Have 3 cars: Does it make sense selling 2 of them and buying an EV?
Since the last 2 years, my work has taken me back home, and I realise that we really don’t have the use case scenario for 3 cars anymore.
BHPian GKR9900 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Hello everyone, I am in a bit of a conundrum, hence creating this thread for some expert guidance.
As a family of 4 adults and 2 small kids, we own 3 cars currently.
- 2012 Fluidic Elantra SX(O) MT diesel @80000kms.
- 2014 MS Swift VXi MT petrol @35000 kms.
- 2018 XUV5OO W7 AT diesel @68000 kms.
Earlier, as part of studies and work, I was away from home a lot, that’s why the car I use has comparatively clocked more kms. I’m using the XUV currently. However, since the last 2 years, my work has taken me back home, and I realise that we really don’t have the use case scenario for 3 cars anymore. Ever since COVID, our family business also ran dry and our finances are not what they used to be. This has led me to question us holding onto 3 cars. Although I am staying at home, I have a daily office commute of around 60 kms. This will increase to maybe 90-100 kms once my wife also rejoins work after her maternity leave. The XUV has got monthly EMIs. It is also the one that I routinely use. Fuel bills are on the higher side because of that. We don’t want to sell the Elantra although it is the oldest car here as it doesn’t have any EMIs and still runs fine, apart from some niggles. Hyundai service has also been good so far. But the gremlins associated with a 10 year old car could occur anytime. Also, I am not sure about the diesel car fate after 15 years. My dad really likes this car and replacing it with an equivalent car would certainly be a very costly affair and we aren’t ready to do that just yet. The Swift has been running reliably with no hiccups. MS service is spot on as always. The 5OO running costs do not really justify the usage anymore. Earlier I used to do long distance trips in it. But with a 2 year old daughter and a 2 month old son, I don’t really see myself taking long trips anytime soon. This, along with some side hustles going to take centre stage, 90% office commutes and 10% outstation trips per year would be a best case scenario at least for the next few years. After a few years though, as the kids grow, we are planning to upgrade from the Elantra to a 7 seater like the Safari/7OO/Hycross.
I have worked out a couple of imaginary scenarios based on the above, some of which may not be financially prudent as I had to balance my head and heart to some extent. That is why I am looking at our community to offer objective guidance regarding this.
Scenario 1 : Sell XUV. Retain Swift and Elantra:
This would be the most prudent decision IMO. I don’t have to pay EMIs for the XUV. It’s also one less car’s maintenance to deal with. I can use the Swift for office commutes and just deal with the monthly fuel expense and maintenance. This was my initial plan, but there’s a problem. The Swift doesn’t really quench that thirst for driving pleasure. It is a good car. Reliable and fun. But this being a 2014 car, lack ABS and airbags. Highway runs aren’t so enjoyable as the other two. That is where the next scenario comes in.
Scenario 2 : Sell XUV and Swift. Buy an electric:
This is the idea that’s currently occupying my head. Initially I was hoping to take a Tiago EV, but the lower range means that it will strictly be a city car. One can’t really do more than 250-300 kms comfortably in a day on narrow Kerala highways. But I want a car that can at least cover this distance without much range anxiety. So I shifted my attention towards the 20L EV segment. Also, if I’m already betting on some nascent tech like BEVs, why not enjoy it to the fullest. The driving dynamics and insane acceleration of mainstream EVs like Nexon and 4OO are pretty appealing. The latter was awesome to drive and has struck a chord with me. Buying a top end Nexon EV or XUV400 would require taking a loan, but it would still workout to be cheaper than the EMI + fuel costs + maintenance I’m currently paying for my 5OO. Jumping to the Kona/ZS EV segment would nullify this, so I’m not considering them, at least for now.
But then comes the next hiccup. If I decide to go through with this option. Which EV should I buy? Nexon or XUV400?
Nexon EV Max:
- Tried and tested product.
- LFP battery tech.
- A reasonably good Tata dealer very close to our home. Considering the nascent stages that our country is in, this is very reassuring.
- Can’t really digest the thought that I need to spend 20L for what is essentially a sub 4m car.
- Lack of 6 airbags lingers in your mind, especially while travelling with family.
- The drive – the power, the dynamics, the rush – so in love with it.
- 6 airbags.
- Feels like a bigger car overall in terms of size and space. From an objective point of view, this is a Kona EV competitor at a Nexon EV price.
- Interiors – I can surely overlook it now, but a couple of years later would it be terribly outdated?
- This being a gen 1 EV product by Mahindra, are the customers going to be beta testers? Would there be range issues? Battery heating issues? Or any other issue that would leave me stranded? So many questions for which there is no answer due to lack of data, unlike Nexon EV. Only solace I could find was that the 3OO has been on sale for quite a while without much problems, and also that the battery from LG chem and motor from Siemens are pretty reliable. But not sure how all this will apply to the 4OO.
- Mahindra service centers are a bit far away compared to Tata. Service center visits might need me taking a day off from work.
Both Tata and Mahindra have their customer service issues, so not highlighting it as a separate con.
Scenario 3 : Sell XUV and Swift. Buy a Fronx turbo AT/Sonet diesel AT:
I’m not exactly sure why this option is here, but it sounded good inside my head, considering the confusion regarding EVs A reasonably priced, well-designed, reliable, feature-rich compact SUV with no worries about charging and frugal to run. That isn’t so bad, is it?
Now, there could be a need for a third car a few months later, when wifey decides to go back to work. But she still has to get some experience behind the wheel, so planning to take a pre-owned one when the time comes, should the need arise.
Really looking forward to your thoughts on this.
Here’s what BHPian shankar.balan had to say on the matter:
Ive read your post and am going to wield the surgeon’s knife:
- You’ve said there are financial pressures – hence if I were you I would first sell the vehicle on which I am paying EMI.
- I would NOT take on any more EMI’s.
- Clearly I would question why I need 3 cars and all their running and maintenance expenses. And I would definitely reduce the garage to just 2 cars.
- I would bite my lip, tighten my belt and put a hold on the ‘driving enjoyment’ piece for the moment – this is because of the added responsibilities of the elders and children.
I would sell the XUV500 and quietly manage with the Swift and the Elantra for a year or so more.
In this time, I would put aside some savings – probably the EMI piece which I am saving on the XUV500. And after a year, when the XUV400 has more real world user reviews and information around it, I may consider selling the Swift OR the Elantra and buying the XUV400.
This way I will still have 2 cars – one EV and one ICE car.
Here’s what BHPian libranof1987 had to say on the matter:
Sell the Swift (too old, too unsafe) for sure. Will your wife be comfortable using the Elantra for office commute, or would the both of you continue to use the XUV500? If so, sell the Elantra too and if financials permit, get a hatch: the likes of Tiago (petrol). A small car will be better than the Elantra for city runs. Which you will soon have many of, once the kids enter the school going phase.
Keep the XUV500: you will need the space. With two young kids, I’d recommend that you use car seats for them, if you don’t already. Only the XUV500 will allow your entire family to travel together comfortably. No point selling it and spending ~20 lakhs on another vehicle to fill the void.
Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:
First of all figure out what the real world range of all these vehicles is. ARAI tests on a rolling road and unlike ICE cars that can simply be shifted into overdrive to drop the revs and sip on fuel, EVs use more energy to travel fast so highway running may not yield greater efficiency. It would be prudent to figure out from ownership reports and other reviews what the real world range is. Next you will have to take into consideration the fact that you will experience battery degradation. Just like your smart phone’s battery life doesn’t feel as awesome after 2 years of usage, you can expect the same thing to occur with your EV. This not only means lower resale value but also means you will have to find out the real world range of these cars and ensure that even after 20-30 percent battery health loss, that it is still an acceptable range to you.
I’d say you’re better off selling the XUV and fueling your side hustles with the money it fetches. At the end of the day battery tech is still a generation or two away from being ideal where we get more range from a smaller battery pack that doesn’t degrade through charging cycles. Graphene batteries are atleast a decade away thus I would suggest waiting until then before jumping on the EV bandwagon.
Here’s what BHPian padmarajravi had to say on the matter:
Selling the XUV500 does not make sense to me. Your assumption is that your seven seater requirements are a few years away. I think they are just 8-10 months away. The moment your 2 month old son becomes old enough to fit into a car seat your thought process wil change. XUV500 can hold two of you, two car seats and their luggage in comfort. Nothing in your current budget can do that.And you will need the space even for short distance commute in the near future. So the best option here is to sell the Swift and use it to fund your XUV’s EMI for some time.
Here’s what BHPian GoBabyGo had to say on the matter:
Hello GKR9900, all our very best for the recovery of your business pre COVID times. I am hoping that your finances are reasonably good since you both are working.
I suggest you to sell your XUV5OO as currently it will give good resale value due to long waiting of 7OO and your 5OO is not that old. Beside this also sell Elantra which again will give you reasonable resale value. I am hopeful that by selling these two, you will get around 20 lacs to spend on your next car.
I suggest you to buy Brezza Vxi MT for around 11.10 lacs and Tiago XT Long Range for around 10.50 lacs. Both the cars are solidly built and you will have to spend less on maintenance.
Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.
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