My Minivan Experience

family and van tan van interior
I remember my infamous words to my wife, Autumn, just several months ago, “We don’t need to get a minivan, we only have TWO kids!” Well, our new baby daughter will be born in December of this year and I just spent the month of August shopping for a minivan. I jokingly tell her that she got pregnant “by accident” just so she could get a van.

I shopped the national market (ebay), the local market in Austin and Georgetown, Texas (craigslist) and even the very, very local market (my neighborhood website). A new Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna would have cost me a minimum of $30,000. My goal was to save $10,000 and buy a used one for no more than $20,000 with leather, DVD, and the cool remote control doors. I also posted “no gold color vans” as a requirement.

Well, a few days after my craigslist posting, Toby, from Champion Chevrolet in Austin, contacted me and told me he had a 2004 Toyota in stock. I took the family down to Austin and ended up test driving a 2005 model, because he couldn’t find the keys to the 2004. After I got back, I negotiated the price of the 2005 over the phone. It was the last day in August and the manager ended up selling me the 2005 Toyota with everything I wanted for $15,000 plus my 1999 Nissan Maxima as a trade in! I later found out that the 2004 model sold for more than I paid for the 2005 and had 30,000 miles more! Also, I got great value out of the Maxima because they already had a customer looking to buy one! Perfect timing!
God was definitely looking after us to get such a sweet deal! This van rocks and still has 3000 miles left on the warranty…and if anyone asks, the van isn’t gold…it’s tan:)



  1. tan huh? reminds me of our old vw vanwagon haha

  2. Dude, don’t say that. My only memory of that van is when we were broke down by the side of the road, you had mosquito bites on the side of your legs that made you look like a muscle man and dad was trying to flag down help and ended up scaring everybody away.

    Thankfully, we have cell phones and AAA so that won’t be repeated again. Hallelujah!

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