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This is a 2 part question. PART 1: TRADE IN VALUE I have a 2000 Dodge Caravan, Sport model. Could you help me estimate it's approx value so I have a starting value for bargaining? All the basics: cd/cassette; roof rack; AC; power windows/locks; privacy glass; remote entry. It has some cosmetic flaws, though no rust. According to Blue Book, it's just under the estimated mileage for a car it's age. I'm looking to trade it in, but don't want to get screwed over by a dealer. Normally I would have my father go with me for "back-up," but I moved, so I'm on my own for my next car purchase. Ugh. PART 2: SEARCHING FOR A "NEW" CAR I live on the slopes of the mountains on Maui. I want to get a car that can handle driving up and down the hill daily, and also handles well- the roads are all curves. I'm looking for something pre-owned, perhaps from 1990-2000, manual, decent engine (however that translates into car talk...) I have zero knowledge about cars and engines, etc. Any advice on a year/brand/model that could handle this daily workout? Or qualities that I should look for in a car? Big thanks, Melissa

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Patty Streeter,  at Melissa, Part 1: Trade in values are determined by the Kelley Blue Book value of the vehicle. I looked up the value of a 2000 Dodge Caravan SE Minivan 4D in the 96732 zip code. Because I don't know your mileage, that will make the value wildly varied. I checked at 79k miles, which is what KBB told me was typical. Here are the values for trade in: Good - $4,415 Fair - $3,680 Now I highly suggest you go to and look up the value in more detail since you know more about your car then I do, but this is a bouncing off point. I would just make sure you research your vehicle's value and don't sell it for less than you are comfortable. If a dealer puts you ill at ease, just walk away. Part 2: Well, you are in luck! We have an Ask Patty Female Friendly Certified Dealership in Maui! Check out Island Honda: Call them here: 800-959-0422 I truly recommend a Honda for you. If you are willing to get a 2003 model, then I first suggest a 2003 Honda Element, a great all-purpose SUV that isn't as gas guzzling as its other SUV cousins. It is very practical and fun! Or try a 2000 Honda CR-V or Honda Pilot. Both of these are great, smaller sized SUVs that can handle hill conditions and any wet, tropical weather. I think if you aren't looking for the space an SUV of CUV provides, you might consider a 2000 Honda Accord or Civic. Both of these cars can handle curvy roads and you can opt for manual transmissions in some models. I hope this helps you! If you have any other questions or want more suggestions, please let us know!

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