We sold off some of our vehicles this past week. I'm almost afraid to admit just how bad it was, but we had five - FIVE! - insured motor vehicles. Hear me out though!
One was my motor-scooter which had been my main vehicle when we lived in the city. I didn't have a car at the time. Although I tried to sell it before we moved, it just never happened. Despite the fact that I was hardly driving it at all, I still had to pay some insurance for it. Pennsylvania makes it very hard to put a vehicle "in storage" from a legal perspective. This was obviously a candidate for selling. As much as I loved it, and as great as its gas mileage was, I need a car to cover the distances from where we live and to do the things I need to do.
Vehicle #2 is my car, a cheap Hyundai that I bought used and paid cash for.
Vehicle #3 is my husband's car, a more expensive VW that we also bought used and paid cash for.
Vehicle #4 is his old Honda, which he bought before we even met. It's been in another state (where my husband spends a significant amount of time for his work) for about two years. He uses that car to get around when he's away on business travel.
Vehicle #5 is our 1992 beater pick up truck, also bought used for cash. We need this for hauling stuff to our property where we're gearing up to build our dream home. It's also hugely convenient for hardware store runs, or picking up free mulch at the county recycling center.
Although we have great auto insurance, our bill was high with this many vehicles. The most obvious, if painful, step was to get rid of my motor-scooter. After a post on craigslist, I got many, many phone calls, and finally one from someone living in a major city who was serious. She came that evening with a truck and paid me in cash!
The second vehicle that sold is the old Honda. Someone my husband works with had been interested in buying it for its good fuel economy. So after agreeing on a price, my husband drove his VW to the other state and sold the Honda. That means we're down to one car at home now, plus the beater truck. I'll have to share my car with my husband. We drive the truck only when we need its hauling capabilities; it gets pretty bad mileage.
Two vehicles sold in one week! We got them off our auto insurance policy right away, and also found that the policy on the VW is now cheaper because it's in another state. Our total monthly savings comes to over $108! That's whopping $1272 per year, which will get plowed into accelerated payments on our mortgage. And the bulk of the money we got from the sales will also be a sizable extra principle payment next month. We'll keep a small part of the money around as emergency cash.
I wish we could get by with no cars at all. But with no services within walking distance of our home, and our serious winters, that just isn't an option right now.