When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

Buying a Car

Many people want to change their automobile every year, but very few of us can afford to do so. Nowadays leasing options make getting a new car every year more realistic. But of course there are still people who prefer paying off a car in five or so years and being done with it.

After 10 years of using a car there came a dilemma: to buy a new car or to continue driving your used car. On the one hand, maintaining of that vehicle will cost you as much as it does to buy a new one. On the other, some lucky drivers have automobiles that work fine, as long as it is running properly (with working brakes, suspension, and other systems)and do not demand large investments there is no need to replace it.

If your car does not fit your needs, then by all means consider getting a new one. Take into account a number of other factors, including the following:

  • Your financial situation
  • Options for financing
  • Your vehicle needs, such as size, air conditioning, and safety
  • Other driving needs
  • Personal preference

Money Matters

There is no doubt, that in our mind we desire to buy a sport car like new Porsche or Ferrari, but these cars are not long term investment because of their need of permanent infusion of money. But a vehicle should really be viewed as a longer-term investment―a few years at least.

The major factor in determining whether it is time for a purchasing new vehicle or not is your financial situation. Of course you may dream about air conditioning, twenty-inch wheels, panoramic roof, cool sound system and other appliances but it might not be practical to replace your wheels.

If you are able to save up enough money for a good used car or a down payment on a new car or lease, you might be able to start thinking about a new vehicle. However, this should be a fairly substantial amount, either to ensure you are buying a quality used vehicle, or to get a better financing deal for your new or leased one.

If you saved up enough money for a down payment on a new car or lease, you might be able to start thinking about a new vehicle

There are certainly no hard and fast rules about how much you should spend, but at least $2,500 is a good starting point. Of course, you will be able to get a better used car, or a more expensive new or leased car, if you can come up with $5,000.

If you are unable to save up that much money―and it is by no means a small amount or easy to save―then you might be better off staying with the vehicle you have. When you do manage to start saving, then you can start thinking about buying a new car.

Depending on the condition of your existing vehicle, you might be able to sell it privately, or trade it in to help make a down payment on a new vehicle. Do not expect to get as much with a trade-in as you would with a private sale. However, selling a vehicle involves some work on your end, and it could worth your while to use your vehicle to trade up for a newer or different one from a dealer.

What Is the Car For?

The next thing to consider when contemplating a new or different car purchase is what you will be doing with the vehicle and how it will be utilized by you and your family. You might want a sports car, but will you be able to pick up the kids, carpool with your neighbor, or take the dogs camping with it?

Think about your needs and the available vehicles that might fit your situation. Also, you will need to ask yourself whether your existing vehicle is sufficient for your needs, and whether a newer one would be worth the cost and payments.

Time to Trade

Sometimes a new or different vehicle is less of a choice and more of a necessity. If an older vehicle requires extensive service and repairs, you must assess whether you would be better off saving that money to put toward a new purchase. You might also find that your family, work, or other situation has changed your vehicle and driving needs, so this may be a good time to trade or add a vehicle.

A vehicle can be a significant part of our lives. We spend a lot of time in them and depend on them to get us where we need to be. Cars provide freedom like nothing else can. Whatever your decision, think about the long-term implications and whether you really will be better off with another vehicle.

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