OT: How long do you keep a vehicle?

How long do you keep a vehicle?


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hefty

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Haven't had a car payment in over 10 years and aim to keep it that way. My '06 Honda Element is going strong and I only put 5-6K miles/year on it anyway.
 

Vistalite Black

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Tell me about the wisdom of paying cash for a car? If my good credit gets me a low interest rate (like 3 percent or less), wouldn't I be better off investing my cash than putting it in a quickly depreciating asset?
 

komodobob

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Almost always 10 years, but we stick with only Toyota and Honda. After 10 years of relatively trouble free driving and 160,000 to 200,000 miles we still have something to sell.
 

DanC

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3-4 years for myself, 4-5 for my wife's car.

I buy a late model used car for myself, around 5 years old, with around 100k miles already on it. Very cheap to buy that way. I was a mechanic, so it's pretty easy for me to avoid getting burned.

I take good care of it, and over the next 3-4 years I put around another 100k on it, pushing it to near 200k miles. I can usually still get $2-3000 for it since they are well taken care of.

For my wife, I buy 5 years old as well, but usually with lower mileage. after 4-5 years, we trade up. She drives only 4-5k a year, so the car still has low miles for the year when it's time to sell, which makes moving up relatively painless.

I usually finance what I buy for her, the comparativley small payment is painless. For my own car, I usually pay cash since they are worth very little at the end and it works out better that way.
 

tnsquint

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I pretty much drive them until the wheels fall off. I have never seen a car as anything other than a way to get me to and from someplace as long as it does that safely and effectively. I have not had a car payment or any other payment for that matter in a long time.

Vistalite Black said:
Tell me about the wisdom of paying cash for a car? If my good credit gets me a low interest rate (like 3 percent or less), wouldn't I be better off investing my cash than putting it in a quickly depreciating asset?
Financially, and all things being equal, you do make a good point as a typical 401k can run 8-10% in a year, however, the reasons for the "wisdom" of paying cash might include;

a.) All things are NEVER equal. What happens when something goes south in your personal or financial life? All of a sudden that simple car payment with 3% interest becomes a burden that you might not be able to handle.

b.) Quite often, the "investment" part of the equation is something that is passed over, forgotten about, or never started to begin with and at that point, one would have made a very bad decision.

c.) There is an incalculable emotional component to not having a debt, whether associated with a car or anything else for that matter. I grew up in a family that was middle class and it was always assumed that there would be a car payment. To my parent's credit, they budgeted for it and were very fiscally responsible. Never-the-less, every two to three years there was a brand new car in the driveway. I started down that same path, but I can say from my experience, the great feeling of owning a new car is far surpassed by the great feeling of never having a car payment. This emotional component is what so many people miss when they look at personal finances. It does not seem like emotions should enter into a balance sheet, but leveraging your emotions toward finances in a positive way is how you develop better habits.

If you were to purchase whatever car you could afford for cash and then start putting money aside in an investment account every month instead of a car payment, you would be infinitely better off in the future. Eventually you could purchase your cars off the interest alone. Besides, while that new car smell is cool and all, it is really just the outgassing of adhesives and plastics. How can that be good for you?
 

Boomer

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My previous car I had for 13 years. I now have a 2008 Mustang and I plan on keeping it until it becomes a vintage collectible classic car. HA!
 

MrDrums2112

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We keep our cars for a while, and in the next couple of years my daughter will be heading off to college. New cars are not in our foreseeable future. My 2009 Toyota Matrix needs a new transmission after 149K miles. Thought briefly about getting a new car, but the body on the Matrix is great and it's been well-maintained. New transmission has a 100,000 mile warranty, so we opted to fix the car rather than add a car payment.
 

CherryClassic

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I purchased new and still have a '94 F150 with 350,000 plus miles; needs some front end work and a good cleaning.

I'm driving a 2010 purchased new F150 with 117,000 plus miles.

I think eventually they both may need new tires.

sherm
 

DanC

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By the way, I am what you would call a 'car guy'. I've always been into cars, since before my teens. I raced 60's muscle cars in the late 60's, early 70's. I restored a number of cars, foreign and domestic ( some aforementioned 60's muscle, Fiats , Alfas , etc). Worked as a mechanic when in college, and for years did all the work on all my cars.

My wife and I like driving 'cool' cars; that's a prime reason we move on every 4-5 years: there's always something a little newer and a little cooler to try out for some years. Doing it the way I described eases the cost of such self-indulgence quite a lot..... ;)





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cornelius

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We live in NYC, so only one car for the my wife and I... We’re on our third car - the average for the first two was 7 years per car. We just started a lease for a new car - so this will be 3 years, if we don’t keep it.

I heard the average is 10 years - which sounded high at first - but when I really thought about it, sounds about right...
 

Patrick

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I'm about to retire a 1999 Volvo V70 (wagon) that's at 488,000ish. Runs great, handled well in a rainy drive back from a gig this past week. But it's now too rusty to pass another safety inspection. I was hoping to get it to 500+.

I like wagons and the V70 is a bit small really. I'll be moving to a minivan. The best gear humpers I've used have been old school Volvo bricks. Tons of room and sightlines, easy loading and comfortable seats and good handling.
 

ppfd

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I run my my trucks a little over 100,000 miles then get rid of them.

Last F150 started costing me around the 120,000 mile mark.

I bought a Toyota Tacoma this last time, 2009 bought in 2012. Put a sizable down payment and got an interest rate real low, I think 1 or 2%. I owe about 6 grand on it am thinking about paying it off soon and selling or trading it. Its an ok truck, small and honestly I'm not all knocked out about it. It is noisy, underpowered, I can't believe all the rust it has already, more recalls than any american vehicle I've ever owned. And the fuel milage is flat out horrible! 15-17 mpg. That is what I got out of a full size F150.

That said, I am interested in seeing the 2016 tacoma or the new chevy/GMS "twins.

Money the small trucks cost, I might go back full size.
 

drawtheline55

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I have leased my last 2 cars, I am in the middle of a 36 month term, so 3 yrs for me.

Ben
 

cochlea

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I'm in my late 50's and just purchased my 4th vehicle in my lifetime. I can't say I run them until the wheels fall off. I tend to keep a car until I either no longer feel safe in it or I can't depend on it for a long trip.
 

rktinc

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I buy cars that I really love so I just don't like to get rid of anything. My drum car is a 1996 4Runner limited which was my wife's. It now has 154k miles. Just broken in.

My everyday driver is a 2008 Avalon Touring with 148k miles. I love it and it gets 30 mpg on the road.


Keep then till the wheels fall off then buy gently used or right at 100k depending upon how you plan to use them.
 


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