Recently retired with 2 cars

We have a 2007 Chevy HHR with 46,000 miles that gets about 32 mpg highway, and a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country with 40,000 miles that gets about 22 mpg highway. The HHR was bought new and the van was bought used with 36,000 miles on it. Now that we are both retired we do most of our driving together. What would be the most economically sensible way to use the cars. Should we run the older one with the better mileage mostly or would it make sense to use to van more and save the HHR as the better choice against future inflation of maintenance and gas costs? Much of our driving will be short trips around town, but we do like to make longer day trips and plan on traveling some even longer trips during retirement.

I think economically the difference is not going to be much. Both cars need to be driven to keep them running. Also driving both will split the maintenance costs. Life is short, at any given day drive the one you like best for that day/trip. You can’t beat the comfort and space of the minivan for long day trips though.

How long have you both been retired?   If it is long enough that retirement is the norm and not something you are still getting into, then proceed to step two.   In step two decide what you are going to do.  Do you want tot have one or two cars?  If one then choose between the two you have.  

It is not very easy for us to make the decision since the correct answer will be different for everyone.  

Generally the best economic sense will be to sell one and keep the other, but different couples and life styles as well as where you live will make a difference.  

 Also consider selling both cars and getting a new one that both of you like better.  

 All I am saying is to be open minded and don't make the decision right away. 

Good Luck and enjoy your retirement.

I would sell both and try out different compacts that might fit your need. For the two, you can get something more economical and cheaper to insure. Gas prices are going through the roof. In retirement, that would be a big concern. A Corolla, new Focus, or newer GM compacts with near 40 mpg highway and good trip potential would be where I would lean.

It might be cheaper to sell one than try to maintain and drive two, for maintenance, registration, and insurance reasons. Keep the one you like best and that is more comfortable and enjoyable to drive. The MPG difference won’t add up to much unless you keep the car for 5-10 more years. Or sell them both and get something you like better. If you’re not destitute, I wouldn’t even consider the MPG to be a factor (within reason) unless you make a ton of highway trips. I’d concentrate more on comfort, safety, and the one you feel more confident driving.

If you keep these cars. Drive the HHR as your main car and use the Caravan when you need more space to move more people and/or stuff. If a month goes by without using the Caravan at all, then drive it for a few days giving the HRR a break. After a year if you rarely used the Caravan, consider selling it. A year into retirement you’ll know more about your future auto needs and can make some decisions.

Gas is getting more expensive now, you can mitigate the high pump prices by using the HHR.

Agree with Uncle Turbo; keep both and use them where they make the most sense. We have retired friends and they are trying to make do with one car, and it’s difficult since they have overlapping activities to attend to.

Both your cars are well depreciated now but will last you a very long time now that you don’t drive a lot anymore.

Keep both if you can afford it until things settle down for you in retirement. Drive whichever car pleases you. Make sure that you are or are not like me and get tired of driving the same car for too long. I drive another (we have three) and then I’m good again for a while with my favorite.

You have to answer several questions for yourself first. One important question has to do with your general health and family health history. How long did your parents live and did any of them become handicapped to the point that they needed one of those powered chairs. What are the odds that one or both will need a handicapped van in the future and is the minivan capable of being converted, and will it last to that point if you don’t drive it too much. If you think you will need one and the minivan can be converted, you should keep both, but drive the HHR most of the time.

Sell one of them and buy a Z 06 Corvette;-)

If you can afford to keep and maintain two cars, then do that…But I could find better ways to use that money…

I wouldn’t try to bank the HHR. There isn’t a better time than now for saving money. You will need the extra fuel economy to transport the AARP mass(ive) mailings to the landfill. I recommend the price of auto insurance bundled with home insurance through AARP. I save enough from that to pay for all my landfill trips with my 4WD truck. Lets see the Gecko carry that stuff without cave men assisting. What were we talking about? The memory is the first thi

I would keep both. use hhr for long trips because of gas prices. But I would drive both at least every week or so to keep them going strong.

“Sell one of them and buy a Z 06 Corvette”

Colin Powell would never do that. He says he gets into enough trouble with a mere C5 coupe.

Apologies to Colin Powell, but you don’t need a car to get in trouble if you’re a politician; you need only open your mouth.

“Apologies to Colin Powell, but you don’t need a car to get in trouble if you’re a politician; you need only open your mouth.”

Sometimes the politician doesn’t even have to do that. Remember Gary Hart? He was just minding his own business with a girlfriend on his boat and a photographer happened to walk by.

Speaking of politicians and cars, check out this story. As a member of congress, he makes $174k/yr and is protesting about having to fork out money to fix his check engine light.,0,6805943.story

If he is making $174K a year then he should not be driving a 14 year old Volvo. If he wants to drive it then he needs to pay to have it repaired and pass the inspection. I do agree however that since it’s not an emissions issue (his mechanic says it isn’t) it needs to be exempted from any EPA inspection.

Missile man; I understand Gary Hart quit eating Chinese food after that event!

he’s probably the type who would complain that oil changes aren’t covered under the factory warranty