A new car…?
We need to buy a larger vehicle and it’s causing me distress.
The deal is that we currently own a 1998 Toyota Avalon. It runs great, but in order to have more children we need something that will fit three car seats.
We can’t get a new (to us) car without trading in the Avalon, and we don’t know how much longer it will be running well. We can’t afford to make repairs on it, and don’t want to throw money into it if something breaks. Basically, if it breaks down we are screwed because we won’t have the few thousand dollars it’s worth to buy a new car, and we will have to choose between me not having a car or wasting money fixing a very old car that soon won’t fit our family.
We also can’t wait to get another car because if I get pregnant we will have to pay the midwife $2,200. We definitely couldn’t afford another car and a midwife payment in the same year. So we’d have three kids and I couldn’t take them all to the grocery store. That would be bad.
Right now we can trade or sell the Avalon for about $2,500-$3,000. It’s a really nice older car. Sturdy and all that jazz.
We’ve been pre-approved from the credit union for a loan, but we have to be able to make the monthly payments on it. Since our budget is very tight we don’t want to carry a car payment for long.
We’ve spent a few months looking around at used vehicles, trying to decide what we might buy. Tyler says it has to seat seven passengers. We have plans to make more babies and foster and/or adopt in the next 5-10 years so…yeah. Large family, for the win!
The problem is we can’t find any mini vans worth buying. They either don’t comfortably seat seven, or they are too expensive. The cheaper ones are already so old we wouldn’t get much out of it without facing major repairs in the near future. They all have way too many miles on them to be worth it for us.
We found one car that seats seven, has a boat load of space, and the person selling it will take our Avalon in trade. This car only has 99,000 miles on it. (Mini vans we’ve found in our price range have substantially more, and we have looked really hard!)
If we decide to get this car we would need a loan for $6,000 giving us a low monthly payment. We could totally pay off the remainder of the loan with our next tax return, leaving us debt free next year.
Sounds good right?
The only downside?
The car is a 2003 Lincoln Navigator with 22 inch rims.
Ridiculous, right? Can I seriously drive around town in that?
The major major downside is the amount of gas the thing will guzzle. It gets like 13 miles to the gallon. It’s only for driving in town for the most part, so not a huge deal, but still.
The odd financial position we are in means that in three or four years, based on the way Tyler’s job works, our income will nearly double. So we can then purchase something that uses less gas to take our family on trips.
(The plant has decided that they will have four weeks with one or two non-production days per week that Tyler will still get paid for, then they think everything will be up and running normally. Plus they will require mandatory over time to make up for the downtime, meaning Tyler will probably have to work Sundays and that gives him triple pay! It actually might work out to our advantage.)
I tossed and turned all night thinking about this car problem. Tyler thinks it’s a good idea to buy this car if it checks out well with our mechanic. We just need something to get us over the hump of the next four years or so. Something we can fit more babies in, that will be safe and reliable. Something that won’t leave us struggling with a car payment, at least not for long.
This stupid Navigator seems to fit the bill aside from the gas costs.
But still, I don’t know.
We’re going to a used car dealership to test drive some other things just in case, but we really can’t afford to buy something that’s more than $8,000. The cheaper the better, obviously. The fact that we could pay off the loan for the Navigator in full by next February is very appealing. And we’d have a car that only has about 100,000 miles on it which isn’t too terrible. It should keep running for at least four more years if not more if we take good care of it.
Did I mention it’s freaking huge? Will it even fit in my driveway?
And 22 inch rims.