View Poll Results: How long do you keep your car?

Voters
67. You may not vote on this poll
  • I trade it before it is paid off

    2 2.99%
  • I trade is as soon as it is paid off

    0 0%
  • I tend to keep it X number of years after it is paid off [identify the # that goes in the x]

    22 32.84%
  • I keep it until it will no longer run

    43 64.18%
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Results 1 to 20 of 64
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Parts Unknown

    How long do you keep your car?

    i was listening to Clark Howard today and he was talking about how Americans are not keeping cars very long, and wind up getting upside down on the car payments. So i began to wonder...how long do the people on the board keep a car?

    I tend to keep mine until they will no longer run, then I donate them to the Kidney Foundation.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh

    cars

    usually 3-5 years. I have found I usually get a reasonable trade-in value (50-60% of price paid) when/if I trade at that point.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    I'm with Bluedawg here. I keep 'em until they die, then donate to the Kidney Foundation. I had a wonderful '91 Nissan Pathfinder that my kids called "a bucket of bolts," and thus the nickname "Bucky" was born. I finally donated him to the Kidney foundation in 2003, and purchased an '04 Dakota, which I love almost as much as Bucky. He's starting to develop some character (scratches on the bed, stains on the carpet), and perhaps in another several years, he'll become beloved and earn a nickname, too.

    Of course, with the price of gas, I might be better off trading him in on something that gets a little better than 17-21 mpg, after my reason to haul marching band gear graduates from high school next year... But he's paid for, which is a nice feature!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh

    cars

    Quote Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
    I'm with Bluedawg here. I keep 'em until they die, then donate to the Kidney Foundation. I had a wonderful '91 Nissan Pathfinder that my kids called "a bucket of bolts," and thus the nickname "Bucky" was born. I finally donated him to the Kidney foundation in 2003, and purchased an '04 Dakota, which I love almost as much as Bucky. He's starting to develop some character (scratches on the bed, stains on the carpet), and perhaps in another several years, he'll become beloved and earn a nickname, too.

    Of course, with the price of gas, I might be better off trading him in on something that gets a little better than 17-21 mpg, after my reason to haul marching band gear graduates from high school next year... But he's paid for, which is a nice feature!
    Oh, no, not Bucky. (you might not be old enough to remember that reference)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh

    cars

    Quote Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
    I'm with Bluedawg here. I keep 'em until they die, then donate to the Kidney Foundation. I had a wonderful '91 Nissan Pathfinder that my kids called "a bucket of bolts," and thus the nickname "Bucky" was born. I finally donated him to the Kidney foundation in 2003, and purchased an '04 Dakota, which I love almost as much as Bucky. He's starting to develop some character (scratches on the bed, stains on the carpet), and perhaps in another several years, he'll become beloved and earn a nickname, too.

    Of course, with the price of gas, I might be better off trading him in on something that gets a little better than 17-21 mpg, after my reason to haul marching band gear graduates from high school next year... But he's paid for, which is a nice feature!
    When Bucky goes away (trade, sale, donation), will you serenade it with: "good-bye, Bucky, good-bye, Bucky, good-bye, Bucky, we're GLAD to see you go." You probably had to be there in 1973 to remember that one.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    ← Bay / Valley ↓
    My car #1 was my aunt's '95 Volvo. that was sold in '06, so I guess X = 12-Y where Y = her loan, which I guess is 3-5 years.

    My car #2 will probably fall under the last category (it's a Ford, insert joke about how long it will run ), but since it's only in year #2, I voted for option 3.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    My whole family drives Toyotas. None have lasted less than 200K. None have made it to 300K but that's because a lot of our cars in the 200+ range have been hit and thus totaled by other drivers.

    Paying for depreciation is not wise. The only reason I've ever done it is I couldn't get a used 2nd-gen Prius in 2004.

    We drive so little in StL that I expect the Prius to last over 20 years if I get tenure and we get to stay there.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    None have made it to 300K but that's because a lot of our cars in the 200+ range have been hit and thus totaled by other drivers.
    Hmm, interesting...I guess if a car with that much mileage gets hit pretty much any repair job is going to exceed the threshold for totaling it out.

    Unless your family is putting signs on your cars, "I need a new car, hit me!"

    Where'd all the Kleenex go?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh

    car

    Quote Originally Posted by YmoBeThere View Post
    Hmm, interesting...I guess if a car with that much mileage gets hit pretty much any repair job is going to exceed the threshold for totaling it out.

    Unless your family is putting signs on your cars, "I need a new car, hit me!"
    The longest we kept any car was my 1968 Cutlass. When it needed a new exhaust system, 2 tires, its' 2nd painting and a new gas tank, we decided to sell it for about $600 and apply that to the down payment on a new car. We had both started working, bought a diesel Jetta 'cuz it got about 50 MPG (that will be another story) and thought we had a great position in life. The car had about 115K on it and the above repairs would have cost us about $800. Easy decision.

  10. #10
    I keep them until it's clear that meltdown is imminent, then get what I can in a trade. I kept the last one 8 years - those last few years without a car payment were bliss.

  11. #11

    Wink uh, yeah...

    kind of like DevilDeac, I'm not sure how to answer that question. We don't drive them til they croak, we drive them until the preventitive maintenance or repairs cost more than the car is worth, then trade it in for what we can get for it. Hence, we sold my first car, an '88 camry, in '97 with 130K mileage, and used the money to go toward the downpayment on my '97 Z3. Erica, my wife, then girlfriend, traded in her '87 Nissan Sentra for a '98 Civic when she started a new job with a 120 mile per day commute, and she was worried about gas mileage and if the car would break down on her in the middle of nowhere. My parents sold their '66 caddy when my grandfather died and left them his '76 caddy in '84, then sold the '76 caddy in '03 (also, our golden retriever, whose car that really was, died that year...they'd really been holding onto it a little longer than they wanted for him...between my grandfather and dog, it really was hard for them to give up that car...) and bought an '01 Lexus LS 430 when the repairs just got too expensive and mom's asthma and allergies got so bad she needed the dual hepa filters just to go out from April to July. Now they're looking to sell the '94 caddy, as the repairs on it are starting to get too expensive. Dad wants to replace it with something that gets good gas mileage but is cheaper than a hybrid to run around in to the market and carry the dog in, etc., since mom can't ride in the caddy anymore anyway for health reasons.

    Does all that make sense?
    Last edited by bjornolf; 05-24-2008 at 08:34 AM. Reason: grammar
    LET'S GO DUKE!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    I keep mine an average of 6-7 years. I always buy low mileage used, and by that time they are in the 100k+ mileage range. Paid off has nothing to do with it, as I pay cash for my cars. The latest acquisition was an 06 Pontiac Vibe with 20k (got it a month ago) that replace my Safari Van (gallons to the mile) at 114k.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Every 2 to 3 years (I lease). Gives me a new experience each time, although my last 3 or 4 were the same car, just different (newer) model/color (Lexus RX 300-330).

    My wife the same way with her Jaguar XJL. Same car, different color. And coincidentally, we're picking up her new one TODAY! Same model ('08), same color. Hope Jaguar is in business when it comes off lease (24 months). They say a whole new version will be out then.

    I'm not a "car guy", so I figure after the 3 years any problems become theirs, not mine. Probably economically stupid, but it works for me.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by bjornolf View Post
    Erica, my wife, then girlfriend
    That's an odd progression. I did see an episode of Wings where Lowell and Bunny Mather get divorced and suddenly the whole relationship gets hotter.

    I'd far rather my 1991 Camry hadn't been in a wreck. I was looking forward to getting at least 300K and possibly 350 or 400 on it. In 236K miles, it had had a single non-routine maintenance problem. I lost a water pump at 225K. The cost was only that of replacing a timing belt, which you're supposed to do every 60K anyway. So I can basically say it never required any non-routine maintenance.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh

    car

    Consumer Reports had a piece several years ago and may repeat it occasionally regarding leasing/financing/buying and IIRC, the purchase cost was about $1500 less over the typical 3 year lease/car loan. I think they used a Ford Taurus and about a 6% loan rate. I am not sure what lease terms they used.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Montclair, NJ

    14 years and going strong.

    I still have my first car, ever (Honda Civic) it's 14 years old but in my eyes "she's" only 140,000 miles young!

    But, moving up to Jersey for my new job, I will now be commuting about 500 miles a week, so I am not sure how much longer she will last. Not sure how long I'll keep my next car, odds are it won't be for life.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    New Orleans
    I am embarrassed to say that we always buy our cars new. I like the feel, smell, etc of a new car. There is something to be said about being the first to drive it.

    That being said, we always pay it off on time (and often early) and then keep it until it will still fetch a decent used price before we buy the next car. We went through a Honda phase (Accord and Civic) and are now going through a Subaru phase (WRX and Outback). They are both such reliable brands that we tend to keep them for awhile. Usually 4-5 years after the initial payoff. About 10 years in total.

    The price of gas the the rising beer gut have driven me to start riding my bike to work more frequently. Hopefully that will help the car last even longer.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Pines, NC
    We have two sets of wheels, an '87 GMC S-15 and a '06 Buick Lucerne, Northstar engine. I have never checked the mileage on the S-15, but the Lucerne gets about 30 mpg on the highway. A full tank can get me a range of about 400 miles. My wife uses it the most, and around town she gets near 20 mpg. The truck just keeps running. I use it. She doesn't even like to ride in it. It takes me to the golf course, Lowe's, the health center, the barber shop, the occasional yard maintenance run, and the gas station, the latter about once every two months. It will go when it just won't go anymore. Every year when I take it in for inspection and routine maintenance, one of the guys in the shop asks me when I will sell it. He says he wants it. Whatever he'll pay me for it will be my trade in, but I may get a paint job and a new exhaust system and keep it another twenty years. I bought a new battery and tires about 4 years ago. The Buick? Five or more years depending on the availability hydrogen driven cars. I voted keeping forever.

    By the way, the Buick is the cheapest way to travel for me, but that's a subject for another thread.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    x=5.

    I recently finished with the payments on my current car so now I'll be able to apply what was my monthly car payment to filling the gas tank. I'm depressed by how close the numbers turn out.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY

    Question Why is it a he and not an it?

    Quote Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
    I'm with Bluedawg here. I keep 'em until they die, then donate to the Kidney Foundation. I had a wonderful '91 Nissan Pathfinder that my kids called "a bucket of bolts," and thus the nickname "Bucky" was born. I finally donated him to the Kidney foundation in 2003, and purchased an '04 Dakota, which I love almost as much as Bucky. He's starting to develop some character (scratches on the bed, stains on the carpet), and perhaps in another several years, he'll become beloved and earn a nickname, too.

    Of course, with the price of gas, I might be better off trading him in on something that gets a little better than 17-21 mpg, after my reason to haul marching band gear graduates from high school next year... But he's paid for, which is a nice feature!
    Hmm... I initially read your last sentence to mean that your kid was paid for.

    OK, I simply don't understand the anthropomorphizing here. I've also never figured out why some people name their cars.

    "Trading him?" "He's paid for?" "He'll become beloved?"

    Please explain. Thanks.
    Cheers,
    Lavabe

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