How to track vehicle asset

We just purchased a new-to-us used vehicle and paid cash (no loan). According to Carfax, it is worth more than twice what we paid for it, so that increases our net worth. However, the long story of the car is that our mechanic repossessed it, and while it runs great, it requires a lot of bodywork, new tires, etc., to make it a car that will last 20 years. I put the car in as an asset account in Quicken, with the purchase price as the starting value, then the next entry is the Carfax estimated Private Sale value. I think we should also put down all these beginning maintenance issues as transactions in the car asset account, too. What is the consensus on that? And what about future service work? Should it go into the car asset account, too?

Answers

  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    If you paid cash for the vehicle, WHY did your mechanic repossess it?  Did you not pay your mechanic's bill?
    RE: your actual questions:
    • The initial purchase (cash) should be recorded as a transfer from your cash account to the vehicle account.
    • Maintenance amounts are usually expenses ...  unless they're NOT customary "wear and tear" and actually enhance the value of the vehicle.  Putting gas in the tank, new wipers, new fan belt, new tires etc don't enhance the car's value.  They're expected routine maintenance.
    • Future service work would still follow the "wear and tear" rule.
    • The value of the Vehicle account can be changed via a self-referencing transaction. That is a transaction in the Vehicle account that uses the name of the account itself, enclosed in Square brackets, as the category.  E.G. [Vehicle account}
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • To answer your first question, the mechanic repossessed it from someone else, not us. We paid cash to purchase it from the mechanic after he repossessed it from the previous owner.

    The previous owner was a piece of work whose ex-girlfriend beat the car to $h!+, then he drove it around without fixing any of it, not even the front windshield. The mechanic replaced the windshield after he repossessed it, but didn't fix any of the other body damage. The inside was filthy due to the lack of windshield, so we had to give it a serious detail job. The car only had one key, too, so we are paying $500 for two new keys (they have microchips in them, so are very spendy), then we will pay a lot to have body work done, as both the front and rear bumpers are busted.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    With the above clarifications of the situation, I'd suggest that Carfax' valuation of the vehicle is incorrect. 
    Carfax has provided a value for a car in MUCH better shape than what you've described.
    It's up to your determination as to whether the vehicle has been repaired to the standards that Carfax expects ... but I doubt that any vehicle so damaged can be brought up to that standard.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
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