Many of us spend most of our time in our cars, whether running errands, commuting, or driving to visit family. However, from dealing with the stresses of daily life and balancing a career, it’s easy to put off major purchases like buying a new car. Be mindful of the state of your vehicle, and don’t wait until it breaks down to buy a new one.

The Importance of a Reliable Vehicle

You need a reliable vehicle. While it doesn’t mean you should buy a brand-new car, it’s time to look into your options if you worry that your vehicle won’t hold up on a quick drive. Your car will require more frequent maintenance and repairs as it ages, which is expensive and time-consuming.

Safety is Your Priority

Most importantly, your car has to be safe. When you merge onto the highway and hit the accelerator, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting hurt or injuring someone else. Millions of people are injured on U.S. highways each year, and while that number isn’t entirely preventable, a well-running and reliable car will reduce your risk of an accident.

Remember, if you’re in an accident and it’s your fault, you’ll not only have to deal with being injured and potentially no longer having a vehicle, but you may be slapped with high legal expenses. Lawsuits after crashes are common and often happen when the injured party has to spend substantial money on their medical bills and cannot work. The money you think you’re saving by waiting to buy a new car will soon be gone if you’re legally responsible for someone else’s damages.

Assess Your Budget

If you’re worried you can’t afford a new car, begin by assessing your monthly budget. Like many of us, you’re probably spending money on things you don’t need. For example, it might be nice to have the option of multiple streaming services, but if you favor one over the others, consider canceling the rest. Small changes like that will add up over time.

The Second Biggest Expense of Your Lifetime

The three most expensive things a person will invest in during their lifetime are houses, cars, and furniture. Since cars are the second most costly thing you’ll ever devote your budget to, you should take buying and owning them seriously. Part of that process is acknowledging when it’s time to move on.

Your car will show you signs that it’s aging. The engine will become louder and won’t run as well as it once did. When there are issues with it, you might discover it’s harder to get the parts you need, and things like your ‘check engine’ light will suddenly be on all the time.

New Models May Save You Money Long-Term

Consider the financial aspect of investing in a new car. Technological advancements have made newer ones both more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient. If your vehicle currently guzzles gas, you could be saving yourself money. Many people are moving to these more advanced options, and according to a report by Statista, Ford Motor Company’s revenue came to $127 billion in 2020.

If your car is safe and reliable and doesn’t require frequent maintenance or repairs, you may be able to wait. However, at some point, you will have to make the investment, which means that, during this time, you should focus on creating a budget to afford a newer model later. Research your options, as you may also be eligible for financing options.

While it can be challenging to decide when the best time is to buy a new car, your current vehicle won’t hide the fact that it’s quickly aging. If you’re spending lots of money and time dealing with repairs and no longer feel safe driving, it’s time to look at your options.

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