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Should I trade or continue to pay off my vehicle

I have family member’s of my family who are pushing for me to trade my vehicle in. It’s a 2016 Toyota Rav4 hybrid I have a little over 41000 miles on it. I have a long commute every day 60 miles one way 120 round trip. I still owe over 29600.00 on it. I have a 5 1/2 years left on the loan. I feel I should continue to make payments and pay it off and drive it until it simply won’t go anymore as I am just going to keep rolling more and more over if I keep trading vehicles in every year because of mileage until I will no longer be able to get a loan approved. I would appreciate feed back, or opinions.

Trading in every year is foolish and costly ( I really wanted to say stupid). Why are you even listening to these nosy family members anyway? I doubt that your vehicle is even worth what you owe on it. You should do what you feel is correct for you, period. I would say that your driving is not what Hybrids are really meant for so if you do replace it find the highest fuel mileage vehicle you like.

I’m with you , @becky2l2002. This SUV has years of good service left in it. Why do these family members think you should trade in your SUV?

One more vote to pay it off (any way to pay it off quicker?) and drive it till it drops, making sure you maintain it ‘by the book’ (or better).

I agree with everyone else. There is plenty of life left in this vehicle. No need to trade.

Your family members are absolutely wrong. Keep this car as long as possible, making sure to keep up on the required maintenance.

However, since you’re asking for financial advice, I’ll point out that if you needed a six-year loan to finance this car, then you bought a car that’s above your means. In order to get ahead financially, your goal should be to pay off your current car and then put away a nice chunk of money toward your next car so that you borrow less when you purchase your next car. With a six-year loan, it will be difficult for you to do this. You’re also going to be in an “upside-down” condition on this car (where you owe more than the car is currently worth) for quite a while, which is a position you don’t want to be in if something bad happens like losing your job or totaling your car.


Just looked at Kelly Blue Book for fun. Yes, the OP does apparently owe much more than the vehicle is worth.

To be honest, you are in a deep hole. 41,000 miles on a 2016 and will take over 5 years to pay off 29,000. So in 5 years you will have over 200.000 and the car will be worth $500. Not to be insulting but the family members that think you should trade again are financial idiots. You need to get this thing paid off first before going more into debt. If you were going to spend more money and more debt, I’d leave this car in the garage so you don’t wear it out and buy a cheaper used car to commute with. That’s why I bought cars with 100,000 miles on to commute with and put 3-500,000 miles on them. If you want to trade every year, then increase your payments so that you are paying the full cost every year. If not, you can’t afford to trade every year or even every three years. I doubt any of your family members are bankers so quit asking them for financial advice. The hole you dig is your own. Would you rather we lie?

I would further question the value of a hybrid on the freeway but that’s another issue.

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I agree with the others. Getting a different car every year is a rich person’s game. Those of us whose last name isn’t Gates or Buffet need to be more intelligent with our finances.

The car’s working. It’s likely to keep working. Keep driving it till it dies, and try to pay the loan off early if you can.

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Your family members are living in the past. I’d guess they are thinking this car will be all “used up” next year when you have 80 or 90,000 miles on it and it won’t be worth anything. They are wrong, as every poster so far has said.

You have a looong commute. You are going to rack up tons of miles, but they are easy highway miles. It is a Toyota. There are regular forum members that claim over 300,000 miles on their Toyotas and other brand cars. Take care of the car and run it for as long as you can stand it. Keep it maintained BY the BOOK - the book being your owners manual. Read it before you take the car in for service. You should have little more than tires, brakes and wiper blades for 200,000 miles. Toyota knows best how to maintain the car, so read your book.

Many rich people got that way by being VERY intelligent with their finances. Buffett is famously frugal:

"Although some CEOs drive around in multimillion-dollar cars, you’ll likely find Buffett driving something much more modest. In a BBC documentary, his daughter said he bought cars that he could get at reduced prices, like those that were hail-damaged. The cars were fixed and didn’t look hail-damaged and became a regular part of the Buffett lifestyle.

“You’ve got to understand, he keeps cars until I tell him, ‘This is getting embarrassing — time for a new car,’” said his daughter in the documentary.

Buffett also told Forbes in 2014 about his car-buying habits — or lack thereof. “The truth is, I only drive about 3,500 miles a year so I will buy a new car very infrequently,” he said.

Remember this the next you’re in the market for a car: Since cars tend to depreciate quickly, it can be better for your finances if you try to keep your well-working car for as long as possible — or at least opt to buy a used car instead of new."


You have to evaluate how you got yourself into such a financial hole. And figure out the mistakes you made and be sure not to repeat them. (sorry to be so blunt, but facts are facts).

You owe almost $30k? That is more than I paid for any of my last few cars, and I bought new.

First thing I would do is increase my loan payments, double them, to get yourself out of debt.

How would you handle it if you had a major repair, like $4000, come up?

A long commute is more expensive than people think and there is just no way around it. If it was me I would be looking to move or change jobs.

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Becky has marked this thread as solved but I would like her to tell us why the family members thought she should trade vehicles.

Is this a joke? I sincerely apologize if it’s not, but I nearly fell out of my chair when I read it. I didn’t know people financed that much for that long (or that they’d be allowed to do it).

If this is real what needs to happen is to save more than the payments, pay this loan off early. keep driving it and keep saving that same amount until you can pay for a car you can afford to buy (the loan company owns this one).

Then end the idea of car loans once and for good. I did that as a teenager. It was one of the better financial decisions I ever made.

Where have you been? 5 and 6 year loans are not recent things.

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I’ve been right here! …Now I’m over here!

I am not as dumb as you seem to think I am. I realize there are loans that run 5 or 6 years, but that’s not the point…

…if I’m reading it correctly, this loan is not brand new, but yet there are 5 1/2 years remaining and the loan payer is thinking of trading and starting the process over!

My wife and both commuted 100 miles per day (in opposite directions) while raising 2 children over more than two decades. I never had any car loans, but I could have, so I know what I’m talking about.

It’s my belief that many people somehow accept car loans as a given when thinking about “buying” a car. Car manufacturers and loan companies promote this thinking to their advantage.

To me it’s not the right way to actually buy a car.

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And supposedly Gates drove an old Civic around well after he was a multi-billionaire.

Of course he then supposedly spent a boatload of money trying to get the government to let him import a Porsche 959 :wink:

If I were in that position I would trade the vehicle for a 5 year old mid-sided sedan with equal of greater fuel economy in the $10,000 price range. The Rav4 will drop in value during the next few years more than a less expensive car.

If I lived in a 5 million dollar house and my family told me the Rav4 was no longer fashionable I might buy a Lexus LC500 just to show them who’s on top.

The problem is there is no way out. When you owe $29,000 with over five years to go, you can’t trade down without paying off the loan. No banker would ever allow the loss in security. If the OP had the money to pay it off, it wouldn’t be a problem. Putting the mileage on at this rate will mean the OP will be upside down for two or three more years or more.