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Debt Finances & Money Frugality

To sell, or not to sell…my SUV

by J. Savings

The following is a guest post from “Crazy J” (my nickname for him) from Budgets are Sexy. I was fortunate enough to meet J at a Personal Finance blogger happy hour recently and got to know more about the man behind the mohawk. J definitely puts personality into his financial articles, which makes his site a great read. Head over and consider subscribing to his RSS feed!

I’m one of those people who have buyer’s remorse pretty frequently, esp. when it comes to something w/ a lot of options.

Usually i can’t tell if i want a red widget, or a blue widget and usually come to the conclusion that i wanted the opposite of the one i brought home.

Normally this doesn’t present a problem as i can just return said widget to the store and get the one i think i really want. When it happens with big ticket items, however, i can get myself into trouble. This brings us to today’s dilemma.

To Keep or Not to Keep

To keep my 2005 SUV, or to sell my 2005 SUV? I purchased it last summer as my favorite car in the entire world conked out on me; a ’93 DeVille in pristine condition…well, except for the conkin out part ;). When it comes to cars, it seems my A.D.H.D. kicks into overdrive (no pun intended) and I will usually go to 1 of 2 extremes. An older “classicy” kinda car w/ no car payments, or a newer more reliable kinda car with heavy payments. In this case, i chose the latter.

The PRO’s on this are abundant: Limited Edition, v6 all wheel drive, leather interior, 6 cd changer, chrome rims, sunroof, heated seats!, newer, cleaner, reliable, shiny, more fuel efficient, etc.

The CON‘s are too: WAY more $, and paranoia of someone scratching, dinging, or just plain ol’ wrecking it. Not to mention losing value each month I own it – and more so than the actual amount being paid off each month πŸ™

These PRO’S originally sold me on it, however, buyer’s remorse (if you can still call it that one year later) has since played its part. I’m pretty ready to give up my high payments for a decent old beater. I’m guessing this is due to my new found frugality, because I really find my car physically attractive (in a very non-sexual way of course). I got a great deal on it too, but still it’s $24k+ that is still tugging at me asking if i really *need* it, ya know?

Financial Facts

Loan left is $24,199.90, and current KBB value is $21,145.00. I can also wipe away a good $1600 from cancelling my extended warranty and selling the chrome rims. My interest is 5.5%, and monthly payments are around $440.

As it stands today, I am 65% thinking of listing it and seeing what happens. I figure if I DO get takers, then maybe it’s meant to be and i should let her go. I could then share my fiancΓ©e’s car, split the payments, gas, etc with her and save a good $500/month easy. Maybe do that for a month or two while looking for an older car?

I dunno really. The weather can also get pretty horrible w/ icings and snow all over, and in those times i turn into the SUV promoter! haha… I guess what i really need to just do is weigh the goods and bads thoroughly one more time, and then make a decision once and for all. Or maybe I should just sell it and be done. Arghh…all this wishy-washy drives me absolutely C-R-A-Z-Y.

Are any of you in this predicament? Obviously gas prices are pushing people away from SUVs and trucks, but have you reconsidered your vehicle based simply on affordability and practicality?

About the author

Clever Dude


  • Sell the SUV!! If you want to get ahead financially, don’t buy depreciating assets! I sold my expensive new car last year to buy a 4 year old used car that was in great condition and less than half the loan amount and never felt better.

  • Yes sell the SUV for the sole financial purpose! Dont waste money on cars unless youre rich! I cant even drive my Jeep because of gas. My Gf and I carpool everyday and we spend 500 month in gas in her altima! Imagine if I drove the Jeep alone. So if you sold the SUV (and I know its tough…. because of pride, and the conveniences of SUV ownership) you will save a ton in gas. If you sit and think about how much $ you unneccesarily spend on gas itll make you want to sell! I think times are changing and we have to let go of those SUV days..(especially if you arent rich or really need one) I am 25 and have been driving an SUV since I was 16. I feel lucky that I found a buyer in this market for mine (only getting $4500 though) but atleast now I can get some Granny car for cheap and save on gas. I just feel kind of ridiculous all these years driving a huge car that i really did not need. Itll be hard but I know I will feel better when its gone.

  • I am in the same boat! Talk about buyer’s remorse…still have it 2 years later.
    My van loan balance is 21k, toyota sienna 2005 value is approx 18k. I pay 500/month and it is killing me. Don’t have the difference to sell and pay off loan. Have heard of people contacting the finance company and asking them to hold note for 4k and take van back…Scarredy cat to call them – afraid they’ll laugh at me.
    I have been paying down our cc debt for past two years and am slowly getting there.
    Thanks for your great site.
    Sharon Wells, Maine

  • Update: I still have the car πŸ™‚ sadly it’s not all that shocking as i’ve been super busy w/ wedding stuff lately, and I’ve been all around town moving things – another HUGE plus about having an SUV.

    The other day I shoved in an entire kitchen table set from CL! Granted, it’s not like this occurance happens every day, but it’s a nice luxury to have.

    Gabe – You’re totally right. Selling it would be financially smarter than keeping it. While i haven’t sold it yet, I’ll be revisiting the idea soon as the Mrs. will soon be starting Grad School and we lose our 2nd income – yikes!

    Sharon – Oh man, i never heard of that one! I’d totally continue with paying down your c/c debt – congrats πŸ™‚ And yeah, Clever Dude here rocks. It’s always a pleasure guest posting on his site here!

  • Just stumbled onto this site after googling “I want to sell my SUV”. In a similar boat with my 2006 Chevy Tahoe but I don’t owe anything on it, so i’m trying to decide if I should trade it straight for a Honda Civic or just hang on to it… no car payment is so nice although I spend a whopping $800 a month in gas! So, if I were you – i’d sell the SUV. There I said it. The way the economy is going, it may not be worth anything in another year – sell it while you still can and figure out something cool you can drive that won’t stick it to you at the pump. I was one of those “I need an SUV” people, I have 2 young kids, 2 dogs, mountain bikes, I frequent Costco… but all in all, I wanted an SUV more than I ever needed one. It’s ok, a lot of us did.

  • Hey Heather! I’m glad you said that as I *JUST* put my SUV on the market last week πŸ˜‰ Sadly, I haven’t gotten one bite yet, but i remain hopeful. Worst case, i know the SUV hungry will come during winter and snow scares! Thank goodness i don’t go through $800 worth of gas each month – OUCH! i’m sorry to hear that πŸ™ but you’re right, no payments sure is sexy.

    I picked up a ’93 Pimp DeVille in it’s place – only $3k and in EXCELLENT shape, so as soon as the Highlander is sold I’ll soon have no payments! Gas will remain sucky, but only an extra $80/month, which is MUCH better than a $450 car payment instead πŸ˜‰

  • i stumbled onto your page after googling should i sell my suv. after reading your column to my husband, he is certain that i wrote this under a pen name. i listed my suv and have a decent nibble going, i am hopeful that she will buy. i am in “beater” mode myself and though i will miss heated seats in the winter, i prefer to have money to “do” things with than a comfy ride to go no where. best of luck!

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