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Big families and a frugal vehicle....

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Is this an oxymoron?  I don't really know any large families.  We have 4 kids and one on the way and hopefully more to come :)  I have a Tahoe now and let me tell you- it is becoming a tight squeeze.  We went grocery shopping yesterday and had to have the kids  hold some of the groceries- which was not so awesome.  And my Tahoe has 180K on it and while I think it has a lot of life in it- it just isn't as spacious as I would like...  So what I imagine most large families do is get a passenger van- but are there other alternatives? Like say a used limo?  Is that a crazy idea?  Cause I found one and think it would rock.  9 people- factory I believe, and all the seats are bench and forward facing.  The price is so in line with Dave Ramseys crazy beater that I think it is perfect- even though technically we can stay in the Tahoe with this baby and survive.  The limo is a Cadillac, low miles, kind of old, and in great shape- plus my DH is a mechanic and could easily fix anything that goes wrong or wears out...


I know it is kinda ghetto- or super cool in a weird kind of way- good idea or bad idea?  I hate the idea of shelling out so much for a passenger van that would get cruddy mileage- and I would still have to crawl to the back.

post #2 of 27

super cool.  do it.

post #3 of 27

You live on a farm.  Is that going to be an issue during the winter?  How about parking, is that going to be a problem with a long vehicle any of the regular places you visit? 


Before committing to it, I would take the car seats and see how difficult they are to install, since limos aren't exactly designed for use with carseats.  How difficult is it going to be to get the kids in and out?  With a passenger van you have head room, so that you're not literally crawling in and out of it, you can actually walk bent over, not sure how much headroom this limo is going to have. 


How much trunk space does it have?  And how many carseats can it take (i.e. are you going to have to replace it with the next kid)? 


Oh, and what is the gas mileage and how does that compare to a passenger van?  Traditionally I believe limos got crap mileage.  Not sure if that's changed. 


I see no reason that jumps out not to do it, but the above are the questions that I would be asking. 

post #4 of 27

Uh... I would do it only if I had a driver...

post #5 of 27

Are they difficult to drive, or not much more than any other larger vehicle like a minivan?  I think it's a cool idea.  Definitely thinking outside the box.

post #6 of 27

I have a friend of a friend that is is a homeschooling family of eight.  They have had a small special education sized school bus that they have owned and currently an airport limo type of vehicle.  Both have worked well for them.  They also have a medium sized sedan for when only part of the group goes somewhere. 


I think the bus would work better for long hauls (trips to see family/vacations) than a true limo. 


I think I would stay with the Tahoe for as long as possible and wait till you are literialy out of seatbelts.  

post #7 of 27

I wouldn't buy the limo, I would just keep what you have....even if it is a pain or look into something else.

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

Wow!  Thanks all for replying :)  It is a 6 door 80s Caddy.  So 3 bench seats all facing forward- with lots of leg room.  So- no reaching beyond the middle seat!  A huge trunk, and it is like $2500- well that is the offer we put on it anyway...  It gets 17-22 mpg- which is better than the Tahoe and our pickups.  it has 59K miles.  I don't think it is really much longer than our full-sized king cab pick-up.  We live just off the road that the county engineer lives on- so we are about always the first ones plowed out :)  We talked it over and I will still probably drive the Tahoe most of the time and use the limo for church (which we could then combine with grocery shopping- which is also 40 miles away) and family trips (like to grandmas).  But for my general local errands with only a few kids we would use the Tahoe.  


So no glaring reasons to not do it?  Yes- definitely thinking outside the box on this one...  We shall see what they counter with.  We won't pay a penny more than $3000- but would be keeping an eye out for something else like this...

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Uh... I would do it only if I had a driver...

Dude-  my DH in a black suit, shades, and a phony CIA earpiece would be about the funniest thing on earth.  I might ride in the back seat....

post #10 of 27
Originally Posted by iowaorganic View Post

So no glaring reasons to not do it? 

Nope.  The questions above would be the things *I* would worry about.


Have you talked to your insurance agent about the cost of insurance on a limo vs a van? 



post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Cristeen- I put in a call to my insurance agent- But I think really cheap since it is such a cheap vehicle.  Tags might get me though....  But everything else should be good I think :)  I have extra Britax marathons- so I will be leaving a set in there- I don't switch them around :)  Bought the Britaxs when they were on super sale (they are yellow and pink and I have boys:)- that has been nice!  It will hold 6 seats and we are slowing down on the babies....  


How are you feeling mama?  I have been thinking of you :)


post #12 of 27

I'm guessing you are in a smaller town? I'm in a smaller town as well and there are several old limos that people drive around town. They are considered the town oddities and the kids love to spot them out and about! Parking could be a pain but we have two massive SUVs and parking is a pain for us anyway! 

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

So you are calling me odd?  I prefer Unique!  We don't really go anywhere that parking would be awful...  Unless in the odd case of a parking garage....  That is so out of the norm for us I will cross that bridge when we come to it.  My in-laws took a family vacation to Arkansas (about 13 adults) and they rented a limo- I thought it was weird at the time- but they had an awesome time and it was way cheap for them to rent it for the week... 

post #14 of 27

When do you find out if your offer was accepted?

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

I don't know.  We bid it low.  We would go to $3000.  But we aren't desperate.  I am just going to wait and see.  They sent me the car fax report and it has been for sale since August- so likely no one is going to jump me on the bid :)  When I find out I will post.

post #16 of 27

Cool!  I'd like to know if you got it or not - and if you did, totally want pics. :)

post #17 of 27

My 9 year old would LOVE it if I drove him around in a LIMO.


post #18 of 27

I guess we're not the only odd people here on Mothering.  We just bought a mini bus for our family.  I'm loving having room!  You definitely need to discuss insurance with your agent, because depending on the make and model, you may have to acquire different insurance for it.  Also, we ran into the problem of # of seats and need for a CDL.  We need to remove one of our benches to make it legal until we get our CDL C class permit.  It seems like 16 is the magic number there.  It feels a little odd doing the school run in an actual bus, but so far the kids love it and their friends think it's cool.  The teachers, I'm sure, think we're a little odd.  But who cares?  Everyone has their own bench, I can actually walk into the bus with the twins' buckets and it gets better gas mileage than our 12-pass van because it's diesel. :D

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 

Awesome! mylilmonkeys!  Let them with more kids be the judge is kind of my attitude :)


Well our offer was rejected.  Doesn't mean we won't get it- but seeing as how we aren't desperate- we shall wait.  I emailed them back and told them that when they wanted to sell it they knew how to get ahold of me- it has been sitting on the lot since July... But now at least we have more ideas than just a passenger van- so that is a good thing too!  


The insurance was really cheap since we didn't care for full coverage.  it was like $20/mo.  And it didn't require a chauffeurs- unless we were for hire- which we wouldn't be.  My DH has a class A CDL- so I would make him drive a bus.  I like to sit there and knit and Facebook anyway- I never drive when he can :)


post #20 of 27

My DH drives a water delivery truck.  He doesn't need a CDL for his vehicle, but it is very similar in size to the minibus, so when we're traveling as a family, he gets tapped to drive too.  I don't mind driving the bus myself, but I'm a knitter, too. LOL  And I prefer to be the navigator.  I get a little anxious if we're going somewhere unfamiliar.

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