Whoa! Black Betty, the Transit Van

Well we finally did it. We bought a van! And let me tell you bout this van, because of course it has a story…..

We have been looking for a new vehicle for OVER A YEAR. It’s been a long, tedious and at times very frustrating task. I don’t think it is this hard for everyone to buy a new car. But then again I don’t think everyone is looking for enough space for 7 people, 5 of which are in carseats, and all their stuff, plus room for extras if needed. We looked at all the SUVs, including but not limited to Expeditions, Excursions, Suburbans, as well as minivans and found all of them to be similar to the situation that we are currently in: cramped. One can’t even fit 3 carseats across the back row of a minivan and barely across the back row of a big SUV.

I digress.

We looked for Transits for the past year as well, but never thought we would actually find what we were looking for. I DID NOT want white and that’s often what you always see.  They are really not the coolest looking car on the road, but it’s ok. I’m not really driving to look cool anymore! We have test driven several of these over the past year.

We found this van online from Enterprise car sales. Fun fact: 80% of used cars on the road today were once a rental vehicle. Enterprise keeps their ‘nicer’ cars to sell themselves and sells the rest to dealers. We talked about the van for about a week, then called and told them we’d take it. It was located in Michigan, so would be put on a car hauler to bring to Des Moines, the closest Enterprise car sales.

10 days later we got this pic from our dealer rep, Josue. Black Betty had arrived!


Then the real fun began. Apparently not all insurance companies cover Transits due to their potentially high passenger capacity. Due to this, we had to find a new company, and to make a long story short, a new insurance representative. That was not easy. There was also a hassle with the company realizing that this was for personal, not commercial use, which is another common problem we’ve heard of people having.

There was also a problem with how we were going to pickup this van. Enterprise had offered to give us a rental car to drive and pick it up to bring home. But they didn’t have anything available to loan on this day that would fit all of us. So we found a babysitter and they gave us this:


Not bad, but we were expecting a Focus. Ha! By the way, carseats do NOT fit well into the back of this thing either. *sigh* Overall though, Enterprise was wonderful to work with and we’d definitely go back again.


So we drove to DSM in the Chevy truck and I drove back in the Transit. Alone. On Interstate 80. For 2.5 hrs. Another story why J stayed in DSM but I’ll spare the blogosphere that one. A bit nerve racking? Yes, but I survived and so did she. Let’s just say I’m learning to use my mirrors!


Yes, the van is big. It’s no minivan, it’s a ‘maxivan’ as J puts it. It’s very industrial in some ways, which is good for us with the amount of people it’s going to be hauling. There are also some really handy features. Honestly though, it handles like a minivan, or about the same as my Expedition does, as that’s no joke. I really don’t find it hard to drive, just switching lanes is a bit more tricky. There is a backup camera which is super nice. We’re taking out several of the seats for more space and it’s going to work really well. I’ll plan a blog tour of the van once we get situated in there. Would you believe the kids were actually fighting over seats?! Incredible. It’s not like they don’t have options, sheesh.

And I’ll leave you with Black Betty lyrics in your head for the remainder of the day. You’re welcome 😉

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