No car can go its whole lifespan with nary a repair. Wear and tear are inevitable. Older vehicles may eventually need costlier fixes due to high mileage. At some point, you will wonder when is it time to let this vehicle go, and get another car, whether used or new. There is no straightforward answer, and ultimately it will come down to your own evaluation of the situation. Here are just a few points to consider.
What to Expect with Older Vehicles
As cars get older and log a lot of miles, certain repairs will be coming up the pike, regardless of how well you have maintained the vehicle over the years. When considering whether you should get a new car, keep this in mind. Around 100,000 miles, you may need a new timing belt, water pump and drive belts.
If your car is around this milestone, or will be approaching it soon, you will probably need to think about what you will do, whether you do any work or purchase car parts on your own, or bring the vehicle to the repair shop.
When to Consider Fixing it Up
In most cases, buying a new car is always preferable, but financially speaking is not always feasible. If things are really tight in the money department right now, most repairs are going to run you less than getting a new car when you factor in money down and the monthly payments. While it is always good to think long-term as far as what you are pouring into a car, new or used, sometimes the immediate financial situation takes precedence.
You could always go used, but depending on how old the car is, you may be inviting a whole new set of problems.
If you were planning on getting a new car a year or two down the line, it might be smarter to repair this one now rather than rushing into the purchase earlier than expected. You will have that extra time to save, and get your finances straight. If you are a bit sentimental about your car, and it is not totally on its way out, it might be good to fix it rather than give it up and feel bad about it.
When to Go New
If your car’s state is causing you a lot of anxiety, it might be time to consider getting a new one if it is in the cards money-wise. With a new car, or on that has been gently used, it will probably be at least a few years before you have to concern yourself with any major repair bills. If you just plain don’t feel good about your current car, it might be time to call it quits. Are you really frustrated dealing with it? Are you embarrassed? Do you have a gas cap that just won’t close, or an A/C that won’t turn on without you banging it with all your might? Do you not feel safe in your car, and want something with updated safety features?
Don’t Let Your Old Car Force Your Hand by Going Kaput
Buying a car, whether used or new, is something that should be done with careful consideration. Being rushed into shopping for one because your current car completely dies can put you at the mercy of aggressive salesmen; you feel pressured to get something fast and end up not making the best choice. Don’t let your car decide for you.