When is it time to upgrade your car?

Posted by Ben Davidson about 1 years ago

While consumers are now upgrading mobile phones and other connected devices on a bi-annual basis, a recent study by Time noted that this is usually not the case with vehicles. It found that car owners are planning to keep theirs for at least ten years, while the average car on the road is more than a decade old. That suggests the average consumer is more concerned with repairs and maintenance rather than buying new, but there is a range of factors to consider when making a decision.

Wear and tear costs

Repairing a car is usually cheaper than buying a new one, but you need to weigh up the potential long-term costs carefully as numerous repairs can be expensive. Excessive wear and tear can cause hoses and rubber belts to crack, electrical parts to fail and rotors to warp, and it is inevitable that axle boots, brake rotors, and belts will need replacing eventually. Some repairs cost more than others. For example, the timing belt often needs replacing after 70,000 miles costing car owners up to $1,000 because it is often included in a water pump and drive belt replacement package.

Whether to repair or not

Problems with wear and tear and fuel efficiency are likely to surface when there are 90,000 miles on the clock and upwards, so you will be faced with a decision about the future of your car at this point. A great method for arriving at a quick decision is to calculate the total repair costs and compare it with the value of the vehicle. If the cost is greater, you should think about upgrading to a new car as the costs associated with repairs and maintenance are no longer worthwhile unless you have a sentimental attachment to the vehicle or want to hand it down to another member of the family. 


Depreciation is another major factor to consider and is perhaps the strongest argument for trading up quickly and buying new cars. “There isn’t a particular age where the depreciation and value curves combine at their most beneficial,” CAP used price guide forecasting editor, Dylan Setter says. “Cars do most of their depreciating in the first nine months. But if you’re looking to sell a car to trade up, you want to sell it when it’s relatively new because the younger a car is, the more it’s worth.” This advice suggests that preempting wear and tear and looking to recycle cars more quickly may be best overall. 

Mileage timeline

As noted earlier, problems begin to manifest around 70,000 miles, but the need for a new timing belt may not be the only repair needed at this stage. You may have to budget for new brakes and tires too. If you don’t want to sink any money into maintenance, then you should consider selling before this stage is reached. The next major milestone is 100,000 miles on the clock, and you can expect your car to drop in value significantly after that. 

How to upgrade

If you have finally decided to upgrade, you can explore the financing options available to you. Whether you have your eye on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI, which is expected to retail under $40,000 in Canada, or prefer an SUV such as the Ford Escape, you will need to consider funding and whether you want to buy outright or secure a loan. A great option for Canadians is auto loans because it is possible to get same day approval and competitive interest rates and access a 30-day vehicle exchange program.

Buying used

If you plan on buying a used car, you must take more than mileage and age into account before purchasing. You obviously don’t want a vehicle with many miles on the clock, but you should also factor in the vehicle type, previous owners, and maintenance types. A vehicle with city miles is likely to be more susceptible to damage in the near future than one with highway miles, while a car with a previous fastidious owner taking care of issues as and when necessary is a better long-term prospect. 

Buying new

Depreciation is a key factor when buying new as a car worth $20,000 can go down in value by around $12,000 in five years and by as much as 25 percent in the first year. Buying new is best if you don’t want to consider any form of repairs in the foreseeable future. You will also be able to purchase a vehicle with the latest safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring, backup cameras, and electronic stability control.


Latest Articles

See All
  • Gift Yourself a Car This Christmas!
    Gift Yourself a Car This Christmas!

    December 17, 2018 - We are in the midst of the festive season and chances are that you have set your mind to purchasing gifts for your loved ones. This makes sense. We love to show our appreciation of our nearest and dearest by getting them bits and bobs that will make

  • Stay Safe on the Road this Winter
    Stay Safe on the Road this Winter

    December 17, 2018 - Driving in winter road conditions is a whole different ball game to driving on dry roads. There can be all sorts of problems, such as black ice that you do not see until it is too late, slippy roads because of snow or sleet and high winds that can bl

  • 15 Motoring Mistakes That No New Driver Can Afford To Make
    15 Motoring Mistakes That No New Driver Can Afford...

    December 10, 2018 - You’ve probably discovered this already during the learning to drive phase. Whether you’re a newly qualified road user or you’re still in the process of learning, the following 15 issues are all ones that should be avoided

  • Kids And Cars - Keep Them Happy In The Back Seats
    Kids And Cars - Keep Them Happy In The Back Seats

    December 7, 2018 - There are a few things that you can do to keep them even more comfortable in the back. In fact, you could even keep them a bit more entertained so they don’t end up so bored easily. Read on to find out more!

  • The Best Trucks For Going Off Road
    The Best Trucks For Going Off Road

    December 7, 2018 - They’re some of the most durable and exciting options out there for you, and there’s such a broad range of 4x4 and SUVs that you could choose from. If you know you do a lot of off roading, then this article is going to suit you even more, because we

  • Feeling Secure On The Road Is The Basis Of Good Driving
    Feeling Secure On The Road Is The Basis Of Good Dr...

    December 4, 2018 - Drive a considerable distance from point A to point B in your daily life, and you’ll likely agree that many examples of bad driving will likely show themselves to you. You might be cut off, or you might see someone subtly swerving from side to side,

  • Customising Your Vehicle to Stand Out from the Crowd
    Customising Your Vehicle to Stand Out from the Cro...

    December 4, 2018 - There are so many different practical factors that we take into account when we choose a vehicle of our own. We consider cost, finding something that falls within our budget. We consider safety, opting for vehicles that are up to standard. We . Final

  • How To Have A Safe Vacation
    How To Have A Safe Vacation

    December 4, 2018 - When it comes to heading off on vacation, you know that you’re always going to have a ton of things to think about. But most of the time, if you’re honest, you’ll know that things, like packing and getting your plans organized, are what monopolizes m

  • 2018 Abarth 124 Spider: Italian Passion meets Japanese Precision
    2018 Abarth 124 Spider: Italian Passion meets Japa...

    December 3, 2018 - Many of us view classic cars with rose-coloured glasses. We might tell ourselves how cars back then were built better, drove better, easier to work on and more enjoyable back then. There is, arguably, a grain of truth to it, but the reality is, livin

  • The Perfect Road Trip
    The Perfect Road Trip

    December 2, 2018 - So, perhaps it’s time to cut that weekend grocery drive out, and head out on a road trip - after all life is short, and there is a lot to see and do. While it might be nice to drive off into the sunset for a while, the chances are that isn’t going to

Share This!