This is a question I am often asked. The answer can be a little tricky, though.
Every car buyer has different cycles for purchasing vehicles. There are those who have to own the newest technology, style and models. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who choose to purchase a new vehicle once their old one no longer works. Most people purchase a new vehicle somewhere in between. There are a couple ways to figure out when the best time to buy is.
New vehicles come with a “bumper-to-bumper” and a “powertrain” warranty. Cost of ownership means the total amount that is spent while driving the vehicle. Gas, oil changes, repairs and monthly payments are all added together to create your cost of ownership. When you own a vehicle that falls under some kind of warranty, your cost of ownership is going to be minimal. For that reason, most people like owning a car that’s under warranty. If you’re one of those people, you may want to consider trading in your vehicle just before the warranty runs out. This allows consumers to avoid spending a lot of money on repairs or replacements, including tires, brakes and batteries.
People who keep a vehicle for an extended period of time may not want or need to purchase a vehicle every few years. A buyer has to consider when the cost of ownership outweighs the value of the vehicle. If your vehicle needs thousands of dollars worth of repairs to keep it up and running, it may be time to trade it in. This is especially true when the vehicle isn’t worth much more than a couple thousand dollars.