The car you currently drive has gotten you through some tough times, but you’re thinking it might be time for an upgrade. Aside from the occasional ding and scrape, there’s nothing wrong with your current ride, but it doesn’t have all the cool, up-to-date features that you see in most modern cars. You’re wondering whether it would make more sense to give your car a makeover or trade it in for a new one. To maintain or trade? That is the question.
Here are a few things to consider while determining whether you should keep or trade in your car:
Given the gradual rise in fuel costs, it’s important to consider how many miles per gallon (mpg) your current car uses in comparison with the car you want to buy. You can refer to this chart to help you compare and determine whether you’d be spending or saving more on fuel if you keep or trade in your car. In addition to fuel cost, it’s also wise to consider how much money you’re spending a year on car repairs. According to ConsumerReports.org, if your annual repair bills exceed a year’s worth of car payments, it might be time to start shopping for a new car. The article also suggests paying attention to how much value the new car will lose, since cars generally depreciate significantly over the first few years of ownership.
Another key factor to consider is the safety conditions of your current vehicle versus purchasing a new or used car. Does your car have electronic stability control and curtain air bags? How about a back-up camera or forward-collision warning? Consumer Reports refers to these features as safety basics, so if your current car doesn’t have them, you may want to consider getting a newer model that does.
USB ports and Bluetooth capability are standard connectivity features that are generally found in newer vehicles. More advanced features include voice command capabilities, built-in navigation and the ability to use integrated music apps such as Pandora or Spotify. These simplified connectivity features help reduce distractions while driving on the road. If your current car doesn’t have these features, you can either get an aftermarket addition installed or shop around for a car that already comes with the features you desire.