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  • One car

    I am strongly considering going to one car to share between my wife and myself. This has been a dream of mine for many years. Talk me into or out of it.

    Facts:
    I work from home. On most weekdays, I do not drive my car.
    Wife currently works from home. In September she will be going to work in the office 3 days per week and WFH home 2 days per week.
    We live in an inner ring suburb. I can easily (within 10 minutes) bike to grocery store, specialty stores, haircut, etc. Would need to drive to doctors and dentist appointments.
    We have no current plans for a road trip, the earliest possible would be in June, 2022.

    The cars:
    2015 Volvo XC 60 ($15,600 from Carvana)
    2018 Nissan Leaf ($19,600 from Carvana)

    The additional savings - about $1000/year in auto insurance and $300-500/year in personal property tax; potential service costs on Volvo, which are more frequent and expensive than I would like

    I would prefer to sell the Volvo, but that almost guarantees a future auto purchase in 2022 or soon thereafter as we cannot use the Leaf for road trips. The Volvo is more likely to require more service and more expensive to maintain. This could leave us without a car while the Volvo is being serviced (which could probably be coordinated on a weekday with wife working from home). The smart move would probably be to sell the Leaf and continue to hold the Volvo, as the latter is more versatile and the former limited to its battery range and the charging requirement. What do you all think?


  • #2
    Seems like a really PITA way to save money that you probably do not need. 95% of the time it will be just fine but that 5% would be frustrations. I would gladly pay 1500 a year to avoid just one fight between me and my wife about who gets the car. I am a cheapo and I think this is taking it a little too far.

    Maybe just replace with something very inexpensive when the time comes.

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    • #3
      I think the smart move is not to nickel and dime yourself.

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      • #4
        I think the hassle of only having 1 car with two potential drivers would easily outweigh the minimal costs of ownership.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post
          I am strongly considering going to one car to share between my wife and myself. This has been a dream of mine for many years. Talk me into or out of it.


          We have no current plans for a road trip, the earliest possible would be in June, 2022.
          The smart move would probably be to sell the Leaf and continue to hold the Volvo, as the latter is more versatile and the former limited to its battery range and the charging requirement. What do you all think?
          Reasons for keeping both cars

          1. You have the wealth and have worked hard to earn it. Enjoy it and don't skimp on it.

          2. There will be days that your wife will take the car and you might need to have a vehicle and bike may not be practical ( distance . weather etc). And Uber has become a bit more of a longer wait and more expensive recently.

          3. The $1500 won't make a dent in your NW. What I would suggest in 2022 would be to sell the Volvo and buy a modern, longer range EV like a Tesla S or Y. By then the higher capacity batteries will be there and this will significantly increase the range. You will have the Supercharger network and you can get rid of Volvo before costly repairs start to creep in.

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          • #6
            Keep both cars.
            The one day you will need both is not worth the minimal savings from having just one car. If you were a broke med student, perhaps I'd answer differently. At your level, I wouldnt even try to talk you out of a new tesla, Porsche, etc.

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            • #7
              While I personally do not think the hassle is worth the savings, my response keys on your statement that it is a dream of yours to go down to one car. Why not give it a shot? Just do it and let your inner MMM flag fly. You are more or less in transition on cars anyway. Drop one and see how you like it. Worst case you will just replace one of the cars in a year or so after giving the experiment a fair chance. As for which, it seems clear you should keep the more versatile car since you will be down to just one.
              Last edited by Larry Ragman; 07-20-2021, 06:54 AM.

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              • #8
                Don't sell. Won't come out too much ahead financially as you will have to pay taxes after selling it.

                Also, friend of mine got into a car accident, due to the car shortage couldn't get a rental for a week. There is no way I would give up a paid off car right now due to the car market unless I had more than 1 car per person.

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                • #9
                  I’d consider it. But I’d keep the reliable road trip car. Need to go somewhere and don’t have the car? Call Uber or Lyft. Factor those rare costs in too.

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                  • #10
                    One disadvantage overlooked is the times one car is not available for either driver. This inevitably will happen. You need a reliable backup plan.
                    Most likely that means parking one in the garage and live your life sharing one car.

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                    • #11
                      My friend used to count the number of toilet paper squares he used when going to the bathroom to save money. Sometimes in life you just need to live a little.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Random1 View Post
                        My friend used to count the number of toilet paper squares he used when going to the bathroom to save money. Sometimes in life you just need to live a little.
                        At least he was prepared for the great TP shortage of 2020!

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                        • #13
                          I have a one driver household with two vehicles. I often consider a third.

                          Pareto principle. Most of the time you will be fine with a 0.5 car/driver ratio, but man it is a pain in the rear when it isn't fine.

                          Seems like an asymmetric risk/reward.

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                          • #14
                            Also just look at all the money you have already saved by not owning an SUV or Pickup.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Random1 View Post
                              My friend used to count the number of toilet paper squares he used when going to the bathroom to save money. Sometimes in life you just need to live a little.
                              Seems like he watched the Seinfeld episode a bit much when someone couldn't spare a square. It was hilarious for a reason

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