Do you find yourself playing rock-paper-scissors to determine who gets to drive the newer car that day? A lot of families have one older vehicle that is paid off and a newer car with payments. In fact, some studies have shown that the average age of vehicles on U.S. roads is more than 10 years old.
At some point, it’s time to make the decision on when to buy a new car. My first vehicle had already celebrated a few birthdays before I was born. During my journey with that reliable old friend, I learned a few things about how to identify the best time to retire your old ride.
IF OLD FAITHFUL STOPS BEING SO FAITHFUL
When your vehicle is spending more time with the mechanic than she is at home, that’s a problem. Not only is that eating up your time, auto repair bills can wreak havoc on a bank account. Consider the total cost of ownership, including repairs, maintenance and insurance, and decide if keeping your old car is really worth it.
WHEN THE GOLDEN YEARS ARE TAKING A TOLL
No matter how well you take care of your vehicle, some things are inevitably going to wear down. The older the car, the more likely minor parts will need repair. All those little repairs can add up. So, if your dogs have customized the back seat, your kids have melted one too many crayons into the carpet, and your glove box won’t latch anymore, you need to weigh the cost of all those little repairs versus upgrading to a new car.
IF YOUR SWEET RIDE NO LONGER FITS YOUR LIFESTYLE
That lifted truck screamed your name when you were in college, but those frequent fill-ups are putting a wrench in your life as a commuting professional. Maybe you’ve expanded your family, and your little sedan just doesn’t put enough space between you and the complaining in the back seat. Sometimes a new car can make spending time on the road a lot easier.
IF YOUR “NEAR CLASSIC” CAR HAS YOU STICKING TO THE SIDE ROADS
Of course, you’re an attentive driver, but what about everyone else on the road? The guy next to you on his phone is wandering all over the road, and your old reliable car suddenly feels more vulnerable. Safety features and in-car technology evolve each year, and you might be surprised at what features are available. Blind-zone alerts, backup cameras and Bluetooth® technology can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe on the road.*
Think you’re ready to move on? Take some time to figure out how much car you can afford, and then fill out our online credit application.
*Remaining attentive to traffic, surroundings and road conditions at all times is a driver’s responsibility regardless of additional safety features. New technology is never a substitute for operating the vehicle in a safe manner. Read the vehicle’s owner’s manual for important feature limitations and information.
Features not available in all vehicles.
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