Time to Ditch My Truck For a Car? What Do You Think?

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I know I know, I just scored a great deal on some tires for my truck, and now I’m thinking about selling it?? Well, it’s true. I recently started Grad School, and with my aggressive approach to finish my MBA degree in just over a year (while working full time), I’ll be driving an extra 120-180 miles per week! With a gas guzzling truck, this will increase my fuel bill by about $200 a month. While I do love my truck and it pains me to think about selling it, I think thousands of dollars in fuel savings per year could persuade me.

The Benefits to Owning My Truck

Before I jump into the calculations for the fuel savings, I want to tell you why I love my truck. Here are my 1997 GMC Pickup passions in bullet point form:

  • It’s a solid running vehicle with very few problems – I’ve only spent $175 in repairs for the entire last year
  • I fit in it – I’m 6’8″ and don’t fit too comfortably in most cars. This truck is perfect for my size
  • It can transport almost anything – Between the truck bed and the hitch, I never have to worry about getting something from Point A to Point B
  • Winter is coming – I’m much more comfortable driving a 4×4 truck in the snow than a car

The Car That Got Me Thinking In the First Place

You might be wondering what prompted these thoughts all of the sudden? Last weekend, my brother and I went on a little golf trip up north. To save on gas, we borrowed his son’s (my nephew’s) car for the trip. We new it got pretty decent gas mileage, but after driving a few hundred miles, we realized that it got between 34 and 38 miles per gallon! That’s more than double what I could get with my truck!

Here’s the other kicker. My nephew wants to sell his car. For less than $3,000, I could purchase his ride and save $2,160 per year! This car would pay for itself in about a year and a half. Aside from the amazing gas mileage, here are the other pros and cons to purchasing this car:

Pros

  • It’s a solid car that will probably last another 100,000 miles
  • Save $2,160 per year (I couldn’t help it, I had to list it again)

Cons

  • I don’t fit that great in it – I’d have to tilt the seat way back to avoid hitting the sunroof with my hair
  • It’s not a “Professional Looking Car” – I’d be one of the few people at work that doesn’t drive a  new(ish) car – but then again, I’m already an oddball with my 15 year old truck
  • It might be hard to sell – The Kelley Blue Book value is lower than what they sell for, plus this is a stick which is often harder to sell

What Do You Think?

So what do you think I should do? Should I put the truck up for sale? Should I buy my nephew’s car? Should I look for a different car that I fit in better? Or, should I just hold onto the truck through the winter? Let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your opinions!! 🙂

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Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

29 Comments

    • I wish. She does even more driving than I do though! It would make sense for her to keep that.

  1. Hey Derek, You better keep that truck. It is always nice to have a truck because they are pretty handy and you know that is reliable. Remember – you get hit…..your always bigger than the person in a car.

    • They are pretty handy, and I do love it, but I just can’t see the sense in spending all of that money on gas!

  2. Keep the truck and buy the car! use the truck when you need it, and drive the car for work/school.

    • That sounds like a pretty fun plan, but with a one stall garage and a single driveway, I’d rather just have one vehicle. The other Pro that I forgot to mention was that a car would fit in the garage, whereas my truck isn’t even close.

    • The only thing left to do with the house is baseboard trim, and that’s it! So, even if I didn’t have a truck for that, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    • That’s a good idea Lance. I really need a car without a moonroof – then I get a little extra headroom.

  3. I wanted to say right away that saving the money means you should do it. But there’s something else to consider – you’re going to be doing a lot of driving – are you safe in that car? Driving in an uncomfortable car can actually impede on your safety by slowing down reaction time and just making it more difficult for you to drive. Do you think you can get used to driving in a smaller vehicle? If not, I’d stay in the truck you’re comfortable in – if you’re working, commuting, and going to school, you don’t want to make a decision that could make your life more difficult.
    Shannon-ReadyForZero recently posted..Weekly Shout Outs: Biking Edition

    • Good advice Shannon. If my leg is pinned between the center console and the steering wheel, I can see where that would be dangerous. I’ll definitely make sure that I’m comfortable in the car (whatever I choose) before I pull the trigger on the purchase.

    • Yep, I know that I’m going to miss it for sure, but if I can save $2,000 per year for a little while, I think it will be entirely worth it.

    • Very true. Now that gas is close to $4.00 per gallon again, I can really tell when I’m at the pump. If I could get a car that gets more than 30mpg, I know I wouldn’t notice as much.

    • Lol! Thanks for the advice Kim! I would love to keep the truck, but those gas prices….. arg! It’s such a tough decision!

  4. I was hoping to be swayed by the comments but I still don’t know which I’d suggest. It doesn’t HAVE to be your nephew’s car (although it is a convenient purchase). You could browse around the area for a car with more room. I hate gas prices, so I’m leaning toward the car.
    Jessica @ Budget For Health recently posted..Working more than one job

    • Yep. I’m leaning your way too, but the nice part is, if I don’t get the price that I want for the truck, I can always hold onto it longer and handle the winters more easily.

  5. Having driven a car that I didn’t fit in for a couple of years (my legs were too long for my old Plymouth Horizon), my advice is don’t do that! Especially if you’ll be driving it a lot. I also got my MBA while working full time and if your experience is similar to mine you will already be tired and uncomfortable keeping up with that crazy schedule. There’s no need to make yourself more uncomfortable. I can understand the desire to ditch the guzzler though. I drive a Civic sedan now and love the gas milage it gets, the room it gives me, and it has the bonus of keeping its resale value pretty well.

    Good luck with whatever you decide and with your MBA program!

    • Great advice Melissa! I’m actually looking into a Honda Civic myself. The only question now is, “Hybrid? Or no Hybrid?” 😉

      • Would the hybrid allow you to use the HOV lane and save you commute time? I opted for the non-hybrid because the technology was a bit new for my liking when I purchased mine six years ago. I’ve just never been an early adopter on anything. The mileage is great on the regular model and I’ve never really regretted not getting the hybrid (except when I’m stuck on the freeway during rush hour and watching hybrid cars zoom past me in the HOV lane). lol.

        • Ha, unfortunately, there’s no such thing as an HOV lane by me. Our largest highway is 2 lanes (sometimes 3). So, no, that’s just not going to happen. With a smaller car though, maybe I can weave in and out of traffic better! 🙂

  6. I’m inclined to stick with the truck.

    Also Full-time work and full-time MBA, DUDE! Is your work sponsoring you? I’m looking into MBA’s but am finding them unaffordable so I’m considering Msc in business instead.
    Renée (@nickelbynickel) recently posted..TLH: Project Bathroom Continued…

    • Yep, my work is paying for the MBA (thankfully). Otherwise it would be pretty pricey! I love working for a great company. 🙂

  7. We switched to compact cars when my wife started commuting. I don’t think we could fit more than our two children and us in it, but the gas savings alone has been a lifesaver. While I don’t know much about your situation – I say go “pro” and go for the car that will cost you less in the long run. You’re not a farmer out on the back 20 all day, I assume. I say if your coworkers bug you about your ride, tell them that they can buy you a new one if they want!
    Wayne @ Young Family Finance recently posted..Prepaid Cards – The Perfect Gift?

    • Good advice Wayne. It would be nice to park my garage in the garage as well. My truck is a little tricky going in…. 😉


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