A common question asked by many car owners is, “How often should I buy a new car?”
It depends on your relationship with your car. How attached are you to the car? Maybe you feel that it was a great buy, in which case you should be looking at great insurance and maybe a personal loan to cover a new maintenance plan. However, it also depends on what you want out of the vehicle.
There is no real set time to buy a new car but if you want to drive the newest sleek machine on the market, you should trade up approximately every two years. That’s generally when the new or updated models are making their debuts and older stock is being sold for less.
However, if you want to change vehicles at intervals there are several factors that will influence your decision on when to purchase.
Do you want a car to represent your brand or business? Maybe you want to keep upgrading for those new safety or entertainment features that you feel is essential for your family car.
Depreciation overtakes resale value. A car’s purchase price naturally dips the moment it is driven off the showroom floor; an unfortunate fact. Three years is about the time when the resale value of a new car starts to slide; it’s particularly steep in the first year but the dropping value starts to plateau in the second year. The third year is when the resale value starts feeling the impact. Sales professionals advise that you should look at purchasing a new vehicle when the value of your current vehicle starts depreciating and losing its resale value.
However, there are several factors that can positively influence the resale, such as: make and model, economy, brand, popularity of vehicle, warranty, etc. If you decide to go this route, then consult a Car Buyers Guide for the next steps.
Warranty expiration. If you’re not interested in paying for parts and fixtures on a car that’s older than five years then you should consider a new car when your current vehicle’s maintenance plan expires. Many feel that if they are going to pay for a new warranty they might as well do it on a new car.
If you feel your current car is in perfectly good condition and can easily go another five years, then you can buy a new warranty plan to ensure you don’t have to fund any potential breakdowns, parts and unforeseen mishaps.
How you choose to live your life can play a major role in your car buying time line. If you have children you’ll no doubt be looking at upgrading to a bigger car every few years as the back seat passengers grow ever larger every day until they day they no longer rely on you. At that point you may decide it’s time to treat yourself to that sporty number or the one that lets you hit the open road.