Options when dealing with car trouble
Recent car troubles have given rise to the “What if things keep breaking on the car question”. Recent issues with the Expeditions transmission and the crossover gasket repair the night before we had to go out of town we’ve been asking this same question ourselves. Sitting down and looking at budgets and what we want overall in our transportation needs here is the list of options we came up with.
Trade in the Expedition for something newer/less miles.
This is a valid option, and the one we looked at first, the problem we keep running into is the seating requirement, we need something that is 8 passenger. With what seems like only like a handful of different vehicles offering seating options to fit our family we have only a small selection to choose from. Some of these options include a newer Expedition, Transit passenger Wagon, Suburbans, Yukon XL’s and a couple of different minivans like the Sienna and the Odyssey. As the main family vehicle we quickly moved away from the minivans as the lack of space would make any type of traveling with luggage a headache. The larger newer vehicles with the trunk space we need and the lower miles we want all seem to be in the $25k-$40k range depending on the year and miles. With this scenario we would trade in the Expedition which has only a couple payments left until it’s paid off and hopefully have a decent down payment on whatever new one we chose. Best case we would be looking at a loan in the $15k-$20K neighborhood. Having a newer and more expensive car will also potentially increase our car insurance and the initial cost of registering the vehicle would be another hit to the bank account as a $30k vehicle can have a registration cost of almost $1000. An option but lets look at option 2
Fix the Expedition
Crossing our fingers that nothing else will go wrong
This option has some benefits in that once fixed it should hopefully last awhile and with the majority of the vehicle working fine besides a few small issues the Expedition could last for quite a few more miles.
I’m able to do the work myself and parts can be ordered or picked up in most cases without too much delay. We are planning on rebuilding the transmission so at most it could be down for a couple days during the rebuild. We have also been looking at auto auctions and it may be possible to pick up a decent salvaged Expedition with leather seats (we have cloth now and would prefer the leather) and any parts we would need in the future. Now option 3
Keep the Expedition but…
Buy another car
I think this option is the one we are looking at the most. Here’s why, the Expedition is paid off (almost) and we love the room since we have the EL with the larger rear cargo area, it has 4 wheel drive and it can tow the trailers we own.
I will still need to do option 2 and fix whatever goes wrong. If we have another vehicle we will be able to take the time we need fixing the Expedition without worrying about only having 1 car. An additional car could now also include a minivan as we could still use the Expedition for traveling or if we need the 4 wheel drive. Other benefits would include better gas mileage and an easier loading and unloading of the vehicle (right now it’s a process). Overall minivans are also cheaper and the used car market is not too bad with a number of options available. Registration costs will still be there but cheaper then something twice the price.
The only downside may be adding another car to our insurance. We can help offset this by reducing the coverage on the Expedition when it’s finally paid off.
These are the options we discussed as a family and ones you may want to look yourself. We know not everyone can repair a vehicle themself or even think about purchasing a newer car but hopefully we have touched on a few options that may work for you. Good Luck and we will keep you updates on our decision.