12.3.10

Did ya hear the one about the goat, the wolf and the sack of grain?

Well, that's kind of what we're dealing with right now--except it involves vehicles and carseats and gas mileage. We've been pondering our vehicle situation for a while and if I've ever wanted to conference call with Dave Ramsey and Klick and Klack, this is the time.

Our station wagon gets great gas mileage (20-30 mpg), runs great, I LOVE to drive it (leg room I usually only dream of) and so on and so forth. We tried putting all three carseats in it last night with very dubious results. They fit, but it sure didn't seem comfortable. So . . . the station wagon may be on the way out. : ( This makes me so sad.

Our Land Cruiser can hold the carseats and then some, but it needs some non-mechanical work, lacks the leg room I desire and has terrible gas mileage (16 mpg, I think). When every drive you take is at least twenty miles round-trip and usually more like forty-fifty, you've got a LOT of gas being burned--and we seem to drive a lot. The plusses are that it has four-wheel drive, can tow, can haul and it's such a cool car.

We are committed to being debt free with an emergency fund, which means driving very used vehicles. This also means that it's a good idea to be a two-car family even though Tuan walks or takes the bike/golf-cart to work. Ideally, we'd have a snappy fuel-efficient model and a family car, but if one car breaks down, we need a three carseat vehicle just in case.

So . . . right now, we're thinking sell the Honda Wagon and get a Honda or Toyota van. Better gas mileage, driveability, multiple car seasts and so on. The sale of the wagon would not cover the cost of a new (to us) van, but we can afford to make up the difference. Keeping the Land Cruiser means we have two family vehicles and Tuan can use it for towing, times when we do need a 4x4 and generally making up for the fact that we'd be owning a van and he sold his jeep so long ago. : ) We'd still have to do the superficial repairs the LC needs.

We actually have a buyer for the Land Cruiser, but there's no point in selling it and keeping the wagon and getting a van. Selling the LC would nearly cover the cost of a van, though we'd end up with one car that wasn't useable for all of us.

Why is this so confusing? Why is this so hard? Why is it also so hard to find the type of van we're looking for that is for sale? It's an issue of cost/safety/financial prudence/vehicular reliability/future repairs and cost of running. Crazy stuff. Any input?

Tuan and I are a bit counter-cultural. We are not afraid of good, used high-mileage vehicles. 150,000 miles is cake. We've also found that the cost of the few repairs we've made to our older cars has never exceeded the amount of cost, depreciation, insurance and tags that newer models would have run us. In fact, we've hardly done any work to our older cars apart from batteries and starters. He's also able to do a lot of minor repairs himself and we've found a great mechanic in Graves and Stoddard (HIGHLY RECOMMEND them).

Humbly awaiting advice, input and leads on vans for sale.

1 comment:

Joey and Elizabeth said...

Wow... will definitely pray about this decision for y'all! Joey and I have a lot to learn from y'all, and in a few years, Lord-willing, we'll be crossing that same bridge!