Trade in or buy new/used?

I have a 2004 Ford Expedition that is paid for. Trade in value is just about $10k. It’s only driven about 100 miles a week. It gets 11-14mpg. Once a year we drive the family 2300 mile one way to visit family. My question is: Is it better to keep the truck because of no car payment or trade it in for a more efficient minivan? Would prefer a newer low mileage used van. That would mean a car payment. My wife likes not having a car payment.

You can do the math yourself, but I’m guessing you’d save around 200 gallons of gas or $700 per year. That won’t cover very many car payments.

If you don’t want a payment then don’t trade. But just because you don’t make payments doesn’t mean costs such as depreciation, repairs, and unknowns such as obsolesence, don’t continue to click away. There are still costs being accumulated, you just aren’t paying them yet.

I know about cost of ownership of a car. I did the math. The cost savings of going 15000 miles a year is between $1500 and $2000 a year using gas prices of $3.70. I’d need to get a car payment of $166/month just to break even. Don’t think I’d be able to swing that one.

You could almost trade even up for a 2008 Mazda 5 minivan, and you’ll double your mpg(21/27mpg). It’s a bit smaller than the Expedition, though

100 miles per week is 5200 miles per year. If you get a new car that gets 50 MPG instead of 12 MPG, you will wave about $100 per month. Keep the Expedition and enjoy the pleasures that really large size gives you. When someting really serious breaks, get a new, more fule efficient vehicle.

I was looking at the Mazda 5. I really like them. My issue is that there is even less room behind the back seat. There is not a lot of storage behind the back seat of the Expedition and the 5 is even less. Minivans, however, have more room behind the rear seat. I could bring our Labrador with us more often in a minivan. I think I’ll go with jtsander advice and not worry about it unit it dies. Then we’ll look a minivan

That $10,000 trade-in estimate seems high. The Edmunds site puts it more at $5,500. You can appraise yours here:

And which is it, 10,000 miles/year (100x52+2300x2) or 15,000 miles/year?

If you’re in the mood for a new(er) car, then do it, 9 years is plenty. But I’d be surprised if you came out $$ ahead.

The way I figure it, you’re driving it about 9,800 miles a year, using about 754 gallons of gas. If you were to get a minivan that gets 30mpg loaded with family, you’d use about 327 gallons. The difference is $1,272, just over $100/month. So, a car payment of $100/month for a minivan that gets 30mpg is your “breakeven point”. A bigger payment means you lose money.

Keep the rolling brick. Assuming it’s in decent shape, you’ll save money and your wife will be happier.

I would have to agree that with the mileage you drive, just keep the Ford Valdez. A new minivan would also have higher insurance costs. If you drove 15,000-20,000 miles a year the economics would be very different.