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How to Buy a Minivan

Prepare Financially


1. Make sure you can afford the vehicle

Most minivans cost a bit more than the average compact or midsized car, so check your budget to make sure that it can accommodate the new expense. Since minivans can lose their value quickly, a good idea might be to buy a used minivan.


2. Get pre-approved by a bank or credit union

This way, you will know exactly how much money you can spend when buying a minivan. You are also likely to get the best rate on an auto loan when you use a bank or credit union to which you are a member


3. Check the Kelly Blue Book to get an idea of the prices you can expect for a minivan

Look at both the used and new sections under Vans/Minivans so that you can compare the difference in price between the two


Select the Features That You Want
1. Think about the number of seats you need

Most minivans feature 7 seats, but a few models boast 8 or 9. Most minivans allow you to easily remove or fold down at least one row of seats, which is something to consider if you want extra cargo space and only need seating for 4 or 5 people


2. Choose a minivan that has the door style you like

Some vans only have a sliding door on one side, while other newer models offer doors on both sides of the vehicle. Some minivans allow you to open the doors with the press of a button


3. Determine the safety features that appeal to you

Rear backup alert systems, traction control, and headlights that stay on in the day can all make it a bit easier to drive safely. You should also consider whether you need side air bags, or perhaps the kind that can sense whether there is a passenger in the seat. Make sure it has a rearview camera - rearward visibility in a minivan when reversing is minimal at best


Compare Makes and Models
1. Read reviews written by automobile professionals and minivan owners before you buy.

These should provide the pros and cons of the models that interest you. Reviews can be found on websites and in magazines


2. Ask friends and family members who own minivans about their vehicles

Get an idea of their likes and dislikes before buying a minivan, as they may point out the factors that you never considered. For example, the vehicle might not handle very well uphill, or it might not feel as spacious as it looks.


3. Test drive the minivan before you buy one

Listen for any odd sounds during the drive, and pay attention to how it handles turns and rough terrain


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