So you’re thinking about buying a new car. Well, there are A LOT of things to consider and sometimes it can get overwhelming. Don’t worry though, we’ve been there and have got ya covered. So we’re about to drop some serious car knowledge to help you make that decision.
Did you know that as soon as you buy a new car it begins to lose value? Given that someday you may want to trade in your current car for a new one, the question is how long should you keep a car before trading it in? After only three years it will only be worth about half of what it cost you or something along the way; there must be a point at which trading it in is ideal to get the best value.
While it may sound like the best thing to do is trade in your car after only a year or two, the average age of cars on the road is actually closer to 6 years. Some cars are even as old as 12 years.
So if cars lose half their value at 3 years but the average car is 6 years old, should you keep your old car or buy a new one?
Understand the 50% rule.
Speaking purely in terms of money, it is always cheaper to repair a car instead of buying a new one. Even the largest repair jobs cost less than replacing the whole thing, assuming that everything outside the repair is in decent working order.
There are people that would usually recommend that you trade in once your vehicle’s value reaches the 50% mark. This does not mean that you need to keep checking what your car is worth when it is three years old, just check when it is at least that age and it needs some kind of expensive repair work or renovation.
The thing is there is no set rule. If a car has been totally reliable for years then this also needs to be taken into consideration. There is no reason why a car that has been looked after properly with regular maintenance cannot last for 200,000 miles or more.
Of course, the opposite is also true. There are some cars which seem to constantly suffer from one problem to another and there comes a point where it is simply no longer worth wasting money on it. Not only that, but older cars tend to need their tires, exhaust, and other miscellaneous parts replaced far more often. At about 100,000 miles you will probably have to replace the timing belt which is usually expensive. It is a fact that newer cars are simply less trouble than old. There are always a lot of factors to consider when looking at whether it is time to trade in a car or keep it.
Evaluate the amenities of a new car. Do they justify the cost?
There are many good reasons to get a new car. For starters, you may have a business that requires you to pick up clients or other people for whom you may want to make a good impression. Also, if your job involves driving long distances you may not want to have to rely on an old car that may give up halfway. Finally, if you have a new family it may be better to trade the old car for a people-carrier.
Then there are all the modern features that new cars bring. These range from Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calls, to the safety improvements like accident-avoidance systems. Then there is just the genuine emotional pleasure of owning a new car.
Finding a deal.
When it does become time to trade in the old car there are a few questions that you need to ask yourself. Do you want to trade in the car quickly or can you afford to take the time to find the very best deal? Are you limited to places that buy cars for cash or can you afford to look elsewhere? For some people, time is a luxury they cannot afford and for others, the most important thing may be a much need cash-injection.
Once you have decided to start looking and you are able to answer these initial questions it is time to do some research. The Internet is generally the best place to look. Use it to find out what your old car is worth, get a couple of quotas and then print out the information so that you have it on hand for negotiating. A car broker may be one of the best options you have for finding a solid deal to sell your car.
When shopping there are a few tricks that will help you get a good price. Be more aware at the end of the month since dealers will be trying to fulfill a quota and may be willing to give ground to secure a sale. Remember that they will be trying to sell you extras that you do not need so double-check that everything included in the price is actually necessary.
Finally, test the car. This means not only driving it but making sure it is suitable for whatever purpose you are going to need it.
And as always, do your research. Get comfortable with your decision.
For more resources and info on buying a new car, you can check out the following links:
- Should you ever buy a new car?
- Tips for Deciding If You Need a New Car
- When To Buy A New Car (Or A New Used Car)
- Compare the Costs: Buying a New Car vs. Used
- 4 Questions to Help You Decide on a New or Used Car