Last year

I bought a 20 year old mini-van and a 11 year old car for my son. We paid $1600 for each of them. The van hasn’t needed anything other than a brake job. The car needed some body-work and recently got a brake job too. We’ve put $3000 in the car total. The car does not have the original motor, so I don’t know how many miles it has on it, but the body has almost 190k and the van is just behind it at 187k. If I were in your shoes, I’d drive the van every mile that it has left in it because it’s going to be a $500 trade-in, no matter if it has 215k miles or 315k miles and on 4 bald tires and no clear coat and the windshield wipers don’t work.
If you have $5k in savings, keep it and when the transmission goes (it will), you’ll be ready to have it rebuilt for $1500. Hopefully later than sooner. If you can add $50-100/month to this fund, when you’re debt-free or the van gives it’s final mile, you might not have to buy another beater to replace it.

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