Well, I’ve taken the minivan to two more mechanics and it definitely has “problems”. Long story short: I could buy a 2000 model Town & Country for less than the costs of repairing the one that I now own. So, here’s what I “think” I’m going to do.
I’ve spoken to a friend who sells cars, and I’m hoping to trade-in my current minivan for a newer model – 2004 or 2005 – and pay cash for the difference. I have enough money in savings to cover the cost of the transaction – and I’m definitely NOT going to borrow any money. There’s no real “rush” to get the deal done, because my wife can drive the Accord and I can drive my old pickup. So, sometime between now and February, I’ll make the deal.
I am going to take my time, find a vehicle I like, and then make the purchase. It’s strange. This will be the first vehicle I’ve ever purchased “for cash” – in the past, I always financed the purchase of automobiles. Inevitably, I would focus on “the payments” and believe that I could “afford it”. Now, I’m focused on features, reliability, cost of ownership, and price. (I will admit, the idea of writing such a large check kinda-sorta freaks me out!)