Which car should I pas down to my son?
My wife and I are thinking about passing down one of our cars to our son for his 18th birthday. We’re debating either our 1999 Land Cruiser (200k miles) or our 1998 Mercedes E320 (208k miles). Both never gave us trouble, and still run like a dream.
From a mechanics point of view, which car would be best to pass down to him?
Thats an easy one, Land Cruiser.
Well, that's a little bit like comparing apples to oranges... a Japanese made full sized SUV vs a German made luxury sedan.
Mechanically, if both have been properly maintained up to this point, the Toyota would still have higher reliability over the Mercedes and would be less expensive to maintain and repair with regards to parts and labor costs and frequency of repair as they age.
Driving, the Mercedes would be a more refined ride and the V6 would get better gas mileage as I am sure you know. But if your son plans to attend college or other activities he might like to have the SUV to haul stuff, go camping, off-roading a bit. But the V8 would definitely consume more fuel.
Well, even a safe car (E-Series) is not as safe against a street-racing Camry as opposed to a Land Cruiser. My kid had a classmate killed by a racing Camry in a head on. Sit as high as possible.
Also, especially if your kid is going off to university, no matter who you insure with, get COMP coverage and/or drop your COMPREHENSIVE deductible down to $50 or as low as you can go. COMP is for vandalism, theft, broken windows, etc. Universities breed contempt for people who have belongings like cars. A single smashed windshield is going to run quite a bit, a single claim will pay for years of premiums (most people see a $1 a month rise). Also, check the state your kid will go to school in and see what age they can rent a car. If its available, get rental coverage on the vehicle. Trust me, I didn't know this and it cost us an extra $1,000+ for a rental while repairs were going on. My home state doesn't allow rentals by a 19-year old, Oregon does.