When is it time to buy a new car? This is one of the most common questions in auto owners’ minds if they’ve had the same ride for more than a couple of years. The answer often depends on many factors, so it’s never easy to figure out. Here are a few things you can consider to make the decision a little easier on yourself:
- -The age of your vehicle
- -Sentimental value
- -Time commitment
How long have you owned your current vehicle? Every make and model is different, but repair costs tend to start piling up significantly about the same time that the manufacturer’s warranty ends. This isn’t just because you become liable for all of the work that needs to be done on your vehicle.
It’s also very common for auto companies to calculate when major systems, such as transmissions or engines, start to go bad. They time the expiration of their warranties accordingly. After all, they know that there is a limited lifespan on their parts the warranty is simply a guarantee that the parts will last as long as they should. Think about your driving habits and the repair statistics for your specific car or truck, and then you might have a better idea of whether or not it’s time to go car shopping again.
Regardless of how old your car is, the top priority is probably your financial situation. It’s a relatively simple matter to find an easy car loan process, but that doesn’t always mean that you are ready to buy a brand new vehicle. Keep in mind that there are plenty of good used cars out there. However, used cars have their own issues. Prepare to go through this whole process a little bit sooner if you buy used than if you buy a vehicle right off of the factory assembly line.
While it’s not the most common consideration, some people have a sentimental attachment to their cars. Keeping a car for this reason often becomes more of an investment than purchasing a new vehicle. Not only do vehicles require more frequent repairs as they age, but parts tend to become rare and more expensive.
If you’re keeping your future classic, keep in mind that there’s a sweet spot — especially for popular vehicles when other people start to send their versions of your car out to the junkyards. If you have the time, expertise and resources to do so, you can stock up on some cheap replacement parts when supply is high.
Money isn’t the only resource at stake when your car starts to age. If you depend on driving to get you to and from your workplace, then you need something that you can rely on. If your vehicle spends a significant portion of the year at the shop, this is going to throw a wrench into the well-oiled machine of your commute. Chances are that your time isn’t free.
Even if you’re going to a dealership and driving their posh, late-model loaner, you’re probably still losing those evenings or mornings when you’re dropping off your car. A new vehicle would likely have several years of smooth before any unexpected trips to the mechanic are necessitated.
Shopping for an Upgrade
If you’ve been noticing that a lot of the elements of the upgraded trim package for your vehicle are now standard, then it might be time to consider buying a new car. Buying a new vehicle could lower your gas mileage, make you safer and increase your comfort level.
When Not To Trade In
If all you want to do is upgrade your vehicle’s interior, it might not make sense to buy a new vehicle. You could upgrade entertainment systems, dashboard features and even seats for less money than you might expect. However, it is rare for these types of enhancements to have the same seamless feel as those provided by the manufacturer. It’s up to you whether you want to put some money into customizing your current vehicle or go into the dealership and look for something that works right off the line.
Sentimental value and upgrades are both important. It’s not always just practical considerations, such as money and time, that can help you decide whether to keep your current car or go out searching for a new one.