When you're deciding whether or not to get a new vehicle, the cost of the option you pick may be the big deciding factor. Here are some of the costs that come along with each decision.
Costs of Keeping an Old Vehicle
The biggest cost that you will have is probably upkeep for an older vehicle. You may find yourself going into the auto repair shop with increasing frequency. A radiator here, a timing belt there, and you might find yourself spending more money on a yearly basis to keep your old car than you would to trade up.
Safety may also be a bigger risk and cost when you decide to keep driving an older car. If your car is on its last legs, the handling may not be in top shape, which leads to a greater risk for accidents. When you lose control of your car during an accident, the damage and medical costs may also be higher.
Another thing to consider is fuel performance. That's a top concern with manufacturers, and each year's models have tended to outperform the last year's model in miles per gallon. If your car is 5 to 10 years old, that's a lot of time for improvement since you last purchased a vehicle.
There are also costs in terms of what amenities you're missing out on with an older vehicle. You could be missing out on the better handling, comfort, and experience of newer cars for sale. For instance, you may not be able to hook up certain apps or GPS. And if you haven't had your older car detailed, then the fabric and lining may be worn and uncomfortable to sit on. While perks are harder to include in a purely financial decision about whether or not to get rid of your old car, these amenities are something to keep in mind when you're deciding on the cutoff line for buying a new car.
Costs of Buying a New Vehicle
On the other hand, the costs of buying a new vehicle can add up too. There's the cost of the purchase or loan, plus interest. Your auto insurance and car registration rates might also increase.
You might save some money on all of these by buying used cars for sale that are a few years old; it will save on the depreciation of the vehicle and provide the benefits of good conditioning without such a steep price tag. In the end, it will often come down to finding the right deal at your car dealership and being able to afford the costs of financing your new vehicle.