Replace 01 van or buy new with 3 new drivers coming up

01 van has 83,000 miles without major problems. With 16 yr old triplets about to drive, would want them to drive it. However, also concerned about throwing money away towards repairs and bad mileage. Looking at buying a new Ford Focus. Fuel savings somewhat offset by higher insurance but would also have a reliable vehicle for them to drive. Thoughts on chance major repairs or buy now when rebates are available??

Keep the van. You already own it, your insurance is pretty low (no collision coverage any more, I hope), your taxes are low, and it will not break your heart when these 3 new drivers start bumping into things with it. Plus, I suspect they find it to be an embarrassing reminder of being children, so they won’t be sportin’ it up in the neighborhood with their shiny new wheels.

Giving 16 year olds new cars to play with is NOT what you want to do…The caravan is PERFECT…

keep the van . buy YOU the new car. my 92 caravan had 197,000 when i sold it.try not to let them “borrow” your new one.the mini van isn’t the "cool"car but transportation. make shure the kids check the fluids daily. do they know how to change tire if needed?

when i truned 16 my parents bought a barnd new mustang (which i thought would be mine). They instead put me in our old worn out 81 volkswagon vanagon.

thank god they did. Sure, i pushed that van about as far as i ever drove it, but i learned a valuable lesson about saving money for repairs and keeping a vehicle maintained.

A kids first car should be a decent running piece of crap. let 'em learn the value of saving a buying what they want themselves. they will appreciate it much more in the end.

i know i did.

You didn’t say if these are boy, girl, or mixed triplets. It must have been interesting getting them to 16. Since you are likely to need some money for college I’d NOT get them a new car.

I had boy/girl twins and when they reached driving age they got an old car. I made sure the brakes were good, steering and suspension were good, and the tires had plenty of tread. Don’t worry too much about reliability, just get them AAA road service coverage.

A van wouldn’t be my first choice, but since they may go places together it will come in handy. If you get a new car, make sure it is for the adults only. New drivers tend to bump into things so they might as well have an old car. Don’t worry about gas mileage. Poor mileage keeps them closer to home and with three of them they can figure out how to keep gas in the van. My deal was my kids put the gas in their car. I paid for mechanical repairs and maintenance. If they crashed it there was no collision so that meant no car. In this case the one who crashes the car will have to answer to the other 2 as well as the police, insurance, other driver, and parents. This should be a good incentive to not crash the car.

I also took my 2 to a local junkyard and just let them walk around to see the remains of crashed cars. Sometimes looking at a crashed car with blood on the dash and seats can have an impact. For whatever reason my 2 never had a serious accident and now they are in their mid-30’s with kids of their own.

When my son turned driving age, we had a 13 year old Oldsmobile Cutlass as well as a Ford Taurus that was ten years newer. I had purchased the Oldsmobile when my son was 5 years old. We hadn’t had the car a month when he blew up a bottle of root beer in the car. We had been visiting friends and he took the root beer bottle with him with a temporary cap. He shook the bottle and the cap blew off. I made him help me clean the car up. I told him that we had to take care of the car and he would be taking girls out in the car some day. When he went on his first date and took the Oldsmobile he said, "You just weren’t kidding were you Dad?"
My only problem letting him drive the old car was that I let him take it to the college he attended that was 50 miles away. In his sophomore year he had an Appalachian Studies semester and had to go 375 miles from home. I had quite a time getting him to take the Taurus–he claimed that he and the old Oldsmobile understood each other. It doesn’t hurt teenagers to drive an older car.

Anything they drive may need to be repaired. Do you want them to crash a new car? I’d keep the Caravan for at least another couple of years until they are more used to driving. An the fuel cost pales in comparison to the cost of a new car, or even a 5-year old used car.

Part of learning to drive is learning to appreciate the privilage of having some transportation in the first place.

Keep the van for them to learn on.
For all of the above reasons.

With the ol’ 01 as their only option AND needing to share, they will soon be making informed decisions as to when and when NOT to drive, when to carpool amongst themselves or with friends, and how to pool resources like driving time, gas money and maintainence. ( I’M not vacuuming up YOUR mess ! )

Whether guys or girls, teach them the basic mechanics of the machine. From changing a flat to ( neccessary ) to changing oil, plugs, belts, bulbs etc ( great knowledge even if you choose not to d.i.y. )

Keep fixing the old van.