The Minivan Market has Some Interesting Features

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan

While the minivans from Honda, Toyota and Nissan seem to continue to be highly advertised and produced to sell with good comfort and style, the Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country are about the only family minivans still made by any of the “Detroit Big 3”.  While you can still buy a new minivan for a good price, and if you want a new one that offers great features that you can load it up with to keep the passengers entertained there are some considerations you should make before you buy a minivan new.

To give you a look back, the minivan became popular in the 1980s and the Dodge offering was one of the first to market.  During this time the popularity grew and the peak was realized at nearly 1.4 million vehicles sold per year in the early 2000s with the two FCA models topping the charts as two of the top twenty sellers at the time.  This was a time before the changes were being made to the SUV world that eventually brought us crossovers as a more popular form of hauling the family around.

The change was evident and swift as today we only see a total of about 500,000 minivans sold and no model is anywhere near the top thirty in overall sales volume.  While this change has certainly affected the market over the last several years, causing many models to be completely deleted from lineups, the FCA pair has continued to move on with at least semi-respectable sales that make them two of the most popular models on the market.

Another change in the minivan market that might have you wondering what you should do for your next vehicle is the saturation effect.  This was felt as the sales began to decline and automakers had produced too many of the minivans for the demand.  When this happened rental car companies snatched them up in droves and offered them to their clients to drive until the magic mileage number was reached when they retire their vehicles.  Now that we are several years past that point, used car lots are nearly littered with these minivans that still have a lot of life in them and can be had at a great deal for you.  What kind of deal; let’s take a look.

If you choose to buy a new minivan, the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan can be had with the American Value Package on it for only $19,500.  Of course there are still many of the 2015 models on the market that can be bought new and at the price of $17,800 before the incentives that you will receive you will have a great van at an amazing price.  With the incentives you will see that number drop somewhere around $15,229 and if you insist on buying a new minivan my advice is to buy it and not lease it and let me tell you why.

Because of the market saturation I mentioned earlier, the minivan you lease will end up costing you a lot more than you expect.  There are so many minivans in used condition that have similar features to what you drove off the lot as new that the $15,000 depreciation will eventually happen over the next few years.  For this reason there is little value in being tied up in a lease, if you want to finance the minivan for purchase and are certain you won’t be trading it in later on that is a great option to have a new vehicle to drive.

Another option is to buy one of these many used minivans that you can find on lots all around the country.  Most of the time you will find a minivan that has 100,000 miles or less on it for a price that is close to $3,300.  This is typically the case for minivans that are ten years old or even a little newer and these vans will have similar features to the new one you saw on the lot.  If you do you research on Car Fax you will be able to see the history of ownership of the minivan to find it may have only been owned by rental car companies, which normally means the maintenance schedule has been followed.

With a used minivan as described there won’t be a depreciation hit at all and if you do choose to eventually trade it back in, you might even receive a majority of your money back for it.  At only 100,000 miles these minivans often still have more than half of their life left in them and are at a price that practically makes them a steal.  This gives you the edge when you need a people hauler at a great price that will serve you and your family well for years to come.  The overproduction can be your best tool to getting in the right used minivan.

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