Should We Sell our Second Car? Minivan

Should We Sell Our Second Car and Cash Out?

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I have a confession to make: Greg and I work from home… and we have two cars. Seriously, two cars. Why?

Our main vehicle is an awesome, if somewhat aging, used Toyota Prius. Those of you who read my first Indy Star article already know a little about the other car that rounds out our fleet: My 2007 periwinkle Dodge Caravan. *Try* not to be jealous.

Yes, I realize that my minivan is beautiful, and the fact that it is completely paid off truly makes it a sight to behold. The night shot makes it look even more dazzling, right? So, at this point, you’re probably wondering how I could even consider selling this amazing set of wheels.

Well, the problem isn’t really with the car itself. It’s awesome. I love it. Not only does it have stow away seating, but it also has side doors that open when I push a button. Do your car doors open automatically? Better yet, is your front bumper held together with a zip tie? I didn’t think so.

Yet, despite all of this minivan’s attributes, we’re starting to wonder if we really need a second car. Here’s why.

Why We Have Two Cars

Waaaaay back in the day, we used to work regular jobs. So, we needed a couple of vehicles to haul us back and forth to work. We also started having children, so we thought having a minivan would be nice for toting the little ones around.

Of course, we actually worked together, so our reasoning didn’t make a ton of sense. That just goes to show you our mindset at the time. In many ways we were cheap, but if we wanted something, we bought it without thinking too much about the consequences. We also were stuck in a perpetual cycle of trading in cars and picking up new payments, but that’s a story for another time.

Anyway, once we had our financial awakening, we decided it made a super amount of sense to carpool. (Ta-da!) The result was that we started driving our minivan less and less. Now that we both work at home, the thing barely gets driven. It’s very rare that we actually *need* to drive our minivan. And when we do, it’s typically because we want to look freaking awesome driving to the grocery store.

Should We Sell Our Second Car?

We obviously don’t need a second car, we rarely drive it, and it’s still worth a little bit of cash. I also realize that not driving this beautiful beast is hard on her. Frankly, the battery is going kaput, and I’m sure it needs a bit of a tune up before we sell it. I’d also hate to lose out on the money by letting it rot in my garage and driveway.

So, the question is this: Should we keep the minivan or sell it? We’ve come up with a list of pros and cons… and we’ve shared them with you below. Check ’em out!

Reasons to Keep the Minivan:

  1. It provides a second, paid off vehicle to use at our convenience.
  2. It is amazing.
  3. It has stow away seating and occasionally comes in handy for hauling things (maybe thrice per year).
  4. It is amazing.
  5. In the rare occasion that we need two vehicles at the same time, it is available.
  6. Did I mention it is amazing?

Reasons to Sell the Minivan:

  1. We don’t really need it and we rarely drive it.
  2. We have to pay for insurance, license plates, oil changes, and maintenance on it (estimated at $700 per year total).
  3. It takes up valuable space in our garage, and selling it would free up extra space to keep storage stuff and our children’s bikes.
  4. We can still get about $3,000 for it, and that number isn’t growing any larger.

Final Thoughts

For your information, I’m instructing asking my wonderful husband to take her in and get her all shined up this weekend. Regardless of what we decide, I want her looking ready for the ball!

To be honest, I’m leaning toward selling her and putting the cash to good use. Greg is reluctant because he thinks we need it to “haul” stuff. Since the van is paid off, he’s not too worried about it. But, as usual, I’m slowly breaking him down and encouraging him to see things the right way my way.

What do you think, my frugal friends? Should we keep it or should we sell our second car? We really need your input on this momentous decision. Please share your feelings by commenting below.

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8 Comments

  1. We had the same dilemma this past year and finally ditched the 2nd car. We actually got rid of both cars (Honda sedans) and bought a used minivan (primarily for road trips). So far we’ve sort of needed a second car exactly twice, but got by completely fine without it (after 6 months of having just 1 car).

    My backup plans for getting around in order of likelihood of use:
    -walk – lots of stuff within 5-20 minutes walk like school, groceries, restaurants, parks, the library
    -Transit. A 7-10 minute walk in either direction gets us 3 different transit routes – $1.25 for a bus ticket
    -Uber – it’s about $6 for a short ride of a couple miles or $10 or so to downtown from our house so not entirely unreasonable to take the occasional Uber combined with walking, transit, and getting picked up or dropped off somewhere
    -rental car – IDK probably $40/day for a compact car. If our main car dies and we are desperate to go somewhere or need a second car for a short term need. There are several rental car agencies within a 10-15 minute walk and a couple more a little further away (also accessible by bus)

    It’s also important to remember that you can always buy a second car later if you find out you ABSOLUTELY need a second one. Sounds like you’re wanting to ditch your old minivan before the wheels fall off anyway, so might be time to make a break and then evaluate your new(er) car purchase later should you need one.

    Also phrase the analysis in terms of “would I buy this old minivan today if I had $3000 cash and needed a car”? Probably not, right? You’d probably make do with one car or buy a newer more reliable car, maybe a smaller car or a different car but probably not the same car.

    1. This post needs an update! We did just sell our minivan on the 21st for all the reasons you mentioned and more. Mostly, we just don’t need a second car anymore. And I got tired of watching the van decay in the driveway. It’s just pointless. Glad to have the $$ instead.

  2. As a one-person, one car household and the fact that I commute 45 miles to work, I would love to have a second vehicle for those “just in case” times (oh and to haul stuff as well … you know that large item you find while thrifting or yard sale’ing that won’t fit into a regular vehicle). My car has been in for repairs over the weekend before; at times I’m able to use the repair shops vehicle but at other times I’ve been without a vehicle altogether and me? Well it drives me batty not being *able to* leave my house without making a plan, asking someone for help or the like. Ok, so the last time may have been before Uber hit the neighborhood; rental cars work if needed, but if something major happens (current vehicle blows up on highway, need rental until new car purchase is made) that $40/day rental can add up fast to $300/week plus. If I had a spare $3k sitting around, I’d buy your mini van or small pickup (sigh).

    1. I hear ya. Our situation is just unique because we *both* work at home. We’ve had two cars for our entire marriage. Since my husband came home to work with me two years ago, getting the minivan out for a drive has been a real struggle. There have been times (especially last winter) where I didn’t drive it for a month or longer. We just don’t need a second car at all.

  3. P.S. Forgot to mention that you’ll most likely lose the multi-car discount you probably have now… I’d figure that into the cost per year equation.

    1. That’s not true this time. We have our homeowner’s and two landlord’s policies with Allstate, too, so I don’t lose my multi-policy discount. Even if I did, that wouldn’t be a good reason to keep the car.

  4. Honestly in the past was essential to have a second car, but now that you use only one maybe is better to sell the car and invest money, but myou know what is better for you!!!

  5. MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    Sell!
    In the rare occasion you need to haul something, if you can’t get help from a friend Home Depot rents pickups for $19 an hour, still better than $700/year in maintenance (not counting how those costs increase over time).

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