10 Scenarios It’s Time to Get a New Car

February 2nd, 2018 by

Used Cars Union City NJ: 10 Scenarios It’s Time to Get a New Car


You’re on the fence: should you or shouldn’t you get a new car? You’ve been driving your vehicle for roughly 4 years. It is rounding the 60,000-mileage marker, and you are wondering if you should call it a day and either sell or trade in your vehicle, and switch it out for its newer model. You know, unless it is a collectible, its value will continue to depreciate.


And, considering life style changes—such as getting married, having kids, and/or downsizing—it may be time to take a visit to the dealership. This is but one example when you are left scratching your head, doing the numbers, wondering if this is the right move for you.


In this article, Used Cars Union City NJ will show you 10 scenarios when it may be time to get a new car. Our hope is that, from reading each, you will be able to better identify if you should go forward in your decision to sell or wait a couple more years until you pay off the loan in full.


Used Cars Union City NJ #1. Your Car Is About to Reach the End of Its Lifespan


According to Time, nowadays the average age of a car is over 11 years old; 200,000 miles is the new 100,000 miles.”[1] That being said, you have been driving your Toyota Camry for a good 10 years; it’s pushing the 200,000-mile mark—past 165,000,[2] which is the average car mileage.


This has been your commuter car; you’ve depended on this vehicle to get you from Point A to Point B, and it has never failed. Recently you’ve had to replace the engine and transmission.


While these have been the only big repairs you’ve needed to do and the car continues to run well, you don’t want to reach that point where you are taking your vehicle to the mechanic’s every other weekend, shelling out your hard-earned cash to pay off high repair bills.


What Should You Do?


First off, Toyota is one of the big car brands that is known for its long life.[3] While 200,000 miles may be the new 100,000 miles for some makes and models, when it comes to Toyota, it is not unheard of for Toyota vehicles to get to that 300,000-mileage point. In other words, 300,000 miles may be the new 200,000.


In fact, used Toyotas (along with Hondas and Volvos) with 150,000 to 200,000 miles on them are a hot commodity.[4] And, when we take into consideration how reliable they are even when exceeding high mileages, it makes sense.


That being said, if your Toyota has reached high mileage, like 200,000 miles, it may have another 100,000 miles left. Given that the average car is driven roughly 15,000 miles a year,[5] you could have a little over 6 years before you need to consider trading it in.


At the same time, it is important to consider what the market conditions are, not to mention the condition of the vehicle and any personal circumstances[6] you are in—life transitions and an upside-down car loan included.


Used Cars Union City NJ #2. Your Vehicle Needs Have Changed


Now that your son is born, you need a reliable and safe vehicle that has enough room for that car seat. Your two-seater sports car you drove in your twenties isn’t going to cut it. Yes, you may be tempted to let it sit in that empty space in your driveway for a good decade or two—who knows, maybe you could pass it on to your son when he gets his license?


What Should You Do?


Even though a vehicle is sitting in your driveway for a couple years doesn’t mean it is free from wear and tear. While, yes, there may be no cracks or rips on the leather seats and you haven’t had to buy new tires in ages, you do have to pay the registration and insurance on it every year.[7]


Also, recalls are a dime a dozen; car technology, including air bags and other safety features, are always improving—in other words, that two-seater sports car may not be a safe option for your son to drive in the next decade or so. (And, with the way car technology is moving, your children may not be driving—we shall see.)


Used Cars Union City NJ #3. It Is a Salvage


You get into an accident, in which your insurance carrier has stated your car is not worth repairing. Your once-clean car has now been given a salvage title. Even though the accident wasn’t big and your car is still drivable—per se—you are not sure if you should fork over the money for the repairs or sell your vehicle.


What Should You Do?


Just because your car wasn’t involved in a major accident—or natural disaster, for that matter—doesn’t give it a free pass; it is still a salvage. Yes, you can argue that it isn’t a kit car, it’s not an antique, nor was it stolen. (Speaking of flood damaged cars, if you suspect a car you’re looking at has flood damage check out “Used Cars Union City NJ: 3 Scams Car Buyers Need to Be Aware Of.”) Again, it doesn’t matter; all that matters is whether the insurance carrier has deemed it not worth repairing.


Know that now that your car is a salvage it may be difficult to get insurance; you could be offered limited coverage or, in some cases, no coverage at all. And, in some states, you may not even be allowed to drive or insure it.[8]


You could seek steps to clear the salvage title and, if you are able to do that, roll the dice and drive it; there are times when a salvage car has no problems after it has received that title, however, this is few and far between.


#4. You Got a Pay Raise


Congratulations! Your hard work paid off; you have gotten a promotion and, with that, a pay raise. Thanks to this positive life change, you are considering trading in your current car for the newer model.


What Should You Do?


As mentioned earlier, selling your car and buying a newer model depends on your personal circumstances. Now that you have some extra income coming in, you may want to look at your current car loan to see if you have the funds to pay it off in full. If you can, trading your car and applying that credit to the down payment may be the way to go.[9]


You can also get a tax advantage for the trade in, however, this is only the case if you don’t sell it via private party. On the other hand, if you do sell the car yourself, most likely you’ll be able to walk away with more money versus getting the car’s whole sale value if you trade it in at the dealership.[10]


Trade-In Tips


No matter what route you take, you will need to research the trade in price. This can be done using Kelly Blue Book. You’ll also want to call and/or email several dealerships to get quotes. When you do this, you will need to bring in documents and items such as the vehicle title, your driver’s license, vehicle keys, any remotes that go with the car, auto loan payoff information, and accounting information.[11]


Used Cars Union City NJ #5. You are Downsizing


Your kids have either gone off to college or are out of the house and have their own cars. This leaves you driving the minivan to work and around town, running errands. Years ago, it was packed with kids after soccer games and on road trips. But now, with less people in the house, it’s only the driver and passenger seat that’s taken. The truth is, you don’t need that big of a car. In other words, it is time to downsize to a smaller vehicle that meets your needs.


What Should You Do?  


Like with Scenario #4, it depends (and is generally easier) if your car is paid off. That way, it is an easy exchange, with the credit going to the down payment of your new car.


Especially if you’ve owned your car for several years and it has accrued several hundred thousand miles, expect its value to have depreciated a lot—especially if there are now several newer models. Nonetheless, more and more people are looking to used cars, and a used, reliable family car—such as a minivan—is always in demand.


Used Car Union City NJ #6. You Have an Upside-Down Car Loan


Throughout this article, we have been stressing the point of paying off your car loan first before trading your car in. But what if you have an upside-down car loan, in other words you owe more than what the car is valued at?


You have missed several payments, and can’t seem to get out from under. You are considering trading your car in and compounding the car loan but are not sure if this is your best option.


With the risk of defaulting on your car loan, you know you need to do something fast before you face financial consequences such as repossession.


What Should You Do?    


If you are in this position, know that you are not alone. According to U.S. News & World Report, 60% of people considering to trade in their vehicle are dealing with this.[12]


Yes, you can trade your car in, however, this could end up costing you more problems in the long run. Basically, if you do decide to go this route, you could end up carrying over the negative equity to your new car, which means more than likely you’ll have to pay more than you did before you traded in your car.[13]


Save this option as a last resort and try to see if you can hold on to your car a little longer until you pay it all off.


You could also try refinancing your car loan or try selling the vehicle yourself, as you may be able to get a higher price for it than through a dealership.[14]


Used Car Union City NJ #7. You Have a Lemon


You have gone to the mechanic’s more than three times to have the same issues fixed over and over and over again. The transmission always stammers. Or the engine keeps failing.


You have replaced these parts numerous times, but to no avail. It is only a couple of months until your warranty is up and you will soon have to be paying for this hefty repair out of pocket.


What Should You Do?


If the mechanic has repeatedly tried but cannot fix the problem, chances are, you have a lemon. A lemon car is just what it sounds: a dud.


This could just be the luck of the draw, where you happened to choose a reliable car (in theory) only to find out the car—not the make and model—is faulty. On the other hand, it could be an entire make and model.


Either way, read “Used Cars for Sale Woodridge: What You Need to Know About Lemon Cars” to find out how to identify a lemon and what your options are if you do have one.


Used Cars Union City NJ #8. It Is Starting to Be Less Reliable


You are taking more and more trips to the mechanic’s. It hasn’t always been like this. Up until recently, you commuted Monday through Friday without any clanking noises or calls to AAA, pulled onto the side of the road.


Now that this has been your third time calling road side assistance, you are wondering if it is time to trade in and sell your vehicle. Should you? Shouldn’t you?


What Should You Do?


What you don’t want to do is wrack up a long list of high repair bills, especially when you have an older car. Over the years, your car will have already dropped exponentially in value.


If you continue to pay for repair after repair, the amount these repairs cost could exceed that value of your car. In which case, it is wise to consider trading and selling your car instead of moving forward with the repairs.


The lesson here is that before you give your mechanic the green light to fix your car, ask him or her how long the repair will extend your car’s life. If it is for a couple more years, the cost may be worth it. A few months, and you may want to think twice.[15]


Used Cars Union City NJ #9. It Is Taking Up Space


You used to drive your vehicle all the time. But eventually, perhaps due to life changes, your once-frequently-driven car now sits in your driveway day in and day out. Long story short, it is taking up space, and has been so…for years.


While your driveway is large enough to accommodate two cars, it still is a little packed. After several years, you are now considering to sell the car but haven’t made up your mind.


What Should You Do?


As mentioned earlier, you need to assess how much you are paying for the car: How much does the car insurance cost? What about the registration? And then you have to take maintenance issues into consideration.


You see, just because the car sits in the driveway doesn’t mean you can skip on oil changes. What you may not know is that a cold engine can prevent excess moisture from being removed. In short, the oil can end up solidifying, which can cause damage to the engine.


This is why routine oil changes are important, whether the car sits or not—and perhaps another reason to ask yourself if this car is worth the time to maintain it?


Used Cars Union City NJ #10. You have a Gas Guzzler on Your Hands


You go to the gas station at least once, if not twice a week filling up your car. With gas prices expected to be on the rise,[16] you are concerned with how much you will be spending on gas alone. While your vehicle has been reliable, you are wondering if your money would be better spent on a smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle.


What Should You Do?


There are a number of different factors—such as how many people are in your family and how reliable and safe it is—that determines if your gas guzzling vehicle is worth the extra cost in gas.


Nonetheless, calculate how much you would potentially save if you did purchase a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Do the long-term costs outweigh the pros that initially drew you into buying the car?


Final Thoughts: To Sell or Not to Sell?


Overall, the choice is yours whether you should sell or keep your car. Know that there are several stages in your life where your vehicle needs will change—such as getting that promotion, starting a family, and downsizing after your children leave for college or move out.


At the same time, you may have been the unlucky one who purchased a lemon or did get lucky and drove a very reliable car for over 11 years only to now have it brake down. No matter what the situation is with your vehicle, we encourage that you assess the pros and cons in trading in and/or selling your vehicle.


In doing so, you can determine if the time is right to make that choice or hold off. What have you done? What lead you to selling or keeping your vehicle? Leave a comment.




  • The average vehicle now lasts roughly 11 years
  • 200,000 miles is now the new 100,000 miles
  • Cars generally are driven 15,000 miles or so per year
  • Toyotas can easily get up to 300,000 miles
  • Before you sell, consider what the market conditions are, as well as the condition of the car and what personal circumstance you are in that may determine whether you should sell or not
  • Life changes (i.e. promotion, marriage, children, downsizing) can affect your vehicle needs
  • Vehicles with salvage titles are harder to get insured
  • In some states, you cannot drive a salvage, let alone insure it
  • If you decide to trade your car in, research the price and call around to get several quotes
  • If you have an upside-down car loan, best case scenario, try to pay off the loan in full before trading it in
  • If that isn’t possible, consider refinancing options before trading it in
  • You may have a lemon if you need to go to the mechanics to have it fixed for the same problem over and over again
  • It may be time to sell your car if the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s value
  • If your vehicle sits in your driveway, you still need to maintain it
  • Such maintenance costs, on top of registration and insurance, are reason enough to question if you should trade it in or sell it
  • Gas guzzling vehicles may cost you more in gas, as gas prices are expected to rise


For more information about trade-ins and selling your car, contact East Coast Toyota. And, while you’re at it, stop by and check out our used car specials.












[1] TIME: What, You Only Have 100K Miles on Your Car? That’s Nothing

[2] TIME: What, You Only Have 100K Miles on Your Car?

[3] TIME: What, You Only Have 100K Miles on Your Car? That’s Nothing

[4] TIME: What, You Only Have 100K Miles on Your Car?

[5] TIME: What, You Only Have 100K Miles on Your Car? That’s Nothing

[6] U.S. News & World Report: 8 Best Times to Sell Your Car

[8] The Balance: How to Get a Salvage Title Removed on a Vehicle

[9] Consumer Reports: The Benefits of Trading in Your Car

[10] Consumer Reports: The Benefits of Trading in Your Car

[11] Nerd Wallet: How to Trade in Your Car

[12] U.S. News & World Report: How to Get Out of an Upside-Down Car Loan

[13] U.S. News & World Report: How to Get Out of an Upside-Down Car Loan

[14] U.S. News & World Report: How to Get Out of an Upside-Down Car Loan

[15] U.S. News & World Report: Is Your Car Worth Repairing?

[16] Forbes: Expect Gas Prices To Rise This Year; The Question Is By How Much

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