How to Know When to Get a New Car

Car Driver

Have you been driving the same car for years and aren’t sure if it’s time to say goodbye for good? Depending on the type of car you have and how well it has been maintained, it will likely last for many years. But there are many factors to consider when deciding to buy a new car. 

Here are five questions to ask yourself before deciding when to get a new car: 

1. How Long Do Other Car Owners Keep Their Cars?   

By doing research, you can find information on the longevity of your own car based on the experiences of other car owners. A study by iSeeCars found the average length of time vehicles are kept is 8.4 years. They also found that the Toyota Land Cruiser is the car people keep the longest, for 11.4 years on average. In addition to Land Cruisers being reliable and capable off-road SUVs,  iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly said, “the current generation of the iconic Toyota Land Cruiser dates back to 2008, and has only had a mild refresh in 2016,” which keeps them from looking dated. Because of this, it is the go-to car for reliability and longevity. 

2. Does the Car Brand Make Long Lasting Cars?  

Knowing which brands are known to make the most long lasting cars will not only help you determine if your car is nearing the end of its life based on its manufacturer, but it could even help you decide on your next car. iSeeCars conducted a study on car longevity by brand and considered the longest lasting cars to be the ones with the highest chance of reaching 200,000 miles or more. 

On average, cars are driven 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year, and anything higher is considered high-mileage. The life expectancy of most well-maintained cars is around 200,000 miles. While the data from other car owners may help you make an informed decision, checking the mileage of your own car will be a strong determinant. For example, while it may take you 8 years to reach 200,000 miles, it could take someone else 12 years, so you should always do research on your own car too. 

3. How Well Have I Maintained My Car Over the Years? 

While buying a car from a reliable manufacturer will contribute to your car’s longevity, your car’s lifespan still depends on it being well maintained. If you have overlooked signs that your car needs maintenance, it may deteriorate faster than a well-maintained car. Check your engine light, oil light, tire pressure, and for unusual noises and warning lights to determine if your car currently needs to be serviced

AAA recommends that you have your car serviced every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Skipping maintenance on seemingly small tasks like oil changes, dirty filters, and old spark plugs can cause even more damage. If your car is stalling, having difficulty starting the engine, experiencing reduced fuel mileage, or making strange noises, these signs, along with many others, could mean your car is on its way to breaking down for good. 

4. What Is My Car Worth? 

With each passing mile, the value of your car depreciates. Even if it still seems to be working well, it could be worth little when trying to sell. Many factors will contribute to the value of your car, including age, mileage, cosmetic and mechanical condition, and even location and color. Sites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds are able to determine the value of your car simply by gathering data from your car’s VIN or license plate number and from some car condition questions. 

5. Is My Current Car Costing Me More Than It’s Worth?   

As your car gets older, expensive repairs can start piling up. Putting money into repairs to try and stretch out the remaining miles on a car that has plummeted in value might not be worth it. When repairs and maintenance are costing you more than the actual dollar amount that the car is currently worth, you should take that as a sure sign that it’s time to replace your car

You should also consider the fuel efficiency of your car. The older the car, the less fuel-efficient it will likely be. Pay attention to how your car holds gas over time to see if you notice a deterioration in the miles per gallon. Depending on how many miles a gallon your current car takes, there may be another car out there that can get you farther for less. 

Next Steps To Get a New Car

If you’re interested in learning more about your car’s current condition, ask your auto technician to run a SureSale report. You’ll get more insight into the longevity and potential value of your car, so you can make the right call for you, about when it’s the right time to sell your car and get a new car.