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Not Worth the Nostalgia: When to Get a New Family Van

A family van can quickly become an item of nostalgia for both parents and children. Getting a new one can seem intimidating, and few want to make a big budget commitment like that to replace something they already love. Yet, like all things, when a van ages enough, there comes a time where replacement is necessary. Here are four indicators that will help you to know that it might be time to purchase a new family van.

The Mileage

One of the leading indicators that helps you to identify that your van might be reaching the end of its usefulness is the number of miles you have on your van. While mileage is not the only sign that your van is getting old and needs replaced, it is generally a benchmark that tells you where your van is in the average lifecycle of your particular make and model. Once your mileage crosses the amount rated for your van’s engine, then anything more you can squeeze out of it could be like driving on borrowed time.

Gas Efficiency

When it becomes evident that your van is not getting the number of miles per gallon it used to achieve, this is a sign that your van is becoming more and more expensive to operate over time. This becomes even more evident during periods when gas prices are higher than usual. To avoid this problem, it might be time to get into a newer van and allow your old van to be retired from the road.

Repair Costs

A key indicator that your van is not the awesome ride it used to be is when the repairs you must pay for become a more regular and costly occurrence. As your van ages, it is inevitable that it will reach a point when more of its components are wearing out and need to be replaced. When many such repairs are popping up on a consistent basis, this is typically a sign that your van is going to continue to be an expensive vehicle to maintain. When this happens, just like with fuel economy, it can be much more cost effective to just buy a new one. There are many places that offer money for junk cars that will pay decent money for your old van in its present condition.

Your Van Is No Longer Safe to Drive

Beyond regular repairs, many safety features that are mandatory for transporting children can fail with extensive use and time. Seat belts, air bags, even brake lines can lose their functionality if put under continued, heavy use for ten or more years. If you feel the brakes becoming less responsive, the mirrors are impossible to read, and the doors continue to get stuck, it becomes a real necessity to upgrade to something that is safer for you and your family.

While giving up a treasured family van isn’t easy, it ultimately is the best choice for your family when things start to fall apart. When doing so, however, don’t just aim for the same as before. Newer models of today come with increasing numbers of safety features and comfort additions that your kids will love and may actually help your van last longer than the last. Take your time to research all of your options and weigh the costs carefully as you decide what your next family vehicle will be.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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