Do you ever have car envy? Maybe a shiny new vehicle caught your eye the other day and now you can’t stop thinking about upgrading.
Before you head to the lot and make an impulsive decision, consider whether it’s really time for a new ride. Here’s what to keep in mind:
Think About Safety
A safe car is a valuable investment. New vehicles offer a variety of features to help reduce risks and better protect your family. If you don’t feel safe on the road with your current car, it makes sense to trade up for the benefit of having curtain air bags, backup cameras, blind spot assistance and more.
Consider the Costs
You’ll also need to ask the basic question: How much will it cost? Calculate how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a car payment and don’t forget to include any taxes and interest fees.
You also need to estimate insurance costs. Newer cars are more valuable, which means your premium will likely increase. And remember that the type of car is also a factor. You’ll probably see your rates rise quite a bit if you buy a flashy sports car, but not so much if you choose a traditional family vehicle.
On the other hand, if you’re putting a lot of money into your existing car for repairs and maintenance, it’s costing you more than it should. And are you currently getting great gas mileage, or will buying a more efficient car allow you to save some money at the pump?
You’ll know it’s time to buy a new car when you’re putting too much money into your old vehicle or you no longer feel safe in it. When it’s more of a “need” than a “want,” it’s probably time to take the plunge.
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