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I have a 2009 Hyundai Accent. It's the hatchbck model. I bought it on a five year loan but will have it payed off in four, later this year. It has 52 K miles on it and is fully covered under warranty to 60 K and then still under warranty for drive train etc. until 100K.

My main income derives from being a reseller. I do a lot of driving collecting items for resale and many times just don't have the room in my vehicle for what is available to purchase. I've owned a van and an SUV in the past and would like to go back to a van for the room. I have no interest in purchasing a new one at 30K so I would buy used with cash from the sale of the Hyundai.

Am I being ridiculous in thinking of going from a solid running vehicle with no issues to a used van with no warranty/guarantee? My insurance would go down, but gas cost would go up. I would have no more monthly payment but will most likely have repairs over time. Suggestions on how to look at this that would be the best financial decision?

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Yes, this was liability only coverage. I live in the city of Buffalo and the rates for here are outrageous. My insuran... (more)

suezyque (Feb. 28, 2013 @ 7:54p) |

Nobody mentioned Transit Connect yet? A cute little work horsie. http://www.ford.com/trucks/transitconnect/

ymf (Feb. 28, 2013 @ 8:50p) |

I bought a 1994 Mitsubishi Mighty Max truck that can move any "heavy" stuff like fridges whatever for $600 and replaced ... (more)

Al3xK (Feb. 28, 2013 @ 9:32p) |

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Could you get away with a roof rack on the Accent? (or add a tow-hitch and get a hitch-mounted f0ot locker rack)

For really big stuff, I would expect anything worth the time to drive to pick up would be worth a $20 short-term rental for a truck/van from the hardware store...

Are you Mike Wolfe of American Pickers?

One vital piece of information missing here is how much you estimate your income will increase by if you switch to the van.

Sounds to me like your opportunity cost is lower by staying with your current vehicle. Your primary driver for this decision is "may times don't have the room in my vehicle", can you turn that into an actual number of lost revenue? Granted i am not you but i've driven 2 door, 2 seater hatchbacks for almost 10 years and have always found a way to transport an object that normally would NEVER fit and I've done it safely.

Why not to get a beater truck?

Crown Vic...

Hatchbacks can hold a lot of shizz and get good mpg

How many days a week would you really "need" a van and how much extra money would you make by having it? Seems it would cost you a couple hundred bucks a month in increased costs of gas and the car itself

I'd vote for the Harbor Freight 4x8 trailer for the few days you really need a haul stuff . It's not like you'll be hauling 1000lb so the Hyundai could handle it

Yes, I can fit a whole lot inside that little car. It's really amazing. I've considered putting on a hitch as I do own a 4x8 trailer. Is it really safe to do that to such a little car?


I did consider a beater truck but the added insurance is ridiculous. No roof rack, very ugly addition to a little car.

I am a picker of sorts, just not at the level of Mike and Frank. I deal mostly in books, but I'll buy anything if I can make money from it.

I can't say for sure how much income I've lost due to not being able to buy certain items. I would guesstimate it to be in the thousands, but can't give an accurate figure.

suezyque said:   Yes, I can fit a whole lot inside that little car. It's really amazing. I've considered putting on a hitch as I do own a 4x8 trailer. Is it really safe to do that to such a little car?

The only problem with that is the engine on your accent doesn't produce a lot of torque... so if your tried to tow say 4,500 pounds of stuff the it would put a heavy load on the engine(high RPMs) and cause it to fail prematurely. If you are carrying light loads it wouldn't be an issue. It would also hurt your gas mileage.

protomenace said:   Are you Mike Wolfe of American Pickers?

One vital piece of information missing here is how much you estimate your income will increase by if you switch to the van.


That was the first thing that came to my mind as well...that the OP is a picker.

suezyque said:   
No roof rack, very ugly addition to a little car.


You don't leave it on when you're not using it...
and it's no uglier an addition than a tow-hitch (or an ugly van)


If you keep the loads light and don't lug the engine, the tow hitch for your existing 4x8 trailer should be fine.

It's only going to prematurely wear out your engine if you're dealing with a much larger weight than the vehicle itself could theoretically accommodate.

Your car is rated to tow. Look at the owners manual. Generally 1-2k lbs, you can tow a trailer... And it'll tow it just fine. Problem solved.

If you are looking to get a different car, consider the Mazda 5, it's a micro van (or mini minivan). Gas mileage isn't bad and it isn't huge, but big enough to fit a bunch of stuff in.

If what dcg says is correct the best option is to use your trailer when you get heavy or large items. If you're dealing with things that just fit inside your car you can take off the trailer and save on gas.

Rent the potential candidates and see which is best

Your could probably swap for a 2007 Honda Fit for about the same money and better gas mileage. With the seats folded down you could get a refridgerator back there.

If OP is looking for a car that fits this scenario, I second the Mazda5. Very reliable in my experience (have owned 2), very good on gas for its size, handles great for a mini/micro van and can even be gotten with a manual transmission in the base model if desired. The best part is the price, the base model is pretty well equipped and can be gotten for $17-18k new last time I checked. As for used, I'm sure the price difference between one of the same age and mileage as OPs car would not be that much.

brettdoyle said:   suezyque said:   Yes, I can fit a whole lot inside that little car. It's really amazing. I've considered putting on a hitch as I do own a 4x8 trailer. Is it really safe to do that to such a little car?

The only problem with that is the engine on your accent doesn't produce a lot of torque... so if your tried to tow say 4,500 pounds of stuff the it would put a heavy load on the engine(high RPMs) and cause it to fail prematurely. If you are carrying light loads it wouldn't be an issue. It would also hurt your gas mileage.


You do not have to worry so much about the engine. The transmission on the other hand has to transfer the load to the wheels, so it is the transmission you have to really worry about. The brakes are the second most important item because the car has good enough brakes to stop itself but not good enough to stop a loaded 4x8 trailer.

Used to work at SAMs club
Was taking out a riding lawn mower on a forklift for a customer

He pulled up in his geo metro
After a good laugh we put it on top and he drove home

Keep the sub compact

More will fit than you think

guntotindem said:   brettdoyle said:   suezyque said:   Yes, I can fit a whole lot inside that little car. It's really amazing. I've considered putting on a hitch as I do own a 4x8 trailer. Is it really safe to do that to such a little car?

The only problem with that is the engine on your accent doesn't produce a lot of torque... so if your tried to tow say 4,500 pounds of stuff the it would put a heavy load on the engine(high RPMs) and cause it to fail prematurely. If you are carrying light loads it wouldn't be an issue. It would also hurt your gas mileage.


You do not have to worry so much about the engine. The transmission on the other hand has to transfer the load to the wheels, so it is the transmission you have to really worry about. The brakes are the second most important item because the car has good enough brakes to stop itself but not good enough to stop a loaded 4x8 trailer.


I have the manual transmission, does that make a difference in towing? I've never towed with such a small vehicle or with a manual.

I had rather forgotten about even owning the trailer. I put it in storage in a friends barn over 4 years ago when I got rid of my last towing vehicle. I think I'll make some calls tomorrow and see what needs to be done to add a hitch. I need to transport my motorcycle as well as it's down and needs to go the the shop, so this could work out.

fongo61 said:   If what dcg says is correct the best option is to use your trailer when you get heavy or large items.

This is why we own a Diesel Jetta. In the USA, it's rated for 2000 lbs. Same car is rated (in Europe) for 3300 lbs down a 12% incline (with trailer brakes).
We've towed things for years with relatively underpowered cars... You just need to understand what the limits are and don't overload the trailers.

Apparently the 2009 Accent has towing "not recommended" in the USA. However, hitches are available and I'd tow 1000 lbs with it all day long, as that's about what putting 4 fat adults in there would do to the car. I wouldn't worry about it at all. The only vehicles I would worry about towing with are Hybrids. Don't buy a new car when you can easily do what you're wanting to do with a small 4x6 or 4x8 trailer.

All cars in the USA are downrated in towing capacity for liability reasons. Your Hyundai weighs about 2300 pounds, and as a general rule, I would tow up to the weight of the car for normal highway driving situations. If you're going to the mountains I might cut that in half, if just in town for a local haul, maybe up to 2500 or so. Heck, I towed this 4000 pound Cadillac with a little 4 cylinder 5-speed Ranger for a few miles: http://www.fototime.com/1EC7D94754D5933/standard.jpg

I can't imagine op will be towing anything over 1000lbs and the Hyundai will be fine with that kind of load

Just don't tow a boat or car with it

http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2009_Hyundai_Accent.htm

I was just looking around and the hitch with installation/lights will run about $280.

Honda Element or Toyota/Honda Van. The Element is AWD, has a timing chain and is rated very high for reliability and safety. Also, the Element is great for hauling stuff. You can fold the rear seats up or take them out all the way. I have hauled big screen tvs, appliances (stoves) and many many other things. Plus you can get a roof rack that easily bolts on top.

i am a collector/reseller too, mostly CL freebies though, my tools of the trade was the toyota previa like this one , in fact a good used previa with relatively low mileage is still sought after for that purpose, another option is a mazda mpv which i am currently using, pretty reliable and cheap, you can jam a pair of full size washer/dryer in there rather easily, or fridge, couch.... i would not recommend the element or the mazda 5 as they are only a bit larger than your accent HB

Kinasharma01 said:   Crown Vic...Suezyque is hauling stuff, not dead bodies (or soon to be dead bodies).

How far are typical hauls? Are mountains involved? A 4x8 trailer in steel can be fairly heavy, maybe up to 800lbs or so, which would severely cut your load capacity (even more so if you are transporting passengers or a loaded car). Short wheelbase might get squirrel-y if you are towing a super heavy load and braking, but probably not much of an issue for your intended application. Id definitely look into getting as light a trailer as possible though to maximize capacity while being well within tow-able range.

Heres a lightweight trailer in aluminum: http://www.ajtnt.com/product.php?productid=18864 . Price at nearly $1800 new, Id keep my eyes peeled for a used option.

If money is tight, consider buying a 4' mini trailer from Northern industries http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/category_trailers-trailer... .

They are under $300, VERY light (140 lbs), and might be big enough to haul the occasional large items you are concerned with. At the website they have photos on how customers configure these small trailers to carry stuff. You won't even notice the trailer when driving the Hyundai. Add an inexpensive class I hitch, you are good to go.

I already own the trailer.

Yep, I had a Hyundai Accent and installed a $200 bolt-on hitch. Bought a Harbor Freight trailer and drove it till the wheel literally fell off (from gross overloading and abuse), but I still got many years of life out of it. The whole setup was less than $500 and it worked like a charm till we could afford a bigger vehicle.

What kind of things are you moving OP? How many Cubic feet of space do you actually need? have you done a cost benefit analysis as to why you need a bigger vehicle vs. the operating costs and whatnot of the larger vehicle vs your smaller vehicle? There are some more efficient vans that are on the horizon and currently, you can get a Ford Transit Connect if you even need that much space and will have better fuel economy than something like an econoline or some other huge ass vehicle.

Wads said:   Used to work at SAMs club
Was taking out a riding lawn mower on a forklift for a customer

He pulled up in his geo metro
After a good laugh we put it on top and he drove home



Lol....great story...wondering how he got it off when he reached home.

He drove the riding mower off the roof and down some 2x6s, obviously !!

suezyque said:   I was just looking around and the hitch with installation/lights will run about $280.

on Craigslist? Maybe you could trade for it. Have you ever watched "Barter Kings" on A&E? Just like that.

If you buy a new one, I'd also consider the Honda Fit, Mazda 5, Subaru Impreza, and maybe the Hyundai Elantra Touring. Not sure which actually offers the best increase in space.

The only hurdle I see is that the Accent won't demand much money, so making an even swap for something decent that is larger is the challenge. If you really just need to haul "bulk" rather than weight, the trailer may be the way to go. I wouldn't want to deal with strapping anything to the roof.

+1 for trailer, definitely the way to go. We have a 2003 Elantra and it will haul a heck of a lot more than you would think!
In my experience, eBay is the best place to get hitches, and I've bought a few. Heres the best deal I found that would fit your car: http://www.ebay.com/itm/170793977800
it comes with a hitch, which is a really nice bonus. (edit: the thing you put in the hitch that you put the ball in, i forgot what its called.)
get the ball at Harbor Freight or menards. they have different size balls, make sure you get the one that fits your trailer, the standard one is like 1 5/8" or something like that.
i will assume you are handy with sockets/ratchets, etc, and can install the hitch yourself or at least have a handy friend or family member.
get the wiring on eBay/Amazon/rock auto/AutoPartsWarehouse as well. Its really easy to do, you just locate the turn signal wires (2), brake light (1), and ground (1), and they have this little electrical crimp thing like a butt splice where when you crimp it, it penetrates the wire insulation but does not cut the wire, so that the current is shared with the trailer hitch wiring when the trailer is installed. Its really ingenious and easy to do, for a DIY'er, so consider not paying someone to do it for you. It would cost around $35 for that if my memory serves.
I am very interested in this resale business you have, how it works!!

Skipping 16 Messages...
dcg9381 said:   Al3xK said:   How is the insurance on a beater truck expensive? I've owned many beater trucks and the insurance is CHEAP, because it's not worth much and parts are cheap.


Expensive or not, it's more than insuring a single vehicle. Then double your costs for registration and inspection.. And it takes up room, and it gets bad gas mileage, and you may pay taxes on it (depending on state).

I'm all for the beater truck, where appropriate.. but it's not appropriate for hauling the odd "heavy" item out of an estate sale.


I bought a 1994 Mitsubishi Mighty Max truck that can move any "heavy" stuff like fridges whatever for $600 and replaced the power steering pump on it. It gets 25-35 mpg. It cost me $180/year to insure. Taxes/plates were ~$26.

You can buy a beater truck and be in good shape.



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