Is It the Right Time to Replace My Car?

Car salesman handing over the keys for a new car to a young businessman

According to Consumer Reports, the average life expectancy of a new car is around 8 years or 150,000 in mileage, while well-built and well-maintained ones could last for almost twice as long (15 years or 300,000 miles). If your old Chevy sedan has lasted a decade, then you’re surely someone who knows how to properly take care of a vehicle. However, eventually, there will come a time that you’ll want to replace your trusty Chevy sedan for that brand new Skoda you’ve had your eye on for a while now. But the question remains, when is the right time?

There are a lot of considerations and signs you’ll need to watch out for before making the big decision of getting a new vehicle; after all, vehicles do cost a considerable amount of money. As such, we’ll be taking a look at things you’d want to consider prior to buying a new car:

Safety (and Reliability) First

Your primary consideration before replacing your current vehicle is to determine whether or not it’s still safe and reliable to drive. Your old car may have been one of the most durable, reliable, and safe car when it first came out, but the years of use eventually leads to irreparable (or at least costly to repair) wear and tear. If your current vehicle frequently breaks down or has constant issues in steering, braking, and shifting gears despite regular (or more than regular) repairs and preventive maintenance, take it as a huge sign that your car is ready for retirement.

Your Car’s Maintenance and Repair Cost VS Its Value

Your current car may have some sentimental value to you, perhaps it’s the first car you ever owned or the one you’ve used in the early years of marriage and drove your kids to and from school in it. However, you shouldn’t let that get in the way of your decision. Try to recall how much you’ve recently paid for in terms of parts, repairs, and materials just to keep your car running for the previous years. Even small repairs such as replacing parts here and there can stack up. Additionally, you’ll also need to consider taking a look at potential future repairs. Simply put, if you’re going to pay for more than half of your vehicle’s current value just to keep it running, you’re better off using that amount for the down payment of a new car.

Finances

Cars are oftentimes the largest purchase you’ll be making, second only to your house, which is why you’ll definitely want to consider the current state of your finances. While it would be a huge help for you to sell your old vehicle (after determining its current value), it may or may not be able to cover the down payment of your new car (depending on its brand and model, as well as market conditions). That said, you’ll want to determine if you have enough for the down payment and if your credit score and earning capacity allows you to get a decent car loan which you’ll be able to pay for.

Family and Professional Consideration

Car for family use

This is more of a bonus, but there’s no question that your profession and your family can be big factors in deciding to get a new car. For one, your current vehicle might have been perfect for a family of four but has recently become quite cramped (and frankly, a safety hazard) for 5. So getting a brand new Skoda SUV or a similar car with more seating capacity. Plus, older cars may not safety features as newer cards now have — which is a huge requirement when you’re driving with kids.

Conclusion

It’s not an easy decision to let go of a car you’ve had for years, but considering these factors can definitely help you out in making the choice to get a new one a lot easier.