How Bad an Idea

I have a 2004 Pontiac Vibe with almost 100,000 miles. It’s in pretty decent shape aside from faded paint, a damaged front right fender and a damaged right front mirror. It has a new clutch and relatively new tires. It will cost about $1200 to get the fender and front mirror fixed.

I’m considering whether it would make any sense to trade in the Vibe and use the money for repairs to buy a mid 90s Nisaan Pickup truck instead. I had one several years ago and I Loved it. Most of the trucks I could afford would have between 115,000 and 175,000 miles on it.

I get the feeling it would be sensible to hang on to the vibe and just get the cosmetics fixed. But how bad an idea would it be to go for the pickup truck option?

Advise appreciated!

" It’s in pretty decent shape aside from faded paint, a damaged front right fender and a damaged right front mirror."

I guess “pretty decent shape” is relative.

Don’t waste any more money on it. A mid-90’s pick up with 100k+ miles is not a step up in my opinion. Drive your Vibe, save your money and buy something decent when you can afford it.


What constitutes enough money for something enjoyable fun and decent? For that matter what constitutes something fun and decent (and affordable)?

Are You Talking About Buying An Old P/U Truck Instead Of Repairing Your Vibe ?

Why are you driving a crashed car ? Was it like this when you bought it or did you damage it ? $1,200 isn’t much when it comes to maintaining or repairing a car. If you broke it then get it fixed.

If you wanted a P/U truck then why did you buy the Vibe ?

It sounds to me like you can’t afford to operate the Vibe, nor can you afford an old truck.
A mid-90s Nissan truck would not be a step up from an 04 Vibe with fewer miles and you’d be throwing good money after bad.

Fix the Vibe and learn to take care of it while saving money for your next vehicle. Or don’t fix it and save. When you have enough saved then go shopping.


Like the others, I am having a hard time figuring out the logic behind this question.

Instead of keeping a 6-7 year old car whose maintenance record is known to you, you are considering getting a vehicle that is about 15 years old, and whose maintenance record is likely a mystery. To me, this is pretty close to putting a “kick me” sign on your back.

In addition to the much higher possibility of needing repairs on that 15 year old truck, you should focus on the realities that it was much less occupant protection, gets worse gas mileage, and has poor traction if the cargo area is not loaded.

Can you give us some additional information regarding this quandry of yours?
There may be more to the situation than you have mentioned so far, but if you have given us the complete story, then I think that you would be making a foolish decision.

It is a really bad idea.

Keep your Vibe.
If you can drive it in its current condition without breaking the law, save the $1200.00 for the future purchase of your next ride or regular maintenance for this one. But make sure that you indeed put that money aside in a special bank account that won’t be tapped every single time you see a new handbag/powerdrill.
If the damage bothers you fix it and drive this car untill the wheels fall off. Your Vibe is a Toyota Matrix/Corolla with different sheet-metal. It should last a very long time with PROPER MAINTENANCE.

How many MPG’s will the pickup truck get? You’re going to end up spending more money on gas every week.

Why don’t you just get the mirror fixed? Where does the $1200 figure come from? Sounds high.