My lovely wife poked a fatal hole in my depreciation argument.
It is true that a newer car for her would depreciate more quickly. But that doesn’t matter in our situation. We were planning on replacing Jennifer’s car in 2007 anyway. A newer car for her will depreciate regardless of whether we buy it now or in two years.
So the rule is either an inexpensive, non-project Nova for Aren or a newer car for Jennifer. That’s what’s best for the family.