd say the trade in on your car would only give you another used car that would only be trouble down the road.
     

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