One car too many

From the day I decided to buy a vintage Land Rover the plan was to make it my everyday vehicle. I’d sell the MINI almost immediately. Friends and concerned strangers urged me to hang on to the MINI, if only for a few months, to make sure I could make do with a 40 year old truck. So I rented one of those U-Store-It places to keep the MINI, even though I’m not entirely comfortable with having two vehicles. The Land Rover is still a month away. Maybe six weeks.

In the meantime, the MINI’s value as a back-up ride has… diminished. Might have a crack in the head gasket which is an expensive repair. $1,500, maybe two grand?

I paid $24,000 for the MINI in the fall of 2011. The Blue Book value is around $5,000, perhaps a bit more. But that’s WITHOUT a serious engine problem. Do I invest $2K to fix the car in order to sell it for $5K? If I’m doing the math correctly, the car is only worth $3K at the moment.

I’m almost completely ignorant in these matters because I’ve always driven cars (Toyotas) for 300,000 miles or more. Then I’d buy a new one. Zero experience with used cars. And more importantly, I refuse to fuck with buying/selling used cars.

So I’ll keep the MINI until the Land Rover arrives but keeping it in storage no longer makes sense. I haven’t figured out what to do with it but I will. The local high school has a career center with an automotive program that accepts donated vehicles for the student to work on (for practice or to fix and sell). I might donate the MINI.

What I’d like to find is a “concierge seller.” Someone that finds a buyer and takes a commission.

I was a little surprised at how quickly the MINI lost value. And how difficult and expensive it was to maintain. And, yes, driving a 40 year old truck will have a new set of surprises.

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