A forum for van conversions, van living and travel

Author Topic: Newer expensive van or Older Cheap van..  (Read 2031 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Newer expensive van or Older Cheap van..
« on: November 23, 2017, 11:59:52 AM »
So I have been pondering the financial costs of buying a van to live in.

For example I could shell out over 10 grand on a low mileage (<50,000) small van that is less than 10 years old.

Or I could buy an older van for less than 5 grand, with mileage over 100,000, and older than 10 years old.

What I am wondering financially, as in how much the total cost (- resale value), and considering repairs etc, over the time spent and driven in the vehicle, is better financially?

 like as in cost per day after all things considered.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Karma: +15/-90
  • 20+ years of Life On Wheels
    • View Profile
Re: Newer expensive van or Older Cheap van..
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 08:31:36 AM »
Greetings & Welcome!

This is great question, and one that more people need to consider.

From the moment a new van leaves the dealership, until it is fully depreciated, the owner(s) are losing money on them.  If they're making you more money than you're losing on them, then maybe it's justifiable.  Newer vans do not mean more reliable, fewer needed repairs, lower maintenance costs, or better gas mileage...

An older, fully depreciated van, should never lose it's value.  It is possible to wind up with more invested than you can get back out of it, but the same is true of newer vehicles too.  What you won't lose money on is depreciation, and the over all cost of ownership will likely be considerably less.

Many of us feel that the older pre computerized vans are the best.  There is far less to go wrong with a 70's or 80's era van, than there is on the newer ones.  They were also built better, and if they're in good repair they drive considerably better than the newer vans too.

I paid $750 for my early 80's Dodge 15 passenger, 1 ton van.  It was an ex church van, and had 250k miles on it when I bought it.  It ran and drove like new, and today, 10+ years later, with nearly 450k miles on it, it still runs and drives like new.  It has been mechanically perfect with only normal maintenance required.  I've had newer vans that needed major expensive repairs that had under 100k miles on them.  Quality is a thing from the past that has been replaced by corporate greed.

This van has given me more joy in the last 10+ years than any other van ever did.  It is still a joy to drive, and I trust it completely to drive cross country at any time.  If it needed an expensive repair tommorrow, it would still be a bargain, and it would cost much less than any of the newer vans to make the repairs.

Good Luck & keep us posted!

My negative karma ratings reflect the number of spammers,
scammers and bad advice that I've exposed, feel free...