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Is It Ridiculous to Preserve 3 Automobiles Because of My New Job’s Perks?


Pricey Penny,

I simply obtained a brand new job. It’s technically a 20% wage lower, however with the perimeter advantages and advantages to my psychological well being, it looks like a promotion. I made a decision I can afford the reduce and it’s value it. 

One of many advantages is a automobile, which I’m free to make use of for private driving in addition to for work. Upkeep, gasoline and insurance coverage are all lined. 

Here is the dilemma: I have already got two vehicles. One is a commuter automobile, newer with numerous facilities and an affordable month-to-month cost. I at the moment owe about $5,000 greater than it’s value as a result of I paid for an prolonged guarantee and had deliberate on placing plenty of miles on it and retaining it for years. I’ve solely had it for one yr. 

My different car is an older Jeep. It’s nonetheless purposeful however not appropriate for commuting. It’s paid for and doubtless value about $12,000 to $15,000. It isn’t sensible, however I’ve a powerful attachment to it. It’s a Jeep factor. 

I do not want or have room for all three autos. What do I promote? Simply the grocery-getter or each? Do I commerce each in for a more recent enjoyable Jeep? I am hesitant to try this as a result of the markup on these is exorbitant!  

-A. within the Midwest

Pricey A.,

Promote the Jeep. Certainly you weren’t planning to bronze it and maintain it in your storage for eternity, proper?

There’s no simple time to half with one thing you’re emotionally hooked up to. However when that factor is a automobile and you’ve got two different vehicles and dealerships are paying high greenback for trade-ins, it’s as near an ideal time as you’re going to get. Concentrate on all of the completely satisfied recollections you can also make with an additional $15,000 in your pocket.

That’s the simple half. Now for the trickier query, which is what to do with these different two autos you’ll have left within the driveway.


What I wouldn’t do is commerce in your newish car and the outdated Jeep for a elaborate new Jeep. As you level out, you’d be paying high greenback. I’d a lot slightly see you are taking the cash you’ll get at trade-in and put it in financial savings, particularly since your revenue is dropping by 20%.

Cling on to the car you latterly purchased, so long as you’ve got area and aren’t fighting the prices. You simply began this job. Give it a bit of time to verify the trade-offs you’re making are value it earlier than making any massive monetary selections. I’d hate so that you can must scramble for brand spanking new transportation on high of a brand new job do you have to determine that the job isn’t the proper match.

Should you’re completely satisfied together with your choice after the brand new job honeymoon part has handed, you’ll need to seek the advice of with a tax skilled about whether or not it is sensible to rely 100% in your firm automobile. Having an organization automobile for private use is a reasonably candy perk. However with candy perks, the IRS all the time calls for a reduce.

The worth of any private driving you do (together with commuting) on the corporate automobile shall be taxable to you. Basically, if 60% of your mileage was for enterprise functions and 40% of your mileage was private, you’d owe taxes on the worth of that 40%. Your employer can select the way it calculates the worth of that non-public utilization. The principles can get sophisticated. However in case you do a considerable quantity of private driving, it’s possible you’ll need to use the car you personal as a lot as doable to keep away from a hefty tax invoice.

Nonetheless, if the job seems to be every thing you needed, you might also determine it makes extra sense to do away with your private car altogether, particularly if most of your driving is for work. In that case, you should use the cash from promoting the Jeep to cowl your mortgage steadiness if the automobile continues to be underwater.

I’d go this route provided that you propose to be at your present job for a very long time, although. Given the frequency with which individuals change jobs, it’s typically finest to not have your main transportation tied to your employer.

Robin Hartill is an authorized monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your tough cash inquiries to [email protected].


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