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Road trip vs trade in value question

I may have to drive back and forth from Montreal to the Seattle area in the summer of 2009. It will be costly and I have to do some planning ahead. My question : Do I put an extra 4000 miles on my 2005 Subaru Impreza ? it has 40000 miles right now, most probably 50,000 miles by the time I would leave for the west coast. Or do I buy a used Westfalia, and resell it when I?m back. The reason for my question is about resale value of my car since I want to change my car in the fall of 2009, when I will be back from that trip. Puting those extra 4000 miles or so on the car (going from 50 to 55 thousand miles, is going to affect its value when it is time to trade it in. Or is it not significant ? Sub question : is a used, but in good order Westy a good choice for a coast to coast, back and forth trip, during the summer. And what would be your cut off date, meaning how old is too old when it comes to used Westy and similar vehicule ?

All inputs welcomed! Thanks

Drive the Subaru. The extra mileage won’t make any significant difference in trade-in value, and the Impreza will get MUCH better fuel mileage than any sort of camper.

A used Westphalia is not a good idea in my opinion. They’re not very reliable, for one thing, and who wants to break down halfway across the continent?

Your Impreza will sail through this adventure without breaking a sweat. Don’t waste your money buying a vehicle just for this trip. Drive the car you already have.

Agree; a Westphalia will make this a memorable trip, something you will forever remember and NEVER want to repeat. Everyone I know has had his holiday spoiled by the frequent breakdowns and difficulty getting it fixed.

Your Subaru will benefit from this trip; steady highway driving causes no appreciable wear and cleans out the cobwebs! I’ve drivne the East to West distance 7 times, and you can’t beat a good car and a good night’s sleep in a motel.

It’s actually pretty easy to figure out. Why don’t you just go to and enter the specs of your vehicle - once with 50K mile son it and once with 54K miles on it. You can even adjust for age - so let’s say you look up the value of a 2004 Impreza with 50 vs 54K miles. I would assume the difference is miniscule. Plus, for once the “lots of highway miles” would be a true statement when reselling.

They dsay that te cheapest car is always the one you own. between buying any substitute, the associated risk of maintenance buildup and trade in value, your Impreza is the best value.

I have never heard of any severe Westfalia problems. 2 friends of mine own a 1972 and a 1976 and have never had any severe problems.

aside from not being able to pass anything :slight_smile:

I’d add to this advice to consider sales tax/ VAT/ whatever else is in use in Montreal. I don’t know how it works there, but for me, I’d have to pay 7% on the purchase price, plus title, tags, insurance…the one-time acquisition costs would pretty certainly make this a bad deal for me, even if the depreciation savings didn’t.

That is because you have never had to deal with one of the newer water-cooled fuel-injected Vanagons! The old air-cooled ones would treat you right if you treated them right, but the 80’s era ones were nightmares. Enthusiasts of that era have to consider breakdowns as part of the adventure! At least you don’t have to go outside to work on them.

This is less true during out little gas price holiday we’re having now, but if you’re doing a road trip that’s covering a lot of distance, getting hotel rooms is usually cheaper than paying the extra gas for a camper-type vehicle.

Well, that’s part of the fun :wink: Why would you wanna pass anything when cruising in an old bus listening to the Grateful Dead :wink:

A big thank you for all the input!
It has been helpful.

What has been the final decision?