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Should I trade it in?

I have a 2004 VW Turbo deisel Jetta with 16,500 miles on it. Obviously it is not even broken in & in EXCELLENT condition. It will be paid off at the end of April. My husband is after me to trade it in now on a new Jetta, regular gasoline. I would love to go about 6 mos or a year without a car payment, but my husband says once the new deisel Jettas come out in the fall & the price of deisel skyrockets later this year, my car won’t be worth anything. Right now, we could get $18,000 - $20,000 for it, and I have a private buyer who knows the car. The VW agency is offering me “top dollar”, claims to have a line around the building waiting to buy my car, and will give me ALL the incentives possible. What do you think? Should I trade it in?

The price of diesel skyrocketing at the end of this year and your car not being worth anything sounds a little over the top to me. Whose to say the price of gasoline isn’t going to skyrocket, maybe in 2 days?? The price of fuel is extremely unpredictable in today?s world. Diesel may well be less expensive than gasoline, at some point…who really knows?

The price of diesel isn’t expected to skyrocket anytime soon, at least not any more so that gasoline. It might creep up a little more as more diesels come on the market, but I seriously doubt it will get high enough to cancel out the better fuel economy.

Now, your husband may have a point about the new diesel Jettas though. It’s not like yours will be worth “nothing” by any stretch of the imagination once they come out, but since you can’t buy a new one at the moment people are willing to pay more for your 4-year old car than they usually would. If you were planning to sell this thing anyways in the next few years, you are in a unique position to get a bit more for it that you usually would. If the difference between what you can get for your diesel and the cost of a new gas one isn’t that much, I might be tempted to do this.

If you were planning to keep it for many more years, this is no reason to sell now-- you’ll just be throwing money away on yet another car payment. And, plus, in the long term the diesels hold their value a lot better than the gasoline models, so if you usually keep a car in the 10-15+ year range, you’d be much better off keeping your diesel.

Find a place in your area that sells B-20 biodiesel. The price is competitive, although a little bit higher than regular diesel. It has the added benefit of helping to better lubricate the inner workings of the combustion chamber. If you go to a gasoline engine, watch out! It’ll cost you an arm and at least half a leg. Up to B-20 biodiesel is introduced into any present-day diesel engines with no modifications required to your engine. Try this website for up-to-date info on what the State of NH and some of its municipalities have to say about their use of biodiesel. If this address is underlined in blue, you should just have to click on it. Otherwise, you’ll have to type the whole thing in manually.

The prices of gasoline and diesel fuel are linked. Unrefined diesel fuel is a byproduct of the process of refining crude oil into gasoline. So the price of crude oil will affect the prices of both gas and diesel. You might see some fluctuation in the difference between gas and diesel prices based on fluctuations in demand, but those will be temporary. Expect gas and diesel prices to go up over the next few years, in which case, I would rather be driving a diesel like your Jetta. Keep the Jetta. That is the smart choice.

The new Jetta gets really poor mileage compared to your diesel Jetta, something like mid-20’s instead upper 30’s into the 40’s.

Keep it if you like it. There always be the diesel fans who want your car(used diesel) and as it ages there are a limited supply for the used crowd.

Don’t let anyone scare or badger you into trading in a perfctly good car. I make my living in the energy business, and, as others pointed out, diesel and gas will move up in price roughly at the same rate. Your car will not be worthless and with both high gas and diesel prices, you will be getting much better mileage than in a gas powered Jetta.

When a barrel of oil is refined into various products, you typically get aviation gasoline, car gasoline (mogas), diesel, heating oil, jet fuel, and heavy “bottoms”, as well as ashphalt.

Refineries will constantly adjust their prodcut mix to meet market demand. In Europe diesel is very popular, but the price is less than gasoline.

On the other hand, if money is no object to your husband, and he is ademant that you trade, then the decision is yours of course. The advisors on this site recommend what makes the most sense for each poster.

The fact that someone is willing to pay you $18,000-$20,000 for this “worthless” car must tell you something.

If you like it and it runs great you should keep it. You will lose the most if you trade it now. The $7,000 you will lose on a trade will buy an awful lot of diesel fuel.

Diesel is already $0.40 per gallon more than regular in MD, but fuel mileage is good enough that you still save over the gasoline equivalent. Keep your Jetta. Any fuel price spike will even out as the refiners adjust their factories to produce the appropriate amount of each fuel. It’s only a problem if you sell it in the next couple of years, and even that is a pure guess at this point.

Let me guess… Hubby will give you his car and the new one will be his Porsche, Uh, VW Cayman S!

A car like this has a waiting list to buy–so why would you want to get rid of what everyone else wants?

The new VW Diesels are not scheduled until close to the end of the year. The mileage they will get is not expected to be much different than the current models. They will be cleaner however.

It is true a diesel Jetta is likely worth more than than ever, because they did not bring out a 2007 diesel. The rated mileage is likely to be less than your diesel because it will be rated under the new standards that are generally giving lower numbers. The diesel fuel cost idea is … not likely and the cost of diesel is likely to run up and down with the cost of gasoline.

Don’t be fooled by those fliers and phone calls from the VW dealers. They are just using that as a way of moving cars. Even non diesel owners are getting them, it is just a sales trick nothing more.

Here’s an experiment: Ask us if anyone would buy it for trade-in price and see if anyone is interested. BTW, I think that $18,000 is a bit high for a resale and way high for a trade-in, even if it has all the options and is in perfect condition. I bet it’s not perfect. There must be some reconditioning needed. You should probably expect up to $15,500 for a trade and $17,000 for a resale if it’s loaded.

Keep it. Make Hubby get the down payment for the Cayman on his own!

Why on earth trade in a low mileage 2004 diesel Jetta for a new gasoline Jetta? The fuel mileage difference is significant and will be better with the 2004 diesel. Right now, diesel tends to be more expensive because we are in the winter season. Some of the oil used for producing diesel is being diverted to make heating fuel oil. So in summer, diesel price should be better assuming no major refinery explosions, etc.

So, here’s one option and a darn good one to start. What is your fuel mileage with the Jetta (the mileage you actually get)? Then, take the current price of diesel and you can calculate a monthly fuel expense based on the average # miles you drive per month. Then go online and see what the mileage is for a new gas Jetta. You will have to estimate between city & highway based on your typical driving. Then use current gas prices to figure out the average monthly fuel expense. I would be surprised if the 2004 diesel came out to be more expensive. So, then you can then figure out how much more expensive diesel would have to get above gad (per gallon) in order to make the new gas Jetta use less $ fuel per month.

Another note, what are you paying per month on the 2004 Jetta? Keeping the 2004 Jetta frees up that much cash a month. Cash that can go towards a new HDTV, a vacation, power tools, savings, investments, etc. With the 2004 Jetta paid off, you’d have to buy a lot of diesel to make a new Jetta save you money.

Does your husband just like driving new cars? I know people like that. Gets them into a lot of financial trouble. I drove a 2000 F250 diesel pickup until November. I couldn’t justify getting a different vehicle because that new monthly car payment more than offset the less than stellar fuel mileage. Paid for buys a lot of gas and lot of other things.

You know, there’s nothing like the good feeling of driving a car that you own outright. I had a car that had absolutely no problems as much as 5 or 6 years after I paid it off and it was great! I would check Bluebook and see how much your car is really worth, too, rather than taking other people’s word for it.

On the other hand, I almost bought a car that was only 1 year old because the guy that owned it got such a great deal on a new car with all kinds of buyer programs and rebates. Basically, all he had to do was pay $500 and his car payments were the same and he got something new. The only reason why I didn’t buy his car was that it was a stick shift.