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Which car should I sell?

I’m getting married in 2 months. My parents would like to give my fiance and I their 98 Toyota Camry so that we can sell one of our vehicles and pay down some debt. We need some advice about which car to sell.

I have a 2002 VW Golf TDI that I love. it has 130k miles, gets great mileage (42/gallon), is compact and fun to drive, and packs a lot in. In about 6 months it’ll be paid off completely. I have run into some problems with it but I’m in a TDI club and have access to a handful of guys that fix these cars solely. If I sold it we’d probably get $6,000.

My fiance has a 2003 Subura Legacy w/ 125k miles. He’s never had a problem with it, it’s very dependable, it’s great in the snow & rain and has a lot of space. But it’s pretty heavy and isn’t as fuel effecient. He owes $9,000 on the loan and it’s probably only worth $6,000.

So… what do we do? Do we say “no thanks” to my parents and not take the Camry? Do we sell the beloved VW and replace it with the Camry? Or do we sell the Subaru even though we’d lose money on it?

Is the Subaru better than the VW in the long run, or vice versa? thoughts?

How about you sell the Camry and pay off some of the car loans? Not obvious to me you’d be better off with the Camry.

Sell the Golf. It is at an age where expensive repairs will soon be with you. The Subaru, if well maintained, has a long life ahead of it yet. The Camry will also live a lot longer life than the Golf.

Congradulations, and also for having such considerate parents. Make sure your parents leave all the maintenance records, so you can bring the Camry up to date to ensure trouble-free ownership.

Let Me Be Sure I Have This Right. You’re Getting Married And You Are In Debt, Already ? Both Of You ? Just The Car Loans ? How Far In Debt, If You Don’t Mind My Asking.

"He owes $9,000 on the loan and it’s probably only worth $6,000. " He owes $9000 on a 7 - 8 year-old car ?

You say, "In about 6 months it’ll be paid off completely. I have run into some problems with it but . . . " You still owe on an 8-9 year-old car that has problems ?

All 3 of these cars fall into the category of not entirely dependable and probably not low maintenance.

You need to get a grip on money management, as you’ve recently discovered. I’d park the VW (sell it if you can), drive the Toyota and Subaru, and get that old Subaru paid off.

Starting right now, make sure your income exceeds your outgo. Use cash for everything or you don’t need it.


we’re both aware that he got screwed on his Subaru. I bought my car in 05 for $10,500. we’re not the best at money management but are certainly making strides in that area. live and learn! thanks for the advice. :slight_smile:

Best Wishes To You Both. Try And Eliminate All Your Debt As You Are Doing And Stash Some Savings For Security.

Two can live as cheaply as one ! (But, only for half as long) I’m just joking. Actually, I believe a couple can actually pool resources and be more efficient than two individuals.


“98 Camry” isn’t enough information. How many miles on the Camry?

You know you’re upside down on the Subaru, so that’s where to focus. Before he pays this car off it could cost a lot, especially if it develops head gasket problems.

There’s another question to ask. Do either of you like the idea of driving a '98 Camry?

I already know your answer. You love your TDI. How does your boyfriend feel about a Camry?

oh yes… the camry has about 225k. it’s been well used and loved, one owner. My folks haven’t had a single problem with the car aside from general maintenance.

I do love my car but I’m okay with parting ways. We just want to make wise decisions that will create financial freedom… but we’d like to keep the more dependable car, whichever one that would be.
thanks for your questions! this is all so helpful.

225k does make me even more inclined to sell the Camry, they’re good, but at 225k some big things might start to fail, like the tranny.

I’d accept the Camry, sell the Golf, and pay down the Subie. That’ll reduce your debt and leave you with the two most reliable vehicles.

With 225K on the Camry, you’d have a hard time selling it for what it’s probably actually worth. People won’t pay decent money for a 12 year old car with that kind of mileage.

What to do? Let me see about putting things in order so I can understand the options.

Car / Miles / Owed

'98 Camry / 225K / -0- /gift, one known owner, no major issues
Edmonds TMV $2,000 due to high miles.

'03 Subaru / 125K / $9,000 /book value est. $6,000, Edmonds
TMV of 5,000 via private sale.

'02 VW / 130K / $1,200 est. /TDI 42 mpg, had some repairs,
Edmonds TMV $4,000 via private sale

If getting out of debt is the issue; you sell the VW payoff the Subaru and you’ll be driving the Subaru and Camry.
Pro’s- you are out of debt.
Con’s- the Camry is old, high mileage and has close to zippo book value. You’ll have to expect and budget for some significant repairs. 12 year old cars with 225K+ miles need significant repairs even if it has been fine so far. If the transmission goes, or a head gasket goes you’ll be asking about should you spend more on a repair than the car is worth.

If you want the best mpg and low operating costs. Sell the Subaru and keep the VW and the Camry. They both get more mpg than the Subaru. Both the VW and Camry could need repairs, but for that matter the '03 Subaru could too. The con here is you’ll need to pony up about $4,000 to pay off the Subaru.

As nice as the gift of the Camry is, the car is old and could be a money pit. If you sell the Camry you can pay off the VW early. Then take the VW payment and apply it towards the payments on the Subaru. Say the VW payment is $200 a month. Paying an extra $200 on top of the regular Subaru payment will pay off the Subaru in less than 1/2 the time compared to just making the scheduled payments. Extra money in the payment to the finance company is applied directly to reducing the principal balance on the loan.

OK, here’s my vote for the last option. If your parents don’t object sell the Camry but commit to making the larger payments towards the Subaru. If you aren’t going to follow the whole plan, then go to the sell the VW option.

I’d say the Edmunds estimate is pretty low… I’ve checked nada and kbb. I’m sure I could get $6k from the Golf in this area.

I won’t argue. I’ve sold a few cars via private sales and the offers I got and took were very close to the Edmunds TMV pricing. I tried to get KBB, and NADA prices but couldn’t.

Therefore I feel KBB is definately unrealisticly high in their listed values, NADA is a bit better but not much.

It the car is very clean and you can document service records from day 1 it will help you get the best price you can for whatever car you decide to sell.

Boy, you sure hit a nerve, didn’t you? Could you use one more reply?

Do you really need to ask this question? “My parents would like to give my fiance and I their 98 Toyota Camry so that we can sell one of our vehicles and PAY DOWN SOME DEBT. . . . So… what do we do?” Selling a car (Subaru) for $6000 when you owe $9000 isn’t paying down debt. It’s creating (more) debt. No brainer.

The VW probably isn’t a good bet on long-term dependability, especially since you’ve already had “some problems with it.” The Subie and Toyota are much better bets for longevity and dependability – even with higher mileage – especially if they’ve been well-maintained. (Just make sure you don’t let the Subie overheat.) And as far as the fuel consumption is concerned, only you can assess if that’s a big deal depending on how many miles you put on the cars. Despite the disparity in fuel consumption between the Subaru and the VW, it really would take you MANY miles of driving the VW instead of the Subie before you’d make up the difference between the $6000 you’d get for the Subie and the $9000 you owe on it.

If PAYING DOWN SOME DEBT right now IS the main objective, dump the VW. I know what it is to love a car (in 2004 I finally got rid of my beloved maroon 1984 Subaru wagon with 325k miles after much deliberation – then went out and bought a maroon 1994 Subaru wagon :slight_smile: and have never looked back), but don’t let emotion win out over a good decision, not where cars are concerned.

Hope all of this helps. Oh, and one more thing, just as an fyi. It should be: “My parents want to give my fiance and ME (and ME) their 98 Toyota Camry,” not “my fiance and I.” Just thought you might want to know. :slight_smile:

So… my fiance and I (is my grammar correct Mr. pumpan1?) have tallied your votes and decided to take the Camry, keep the Subaru and part ways with the little diesel VW. (sniff sniff).

I stand corrected by my pop who says (we say “says” in Chicago Mr. pumpan1 so don’t correct that) the Camry is a 96 w/ only 180k and has had 3 belt changes.

The reality is that any of these vehicles can poop out on us at any time… but we can’t live in the “what-if’s”, we need to make our decisions based on reducing debt! (which, by the way, Mr. Common Sense Answer, is also known as “student loans” - a very popular debt)

thanks so much for all your help! Anyone interested in buying a VW?? :slight_smile:

Sounds Like As Good A Decision As One Could Come Up With Under The Circumstances.

" . . . “student loans” - a very popular debt . . . "

The student loans are popular, but not the paying for them part. I dislike the fact that students are taught how to apply for debt even while in High School.

Since my wife and I both worked while we attended college we were able to graduate and attend grad school without borrowing any money. My son who turns 23 in a few months is finishing his MBA this spring. He holds one job on campus and has had as many as 3 summer jobs, simultaneously. He will graduate wittout a single loan. My thirteen year-old daughter is well on her way to saving for college.

It is possible to live loan free. It takes the “six-Ps”, a little hard work and a strong desire. Start small, pay as you go, live within your means, and pay in cash. It seems going into debt has become a national epidemic.

Good luck,

Good choice, and 180k is better, I’d also go with the Camry.

Your grammer be fine, my matey. Why I just today read the official 11 rules of grammar. Here are the first six as an example:

  1. To join two independent clauses, use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semicolon alone, or a semicolon followed by a sentence modifier. See sentence-joining handout.

  2. Use commas to bracket nonrestrictive phrases, which are not essential to the sentence’s meaning. For example: Suzie, in the red hat, ran the meeting.

  3. Do not use commas to bracket phrases that are essential to a sentence’s meaning. For example: The lady in the red hat ran the meeting.

  4. When beginning a sentence with an introductory phrase or an introductory (dependent) clause, include a comma. Sentence #4 is an example.

  5. To indicate possession, end a singular noun with an apostrophe followed by an “s”. Otherwise, the noun’s form seems plural. For example: boy?s hat or boys? hats.

  6. Use proper punctuation to integrate a quotation into a sentence. If the introductory material is an independent clause, add the quotation after a colon. If the introductory material ends in “thinks,” “saying,” or some other verb indicating expression, use a comma. Jon said, ?I can?t visit.? New Hampshire is known for its famous slogan: ?Live Free or Die!?

If you can understand any of this gobbledygook, let me know. Physics is relatively easy.

I too believe you’ve made the correct decision. Thanks for posting back.

Sincere best

You forgot: “Never end a sentence with a preposition” To which Winston Churchill replied: “That is nonsense up with which I shall not put!”

Good one.
I honestly have no idea whether I’m in compliance with these rules or not. And the truth is I don’t really care…