5 tips to becoming a one-car family

Be wise about which car to keep
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Be wise about which car to keep

This means striking a balance between what's best for your wallet without shortchanging your family's needs.

The car's resale value should factor into your decision. Even a 5-year-old car that's been paid off could bring in a respectable chunk of change. For instance, a 2005 Honda Accord with 55,000 miles on it and in average condition would resell for $11,215, according to Consumer Reports.

Also, look at outstanding leases. If you're upside down on one lease, this wouldn't be the best time to get rid of that car, Gerhard says.

Then you'll need to decide which features your family car needs, whether your choice is determined by your daily gas-guzzling, cross-county commute or by the heavy loads you haul around town.

"You need to be mindful that now that this is your sole vehicle, you'll have to think about all the things you're going to need it for?" Gerhard says. "It can't be single-purpose if it's going to be your only car."

Also, factor in the extra mileage and wear and tear that the remaining car will incur.

"With more miles, come greater depreciation and more maintenance," says Jeff Bartlett, deputy editor online for autos for Consumer Reports.




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