Which car should I sell? Which car should I keep?


#1

My husband is moving to Germany for as much as three years while I am remaining in the States. We have two cars and, given how long he’ll be gone, it seems reasonable to drop down to one. Mine is a cute little black 1998 Honda Civic EX coupe in good condition with just over 112K miles, not to mention that she was paid off long ago. I’ve had her since she was brand new. His is a generic silver 2005 Honda Civic LX with 40K miles, an $8,000 loan and no personality. He bought his car used, but with less than 10K miles and just one owner. I’m torn–personally I like my car better than his (which I’m sure you already see from my descriptions of each!), but then he likes his better than mine and thinks I should keep his to drive while he’s away. Mine has reached the age where I’m putting in some repairs, but I’ve been good about keeping it well maintained, so not much has been unexpected.



So my question for you is, do you think we should we keep the older car, which may need more upkeep, but is paid off, or should we keep the newer car and keep up the loan payments?



Awaiting any insights!


#2

Forget cute for a moment. The other has less than half the mileage and is 7 years newer, and you will be alone with the old one when your husband is overseas. Besides, the 2005 still needs to be paid off.

If I had to sell one, I would sell the older one and “learn to love” the newer one. I’m surprised that one Civic has more “personality” than another one.

We went through a similar situation, but kept both cars, since our older car was worth very little and we did not want to have to buy another car when I returned.

If you keep the 1998, and you drive both cars to make sure they stay "fresh’ your extra cost will only be insurance and license. And the repairs on the 1998 will be very little, since you will be driving the newer car at least half the time.

In short, my preferred course would be to keep both. Should the “cute one” incur a very expensive repair, not likely at 112,000 miles, you can always scrap it then.


#3

This is one of those “practicality vs. the way I feel questions” about something that has no real answer whether they try to give an opinion or not. Hash it out between the two of you. Our opinion means ZILCH !!!


#4

This is a tough one, because even at 112K miles your '98 Civic is hardly “worn out,” and you obviously like it very much. However, since you will be on your own for the next several years, I think the newer, lower mileage Civic is the car to keep.

I would sell the older car, privately, and use the money you get for it to pay down the loan on the '05, assuming your loan allows this. That may make it possible for the '05 Civic to be fully paid off by the time hubby returns from Germany.

In the mean time you will be driving a low mileage Civic that probably won’t need anything but routine maintenance, as opposed to your '98 which is bound to need SOMETHING in the next two to three years.

It’s time to put practicality ahead of emotion. Do the smart thing, not the thing that makes you feel good. You’ve had a good run with your '98 Civic. Cherish it, enjoy it, but let it go while it’s still good. Don’t wait for the car to become a problem while you’re depending on it as your only means of transportation.

By the way, I agree with dagosa; this is really your decision, and all the advice you get, from this website or anywhere else, means nothing. Discuss this with your husband and figure out the best course of action.


#5

I’d keep the newer car. When you go down to one car, time spent in the repair shop is a real pain. I’d second the idea of using the sales proceeds to pay down the loan.


#6

You could probably sell the newer one for about $10,500 and pay off the loan. I would keep the newer one if I had to sell one of them. But I think that I’d keep both. If you use one for commuting, I’d use the older one and list the newer one as an occasional driver for insurance purposes. The newer one will still have very low mileage when hubby returns, and can be used for many more years. You will only have to worry about replacing your car, but since you only put 10,000 miles on it per year, you could keep it for several more years, too. Your car is worth about $3600, FWIW.


#7

I find it amusing that a '98 Civic is somehow “cute” while an '05 Civic is “generic.” They are both Civics! If you want logic, I’d tend to agree with your husband that you should keep the newer car.

Now, if you want to appeal to his non-logical side, you could suggest that selling the '05 will mean he can get something “better” when he gets back.


#8

Life is too short for this nonsense! Sell them both and buy a nice 3 year old BeeMer when you BOTH arrive in Germany!! What’s keeping you here, a job?? Not worth it!


#9

Keep your car, sell his. No matter the mileage a car that is loved by its driver lasts longer with fewer problems than a car which is not loved by the driver.

When your husband returns from Germany it is almost certain he will want a new car to celebrate. So sell his previous car now in order to prepare for the future purchase. Perhaps he will find a car in Germany that he wants to bring home. At least in the past one could purchase a Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, etc, from a dealer in the USA for delivery at the German factory, including air fare and return shipping, for less than one could be purchased off the lot.


#10

This really is a tough question. My 1998 Civic has 186,000 miles and I don’t plan to get rid of it any time soon. Maybe you should sell me yours! The practical side of my personality says to sell yours and keep his. Doesn’t the LX have a better trim package (things like radio, power accessories, etc.)? If one had an automatic transmission and the other a manual transmission, it would make it easier. I would keep the one with the manual transmission. I agree with your observations about their looks. The 98 coupe has a better shape than the 2005 sedan.

I have to disagree with my friend Caddyman about the BMW. As previous Civic owners, you would never be happy with the reduced reliability and higher operating costs of a German luxury car.

Caddyman does have a good point about you two being separated for such a long time. That kind of separation is a lot harder on a couple than you think. Maybe you should go with him.


#11

Up to you, of course, but if it was me, I’d keep the newer one. Probably better safety equipment, and mores years left in it. While your '98 isn’t ‘old’, it’ll start needing more repairs. You could spiff it up with a new radio or wheels, if you wanted.