Life Hack Money Saver | Officially a One Car Family

Whelp, we officially became a one car family this week, thanks to a very bad investment. It is a bit of an adjustment, but with an unreliable car we had costing us gobs of money in the driveway, we are breathing a collective sigh of relief. Our 2011 Hyundai Sonata (hybrid) was giving us so much trouble that several trips to the car doctor couldn’t diagnose what was wrong, and we didn’t feel it safe to drive. This car had spent months of it’s existence in different car places running diagnostics (while we were still religiously making payments). Despite recording behaviors and sending videos of the

Breakdown
Familiar sight with our lemon

car’s antics, no one (even the Hyundai engineers, could tell what was wrong). They replaced so many different bits and pieces to the tune of $1000’s to try to make this car right. Finally, their solution was to send the car home to us and continue to put our family’s life in peril – big nope. This car had a mind of its own of when it would stop working or sputter and stall (sometimes requiring a complete shut down and restart)… turning left in front of traffic, on the freeway, at random stop signs, at a stop light with a loooooong line of impatient drivers behind you (all of this happened – some of it, many times). What do you do with a car like that?  We felt slighted by the brand. We obviously wouldn’t sell it to someone else or donate it. We couldn’t live with ourselves knowing we didn’t feel safe in this vehicle and pawning it off (which is probably what was done to us). So, we negotiated with the dealership to buy it back. We split the difference in loss (we lost some money and so did they). However, they knew the car’s history and we didn’t want to pursue it with Hyundai (this cost us enough stress and it wasn’t worth it). We were seriously getting heart palpitations every time we tried to drive the car and it was no longer worth it. While we will never, ever, ever, ever, ever buy Hyundai again we learned some important lessons:

  • Never buy Hyundai (biggest lesson of all)
  • We really CAN live with one car
  • Public transportation is our friend (in the DC area you really can get by on one car)
  • Owning a car is EXPENSIVE

On this last point…. owning a car is super expensive. What we’re recouping from this bum investment:

  • $715 refund in the extra insurance we purchased for it
  • $392 in monthly payments (set to be paid of in 2019 and now gone!)
  • $260 a year in personal property taxes
  • $100 (approximate) inspections and registrations
  • $100ish monthly insurance cost

In the first year alone we’ll save nearly $7,000. I’m not deducting gas because we’re still using that in the other vehicle. So, what do we have left in the driveway? The magnificent Toyota Prius, a  car we’ve owned since 2006 (Miss Moe was three!). Knock on wood, this car hasn’t caused us an ounce of trouble. While Miss Moe calls it the “Mom Car”, we call it our ONLY car, for now. The longer we are able to go without a second car the more we’ll save. We’ll see how long Mr. Moe can hold out. I’m ready to hold out until Miss Moe inherits the Prius in about 1.5 years. Public transportation isn’t a bad option and doesn’t cost $7,000 a year!

~Mrs. Moe

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