The Svendsen family car decision

Like many soon-to-be parents in their 30’s, Per and I are confronting a difficult task these days… trading in our sleek little get-around-town car for a larger family wagon. The most dreaded task of all, the one that poignantly signifies that our single party lives are over and that Family Life (aka “Adulthood”) has begun.

We need something that can fit at least a car seat in the back, and most likely also the additions of stroller, diaper bags, toys, blankets and copious amounts of prosecco bottles. I suppose there’s also a baby in there somewhere but honestly what’s the difference? The point is that we need a new car, preferably before the Melon arrives at the end of March.

But unlike many new parents, we face a different lifestyle that makes confronting a car purchase more complex. We move about every 2-3 years (at our own choice) and will probably face another such move sometime before the end of 2011. So whatever car we get now, we’ll have to try and resell it sooner than most economists would consider efficient. I can just hear the world’s financial advisers crying in their sleep at the thought.

After several weeks of shopping around used car lots in Oslo, we find ourselves yet again at a crossroads. We have several potential offers, but they all boil down to the same typical Svendsen heart v.s. mind connundrum:

Option 1: Spend money for something we’ll really enjoy driving for a few months and most likely lose money on at the end; or

Option 2: Save money on a more practical option that will manage to get us from point A to B with the Melon and his assorted accessories.

Of course the Svendsen couple you know and love (i.e. the same people that consider the installation of a wine chiller in their nursery) are leaning towards Option 1. But the presence of said Adulthood parameters are forcing us to think twice.

Anyone out there want to weigh in on this one? Leave us some advice in the Comments section below and I’ll update you on the final outcome once it’s been made.

7 thoughts on “The Svendsen family car decision

  1. Why not add a third, more practical, choice? Keep the car you have. Why? Because (1) you won’t have to fret over losing money selling it, (2) you’ll only be driving it a few more months anyway, and (3) the Melon really won’t need that much space for awhile (just wait until he’s two years old — now that’s a moving experience!) –Dad

  2. I can either 2nd Dad’s decision or add another– buy something you’ll want to bring with you? Unless you’re going to move to a country where they drive on the correct side of the road? mmm?

    Does this mean also that if I’m going to come see you in Norvenska, I’d best come this year?

  3. Think Dad has a point. If it is only a short period of time, I`m sure you can manage with the one you have even though it might be a bit tight. This will also allow you to keep up appearences…

    If you really do need to change for something more practical. Due to the unique way the Norwegian state is funded, it is a country of diesel station wagons. There are thousands of little families like yours with the same predicament so off-loading a practical and reasonable one should not be a problem once you decide to leave. If you can swallow your pride and be pragmatic, I believe this is an option that will offer you the space, safety and comfort, be cheap to purchase and should not cost you too much in upkeep and depreciation if you sell quickly:

    If you get fed up, you can always come to Zurich and borrow my convertible S4 for a spinn in the alps;-)

  4. Are, Convertible S4… Jezzz!! You are one to comment on practical and reasonable station wagons… 🙂 We might have to put Zurich even further up on our travel list… 🙂

  5. Volvo! OK, we don’t have kids yet, but we just bought a used Volvo SC90 for its 4-wheel-drive badassness in the mountains, and have also discovered how wonderfully roomy and luxurious it is… and without the luxury car price tag. I love heated leather seats! And when it comes to putting kids in a car, you can’t beat Volvo for its safety record. Unless Norwegians don’t like Swedish things? How does that work up there in Scandinavia?

  6. I think Dad had a good ide—– if you can manage….But maybe more fun with a new car.
    From : soon grandmother

  7. Pingback: Big barnehagen decisions… | Prosecco & Pampers

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