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If I Had the Money, Would I Replace My Car?

I was talking to my friend Kris about job hunting the other day.  One position that I’m trying for would increase my salary by $20,000 a year.  One of her comments in passing brought up how great it would be to finally have the money to replace my much-hated Chevy Aveo (My Crappy Car).  As I walked out the door to go to the job I don’t want anymore, I realized that I probably wouldn’t buy another car even if I had the money in the bank.

The car still works.  Despite the few problems it has had due to really awful craftsmanship, it is still a driveable car and not costing me more money than $35 a month for liability insurance, though I could still compare car insurance rates and get it cheaper, $75 a month for gas, $20 a month for tires on average if I buy tires online at a discount, and $150 a year for registration, inspection, and oil changes.  This little piece of doo-doo car really only costs me about $1700 a year plus whatever breaks (which has been about $350 in parts this year and $500 last year).  Not too bad for my main mode of transportation.

In fact, looking at it like that, maybe I don’t hate it as much as I thought I did.  It will depend on how long it lasts before something else breaks.  I dislike car payments more than I dislike my car, but I hate errands more than all of it.  If it starts giving me regular problems, I will drop it like it’s hot, hehehe.  🙂

What about you?  What is your line in the sand for your vehicle?

22 thoughts on “If I Had the Money, Would I Replace My Car?”

  1. Nicole

    I don’t know what I would do in that situation. If a car was actually driving me crazy and I had the money, it might be worth replacing. It’s hard to say.

  2. Everyday Tips

    My cars have been pretty reliable the last few years, and I have been pretty happy with them. My biggest issue is when they start to get what I fear is too many miles on them, then I have to think of getting something else. I don’t worry about that as much now that I don’t have little kids in the car with me anymore, but my biggest fear was being stuck on the side of the freeway with 3 kids in car seats!

    I love my Ford Taurus X. May not be the most attractive vehicle, but it is a workhouse and incredibly functional.

    I made you appreciate your Aveo- I am proud of myself! 🙂

  3. Little House

    I love my Honda Element, however, my husband is itching for a new car. We share one vehicle, but thankfully neither one of us drive a whole lot. Our Honda could easily last another 10 years (we’ve only had it 5), but I’m thinking we will most likely be trading it in within 2-years (or sooner if hubby gets his way!) But I’m with you, I hate car payments!

  4. AJ

    I used to love my Honda Civic…reliable, paid-for, great gas mileage. However, after two kids moved in with us and a recent hit-and-run left us with a rental van for a week, I desperately want a bigger car! Two adults, two kids and big, slobbery lab just fit so much better in a van (even if it does make me feel like a soccer mom!).

  5. Techbud

    Why not just start a replacement car fund now if you budget will allow? This way you will have some cash on hand when you need to replace Aveo.

  6. Crystal @ BFS

    @Nicole, it only drives me crazy in little spurts…if it gets worse, I will give in, lol.

    @Everyday Tips, lol…yep you made me appreciate something that I bad mouth every chance I get. You should feel proud!

    @Little House, isn’t it annoying that you could easily save thousands if your spouse would just get on board? Hehehe…

    @AJ, I’d want something bigger in that situation too! I like my FIL’s Hyundai Santa Fe…that could work. 🙂

    @Techbud, I agree, we do have a car fund. I paid my car off in 2007 and put that $200 monthly payment into the fund – we zeroed it out for the downpayment on my husband’s Prius. Now we put in $500 a month since the Prius is paid off too. Hopefully we’ll be able to buy all future cars in cash. 🙂

  7. Car Negotiation Coach

    I love my 2 door car and will drive it until my wife makes me get something bigger so we can both have a car seat in the back :).

  8. Newlyweds on a Budget

    I still have 2 years left to pay off my car, but I promise myself I will never make payments for a car again. I’ll buy used and pay in full.

  9. Money Reasons

    For me it would take transmission or serious engine problems to make my dump by ugly bucket, er I mean 2003 chevy malibu!

    Kudos to you for sticking it out!

  10. Jenna

    I’m still trying to buy my own car. I’ve got my eye on a Volvo that has been in my family for 8+ years. It’s a little beat up, but could easily run for for another decade. Junkers have value, even if your friends don’t see it.

  11. Squirrelers

    My line in the sand is when I foresee problems that will end up costing me a significant portion of my car’s current resale value. Or, alternatively, if it’s just unsafe.

    I drove my last car until past 220,000 miles. I enjoyed getting as much out of that car as I could, as I do not enjoy any kind of car payments – be it an all cash purchase or worse, financed. When the car reached around 220,000 miles, it just rattled as I drove it, and I just ‘felt’ that it was on the verge of needing major repairs. It checked out well, but I had a sense about it. I subsequently sold it for $1000 (maybe $1100, I forget) to someone my folks know. That person turned around and resold it to someone else, from what I understand.

    Anyhow, I heard later that they fixed up the car, and they think it might make it to $300,000. No regrets though. With a child, I’m not risking anything!

  12. Crystal @ BFS

    @Car Negotiation Coach, lol. 🙂

    @Newlyweds on a Budget, that’s our plan too. As long as both of our cars last another year, we should be able to stick to our guns.

    @Money Reasons, I really don’t like buying new cars, so I’m right there with you…

    @Jenna, I’m not sure if a car that can easily last 18 years should be considered a junker, lol. That’s dang cool. I’ll be lucky if my Aveo lasts 10 years…

    @Squirrelers, I seem to care about safety a little more every year. What kind of car were you driving?! 300,000 miles is amazing to me…

  13. Jenna

    @BFS / Well it’s been driven by my younger brother in college for the last 3 years. It runs, but it ain’t pretty. But yes, I’m really lucky! Plus, I just bought new tires on sale yesterday!

  14. Khaleef @ KNS Financial

    It would take a lot for us to replace a car. When someone gets hit with a large repair bill, they will suggest that they might as well get a new car! But the only thing that should matter is the future costs of both vehicles – not what you’ve already paid out in repair costs!

  15. Molly On Money

    Today I just paid off the car I bought on an impulse 3yrs ago…..yeah. If I had to do it all over again I would have kept my 1990 Toyota Corrella that needed $3000 worth of work. Why? The insurance was cheap, the car needed some work but I hadn’t spent hardly anything on maintenance so it was due and it had great gas mileage!

  16. John @ Passive Family Income

    I still drive a 9 year old Saturn that has plenty of miles still on it. It has been paid off for over 4 years now and I couldn’t imagine forking over cash to buy a new one. My wife and I are also 4 months away from paying off our “family” car and then – NO CAR PAYMENTS.

    I plan to keep both cars as long as the remain safe and don’t cost a fortune each year in repairs.

    All that said, I think you are taking the right approach by keeping your car!

  17. Crystal @ BFS

    @Jenna, lucky! I can never find tires on sale around the same time I always need them…

    @Khaleef, yep. I’ll continue making $500 in repairs every once in a while rather than buying a new car…it’s when it’s $1000 once or twice a year that will get me thinking…

    @Molly, you’ll never get judgments from me…Mr. BFS bought his Prius less than a month after we paid off his Hyundai Sonata just because it made creaky sounds and ate through tires…

    @John, I hope both your cars go strong for a really long time. I’m gonna be ecstatic if Mr. BFS and I have the same cars we have now in 5 years and they still run okay. 🙂

  18. Julie

    My daily driver is a 9 year old Honda Civic sedan. Since it has 4 doors, I can put 2 carseats in back. And yes, they are 2 rearfacing huge honking carseats.

    My husband has a manual 2-door GTI which doesn’t get as much love now. He usually drives the newer Odyssey van since he drops off and picks up the girls.

    We are in the process of figuring out how we can trade my husband’s car for a more useful 4-door vehicle.

    My mom lives with us part of the year and needs her own car.

    So, to answer your question, if you have the money, I think that you could go for a different car that more suits your needs. If those annoyance periods start getting longer and start to stress you out, then it’s a no brainer. Until then, just keep socking away in your car fund 🙂

  19. Ramona

    It is still a new car and, if the maintenance costs are so low, I wouldn’t ditch it. And, if you were to get a new one, you should try a small consumption one. I’ve seen some huge “tanks” in the USA. Your cars consume 4-5 times more fuel than ours in Europe 😀

  20. Crystal @ BFS

    @Julie, I agree. We’re socking away $500 a month so when my car does finally get on my last nerve, we’ll either have a really nice down payment or I could buy my next new-to-me car in cash. It depends if my car can hold out for another 2 years or not. 🙂

    @Ramona, are cars really that more efficient in Europe? Dang. Mine is getting 28-30 miles per gallon and my husband’s Prius gets about 50 mpg…what are cars in Europe like?

    No worries though, my next car will probably either be a Hyundai Accent, a Toyota Yaris, or a Toyota Prius – all fuel efficient comparably to my other options. I’d love to get an electric car, but they are just too expensive to justify to myself right now (I only drive 8000 miles a year, so a $35,000 car is a bit much).

  21. Moneycone

    Don’t think I would replace my car! It runs, gets me from A to B, has low maintenance, decent mileage – couldn’t ask for more!

  22. Jessy Pole

    Lovely thoughts! Hey dude, I truly appreciate it. I have a plan to keep both cars as long as remain safe and don’t cost a fortune each year in repairs. Thanks!

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