The average number of years that people keep their cars has increased, especially since the recession when people were hesitant (or unable) to upgrade their vehicles. There are lots of people who take pride in their older rides and plan on driving them “into the ground.”
But keeping an older car is only a good decision if you do it for the right reasons. Many cars can last years if they’re properly taken care of. But if you’re keeping your car for any of the following terrible reasons, you might be making a mistake:
- You would rather pay for repairs
Some people think that paying for repairs is cheaper than getting a new or used car. Sometimes this is true, but in many cases, it isn’t, especially if the repairs are higher-ticket items or they become more and more frequent every year. It’s always a good idea to keep track of how much you’re spending on repairs and then looking at it as an annual figure and comparing it to the cost or payments on a newer vehicle. You might be surprised.
- You think that you can’t afford something newer
This is obviously a real concern for many people who choose to keep an older car because they don’t think they can afford a newer one. In reality, it’s very unlikely to be the case. There are so many financing and leasing options available these days that almost anyone who is employed can figure out a way to afford a vehicle. Of course, your credit score will play a role in getting you approved.
- You think it’s safer
Some people are under the false belief that older vehicles are safer because they’re “heavier” or less complex. In reality, the opposite is true. Newer vehicles are safer than ever with advanced technology and design upgrades that produce safer and safer vehicles every year. Traffic fatalities have also been steadily decreasing as a result of these improvements. So arguing that an older vehicle is somehow more likely to keep you safe is a terrible excuse.
- You believe “they don’t make vehicles like they used to”
Of course, this can be a very subjective thing to figure out, but assuming that new vehicles are more poorly designed or built than in previous years isn’t a statement of fact. Many vehicles produced today or in recent years have potentially decades of drivability in their future. You might not like more recent vehicle designs (which is perfectly ok), but cars are becoming more, not less reliable every single year.
- You don’t want to go through the process of buying something newer
Many people don’t enjoy the car buying process and allow their anxiety about it to keep them from getting a newer vehicle. A great way to solve this problem is by working with the right salesperson. A conscientious salesperson will help guide you through the process and make buying a new or used car a pain-free and enjoyable process. So don’t let the distaste for buying a vehicle keep you in an old car that you don’t want anymore.