Tag Archives: trade-in value

Prolonging the pain at the pump: keeping a gas guzzler

I have a 1998 Toyota Sienna Minivan.

It’s not a hip car, but it’s a great car. 120,000 miles and nothing has ever broken on it.  It’s comfy, quiet, and useful. It’s the best car I’ve ever owned.  My poodle Molly and I traveled 10,000 miles across the US, up and down the eastern seaboard and back in it in 2001, right after 9/11 (“Travels with Charley” redux).

Poodle and Packed Minivan

Poodle and Packed Minivan

It also gets a sucky average of 19 mpg.  The price of gas is bad enough, but the fact that my carbon output is twice as high as it could be bothers me even more.

So like many others, I checked into down-sizing my ride. hahaha.

What I suspected is true.  The NY Times has an article today about whether this is a cost-effective plan. In the article is a link to a website where you can calculate how soon you’ll break even if you trade in your gas-guzzler for a more fuel-efficient model. I did the math:

My car’s trade-in value is $4,100.  A used 2005 Honda Civic hybrid is $19,200. Not counting sales tax, license fees, etc – and if gas stays at $4/25 a gallon – I will break even in a mere ten years!

The Sienna stays. I have to figure out how to rely on it less.