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Which old car to keep? Civic or LeSabre?

I am torn over whether to keep my 1997 Honda Civic with 150,000 miles, still in basically good shape though the paint job is a disaster and it’s getting slightly worse mileage than it used to (I recently had a tune-up and that didn’t help), or sell it and take my grandfather’s 2001 Buick LeSabre with 75,000 miles. The LeSabre has been in New England, garage-kept its whole life, and it’s in good condition except for leaky rear shocks.

Either car I want to keep running as long as possible to save up for the next car. Which is a better bet? Is the LeSabre worth the trade-off in gas mileage? I only drive about 7,500 miles/year, mostly city driving.

I would take the Buick in a heartbeat based on the year, mileage, and the unknown as to whether the Honda has had a timing belt job done. The latter is something the Buick will not need.

The Buick. There is a significant difference safety wise in a 97 vs 2001.

Buick. They are great cars and easier to live with on a daily basis than the Civic. They also get surprisingly good gas mileage for a car if its size and power. You should see mid to high 20s out of it, maybe 30 or so on the highway.


The Buick will last you quite a while, and will get 30+ MPG on the highway (my FILs does).

Could you take both cars and trade them in on a newer one? Or keep one as a back up with liability only on it?

Keep both.
Use the Honda as a project car – convert it to electric.
Use the Buick until the electric car is finished then use the electric for short runs and the gas for long runs.

It’ll take them longer to save up to convert the car to electric than it would to buy a normal new car

“Could you take both cars and trade them in on a newer one?”

bscar2 makes a good point. Discuss it with your insurer. Tell them that the Honda will be your commuter car and the Buick will be for nights and weekends. Just being a commuter car will add a lot to the insurance cost. If you can drive the Buick less than 5000 miles per year, the insurance should be attractive. Also, take the least expensive insurance available on the Honda - no collision and a high deductible. You are just driving it until a big bill pops up. Then get rid of it and keep the Buick.

I’d take the Buick; bodywork is very expensive and if there is rust, it is ususally money wasted to try to repair it. Buicks have a good reputation and this one will last a long time.