On my first post here at Frugal Dad, I wrote about our pile of debt and the steps that we are taking to get out of it. In several of the comments, people referred to selling our cars as a way to get a quick start on our debt problems. Well, my wife and I feel like that is a ridiculous move to make on our part. It’s just not feasible. Here are some of the reasons that we think the idea is bogus:
We’re Not Upside Down
Luckily, we are not upside down (having a loan larger than the cars value) on either of our cars. I drive a Chevy Malibu and my wife drives a Ford Focus. When we purchased them, we put a good chuck of money down and that has helped keep us on the right side of the equity.
Our Payments and Interest Rates Are Great
Both of our cars are financed with our credit union and neither are above 7% interest. Our payments total under $450 with mine being $200 and hers is $230. We will also get them paid off in less than 3 years if we only pay the minimum (which isn’t our goal). I can see where you might want to sell your car if you have outrageous payments. That’s just not the case with us.
We Feel Safe In Our Cars
I am guessing that some of you will now tell me to sell my cars and use the equity to buy a couple of “beaters”. Currently, my wife and I feel extremely safe in our cars. Before I purchased my Malibu, I drove a 1995 Ford Escort. That car felt like a big tin can to me and I knew if I were to get in a major accident, I was a goner. Now that I am driving my Malibu (with airbags galore), I feel much better knowing that my car is saver.
My wife drove a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire before her Focus. That thing was just a dangerous car. It rated horribly in Government crash tests. She was actually in an accident several years ago and broke her wrist. I thank God everyday that the other car hit the passenger side, otherwise she may not be around today. One of our main goals in finding her a new car was safety. We found that with the Focus she has today which also has airbags throughout the car.
If we were to sell our cars and buy “beaters”, I think it would add a level of additional stress to our lives and frankly, we just don’t want that.
We Don’t Want the Added Costs of a “Beater”
Over the past few weeks, we have seen many friends put hundreds of dollars into their older model cars. It seems like every other weekend something goes wrong. I think one of our friends just broke their car door handle and then took it to the shop only to find that they needed a new transmission. We just don’t want those surprises while we are getting out of debt. My wife’s car still has a warranty so if anything goes wrong with hers, we will be covered. My car is only 4 years old and I have yet to have any trouble with it (besides wear parts like breaks).
We Have Long Commutes
Several of the comments also talked about just keeping one car and making that work. Well, I am here to tell you that it is impossible. During the week, I live in another state to work. Although it’s only 2 hours away from my wife, I obviously need a car to get back and forth. I just can’t see myself “biking it” either. My wife on the other hand, has about a 30 minute commute to work. Like I said before, it’s just not possible for us to be a one car family. I hope that day will come, but it’s definitely not now.
I know this post wasn’t the most organized. It also wasn’t my best written one. I just really wanted to express my opinion on this matter. You just can’t recommend someone to do something until you know the whole story.