Disabled, HELP



Please, Please respond to this question. I’m disabled with two serious heart conditions, one genetic showing up late in life; it didn’t appear until I was 58 and usually shows up by 38. At any rate I lost business, everything and soon due this March for my last back payment in Social Security. I have a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country in superb condition body wise and mechanically (a vehicle I really like enormously)… and desperately need another vehicle which will cost less in maintenance, provide much greater MPG but also has some storage/transport capability as I paint portraits when I’m feeling OK, granted rarely now (www.PortraitsByBiggers.com); however, would like to continue to be able to carry portraits and framing in a vehicle. My guess is a small SUV. Please recommend two or three of the best vehicles you believe I can afford… I suppose used, that I could purchase with trading in my T&C and spending about $3,000 or $4,000 tops for a low maintenance, high mileage SUV-like vehicle, one that provides easy egress and easily accessible. Thanks a million as you are my only source of information and I really dig your show.


My show has never lost a listener. You can’t save money by trading cars. I think you should save the $4,000 instead.


Unfortunately, Tom and Ray don’t respond to questions on the forums.

I don’t think there are many reliable SUVs in your price range. My vote would be for a minivan, but it may not be fuel efficient enough. How about a Honda Element? It may be out of your price range, though.


I would say that you are better off with the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. Fuel costs are way down on the list of expenses in owning an autombile. A dealer won’t give you much for a trade-in allowance on your Town and Country. You would, in my opinion, be much better off in driving what you have. The repair costs for a used small SUV may exceed the difference in fuel costs that it costs to run your Town and Country.


I don’t understand. If the Town and Country is in superb condition, why do you want to get rid of it?

As much as I would like to help you, this really isn’t the place to promote your business.


Your T&C gets 16 MPG city and 22 MPG highway. About the best you can hope for in a small SUV is 20/24 MPG. The average difference is 3 MPG. For each 10,000 miles driven you will save $200. It will take you 150,000 miles at least to make the change pay. A better way to save would be to find a compact hatchback, like a Scion xA, Hyundai Accent or VW Golf Diesel. You could save over $500 every 10,000 miles. But it would still take 6 years to make sense. And you don’t know how well the cars were kept by the previous owners. I suggest that you keep the T&C.


Sincere condolences.

You don’t give model or mileage, but I made some assumptions and looked your van’s trade in value up in Kelley Blue Book. It’s worth under $3000. Add to that the $4000 you’re willing to spend and you’re talking about a $7,000 used car. In my opinion this is spending $4000 to replace a known good vehicle with a gamble. And at a very precarious financial time. I personally feel this would be a very unwise move.

I too vote to keep the T&C.

Sincere best.


Keep what you got and save $3000 for repairs and upkeep.