It's Time for a New Vehicle... dun dun dun

I have been procrastinating about getting a new car for a long time. My husband and I paid my car off a couple years ago, and I vowed to keep it until I no longer had an option.

Well, it hit 200,000 miles, has another chip in the windshield, is missing lots of chrome detailing outside, has a million door dings, has super foggy/cloudy headlights, has something broken with the windshield washer stuff, the A/C went out for good, the heater doesn’t blow out very well and you can’t run it while stopped, the air bag light is on, it leaks oil somewhere that isn’t easily accessible (and it smells like it’s on fire all the time)… you get where I’m going here? I’m the main driver for our two kids, and who knows if my car will mysteriously explode while I’m driving them to their Grandparents’ house. I also have this fear that whatever is wrong with the air bag will cause it to go off while I’m flying down 367 on the way to work. So, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get a new [to me] vehicle.

Which brings me to my next dilemma; what do I get? I say “I,” because I never really had a say in the 6 vehicles Gene has had since we’ve been together, so I’m not giving him a say now. Yes he has had 6 cars since we’ve been together (Grand Am, Eclipse, Scion xA, Sonata, Baja, Magnum), and I’ve had four (ZX2, Santa Fe, Navigator, and then HIS car became mine, which is the Sonata I have now). Why he gets all the new vehicles is beyond me.

So I kind of made a list in my head of all the things that I want. And I took into consideration the fact that I’ll probably keep the car for the next five years at least, so I want it to “grow” with our family too. I listed it out – third row seating, multi-zone climate control, power locks, power doors, DVD player, CD player, FWD (or AWD). Then, one morning while I was attempting to get Alice out of my car, in a too-tight parking spot, without hitting my door on the car next to me, it dawned on me. This happens far too often, and there’s only one thing that will work to fix it. Sliding doors. Which, you guessed it, can only mean a minivan.

So there we are. I have officially become that Mom. The one that throws her coolness out the window to be the Mom that is all about practicality and efficiency. I could it even look at it as, “what vehicle could give me the most ROI?” Duh. A minivan. It’s not always about money when you’re looking at ROI, it could be calculated in fewer headaches, time saved, less stress. It’s a no-brainer, much to Gene’s chagrin.

We started looking online about a week ago, and lemme’ tell you that minivans are expensive!
To get the van that I’m wanting, I’d be looking at a 2008 model. Man, I didn’t want to get a new vehicle that was that old! Then you take into account the miles, the damage to the inside (because kids have no sense of value in this regard), the damage to the outside, the tires, the features… Ugh. It’s almost like we have to go over our budget an extra $3,000 to get anywhere near what I want. Am I that difficult?!?

Here are the two I’m leaning towards:

Dodge Grand Caravan

Chrysler Town & Country

Both of these have a lot of the same features, but the Town & Country usually has the wood trim and bits of chrome; it's a little more "classy." I found one in the blue color above, which I really liked at first, but I'm worried that I'll get sick of it. I had that blue/purple Santa Fe and by the time two years hit I was over it.

Anyway, we’ll get one soon (hopefully), and if I’m lucky I will be very happy with it for a nice long time. My friend jokes with me that I’ll need the little soccer sticker on the back window. Ha! In a way, I’m terrified to lose that piece of me that always said “I will NEVER have a minivan,” but the Mom in me is so excited to have this family vehicle for my kids! And to think, five years ago I was even saying "I'll NEVER have kids." Everything changes... and most of the time, for the better!

Do you have a minivan? 
Did you go through the same struggles? 
Do you have any advice for what to look for in a van?  

Wish me luck!

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