Having spent more than a decade on the car dealership floor talking to hundreds and possibly thousands of people over the years, I am often asked for my opinion as to when is the best time to buy a new car.
Purchasing a new vehicle can be both an exciting and extremely stressful experience. And when you consider that it’s the second largest purchase (second to our house) it’s no wonder that many of us become anxious as we consider our options.
Here are some things to think about that will help you decide whether it’s time to take the plunge into a new (or newer) car.
1) Is my current vehicle reliable ?
It goes without saying that if you can’t count on your car to take you from point A to point B, you have a problem ! There are only so many times you can tell your boss that you’re late because you had car trouble. I also don’t think your youngster will appreciate being the last one picked up after school because your car is dead on the side of the road.
Keep in mind that many car problems can easily be fixed with a visit to a qualified mechanic but be forewarned if you need major work done not to spend an amount that is disproportionate to the value of your vehicle. You could just end up throwing good money after bad if an aging vehicle requires constant repairs.
2) Is my current vehicle safe ?
The safety of vehicles has increased immensely over the past decade. Not only are current vehicles built with crumple zones throughout to protect the occupants in the event of a collision, but new technology helps protect against driver error. Features such as back up cameras, blind spot detecting, collision warning systems, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control are a few that are now available to the consumer.
3) Does my car suit my needs and my lifestyle ?
This point brings to mind a young couple I sold a vehicle to a few years ago. They had purchased a roomy SUV. They absolutely loved their SUV which was stylish and had great off-roading capabilities while being able to accommodate their 2 young children’s’ car seats. Fast forward a year and this 4 member family is now a 6 member family with the unexpected arrival of twins ! Their beloved SUV can no longer seat all the family members.
Sometimes it’s necessary to trade in a perfectly good vehicle if it no longer suits your needs. Has your family grown ? Have you purchased a trailer that your car won’t tow ? Have you moved to a rural area and now require 4 wheel drive ? Are you now commuting longer distances a need a more fuel-efficient vehicle?
4) Do I like my car ?
Practicality aside, you should love what you drive. Car manufacturers spend millions of dollars for new product development to entice consumers. Whether it’s by tweaking the motor of a sports car to produce more horsepower or reappointing a sedan with irresistible luxury finishes, there is always something new and improved.
At the end of the day you might just WANT that new car because you like it more than what you’re driving… and that’s OK too !