I came across a dilemma that you probably have come across at one point in your life. Should I trade in my car for a new one? Well, the answer isn’t that simple because there’s a number of factors to consider. I have a 12 year old SUV with 180K miles and I need new tires which will cost me approximately $1000. When my car reaches 200K miles, I’m going to have to spend another $1000 to change the timing belt. The question I keep asking myself is whether I want to continue to keep fixing this old car. To buy or not to buy.
I’m going to list out the pros, cons, and reasonings that have gone through my mind. Some of the logic may hit home with you and some may not. One note on this, I haven’t had any major issues with this car. I maintain my car regularly and the condition is great.
Reasons To Keep The Car
This car is paid off and it’s been paid off for 7 years. If you know the feeling of making your final car payment, you know it’s one of those moments of joy, relief, and “it’s about time” feeling. Adding a 5 year loan and starting monthly car payments will set me back on my journey to early retirement.
I’m looking to spend $2000 in the near future for tires and timing belt change. What is this amount compared to a, let’s say, $40K or $50K new car which comes to more than $700 or $800 monthly payment? When you compare spending $2000 or $40,000, $2000 looks more appealing.
With COVID-19, I’ve been fortunate to work from home. This means I haven’t been driving much and I’m not putting as many miles on the car. My logic is that the car will probably last me even longer. The longer this car will last me, the longer it keeps me from having a car payment.
Reasons To Get A New Car
C’mon, who wouldn’t want a new car? The technology is so much better. The ride is more smoother, quieter, and comfortable. Safety features are probably better. Newer cars are likely more environmental friendly and fuel efficient. Probably more reliable and cooler looking.
If you’re in the market for an electric car, you could get a tax credit. Plus, right now could be one of the best times to buy one. The months of October, November and December are the best time of year to buy a car. If your car is breaking down constantly and you’re constantly putting money to fix it, then it might be time.
Ok, so there’s more bells and whistles with newer cars that definitely make it convincing and being the end of the year, even more appealing to get a deal. With all factors considering, it just makes sense financially to keep the old car. Tacking on a $40K or $50K loan is a set back and delays my goal for early retirement. My focus on financial independence steers me towards this decision. You may have other preferences or goals that would steer you the other way which is ok. Every situation is different and everyone’s priorities are not the same. What similar decisions do you have to make? If you are interested in following my journey, email subscribe to get alerts of latest posts or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
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