When should I replace my old car?


#1

I have a car that’s 8 years old and a friend is recommending that I buy a new one because it’ll be more comfortable to drive and I will get a good resale value on it. My car is in very good condition, I haven’t had a big repair yet and I feel that I can make it run for another 4 to 5 years without any major problems. Is it cheaper in the long run to buy a new car now or to wait for a few years more to do so? Any insight on this will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


#2

Replace you ‘‘OLD’’ car ???
Your car’s not old.

I still have my '79
Keep it.


#3

keep it. his logic is not inclusive of all of your “personal” variables. generally if you have a good car without issues, it is more cost effective to continue to own vs replace. depreciation and the trade it gouging should tell you this.


#4

Until you car starts needing major repairs it is typically cheaper to keep it. Your friend is incorrect. If you need or want a new car that’s fine though. I keep mine 12 - 15 years typically.


#5

Agree with others; KEEP IT! Your friend is either very rich, very insecure or just plain uninformed about cars. A good 10 year old Japanese car is better (more reliable) than a new US car of 15 years a go. A well maintained car like yours is good for at least another 5-7 years, as others will testify. And the driving gets cheaper all the time until the car is simply worn out.

What does your friend drive and how often does he trade cars? Some European makes are so expensive to fix that the owners usually trade when the warranty runs out.

“Old” used to be 8 years, now it’s 12-15 years for the better makes.


#6

Year make model maintenance history and mileage would be helpful.


#7

It’s not years alone but condition, miles and make. If you have a brand with a history of problems at your mileage, I would dump it ASAP. If there are examples of your car that go ten to fifteen years and 150 k miles with little trouble, keep it.

But, if you are just looking for an excuse to trade, you don’t need one. Trace it in, buy a new just for our economy. I had a friend who would trade very two years just for the change. It’s a lot less expensive then trading your spouse and houses. So, if you can afford it, use whatever excuse you want and trade as early as you wish.


#8

it’s often said on here that comfort is a personal thing. Someone may be comfortable driving a Miata, while others get leg/back/knee pain just thinking about getting into one.

One thing to think about is, even though your car runs great now, it might not hurt to go around kicking tires every now and again, just to see what’s what. This way, if something bad happens, you have a good idea of what you liked when it comes time to replace it.
The worst time to shop for a car is when you need one; I think salesmen are trained to smell this when a customer walks in the door.


#9

I usually go 8 to 10 years but might buy a toy in between. Now that I am retired I might go longer. I’m at 42 Months and 26,000 miles with a couple of 1,000 mile round trips included.


#10

Your friend is also not the one on the hook financially over that improved ride in a new car.
Ask if they will co-sign the loan papers…


#11

If your car is mechanically sound and properly maintained you should get several more years of good service from it, and will be financially ahead if you keep driving it. But you can’t make a decision of this kind just on a financial basis. Do you still like it? Is it still comfortable? Does is still suit your needs? These are intangibles that only you can decide.

One of my regular customers recently came in with a different car. She previously had a well-maintained and reliable 2000 Subaru. Apparently the car was totaled in a wreck. I told her I was sorry that she was out a good car. She said “You know, I’ve been driving the same damn car for 13 years and I was tired of it. I’m glad to have something new.”


#12

An 8 year old car is just getting started by my family’s standards (21 years for the Datsun 510,19 years for the Mazda Protoge, 18 years for the Grand Voyager) if you start having to fix something every month or so then consider trading up but otherwise just keep driving it and maybe start putting some money aside for when you do need to replace it.


#13

I agree with the others. 8 years is a little too soon to trade in, at least in my opinion.


#14

If you are going to go by economics, it is NEVER cheaper to buy a new car than to fix an old one - EXCEPT when it comes to body work.

But usually, it becomes a matter of frustration and pride. Me, I have no pride and will drive a car into the ground. It will look horrible, but I don’t care. I’m saving $$$$.


#15

Your friend is wrong. Drive your car until it needs major repairs or until the wheels fall off. That will be many years if you keep your vehicle properly maintained. Your friend is throwing away good money year after year with their philosophy.


#16

100% agree with @capriracer. Body damage is the great equalizer and can make a car unsafe and not worth fixing if too severe. Let me add though; if you just want a new car for any reason, like clothing, only you can decide what you want to wear on the highway !
In that case, any reason is valid if affordable. Heck, some of us go through expensive toys ( boats) for no good reason too. But, like most have said, it’s not financially sound to trade cars before thier time.


#17

Keep your car. It is nearly always cheaper to fix it than buy a new one. Even something very expensive like an transmission rebuild or serious engine repair is still only 5-7 new car payments to pay off. Drive it until corrosion or collision takes it away from you.

Additionally, when is come time to replace it, buy a 2 or 3 year old used car. You’ll only pay about 50% of the cost of new for a car with 80% of its life ahead of it!


#18

asemaster wrote:
If your car is mechanically sound and properly maintained you should get several more years of good service from it, and will be financially ahead if you keep driving it. But you can’t make a decision of this kind just on a financial basis. Do you still like it? Is it still comfortable? Does is still suit your needs? These are intangibles that only you can decide.

I agree with this, but I’ll add that reliability is a factor as well. If you want to minimize the risk of breaking down, a new car is better, of course.


#19

We have a 2003 Toyota 4Runner that has been meticulously maintained and a 2011 Toyota Sienna. We often take the 4Runner on the trip to visit our son and family of 350 miles (700 miles round trip) because I find the seats in the 4Runner more comfortable than the Sienna. If your eight year old car has been well maintained and not giving you problems, keep driving it. Your car has depreciated to the point that for the next several years, your cost per mile for depreciation will be less than the first years.


#20

My car’s 24 years old. It still does what I want it to do so why should I replace it. Depreciation kills you, especially those first few years, each year after that your car depreciates less and less each year.