/Why You Should Drive Your Car Until You Die

Why You Should Drive Your Car Until You Die

A few years ago, I was inspired by a story a friend shared with me. He bought a new car for $16,000 and drove it until it died. It lasted his family 14 years! That’s about $1200/year or $100/month. If you have a loan on something like that, you are looking for even more. At a 6% interest rate for a 5-year loan, that’s $2,560 over the life of the loan in interest alone. But what he did was brightand inspired the question “should I run my car to death”?

So I bought a used car with very few miles at wholesale price. I paid $5500 and it lasted me almost 6 years. This is $1,100/year or $92/month, no loan or credit, since I paid cash, so I saved quite a bit of interest. And in those 6 years, I saved my money every month for the day I would die, because I also wanted to pay cash for the next one. When he died, I sold it on Craigslist for a few thousand dollars to a car mechanic who was going to fix it up and resell it again. This added even more to my purchase, so I was able to buy an even better SUV than before. I bought this car with very low miles on it and hope to get 5 years out of it for about the same price. Maybe this one will last me longer; it has certainly improved.

One of my jobs in my banking career was auto loan processing. It was the best and most fun aspect of all the work I did. But I quickly realized that every time someone bought a new or used car, they lost a few thousand dollars. Perhaps the person makes a trade and loses what they could have gotten by selling it to a private person. And it’s harder to find a car wholesale, so they’d usually overpay for their new vehicle for them, too. So if you’re rotating cars a lot, you could be losing a lot of money on each deal. The less you turn the cars, the better. I personally would not recommend rotating more than every 5 years. Drive your car until that thing is dead and no longer safe…or at least needs a new transmission or some other large amount of repair that isn’t worth the money if it’s fixed. Likewise, if you’re selling something like this on Craigslist, advertise in the title: “Mechanics Special” and you’ll get a lot more views on your ad.