My minivan sucks.  That’s why I’ll drive it until it stops working

My minivan sucks. That’s why I’ll drive it until it stops working

In 2014, when I found out I was having twins, I knew the move to a minivan was inevitable. I had a baby in a car seat at the time, and it’s virtually impossible to fit three bulky car seats in a single row when two of them are infants. Therefore, I knew I needed a car with a third row of seats and a minivan was perfect.

After doing some research, I decided to finance a 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring. And while the car has served me well over the years, at this point I’m getting fed up with it.

First, my car looks like a 10 year old car. It has more scratches and dents than I can count. And while I could pay for a detailing service, it’s not worth the financial outlay for a vehicle this old.

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But aesthetics aside, the only thing that really bothers me about my minivan is that the sliding doors constantly get stuck. Imagine picking up your kids after school and rushing to a bunch of businesses… only you can’t leave the parking lot because your damn door won’t lock. This is my life at all times.

Despite my frequent displeasure with my minivan, I intend to drive it as long as possible. Here because.

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I don’t want to borrow now, nor any time soon

Nowadays, it’s expensive to apply for a loan, whether it’s one you’re tapping into the equity in your home or one you’re using to buy a car. And the reason is to be found in the numerous interest rate increases introduced by the Federal Reserve in 2022 and 2023 to fight inflation.

The Fed is expected to start cutting rates this year. But even so, this will make borrowing for a car (or any other purpose) only moderately less expensive.

All in all, I expect financing costs to remain high for quite some time. If my minivan stops working and I… forced ask for a loan at an unfavorable interest rate, so be it. But I can’t take on any kind of debt when I have a car that actually runs.

I paid a lot for my car and I want to get the most value out of it

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) sets the original MSRP of a 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring at $42,760. To be honest, I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for my car. That figure seems to be somewhere in the ballpark, though, making my minivan the most expensive car I’ve ever owned. For this reason I want to drive that car as long as possible.

Some assets you own, like your home, have the potential to gain value over time. On the other hand, cars are known to lose value the moment you drive them off the lot.

At this point, the average price of my used minivan is $13,677, KBB says. Except I would probably watch a lot less due to the aforementioned ruined condition of my car.

In any case, whatever amount I would get for my car would be nowhere near what I would need to purchase a new vehicle capable of accommodating my family. And it doesn’t matter if I sell my minivan now or in a few years: either way, I won’t get anywhere near its original value. So, the way I see it, I might as well drive it as long as possible and put off buying a new car, which tends to be expensive, for as long as possible.

Some people aim to upgrade their car every few years. And if you can afford to do it, go for it. But while I’m certainly not in love with my minivan, I feel like keeping it until it stops running makes sense for my family’s finances.

Plus, I’m someone who admittedly has trouble dipping into my savings account, which I might need to do to put a down payment on a car. So if I can put it off, it’s better for me mentally.

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