My wife and I are approaching unchartered vehicle owning territory. We are at the end of the lease on our 2003 Jeep Liberty. We have 3000 miles and 4 months to go. The disappointing thing is that if we decided to keep it we would have to finance $11K PLUS pay them a $400 purchasing fee. If we turn it in we owe them a $295 "disposition" fee. Our other options would be to sell it outright, but then we lose any tax credit we would have($700 net) should we buy another car. If we dispose of it at the dealer and buy something elsewhere we will also lose this credit.
The other pending factor is what do we buy? I think the minivan option is out. Just recently we have thought about buying an older convertible style Jeep Wrangler. We could find a 7-10 year old Jeep Wrangler for about $8000. It would be fun to have, but when it gets less than 20 miles per gallon that doesn't seem like an economical choice given the gas issues the past 2 years. A tiny portion of me says find a car that gets 40 miles to the gallon and avoid allowing the gas crisis be a factor in our monthly spendings.
I've got just a little time to figure this out so I'd appreciate any advice. AND horses don't come with AC so please recommend something with 4 wheels and AC.