My car got stolen yesterday

I got up yesterday morning to take the trash out to the curb and my 2002 toyota sienna mini-van was not in my driveway. I called the police/insurance etc. and now I am just waiting. I guess insurance waits 48 hours to file a claim as most cars show up within that time frame. Mine hasn't yet. It really sucks as it was in good shape and I'll never be able to buy another one like it for the 6k or so they'll give me for it. Also, it had a sweet sound system with XM radio and I just spent $700 getting a tow hitch on it for bicycles.

So, if it doesn't show up...what kind of car should I be looking for? I have the money for just about anything under 40k, but cars, which are depreciating assets are not how I want to spend my savings at the moment. I have two tall kids (12 and 13) that play sports, like to go road biking and skiing, travel a lot, have a biggish dog and often wind up taking my kids friends around.

I could

a) Replace my minivan with a similar one for about 9k
b) Buy a highlander for about 33k new (nice it has seating for 6)
c) Highlander used for about 25k
d) Blow the whole thing on an Acura MDX (again, seating for six)
e) Buy a smaller, newer, fuel efficient (mazda 3 or similar) car and suck up the not being able to take bikes (4 adult size)
f) Hyundai Tucson for about 23k...has all the cargo space I need, just lacking passenger space

g) Other

1. Buy used. As always, I recommend hitting up Carmax for one of the specials.
2. Beyond that, buy what you like.

Yah, the only car I would not want used would be the MDX or maybe the highlander, just because the resale on them is so high, it really isn't that much more to buy new. I think my problem is that I WANT a car, but my lifestyle demands an SUV or mini-van.

Sorry to hear that man, that really sucks.

Sorry to hear your car was stolen - I've never dealt with it firsthand, but of course I have to imagine it'd be both unsettling and upsetting...

As for replacements, from a financial perspective you (and AnimeJ) are dead on about the depreciation of new cars... So far I've purchased one new car and one used in my time, and I've really enjoyed the used car more, even though I'd spent less on it. To get around the unease I'd had when buying the used one, I checked out http://www.carfax.com/, and was very pleased with them --I'd recommend it if you decide to go used.

Good luck with car shopping.

I have nothing to add other than I'm sorry to hear your minivan got stolen from out front of your house. That stinks.

Well, I guess I do have something to say in that I agree with AnimeJ, get something used. I'm not a huge fan of buying cars used because you can save so much money if you buy something a couple years old. Outside of that, I know absolutely nothing about minivans.

That sucks, and I wish I had better news, but they probably won't find it...

I had a '92 Caravan stolen a few years back, and still haven't heard anything about it. And I still don't know why anyone stole it. It had almost 400k miles on it, the engine was blown, the battery was dead, all 4 tires were blown, it leaked oil, before it died it would overheat to the point where I couldn't turn it off, and huge clouds of black smoke would billow from below the hood. Oh, and the interior was ruined since I spilled about a gallon of gasoline in the back.

Whoever stole it brought in a tow truck in the middle of the day and dragged it away. There were scrape marks where it was sitting. Called the police to see if anyone had reported towing it, and nadda. The leasing office for that community said they didn't tow vehicles, so they didn't call it in. Meh, they did me a favor really.

On a completely unrelated note, I am selling a somewhat used 2002 Toyota Sienna. I do not have a title, cash only.

As far as a replacement car. Many families have ditched the van and SUV for hatchbacks. Subaru, Volvo, Ford make some great hatchbacks. Plenty of space for a family, better fuel economy than those big lugs, and lots of storage room. Bonus they are fun to drive. The Focus hatchback is right in your price range.

PurEvil wrote:

That sucks, and I wish I had better news, but they probably won't find it...

I had a '92 Caravan stolen a few years back, and still haven't heard anything about it. And I still don't know why anyone stole it. It had almost 400k miles on it, the engine was blown, the battery was dead, all 4 tires were blown, it leaked oil, before it died it would overheat to the point where I couldn't turn it off, and huge clouds of black smoke would billow from below the hood. Oh, and the interior was ruined since I spilled about a gallon of gasoline in the back.

Whoever stole it brought in a tow truck in the middle of the day and dragged it away. There were scrape marks where it was sitting. Called the police to see if anyone had reported towing it, and nadda. The leasing office for that community said they didn't tow vehicles, so they didn't call it in. Meh, they did me a favor really.

Yah, it makes no sense to me..but then, I'm not a thief, hehe.

Well, they found it...costco parking lot, no battery, stereo and empty fuel tank. Just waiting for a ride to go get it.

peacensunshine wrote:

Well, they found it...costco parking lot, no battery, stereo and empty fuel tank. Just waiting for a ride to go get it.

That's crazy. Before I scrolled down to the latest update I was going to urge you to call the local PD within that jurisdiction.

I had a car stolen years ago at the now defunct Tracks in downtown DC. I had given the car up as lost but two weeks later I received a letter saying my car was picked up abandoned on the side of the road not far from the club (sans cd player, etc.).

Overall I was pleased as hell but that fact that I had to pay 2+ weeks of impound surcharges burned pretty hard.

that's not too bad, though wy they stole the battery is beyond me, those aren't worth much. Was it an aftermarket stereo? If it was factory you migt find one cheap from someone seling theirs when they put in a new one. It was probably time to replace the battey anyway

how did they steal it? Bust the column? Stolen key? If they might have a key get that taken care of before replacing anything, otherwise you arelikely to find it missing again.

edit: Good Lord, I'll clean this up when I get home, can't type for crap with my thumbs on my phone

edit: oops! I didn't see that your car was found. I'll leave this up...maybe someone else can use it. Hopefully it's not too badly damaged.

Original post:

Used Highlanders are good. Back a couple years ago, they went to a much bigger chassis and engine, which lets them tow 5,000 pounds instead of 3,500, and carry a lot more stuff, but the mileage dropped a bunch. I think it was in 2008, so if you get 2007 and earlier, you'll get the smaller model. The older ones drive almost exactly like a Camry, with the exception that they're a little more top-heavy and don't corner well at speed. The big ones are a little quieter, and probably slightly MORE maneuverable in tight spaces, despite the extra size.

Buying used means you avoid the worst of the depreciation, especially with Toyotas -- they drop quite a bit over the first couple years, and then slow down a great deal. If you treat it well and keep it up, you can get a surprising amount of your money back several years later.

Another brand to look at is Hyundai. They're getting very good indeed, making big strides with each new model year, and they're very reasonably priced. Further, the market hasn't yet caught on that they're very good vehicles, so they depreciate quite a bit early on, and you can get a GREAT late-model used car on the cheap. They're just as good as Hondas and Toyotas, maybe better, but they start cheaper and depreciate fast.

Check Consumer Reports for the specific model year you're interested in, if the Hyundais appeal -- they've been improving so fast that it's worth checking to be sure that you're not trading away too much.

Malor wrote:

edit: oops! I didn't see that your car was found. I'll leave this up...maybe someone else can use it. Hopefully it's not too badly damaged.

Original post:

Used Highlanders are good. Back a couple years ago, they went to a much bigger chassis and engine, which lets them tow 5,000 pounds instead of 3,500, and carry a lot more stuff, but the mileage dropped a bunch. I think it was in 2008, so if you get 2007 and earlier, you'll get the smaller model. The older ones drive almost exactly like a Camry, with the exception that they're a little more top-heavy and don't corner well at speed. The big ones are a little quieter, and probably slightly MORE maneuverable in tight spaces, despite the extra size.

Buying used means you avoid the worst of the depreciation, especially with Toyotas -- they drop quite a bit over the first couple years, and then slow down a great deal. If you treat it well and keep it up, you can get a surprising amount of your money back several years later.

Another brand to look at is Hyundai. They're getting very good indeed, making big strides with each new model year, and they're very reasonably priced. Further, the market hasn't yet caught on that they're very good vehicles, so they depreciate quite a bit early on, and you can get a GREAT late-model used car on the cheap. They're just as good as Hondas and Toyotas, maybe better, but they start cheaper and depreciate fast.

Check Consumer Reports for the specific model year you're interested in, if the Hyundais appeal -- they've been improving so fast that it's worth checking to be sure that you're not trading away too much.

I still might buy a new one. Mine kind of creeps me out now.

I talked my BF into a hyundai for the very same reasons....great advice. My only current issue is that I love new tucson styling and not so much the later models. If I wait a year, I would go with a used tucson so I can get the 2010 model.

PurEvil wrote:

I had a '92 Caravan stolen a few years back, and still haven't heard anything about it. And I still don't know why anyone stole it.

For parts, maybe. Plus, they thought they were doing you a favor.

My car was stolen a couple of months ago, much like PurEvil I'm confused as to why, and how.

It wasn't running when I tried it last and was about to do some work on it, yet the neighbour saw it drive away.

Maybe newer cars are getting to hard to steal with stuff like onstar, engine shutdown systems, and remote start. But I don't steal cars maybe you steal the newer ones the same way you steal older models.

When my dad's car got stolen about 10 years ago and was then found, the thieves' had ripped out the interior lining of the car but left the rest of it untouched. Apparently that type of lining was very rare or something and worth a lot. You never know what people will swipe cars for.

Koz wrote:

When my dad's car got stolen about 10 years ago and was then found, the thieves' had ripped out the interior lining of the car but left the rest of it untouched. Apparently that type of lining was very rare or something and worth a lot. You never know what people will swipe cars for.

Maybe they thought he was a drug runner?

Who steals a minivan? Seriously?

No good advice here. But feel sorry this happened. Just sucks and you are right, you don't get the real value back in hard cash.
Hope you find a good replacement.

[edit]
Actually, get a Toyota. Seriously, they are good cars. All that bs that seems more staged then anything should be ignored. If you think it was kinda much for the recalls. Well, they had the lowest rate out of all of them, by far.
A nice Rav4 is really a good car to have for instance.

NSMike wrote:

Who steals a minivan? Seriously?

Desperate times, I guess...

Glad to hear you got your car back, peacensunshine. The only reason I could think anyone would want to steal something like that (and take the stuff they had) was to get what little cash an amateur car thief could get after taking a joyride.

Walter wrote:

What can they do? They're a bunch of f*ckin' amateurs, and meanwhile, look at the bottom line: Who's sittin' on a million f*ckin' dollars? Am I wrong?

Anyway, I was going to ask how you actually carry the 4 bikes you mentioned? In the back? Before I saw that you got your van back, I was going to suggest a wagon, like the Volvo V70, with a roof rack like Thule or something. If you went with a used wagon, the money you save on the car you could put towards a roof rack with a lock system to keep those amateurs from taking more of your stuff. I wouldn't recommend leaving your bikes on the rack for extended periods of time either way, though.

But I guess that's kind of irrelevant now, considering you got your car back.

Yah, I have one of those thule bike racks that attach to the tow hitch. I love it, but it isn't very secure. I wanted a roof one originally, but it was kind of hard to get them lifted up onto a van. My bike is light/carbon but my kids' steel bikes are BEASTS.