CaravanOur 2001 Dodge Caravan SE has been a valued member of our family since March of ’09. Just how that came to pass is a story by itself. We previously owned a Chevy Venture Warner Brothers Edition, complete with all the bells of whistles of automatic doors, power everything, leather seats, rear object warning and best of all – built-in VHS player.

Then, also in March of ’09, my husband and twins miraculously survived it being totaled in a parking lot as my husband buckled the kids in.

So after going on our already planned Spring Break trip in a rental (found out the RAV4 was not for us), we put our energy into finding another car with the paltry settlement offered by State Farm. My husband spotted the Dodge on Craigslist. The man was getting rid of several cars during a divorce. He was asking $3,000. My husband talked him down to $2,500 and we went to look at it (taking our salesman friend with us) with $2,000 cash in hand. After a long discussion and finally agreeing to donate some old computers (something the seller worked on), we drove away with it.

It has been a great vehicle. It needed some new tie rods (at least I think that’s what it was) that we got a good bargain on from a mechanic but that is all it has needed, which the Venture had needed expensive work a few times. It’s not fancy – it’s a kind of ugly (to me) green, it has a cracked windshield and bumper and some rusty parts and it gets low mileage, but it also gets around cheaply and has survived two trips of 740 miles each, not to mention me also crashing the side into a yellow post (as I somehow also managed to do on the Venture – must be my trademark). The thing that also sold me was the All Wheel Drive, as I had some early morning drives that made me nervous in winter.

So all in all we have been very satisfied with this purchase. It was a risk and maybe doesn’t have everything we would want, but it has worked out well for us.

What our next car will be depends on how much $ we have to spend when the time comes. Mainly we would look for a hybrid or at least something fuel efficient and that can accommodate the whole family + guests.

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