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Monday, April 22, 2013

Time for a Minivan

Well, it's already happened. We've had 3 weeks of 2 children, and we're already thinking about buying a minivan.

Actually we've been looking at them for a little while now. I learned to drive with a minivan, passed my driver's test with one, and that was my first "car" until I totaled it in an accident. I always liked having the space in a bigger vehicle. I also like being up higher off the road. And I knew that our next vehicle would be a minivan.

I'm currently driving a little Ford Focus wagon. I bought it used in it's model year. It only had 6,000 miles on it when we bought it. It's a 2002 and it has around 90,000 miles now. That's great for an eleven year old car. It's still in pretty good shape too. We've done little repairs to it over the years but no major issues. We have had to replace tires a little more frequently than we'd like due to an issue. We recently replaced front brakes and it will need new rear ones sometime relatively soon. Otherwise it's a pretty decent car, and it's served us well so far.

The biggest thing that has us looking is just for the space. My car is small...really small. I like the wagon, because there is a little more storage space in the back. But the inside of the car is cramped. It was tight with one car seat in the back, and now that we have two the whole back seat is packed. I don't think you could squeeze another person back there if you tried. Two car seats and it's completely full.

So, we've been keeping an eye out for a nice used minivan. One of my issues is paying for a vehicle that's newer than mine but has more mileage. So many of the minivans we've seen have high mileage on them.

We've had all our debts paid off for a while now. All we have is a portion of our mortgage. It's been great. The car has been paid off for years, then we paid off our truck a year after that. We haven't made a car payment in a long time. While we have been saving towards a newer vehicle, we don't have enough to pay for one outright yet. That would be the most ideal situation. However, we do have enough for a decent down payment  And we will be able to get a reasonable trade-in on my car in it's condition.

I have hesitated in looking for a new vehicle until recently. My biggest hesitation is needing a car loan. It's been so long since we've had one, I just don't like the idea of paying on one again. But we are in a good place to be able to do so, and we will probably even pay it off plenty early. We'll also continue to save for another vehicle while we're doing it, because Matt's truck is older and we want to be prepared if we're forced to replace that before we want to.

What has convinced me I'm ready for the minivan is Jonah. He's a little sweetie, but he can be a but fussy at times. First of all it's tough getting a baby seat in and out of my tiny car. Then there's the fact of the tight space in mine. But last weekend we dealt with Jonah crying on the way to and from a wedding we went to. He just was not happy in the car. I could not turn around to help him, and even though Zachariah tried he couldn't make it better. If we had a minivan, we could put Zachariah in the back and I could sit in the middle with Jonah when he's like that. (Thankfully that's the only time he's cried in the car like that. He's normally really good for us in the car.)

I can definitely see myself enjoying a minivan. So we've been looking at different ones for sale in the area. And yesterday we talked to a good friend, who works at a used car dealership. He actually has a nice minivan on their lot right now. It's a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country. It has plenty of the extras that I would want. And the best thing is it has low mileage at just over 50,000 miles. The price might be just right for us too. We've been crunching numbers and checking on insurance first to make sure this won't make our budget too tight. And if all that works out (probably will) we will go check it out.

I don't know why I get so nervous about big purchases like this. (We're smart about our money, and it should work out just fine.) Wish me luck!


Mommy Daisy said...

Just found out he can get us an even better price. With our down payment and trade in, we would have a very reasonable monthly payment.

Jana said...

Welcome to the minivan club! :) I never thought I'd drive one, but I do love mine. I have a Chrysler T&C, too, and LOVE the stow and go seating. I stick my purse under one of the seats when we go to the park or something and the storage is great when going on a long car trip. I also love that the seats just fold up neatly into the floor if we need the space to haul something. I hope the model you're looking at has the stow and go seating because it and automatic doors are my favorite features.

Mommy Daisy said...

Jana, yes, it has both those features. I think I'll like it. Glad to hear that yours has been a good one.

Mommy Daisy said...

AND...we just found out our insurance will only increase $5/month with this van. It's looking more and more promising.

d e v a n said...

Good luck finding the one! We love our van :)

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