We are planning to buy a minivan within a year. There are a few reasons for it. First is that our 19-year old Saturn is on its last leg. It really is. It has and electrical problem that will cost about $2000 to fix. And the car itself is worth about $500-700 right now. So we are not fixing it. Second is that we want another child. We have two amazing boys. But we want to try for a girl. And if we have another boy, well, that's plenty of boys for us :) The third and ,probably, the most important is lack of seats in our current car for those times when my parents or friends are in town. In February, when my parents were here, we used both of our cars to go places but again one of them was our Saturn.
We would love to buy with cash. I know, we are ambitious! We will definitely buy used. Probably, about 4-5 years old with low mileage on it. We don't need any bells and whistles. What we need is a reliable car with easy maintenance. My husband is not very handy with cars but my BIL is, and he always helps us with little repairs. And for bigger stuff we have a friend who has his own shop. He's extremely honest and charges very reasonably.
Right now we settled our minds on Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. The problem is we don't know much about buying a car. We checked our credit score (and it's good...phew) but we hope we would not need to finance anything. We know about Carfax and plan to have about $1000/year saved for possible repairs on an older car.
But what else should we keep in mind? Taxes, fees? What should we avoid? Or should we look at other brands-KIA, Nissan? We know very little about them. Right now we owe a 2005 Toyota Corolla. We got it almost new, and in the last 6 years we barely had any problems with it (knock on wood...). Hubby uses it for work, and he travels a lot. And so far I love everything about our little Corolla. That's one of the reasons why we trust Toyotas. And Hondas are about the same (and their minivans even look a little fancier, I think :)
Well, any advice is greatly appreciated!!