It can be hard to know the right time to retire your car. Maybe your current car is still fairly reliable, but it’s feeling old. Maybe you have your eyes on a newer car that you can afford, but you’re just not sure if you should make that leap. What should you do? We’ve compiled some questions you can ask yourself before you make that new car purchase, and also added some advice in there to help you along your way.
Can you afford it?
The first question you need to ask yourself is, “Can i afford this?” The price of a car is more than just the monthly payment, it’s also higher insurance, and taxes. If you take all of this into account and know that you can meet that monthly payment comfortably, then a car upgrade is worth considering.
How much are you spending on repairs?
The amount you spend on your vehicle being in the shop annually may surprise you, especially if you’re driving an older car that’s worn down. There’s a simple formula you can use that will help you figure out if you’ll be paying more annually on car payments vs. car repairs. Say you spend $500 a month on your car payment. That would equal $6,000 dollars a year spent on a new car. Now, calculate how many times a year you get work done on your current car. If you had to bring your car into the shop, say 5 times in one year, and those repairs tallied up to $4,000, then it’s possible that you could decide that it’s just worth it to spend the extra $2,000 and get a newer car.
Another factor that goes into this is your own ability with fixing cars. If you can fix all the problems that your car has then it could be a wise decision to keep it for a little longer and save more for the eventual time that you must purchase a new car.
Safety and Convenience
If you have an older car it’s likely you don’t have many of the great safety and convenience features new cars have. Things such as a backup camera, curtain airbags, electronic stability control (ESC) and forward-collision warning make a huge difference in avoiding catastrophe. If your current vehicle has none of these, then maybe it’s time for an upgrade.
Something that isn’t as important as safety but is still desirable is convenience features. Features such as bluetooth, heated seats, multi-zone climate control, and keyless entry sound frivolous and unnecessary, but they really do make your car experience more enjoyable.
Purchasing a new car is a major life decision, and shouldn’t be made without investing a lot of thought. Be sure to consider all the factors, such as your lifestyle, your needs, and, mostly importantly, your finances, before making the big decision.