Whether to hang on to that old set of wheels or trade it in for something newer is a dilemma all car owners face sooner or later. You might be tempted to hang on to your vehicle and try to squeeze a few more miles out of it to avoid the hassle and expense of a acquiring a new car. However, there are times when trading it in may be the better option.
Having a vehicle that constantly breaks down is, at best, an inconvenience. At worst, it can impact your ability to earn a living, and even be a danger if a breakdown occurs on a congested roadway. If you frequently need to take the car to the garage, you're also probably spending a fortune in repair bills. Consequently, trading it in for a more reliable model can actually be a more cost-effective financial strategy, especially if the climbing cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle's value.
That two-seat sports coupe may have been fine when you were single, but it can make comfortably transporting a spouse, a new child and a dog quite a challenge. Safety is also more of a concern when you have the well-being of others to consider. Having family responsibilities can require living on a tight budget, making purchasing an additional vehicle an impractical option. In this case, trading in your small vehicle for a minivan, sedan, station wagon or SUV makes perfect sense.
Trading in your high-mileage vehicle for a newer model can be a proactive approach to avoiding future problems. According to the cars website Edmunds.com, more expensive repair issues, such as faulty timing belts, typically begin to crop up around the 90,000 to 120,000-mile mark, so this can be a good time to consider making a change. In addition to the greater likelihood of costly repairs, holding on to the car means you'll receive less for it when trading can't be put off any longer.
Trading in that clunker for a new vehicle can just make you feel better. You'll no longer have to deal with the embarrassment of pulling into your driveway in your dilapidated ride while the neighbors are out. If you work in an occupation such as sales where image is important, you'll probably feel more confident when taking clients to lunch or arriving at their place of business. But before making the trade, be sure there's room in your household budget for taking on car payments and additional insurance costs.
- Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images