I Want a New Vehicle. Or Do I? (Vehicle Maintenance Payoffs)
Posted in Inspection on May 23, 2021
Spring is a peak season for vehicle sales; companies aggressively market new models and offer all sorts of incentives. So you may be tempted to buy a shiny new beauty. But should you?
If you've regularly maintained the vehicle you're driving now, you probably don't NEED a new one. Even if your current one needs some repairs, how do those costs compare to what you'd spend on a new vehicle?
A brand new vehicle starts to depreciate the second you drive it off the lot. How much? Experts say you'll lose half of its value during the first 5 years of owning a new vehicle. So if you pay $30,000 for a new one, you'll lose $15,000 in 5 years. That's a lot.
If you have paid off your current vehicle, think of having to start making car payments again. Let's say your new payment would be $350 a month. Bet you can think of a lot of things you can buy with an extra $350 a month.
Many considering a new vehicle don't factor how much their insurance and license tag fees will increase. You may save yourself hundreds of dollars in insurance and license tag fees every year if you keep your old vehicle.
That gets us back to the original question. Do you need a new vehicle? Reliability and durability of most models have made dramatic improvements in the last couple of decades. It's not unusual for a vehicle to reliably reach the 200,000 mile/325,000 km mark these days. That's due to new engineering in powertrains, corrosion protection and lubricants.
The best bet to keeping a vehicle on the road longer is scheduled, regular maintenance and inspection. Replacing parts before they fail is often cheaper than waiting till they do fail; frequently that prevents a damaging domino effect that affects other systems in the vehicle. Finding a service facility you can trust and developing a relationship with that facility ensures your scheduled service and maintenance will be done correctly, minimizing breakdowns.
Sure, at some point you may find you need a big repair that will cost more than your vehicle is worth, or rust will destroy vital components. But it's wise to use reason rather than emotion when you're making any decision about your vehicle, and sticking with your current one could be the most sensible choice.