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Old 02-24-2008, 11:18 AM   #1
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Soliciting advice

I know people have brought this up before, but I'd like to hear what others think. I've been thinking of trading in my truck for a more economical car for the past month. I was looking at a new 2007 leftover 4 cyl Accord, or a new Camry. The Camry does scare me with the Transmission isssues people have been having. Anyways I have a 60 mile commute to work 5 days a week, and filling up the truck every 5 days makes my gas bill as much as my car payment a month. When I bought the truck last December, gas around here in NJ was $2.19; now it's $2.90. Well with Summer comming around the corner, I don't see the prices going down much, and I expect prices to go up for the summer months. I love my truck, but my real need is for a commuter and a truck second. I was thinking of buying a beater , but then my $320/mo truck would be sitting and getting very little use. I would rather trade the truck in, get a new reliable mid size sedan and buy a beater truck. I've been contemplating this for the past month, and almost pulled the trigger at a Honda dealer for a new left over 07. I was going to get a 4 dr/4cyl Accord EX-L with foglights added for $22k it stickered for almost $26K, and they were going to give me $24K for my truck (paid $28K for it new). I was reluctant because I felt I could get more for my truck. Come to find out, $24K is about right according to KBB and NADA. The good thing is they were going to let me keep my Weather Tech floor mats, Wet Okole seat covers and Kenwood stereo. So I would sell those items off individually if I pull the trigger. Has anybody else thought about getting rid of their beloved Tacoma and going with something more economical. I know people will say it comes with driving a truck, but gas prices have fluctuated so much this past year. I'd love to hear your inputs. I already took a bath on a 2005 Trailblazer when I traded it in on my Tacoma. I really don't want to do that again.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:07 PM   #2
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Yeah I already checked on the insurance. It was cheaper by $10 every 6 months so that hasn't helped me in pulling the plug. I've driven nothing but Trucks and SUV's since 1994, so going from a truck to a car will be somewhat of a transition. Moving closer to work isn't really an option. 1st I just bought my house back in August, and second there isn't a bunch of affordable housing available near where I work. BTW i'm in the military, so where I live and moving isn't exactly something I can up and do.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:12 PM   #3
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I opted the beater route. I have my Tacoma, which I use for vacations, road trips, and towing/hauling, and I have a 93 Honda Accord that is my every day back and forth to work / run errands car.

So after almost a year the truck has not quite 6000 miles on it, and more than half of them were towing miles. For me the truck is necessary, without it we don't get to go camping. However truth be told, if I had to downsize I'd still keep the truck as it is just so much more practical to me.

That said, I am ok, with making a payment on something that sits in the garage as much as it gets driven, because I know that by doing so I am keeping it nicer. Ie no mall parking lot door dings or anything.

Also keep in mind that you are in New Jersey, and while our car insurance is getting better, it still mostly blows, but my insurance is actually $15.00 cheeper with both vehicles than it would be for the truck alone.

Just somethings to consider.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:20 PM   #4
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I say keep the truck and get a small commuter car. Used is cheaper. That way you can keep your truck and wear out a crappy car instead. Of course I'd sooner get a 2nd job to pay gas then go back to a small car for daily commute. I love my old 1969 VW bug, but it's like David vs. Goliath on the freeways.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:20 PM   #5
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I looked at an older civic, corolla, an accord and mazda protege for a beater. My insurance would of went up about $130 more per 6 months. Tell me about Nj insurance sucking. I even considered I like my truck is less likely to get a door ding too..lol I'm anal about my vehicles like most on here too. Here's something else I considered, if I bought a beater for say $4K, and it's hard finding one that doesn't have a billion miles and in good running shape, that's $4K I could just spend on gas for the truck. I do need to make sure I have a vehicle that will make a 60 mile round trip without fail. I would spend up to $8k for a second vehicle. Like I mentioned earlier, I do use my truck now and then, mostly to pick up firewood, and errands around the house. The reason I went with a truck initially was to haul around my motorcycle, but I got rid of it this past summer. If my truck had issues, I wouldn't even be having thses conversations, but I'm trying to froecast. If gas goes to say $3.50, i don't want to be trying to get rid of my truck then as the market will reflect and the dealers are less likely to givea good trade in value.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:22 PM   #6
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It's totally up to you and your wallet......

You're the only person who knows your financial situation and your job situation better than anyone else. Gas prices certainly aren't gonna go down anytime soon and we'll probably never see cheap prices ever again.

There's a difference between being an auto enthusiast versus necessity. You could be both or have neither. I guess what I'm saying is....Why did you buy the truck in the first place? Was it a LOVE at first sight? Was there a need to tow/haul? Or simply because you fell into it?

For me - having a pickup truck in the family has been a gawdsend. And the fact that I've been a tacoma enthusiast for years.....I don't worry about gas cost. I go about life and continue to fill it up as needed. But - I'm the only person who can say that because I'm familiar with my own financial status.

But yeah...get yourself a little used 'beater' 4cyl econo car, put liability insurance on it, maintain it, and drive it till it falls apart. Some of those little beater cars will go forever. Take the truck to work once a week (for example) and enjoy having your cake and eating it to.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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If fuel use is the issue a Camry might not be all that much of an improvement. I get about 25 mpg mixed city/highway with my Tacoma and my wife only gets about 26 with her Camry. (Yes she's an impatient driver) If I were looking for an economical commuter car I'd be looking at a Corolla or a Yaris both of which should get mid 30's MPG. The Yaris is pretty small but the Corolla is about the size Camrys were a few years ago.

Let us know what you end up doing.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
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It's totally up to you and your wallet......

You're the only person who knows your financial situation and your job situation better than anyone else. Gas prices certainly aren't gonna go down anytime soon and we'll probably never see cheap prices ever again.

There's a difference between being an auto enthusiast versus necessity. You could be both or have neither. I guess what I'm saying is....Why did you buy the truck in the first place? Was it a LOVE at first sight? Was there a need to tow/haul? Or simply because you fell into it?

For me - having a pickup truck in the family has been a gawdsend. And the fact that I've been a tacoma enthusiast for years.....I don't worry about gas cost. I go about life and continue to fill it up as needed. But - I'm the only person who can say that because I'm familiar with my own financial status.
See my previous post. I'm aware the decision is mine and mine alone to make, but I'm sure there are others who have contemplated this very same decision. I like to gather all facts before deciding. Maybe another point of view is all i'm looking for. I am also weel aware people ask questions on these forums such as "which wheels look better?" or "to lift or not to lift, that is the question" I am not asking for a question out of narcicism, but to collect info for those who either did or didn't go through with getting rid of or keeping their truck. A truck had come in handy for me too, and as i also mentioned earlier, I would loo kinto buying a beater truck. Maybe i should present it like this: beater car and nice truck or nice car and beater truck...inputs
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:34 PM   #9
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If fuel use is the issue a Camry might not be all that much of an improvement. I get about 25 mpg mixed city/highway with my Tacoma and my wife only gets about 26 with her Camry. (Yes she's an impatient driver) If I were looking for an economical commuter car I'd be looking at a Corolla or a Yaris both of which should get mid 30's MPG. The Yaris is pretty small but the Corolla is about the size Camrys were a few years ago.

Let us know what you end up doing.
Yeah i considered that too. I should also add, that at this point the truck is not a liability financially for me. I can comfortably make the payments, and buy gas, but I am a person of reason. I know based on mpg ratings, the new Camry's don't get significantly more mileage than our trucks. Sure 28-29 mpg is better than 18-20, but when you factor in money lost by trading in, it's a wash at that point. Also from reading from Camry owners over at Toyotanation, they report getting 350 miles to the tank. I get 330-345 on my truck. The Camry is 18 gallons, ours is 21. So I've factored that in, it's also one of the reasons I haven't made the jump yet. A corolla/civic/mazda 3/yaris are all very small cars, and I've bounced between compacts and misized, but I would be looking more to the midsized because A) I'm 6'2 and I felt a little cramped in the compact/sub compact cars and B)I have to factor in my wife and I are considering trying to have kids in the next year or 2.
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Old 02-24-2008, 12:40 PM   #10
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I have a Tacoma because I love driving a pick-up. I have a short commute, and I’m willing to make the trade-off in gas cost for now. I was considering buying a house that required a longer commute and found myself checking out commuter train costs and timing rather than giving up my truck. Crazy I know. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:01 PM   #11
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I have a Tacoma because I love driving a pick-up. I have a short commute, and I’m willing to make the trade-off in gas cost for now.
same situation here. As illogical as it sounds, I could NEVER get rid of my truck.

Good luck with your decision, it sounds like a tough one.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:14 PM   #12
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I love my truck too, and I always wanted a Tacoma since I first learned to drive, but something keeps making me look into trading it in and getting a more economical car. I'm sure as gas prices continue to climb, there will be more people thinking along the same lines as me. I also considered the opposite; would I regret getting rid of the truck and long to go back. I've seen people trade more economical cars to get a Tacoma, becasue they preferred a truck. It would be easy if I had an abundance of problems with my truck, Luckily I have not had any knock on wood.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:20 PM   #13
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I have owned pickups (all tacoma's)for the past 8 years and also find myself thinking of getting a car that gets better mpg. I have also recently sold my dirt bike the main reason I got another pick in 06 instead of a car. So I see where your coming from man. I am just not sure I could see myself owning a car, my cousin got ride of his truck a few years back and he was kicking himself for getting rid of it.(he now owns an 08 nissan frontier) I also like the idea of owning a decent car to drive to work and a beater truck to take to the dump/get mulch. So good luck with your decision man I hope I didn't make it worse.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:35 PM   #14
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I have owned pickups (all tacoma's)for the past 8 years and also find myself thinking of getting a car that gets better mpg. I have also recently sold my dirt bike the main reason I got another pick in 06 instead of a car. So I see where your coming from man. I am just not sure I could see myself owning a car, my cousin got ride of his truck a few years back and he was kicking himself for getting rid of it.(he now owns an 08 nissan frontier) I also like the idea of owning a decent car to drive to work and a beater truck to take to the dump/get mulch. So good luck with your decision man I hope I didn't make it worse.
Thanks!! So we have somewhat the same dilema. It's tougher than it should be. I definitely like riding higher than everyone else. I just don't like that voice of reason that keeps making me even considering a car. I also don't want to be caught with my pants around my ankles come summer, when my gas bill for my truck is over $400/mo. Can we go back to the 90's and the days of $1.30/gallon gas.
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Old 02-24-2008, 01:47 PM   #15
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The only way I was able to even think about getting rid of my Tacoma was to consider getting a another Toyota Truck. So, I am getting a 4Runner (crap! worse gas mileage)...

...ok, let's throw in a turbo diesel engine. (34 MPG, here I come!!!)
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:09 PM   #16
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^YES! Please please Toyota (or, as the locals here say, "Tyoder"), give us a diesel!

Ask yourself, if you trade it in and buy a beater, will you be happy when gas prices go down? Prices ALWAYS go down; look at the 1973 "oil crisis". Adjusted for inflation, it was a lot more than we pay now.

If you really want to save money, move out of NJ, lol! I did in 2000 and immediately had my insurance bill cut by $1100/year (to $700). But I'm sure you love living in Maple Shade since my sister lives there and loves it oh so much.

If this helps any, we just found out last Monday that we're having a child (it's been a long long road) and I'm considering selling my wife's Scion tC so we can ditch the payment and buy something economical outright. For us, we work for the same company so we essentially carpool anyway. So, I kind of feel where you're coming from.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:37 PM   #17
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The insurance for my truck comes to $86/month. Not bad for NJ. I just wanted everyone to know I saved a bunch of money by switching to Geico...lol. No the only concern I have financially is spending as much money in gas as I do on my car payment. I have a hard time justifying it sometimes. You're right Wilson, I really don't want to make a knee jerk reaction to the escalating gas prices, but I no longer look at my vehicles as something of want, but more as something of need. I guess our culture dictates most Americans buy cars because of want. At some point Americans will forgo SUV's and Trucks all together once gasoline hits that magic number. Who knows maybe it will take $5/gallon for Americans to give up all together. I can see the writing on the wall. Gas prices have gone up steadily for the past 8 years. You are correct about gas in 1973, but I believe that fiasco only lasted 4-6 years who knows. I do know this, I've never spent more money on gas per month than I did on a car payment. I used to hate diesels mostly due to my experience with military diesel vehicles, but if I could get 34 mpg from a Tacoma, I'd jump on the bandwagon

Wilson, what area of Maple Shade does your sis live if you don't mind me asking? Heck she might live in my neighborhood. I would love leaving NJ, but Uncle Sam tells me where I get to live; plus my wife is from here and so is all her family. We have guranteed babysitters if and when a kid comes along. NJ isn't too bad I guess.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:23 PM   #18
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I have a 98 4dr Corolla I got back in 99/00 for around $9,000. It gets 37mpg on average now with winter crap gas mix and studded snows. It gets around 40 on long, flat highway trips doing 75-80mph. It's 10 years old now with 180k+ miles on it and it's starting to fail, but we keep it for the mpg. Wife drivers it 35 miles one way to school 1-3 times/day 3-4 days/week so it's good for her.

I like it cuz the damn thing gets darn near the same mpg as a Prius, and cost half as much! Look into one of them. It's smaller than a Camry so it should be better on gas. Some of the Camrys may have a v6 too, but I'm not sure. The Corollas are all I4's.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:46 PM   #19
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I think your answer is a 95 Honda Civic. Pay about 3k for it, drive it for a few years, and then sell it for 3k. They are easy to work on, cheap to fix and you still get to keep the truck.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:49 PM   #20
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Look at the new compact cross-overs.

(zipping up nomex suit)

We bought an HHR last year and have been very happy. Chevy fairly gave it to us, ridiculously high trade-in and 0% financing. 18K miles, no issues and getting 32mpg. The computer is way better integrated than my taco and the thing is a blast to drive.

The chevy has denso electrics and my toyota has delphi.
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