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Old 10-04-2012, 11:26 AM   #1
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Vehicle Advice

I need some advice. I THINK what I am thinking of doing would be the smart choice but I just want some confirmation. I havent talked to hubs yet because Im the financial advisor in our house, lol. He trust me for the most part and just goes alone with what I suggest so I want to make sure its a good idea before I ask him.
We have a 02 GMC Envoy right now. We got it a little over a year ago. Long story short but Hubs totaled my Car in an accident and we had to get a new vehicle. Our original plan was to use tax refund this year to trade my car in and get a Toyota Sienna. Well, when he wrecked the car we were not in a financial spot to buy a sienna yet. So we settled for the Envoy as our "gateway" car. Lol. It was cheaper and suited our needs at the time.
Well, we are realizing now that our baby is getting older and we are driving alot more for church and stuff that its not very roomy and gas is killing us in it. It gets 18 on the interstate if we really baby it. That being said, It's got 150,000 miles on it and is starting to have some issues. Nothing major but just enough that I feel like we are constantly throwing $10, $20 into it.
We were planning to finish paying it off and trade it in this coming spring. Now, my question is, should we just go ahead and trade now while its still in ok shape and has good trade in value? (trade in value on it is around $7,000 right now). We do owe just under $3,000 on it, last I checked it was around $2,800 I think. I'm afraid if we keep it we will just keep throwing money into it. Plus its going to need new tires this winter.
So what should I do? Tough it out and keep it for a while or go ahead and trade for something a little newer, less miles, better gas mileage? The 150,000 miles on it doesnt bother me because my dad is a mechanic and we've always ran vehicles up to 200,000 with no problems.

I know what dave ramsey would say, he'd say pay if off! But I'm just really wondering if in the long run its smarter to get rid of it now. Financially we would be ok with a little more debt on a vehicle that's newer. It might be a strain for a few months til we got a little more credit card amount paid off but we are still paying on the SUV now so logically we already have that amount budgeted, we would just probably have to add to that amount a little for a newer Sienna.

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Old 10-04-2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: Vehicle Advice

How much would you get for it if you traded it in now? That would be the determining factor. If you won't get much, you're better off keeping the car, paying it off, and selling it as a private party. Throwing small amounts of money at it to keep it in shape versus losing a ton it due to a trade makes it worth keeping if you can try to pay it off faster, I think.

150k miles isn't that high for a car that age, to be honest. The hardest part will be selling a gas guzzler in this economy.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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Re: Vehicle Advice

I think I'd see what the trade in value would be right now, I don't see gas prices going down. On the other hand, does the Sienna do better, gas wise, for sure?
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: Vehicle Advice

We have a Sienna and have had it for almost 6 years with no problems (just routine maintenance). It's an 03, and we bought it in 06. It gets 17 city, 23 highway, so better than what you are currently driving, but not great.

But I'm curious - you have 2 kids and want a minivan? If you aren't planning any more children in the near future, would it make more sense to get something smaller and more fuel efficient?

Our second car is a Toyota Matrix (like a Honda Fit), and we love it too. It can fit 3 narrow carseats (we fit 2 booster seats and 1 Radian; the Radian is actually narrower than the boosters, so I think it would fit 3 Radians). It has a ton of trunk space and it gets great gas mileage (25 city, 30 highway for our 2004 automatic)
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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Re: Vehicle Advice

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We have a Sienna and have had it for almost 6 years with no problems (just routine maintenance). It's an 03, and we bought it in 06. It gets 17 city, 23 highway, so better than what you are currently driving, but not great.

But I'm curious - you have 2 kids and want a minivan? If you aren't planning any more children in the near future, would it make more sense to get something smaller and more fuel efficient?

Our second car is a Toyota Matrix (like a Honda Fit), and we love it too. It can fit 3 narrow carseats (we fit 2 booster seats and 1 Radian; the Radian is actually narrower than the boosters, so I think it would fit 3 Radians). It has a ton of trunk space and it gets great gas mileage (25 city, 30 highway for our 2004 automatic)
We do have 2 kids, and are planning at least a 3rd in a few years. However, we haul people around ALOT right now. My sister or brother ride to church and back with us every sunday, my mom and sister and I meet once a week to go shopping and they ride with me. . Its super hard to get a person in the backseat with 2 car seats as well. We dont have the extended SUV, so we dont have the 3rd seat, just the one bench seat.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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Re: Vehicle Advice

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Originally Posted by keonli View Post
How much would you get for it if you traded it in now? That would be the determining factor. If you won't get much, you're better off keeping the car, paying it off, and selling it as a private party. Throwing small amounts of money at it to keep it in shape versus losing a ton it due to a trade makes it worth keeping if you can try to pay it off faster, I think.

150k miles isn't that high for a car that age, to be honest. The hardest part will be selling a gas guzzler in this economy.
Approx. $3,000-$4,000 would be clear.
I know, I said in my OP I wasnt concerned with the 150k, I just know that sometimes once a vehicle hits higher mileage they have more upkeep.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:15 PM   #7
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Re: Vehicle Advice

IMO, I'd keep it and drive it until it dies. You havent given a reason why you NEED a new car. It is a want, not a need. Older cars require maintenance. But unless the cost of maintaining the car is more than the cost of a new one, it isn't financially in your favor to trade it in. I'm driving an 03 Honda accord and I will continue to do so for another 2-3 years as long as it is reliable.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Vehicle Advice

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IMO, I'd keep it and drive it until it dies. You havent given a reason why you NEED a new car. It is a want, not a need. Older cars require maintenance. But unless the cost of maintaining the car is more than the cost of a new one, it isn't financially in your favor to trade it in. I'm driving an 03 Honda accord and I will continue to do so for another 2-3 years as long as it is reliable.
We already have put $600 in to it and we've only owned it a year. (That doesnt include the regular maintenance like oil and filters. Thats over and above this cost) We arent going to drive it til it dies. My question was should we go ahead and get the van now and not put anymore maintenance into the SUV OR should we just continue to drive the SUV, risk spending a little more this winter in maintenance and get the van in the spring like we have been planning to.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: Vehicle Advice

for that question - whether now or in the spring, I think I'd do it now

I wouldn't want to risk putting more money into something that I would be keeping so short term
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
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Re: Vehicle Advice

I would say are you going to buy used ore new? If new you can sometimes get a better deal at beging or end off year. Two if used their are alot of factors like finding the one you want with the amount of miles you want ect. If use I just say look till you find the one you want in your price range ect as you would have time to just look.
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