Author Topic: Minivan- used or new?  (Read 6989 times)

teamzissou00

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Minivan- used or new?
« on: April 16, 2013, 05:18:30 PM »
Hey- I might catch some flack on this one, but here goes-

I have a car that I use for work, and many times leave town in it for work and the wife has no way to drive anywhere.  She wants a car.  Add- she wants a minivan. 

I have been scouring the used cars for a good Toyota Sienna.  As much as I want a 10k one with 115,000 miles- it freaks her out.  So, I'm left to decide between these two:

2008 Sienna 50k miles- 18k
2013 Dodge Grand Caravan - 18k

Sienna's are ranked higher, but we don't know how the last person drove it. 

Thoughts?  Am I not being Mustachian?  I'm writing a check for it! 

James

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 05:57:39 PM »

Are we allowed to ask why it needs to be a minivan with low miles?  Did she have a bad experience with a lemon or something?

teamzissou00

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 06:14:20 PM »
Well that might be a new topic all together- getting your spouse/partner to feel the same way you do.  She is under a strong impression that 100k miles driven by who knows is not a safe bet.

daverobev

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 08:18:49 PM »
The new Caravans are supposed to be pretty good, I've heard - much better than older ones.

Still, I think you need to find a way of convincing your wife... not to spend $18k. ESPECIALLY if its a part time car that doesn't get used much - get her full breakdown/recovery coverage and a beater, I mean, how many miles is she going to do a year?

If you don't have 3+ children or a construction business... you don't need a minivan! IMHO!

Dynasty

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 08:28:36 PM »
I've heard the new caravans are pretty good too.

The big thing is Lots of Cars have been reported to be pretty good, but turn out to be actual garbage.

The 2008 timeframe was not a good time for Toyota..

KimPossible

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 09:57:46 PM »
What type of driving will she be doing?  Unless she's going to be driving long distances away from home, is there any reason to worry about the reliability of the minivan?  If she's close to home and it breaks down, there isn't far to go to get back home.  18k is a LOT of money to spend on a perception of reliability.

We bought a 2000 Sienna a couple of months ago for $2000.  It took me six months to find the minivan on Craigslist, but it was totally worth the wait.   It has 165,000 miles on it, but I fully expect that we can keep it running for another 100,000 miles, or more.  We've taken it on two road trips so far.  I do have to admit, it's sooooo nice to have the space. 

destron

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 10:33:57 AM »
I think having some kind of compromise on this issue with your wife would be the best idea. $18k is a LOT of money and does not lead to FI.

That being said, I just checked ebay motors (not the best place to look for deals), and the prices on used Siennas seem to be significantly cheaper (in my area at least) than your quote.

Christiana

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 08:07:06 AM »
What would it cost for you to rent a car to go out of town?  That might be more cost-effective than buying-maintaining-insuring a second vehicle.

Vans aren't necessarily more spacious than cars; it's always a squeeze to get groceries and luggage into our van.

Our experience would back up your wife's position somewhat:  we bought a used Mazda van with 105k miles, and in the next two years we nearly spent the purchase price again in repair costs.  But most of that was for the transmission--the van has a trailer hitch, and who knows what the previous owner was towing with it.  Nothing broke down in a way that left us stranded, it was mostly things (the ones most carefully engineered to barely survive the warranty period) just wearing out.  I think for our next car we're going to buy something that has already survived its first 150k miles.

clutchy

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2013, 04:32:03 PM »
we bought an odyssey which I call the "living room".

we shouldn't have bought a new car but we did...

I'm still nursing our '99 maxima w/ 210k on the clock.  This car will not die.

teamzissou00

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 03:22:54 PM »
Well, a resolution to this story!

We stumbled upon a 2004 Toyota Sienna with 120k miles.  It's the XLE Limited version with all the bells and whistles.  My wife was against the high miles cars, until she saw and drove this.  It was meticulously taken care of, not a single crack on the leather or any noticeable issues on the exterior.  It looks new.  Her parents thought it was a 2011!!  I'm going to look for a good local mechanic to give it a good once over and make sure no service items need to be taken care of.  I'm hoping that if we baby this car, it will last us until 300k miles. 

Paid $11,500.  Just lower than Kelly Blue Book. 

Thanks for the advice!  Now - how do i find a trustworthy mechanic?? I'm assuming taking it to the toyota dealership is NOT mustachian.  (no, i'm not handy with cars)

James

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Re: Minivan- used or new?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 11:36:49 AM »
Congrats on the used car, sound like a nice one. Maybe not mustachian, but neither is one of my vehicles. Glad you got away from the new or almost new route.

I found word of mouth to be the best way to find a decent mechanic, though that isn't always perfect either. Talk to people you respect who have been in town forever, not just asking who they use but detailed questions about why and who else to talk to that might know more. Just takes lots of talking and asking, but I bet after a while there would be a common name that comes up, someone with a decent reputation and a decent price point.