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5 Tips to Help You Decide if it’s Time to Buy A New Car

Jul 09, 2018

If you're wondering if it's time to buy a new car, there are a few key factors that can help guide your decision:

  1. 1. Life changes.
  2. 2. When maintenance costs exceed monthly payments. 
  3. 3. Your finances. 
  4. 4. Vehicle safety. 
  5. 5. Out of date technology. 

Read on to learn more:

We all know that buying a new car is a life decision that isn’t usually taken lightly. Whether you’re the type of person who is hesitant to say goodbye to your precious vehicle that has become part of the family (even though it’s practically falling apart) or you’re the type of person who is always eager to switch out your car for the latest and greatest, it can be a challenge to decide if it really is the right time is to start shopping for a new vehicle.

While it’s difficult to be 100% confident that it’s time to trade in your current model, there are a few warning signs that you can keep an eye out for. Here are our tips for identifying when it’s time to buy a new car.

1. Life Changes

Life changes can be very exciting, whether it’s starting a family, moving to a new job or relocating to a new city. And sometimes when your life changes so dramatically, your transportation needs will change as a result.

For example, if you need more room in your vehicle to fit in new family members or if you’re moving to a big city and need a more compact vehicle for navigating the streets, these are recognizable signs it may be time to switch your vehicle to a new model that suits your new lifestyle.

If your current vehicle isn’t ideal for your new way of life, but is still operating well, you may want to look into trading it in instead of selling it as a used car. Trading in your vehicle can also help you save on the amount of tax you have to pay for your next car, as the money you’ll receive for trading in your car will be deducted from the price of a new vehicle, cutting overall costs. If you’re interested in knowing the trade-in value of your car, visit our trade-in value estimate tool to see how much it is worth today.

Of course, the best way to find out the concrete dollar amount is to go into your local dealership to consult with an expert. If you’re ready to take the next step for trading in your car, you can find the nearest Toyota dealership.

2. When maintenance costs exceed monthly payments

It’s unfortunate, but it’s true: repairs are a necessary part of vehicle ownership. Even knowing this though, it can be stressful to watch the price of fixes climb rapidly as your car gets older and more wear & tear is put on it.

For some people, it can reach the point where the maintenance costs of keeping your car running starts to closely mirror the monthly installments you’re paying just to own it. When this happens, it may be time to cave and buy a new vehicle that will require less ongoing maintenance to help you cut expenses. Unless repairs are small, infrequent or will sustain your car for a long period of time, you may want to start investigating a new car that will be more worthwhile for your dollar.

Sounds a little familiar, but don’t know where to start? If you’re interested in learning more about which vehicles are on the market, you can compare our cars, trucks, hybrids and SUVs side-by-side with competitors on our website to get a sense of how our vehicles stack up.

If you’re outright sick of paying for extensive repairs and already have an idea of the Toyota vehicle you’re looking for, skip ahead and start building and pricing out your new model here.

3. Your finances

While sometimes we want a new car, unfortunately our bank accounts may not necessarily agree. When you’re looking to buy or lease a new vehicle, it’s always preferable if your finances are stable and you’re confident that buying a car won’t put you at risk of being in debt. Before you start car shopping, it’s recommended to check your credit score, consider the stability of your current employment and review your current monthly bills & payments to see if you can afford this purchase. If you are concerned, you could consider discussing loan options with your bank in order to support your purchase.

Before you make a decision about purchasing or leasing a new car, it’s important to remember that newer vehicles depreciate in value within the first few years of ownership and resale value does typically decline. On the flip side though, it’s a purchase that could ultimately save you money if you opt for a vehicle that is more fuel efficient than your current car and you’ve noticed that you’re wasting a significant chunk of your monthly budget on gas. Take a look at how much gas you’re spending and evaluate how much money you could save by using a hybrid vehicle to determine if this change could help you to save on gas.

4. Vehicle Safety

Your safety is important and it isn’t worth holding on to a potentially unsafe vehicle if it could put you and your loved ones at risk. If your vehicle doesn’t have certain safety features, including curtain air bags, a pre-collision system, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and a birds eye view camera, it may be time to switch to a safer vehicle. These features are particularly worthwhile if you have small children who will be travelling with you frequently, as they help to avoid accidents and keep your loved ones safe from harm.

Want to learn more about safety technology available today? With new safety suites like Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), drivers and passengers have never felt more secure.

5. Out of Date Technology

We’ll admit that while it’s not an absolute must-have, entertainment and communication needs are things to consider when you’re thinking of buying a new car. If you are frequently distracted by technology and entertainment while driving, you might want to consider buying a new model with more advanced options like Bluetooth hands-free capabilities, built-in navigation and voice commands.

Features like Apple CarPlay, a smart and safe way to use your iPhone when driving your car, can help keep you focused on the road ahead and avoid unnecessary distractions.  If you’re not an iPhone user, you may be interested in Toyota Entune 3.0,a suite of smart apps and connected services from music streaming to navigation, that also help makes driving more convenient and enjoyable.

Ready to buy a new car? You can learn more about our vehicles or find a dealership near you by visiting our website.