Metric for when it's time to move on

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Continues to be fun. Insurance company went off photos and lowballed it, and seems content to ignore the written estimate (from the body shop). So they seem content to have the shop move forward and apply for a supplemental. Since they're pretty busy this may drag out I'm thinking. I let the shop know to move forward and we'll see.

Good thing I have a spare car. Although when I pulled out a strut last weekend (so I could do some painting) I was asking myself, what do I do if I brick this one too?
This is why I’m not a big fan of newer cars, full coverage, and dealing with insurance company and their bull [CENSORED]! Between the risk of stealership warranty repairs, the “diminished value”, paying high premiums just to have the company decide your car is nearly worthless (even though comparables are TWICE what they would offer). It’s all a giant scam, IMO.
 
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I'm still driving my 2003 Jaguar X-Type. It's been worth repairing, and at 225K miles, is still running...

I'd simply say that quality vehicles are financially worth keeping until they rust away or a crash damages them severely. As always, I like the "cost per mile" metric.

And with that in mind, sometimes a new vehicle may not cost significantly more "per mile" than an older vehicle. Often only 5c to 8c per mile more. Remember, the cost of a vehicle (even in today's absurd market) is only a fraction of the lifetime operational costs. Fuel is likely to be the single largest expense, followed by insurance and maintenance. But what do I know, this is BITOG where people think the purchase price of a vehicle is most important.

A $25-30K Accord, 30mpg, 250,000 miles, $41,500 worth of fuel at $5/gal. $25,000 worth of insurance over 12-15 years. And thousands in MX. Cost per mile matters!
I'm few months shy of 5 years into my used 2012 Mazda3 and the combination of fuel, maintenance, repairs, tax and tags is just getting to the $10k purchase price of the car.
I should say about 55 months and 85k miles into the experience.
So if I'm not up to purchase price for all of those, not just fuel at 85k miles into a $10k car, it's going to take a new car owner even longer to get there.

I've had no repairs, just wear items. Fluid changes, brakes, tires, and the like.
I think I've spent about $7200 on fuel.
Let's grab the numbers, shall we:
Purchase (Including Sales Tax): $9920
Tags/Title/$658
Maintenance: $1863
Fuel: $7205
Total: 19646
Cost/Mile $0.23

This is on a cash basis, so if I have any value left when I get rid of the car, it comes off the purchase price figure.
One has to be driving a true hoopdie for fuel to be the largest pole in the tent. For a new car, it's nearly impossible for fuel to be the largest cost unless you drive a million miles or so. (Exaggerated a bit, but not too much.)
For fun, I expensed $1121.73 (Edited to change, I missed one of my reimbursements) in mileage last month with costs of about 1/2 of that for all my driving, not just work related miles.
My car pays me to drive it most months :) But that isn't everyone's experience.
 

Nick1994

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Agreed.... 'clean retail' is showing $ 6300, but in my book, the substantial 'rust cancer' the op described makes that car worthless all by itself, not even factoring in the massively overall 'tired' mechanical condition also previously described.
The insurance company won't know anything about the rust, so it might as well be an Arizona car to them.
 
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I think I've spent about $7200 on fuel.
It's good to remember that today's fuel prices are way above what we paid just a short while ago. And, my calculation is over a vehicle's lifespan, not over a more limited period of time. If we were to sell at 75K miles, we recover some portion of the original purchase price, and generally avoid heavy maintenance costs. The "cost per mile" method remains valid. I think in some cases (rust belt, low quality car etc) it's better to sell early.

In my case with the Jag, the interior has held up remarkably well and the engine has been trouble free. That made it worth keeping 20 years and 225K miles, despite a long list of repairs, the cost per mile has been pretty good.
 
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I use FF on it, so washing it is counterproductive.

Also… FF is a bit of a joke…. Sorry, stuff is absolutely lousy any place that gets wet. Learning this the hard way.

Brake fluid flushes every couple of years, but does nadda for the outside of the lines.
Why is FF "a bit of a joke"?
Literally just today my body shop guy told me "it works to slow down rust"
 

supton

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Why is FF "a bit of a joke"?
Literally just today my body shop guy told me "it works to slow down rust"
Doesn’t stay. I’ve had to respray in winter months. Washes off way too easily, at least on my vehicles with my usage. Does it do something? sure, more than nothing, but its not that magical to me.
 
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But let’s say I paid the 4.15 the entire time.

I’d only be at $12335 for fuel over the same miles and just over the price paid for my used car. I’d have to drive 2.5x as much to reach the cost of a new car or close to 1/4 million miles @4.15/gallon.

I get it, high fuel prices are no fun. Like I said in another thread, build margin into your life. I could afford a car more expensive car. But I don’t want to have that worry because I’m right up at the line.

So if gasoline doubles again in price to over $8/gallon, again, while no fun, it’s not going to be a make or break event.
It's good to remember that today's fuel prices are way above what we paid just a short while ago. And, my calculation is over a vehicle's lifespan, not over a more limited period of time. If we were to sell at 75K miles, we recover some portion of the original purchase price, and generally avoid heavy maintenance costs. The "cost per mile" method remains valid. I think in some cases (rust belt, low quality car etc) it's better to sell early.

In my case with the Jag, the interior has held up remarkably well and the engine has been trouble free. That made it worth keeping 20 years and 225K miles, despite a long list of repairs, the cost per mile has been pretty good.
 
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Doesn’t stay. I’ve had to respray in winter months. Washes off way too easily, at least on my vehicles with my usage. Does it do something? sure, more than nothing, but its not that magical to me.
Maybe shake the can a little more? I’ve had great luck with it not washing off. I spray really heavy, though. I did to p off a spot that started to rust prior to my ownership of our minivan, but I have that boogery looking goop all over my fender lips where I didn’t top off.

This is an interesting discussion. I’m thankful not to have a car payment, and my 2009 Camry with 233k miles runs great. Shopping for cars is a fun activity, but looking at the payment makes me love my Camry even more.

I’m even putting a new engine in my Jeep Wrangler later this year due to the disgusting car prices out there. I got the blessing to sell my Jeep and get a newer one, but it’s just selling one mess to buy another mess for too much money.

Good luck!
 

supton

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I try not to use the can, the stuff in the can is lighter than the stuff that comes in the bucket. That stuff will stick around, as long as it's not in a wash area. If I ever get the car back I plan to wirewheel the current rust areas and paint over them, see if that extends the life a bit.
 

supton

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Still waiting for the body shop to get the estimate right with the insurance company... *sigh* Getting to be where I should think about towing it back home and trying to butcher it back into running shape. Sheesh. By now the car will need new rotors (dirt parking lot at the body shop, lots of spring rain) so it's technically get worse just sitting there.
 
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I'm still driving my 2003 Jaguar X-Type. It's been worth repairing, and at 225K miles, is still running...

I'd simply say that quality vehicles are financially worth keeping until they rust away or a crash damages them severely. As always, I like the "cost per mile" metric.

And with that in mind, sometimes a new vehicle may not cost significantly more "per mile" than an older vehicle. Often only 5c to 8c per mile more. Remember, the cost of a vehicle (even in today's absurd market) is only a fraction of the lifetime operational costs. Fuel is likely to be the single largest expense, followed by insurance and maintenance. But what do I know, this is BITOG where people think the purchase price of a vehicle is most important.
In normal times the greatest cost of owning a vehicle is depreciation -- not fuel, not maintenance, not repairs, not insurance.

It is impossible to know when normal times will return. Probably not until there is a surplus supply of affordable vehicles. Hardly any manufacturers still make them or even consider getting back into that market sector. So I guess used cars will continue in high demand for several years at least, and depreciation may not be the biggest factor going forward -- repairs will be.
 
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Our Beetle left our daughter sitting last a Wednesday. That was enough for me. I’ve fixed everything on that car, but the AC quit working as it got hot out and then she had to call for help when the car had a major electrical issue, freaked out, and went into limp mode.

She loves inheriting my Camry and I get a new car. Sold the bug within 24 hours with full transparency of the issues. Cars are in such short supply that even a junker like our bug was hot.

Bummer is I need a car now, and the Rouge I bought with 16,000 miles was only a few thousand less than a new one. Dealers are not budging on price and my research showed only 3 with the same options and mileage were for sale in the state of IA. My dealer had 2 of them.

I think the metric is being adjusted now, as cars are stupid expensive, so a big repair on GOOD old cars actually makes sense.

2nd time ever I had to borrow for a car. Cash always covered it in the past.
 

supton

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depreciation may not be the biggest factor going forward -- repairs will be.
And the downtime while its down has to considered too. Have car towed, live without until its done. A day, a week, a month while it waits for parts or a spot in the line?
 
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A few years ago my neighbor wanted to buy a bigger tractor. He was looking at used tractors and I said John Deere is having 0 interest financing. The cost of the used tractor + financing costs was higher that the cost of a more capable brand new John Deere tractor with a 5 year warranty. You always pay your money and take the chances no matter which path you take,.
 

supton

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Still waiting for the body shop to get the estimate right with the insurance company... *sigh* Getting to be where I should think about towing it back home and trying to butcher it back into running shape. Sheesh. By now the car will need new rotors (dirt parking lot at the body shop, lots of spring rain) so it's technically get worse just sitting there.
And so it is almost closed out. Payout of $5,075 minus my $500 deductible. Not sure I have anything to complain about.

Now I can start thinking about replacing.
 
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And so it is almost closed out. Payout of $5,075 minus my $500 deductible. Not sure I have anything to complain about.

Now I can start thinking about replacing.
They changed their mind and decided to total it?
 

supton

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They changed their mind and decided to total it?
I didn't care for how they went about it: they made their initial estimate based on photos that I submitted, and direct-deposited money into my bank account "so I could get moving on the repairs". When I questioned them on it, they said that the body shop was to ask for more money as required. I questioned that method, as did the body shop. This dragged out a bit, finally got the insurance company more photos, and they agreed to total it.
 

Nick1994

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I didn't care for how they went about it: they made their initial estimate based on photos that I submitted, and direct-deposited money into my bank account "so I could get moving on the repairs". When I questioned them on it, they said that the body shop was to ask for more money as required. I questioned that method, as did the body shop. This dragged out a bit, finally got the insurance company more photos, and they agreed to total it.
How much is the buy-back?
 
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So for a long time people would refuse to put into a car a repair that was equal to the value of the car. One could argue that it should have been the cost of replacing the car, but whatever: for most, once repair cost = car value -> time to move on.

I took a quick look at trade-in and my '11 Camry is $2,400 give or take in fair condition. I think I could hit that this year in work. But some of that is deferred maintenance. Should I count that as part of this year's cost? Motor mounts, struts, tires, rear brakes (to R&R the dust shields and parking cables is a grand alone and not something I can do). Tires and struts are normal wear items I know, but I managed to time it all to be worn out at the same time, which was part of my plan, but my plan didn't include a pandemic and its impact on the car supply.

I realize dropping 2-3 grand into this car and getting another year is economically sound... I just need to be reminded. :)

I agree. Most people just want an excuse to get a new car because they want one. And they're looking for a way to not feel too guilty for buying it. New cars themselves are horrible investments.

After depreciation, insurance and license, (which is always far more costly on a new vehicle), maintenance and operating costs are all factored in, you're almost ALWAYS better to repair the current vehicle you own.

Especially when you factor in the interest you will be paying if you finance a new one. Or the interest you'll be losing if you pay cash, and shifting from getting paid interest on an investment, to losing it through depreciation of a new vehicle.

When you sift through all of that, it is almost ALWAYS better to repair than replace with new... Especially with what they're charging today for new cars.
 
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