Rockin’ The Minivan

Rockin’ The Minivan

Over the past two years, I have had a dream. It is a simple dream, really, albeit a bit expensive.

I have been dreaming about owning a minivan.
Isn’t she beautiful?
My dream began while I was pregnant with my toddler, Ginny. At that point, my dream was closer to fantasy than reality. After all, we had a car, my Accord, that we were still making payments on, and the last thing we wanted was two car payments. So, I patiently waited, knowing that the car wouldn’t be paid off for another two years.
We started minivan shopping last January (or was it February) when we went down to St. Louis to attend a car show. My DH and I concluded that going there would be the best non-pressured way to have a look at a variety of minivans in the least amount of time. We had a fabulous time there looking at all sorts of options. At one point we even thought about going with a crossover, but decided that wouldn’t work. We wanted, heck, needed, a third row of seats; something a crossover does not offer. Ultimately, we settled on the Honda Odyssey being the best choice for us. While it was the most expensive option, it also had all the features we wanted plus the added bonus of getting the best mileage.
Front view
It has been over a year since the car show. My patience was wearing thin, but knew, realistically, that we needed to wait. Then, this week, the wait came to an end.  Our car was paid off, confirmed by the arrival of the title, and my husband put out feelers to a couple of local car dealers. Before I would have pooh-poohed the idea of doing that, figuring it would lead to high pressure tactics. However, it ended up working toward our benefit so now I’m a believer.
Starting on Tuesday, my DH heard from two of the dealers, one by email (S) and the other by phone (B). S let my husband know that he could get us the EX model for $27954, just about $1,200 under invoice. I was stunned and thrilled. Could negotiations be so easy? B (the salesperson at the other dealership) told my husband that price was nearly impossible; it had to be a mistake on S’s part. My diligent husband followed up with S, asking for verification, making sure he was giving us the price for the right model. S came back saying that he was wrong; he could actually get it for us for $27454, $500 less!!! Wow! The email from S was then forwarded to B so she could see that the price was, in fact accurate.
Yet, another view of my gorgeous Odyssey!
I’m guessing B was really motivated to sell us a van. She came back, said she had discussed it with her manager, and they could meet that price. I was stunned, yet thrilled. I have never had such an easy negotiation in my life.
Since B said she had a few more minivans at her dealership, we thought we would start there instead of with S. Our new concern was the trade-in. With such an easy time negotiating the price of the minivan, we figured we wouldn’t get much for my husband’s old Buick. So, as a family of four, we ventured north up to Bloomington to the dealership.
Our salesperson, B, was very friendly. She took first me, then my husband, for test drives. I loved how the van drove. It was better than I anticipated, such a smooth drive. Once my husband was done, we headed over to discuss the price of the Odyssey and start negotiations on trading in the Buick. We went over the Buick’s history, including the accident my DH had last year when he hit a deer. It was fixed nicely, and we anticipated no major issues. What happened next was like getting hit in the gut.
Inside view. Ginny loves her new view!
B left to get the Car Fax on the Buick and to discuss the price with her manager. When she came back, we could tell by her demeanor that something was wrong. According to Car Fax, my husband’s accident had resulted in our car being totaled. We were flabbergasted. Insurance had never told us that, and we were still paying for comprehensive insurance on the car. How could they allow that if it had been totaled? We certainly didn’t get a check. Our insurance company had repaired the car. All of that didn’t matter. As far as the dealership was concerned, the car was unsellable since Car Fax said it was totaled. They would not be buying our car from us. No trade-in.
B did let us know that they would be able to get us a better price for the minivan than we had anticipated, though. They would sell it to us for $27204. While we were still processing the news on our trade-in, especially since that was going to be our down payment, B also told us what our monthly payments would be if we qualified for their special low interest financing. With all of this in mind, we left the dealership to go eat lunch so we could make a decision on what to do. Would we go ahead and get the minivan or wait until we sorted out the mess with the Buick? (At this point we had already gotten on the phone with our insurance agent asking WTH could have happened.)
At lunch, after some consideration, we decided to go ahead and get the Odyssey. In the end, we would be  getting the Odyssey for a lot less than originally anticipated, nearly $2500 less–the same amount we figured we would get for the trade-in.  We also discussed what we would do with the Buick. Knowing that a family member was in need of a vehicle, we decided to give it to them. It really wouldn’t be a huge loss to us, but would be a great benefit to them. At that moment, I had a sense of clarity. It was as if God had planned all of this to happen. Us to get a minivan we wanted for a lot less than anticipated so that we could “afford” to give the car to someone in need. Providence.

Once we were done with lunch, we returned to the dealership and let B know that we would go ahead and buy the minivan. Paperwork was done fairly quickly, and we were ready to leave. I figured I would drive back with the baby, and Chris would drive back with Ginny. Ginny had something else in mind. It seems that she fell in love with the minivan too. She insisted on riding with Mommy!

My perspective from the driver’s seat. Notice that a person can
fit between the 2 car seats! How awesome is that?
Getting the Odyssey involved some drama (and a LONG story), but I am so happy to have my dream fulfilled! I am in love with my minivan. It is fabulous! (I may or may not to admit “visiting” my new van in the garage several times last night). I really can’t understand people who see minivans as the devil or say things like “my soul died when I thought of getting a minivan.” I have so much room in the vehicle. It is much easier to load and unload the girls. It drives great. The best part is that when guests visit, we won’t have to take 2 cars any longer. The van seats eight, after all.
**Oh, an interesting last note to this. This morning, my husband got an email from S stating that he gave us the wrong price. He would be able to sell us the Odyssey for $28,954, $1500 more than he quoted us. LOL! **


About Denise

Hi! I'm Denise, a 40+ year old SAHM trying to navigate the world of motherhood. I blog about parenting, food, and have been featured a few times on BlogHer. I enjoys solving mysteries (Okay..reading mysteries or watching them on TV), cooking, and drinking way too much caffeine than I should. Basically, anything I needs to do to survive the toddler years.



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