When Is It Time To Trade In?

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MINT HILL, NC – This is a slight reworking of an older article. For our entire back catalog, swing by www.minthilltimes.com.

Car repairs are, to say the least, everyone’s least favorite thing. Nobody wants to spend on unexpected car repair bills… or even expected ones for that matter. If you’ve been seeing your local shop a lot lately, you may be wondering if maybe it’s time to upgrade. If that’s on your mind, I only have one question for you – how much are you spending per month on your car?

The average new car payment, according to Experian, was $554/month in the first quarter of 2019. Now, that number is a bit tricky to calculate – two people rarely pay the same amount for the same vehicle due to things like loan length, credit scores, and initial MSRP of the vehicle, but even so, it’s a lot. You can expect that number to increase by about 1-2% every year, too.

So, take all the bills you’ve had in the last 12 months from your auto shop of choice. Add it up, divide by 12. Did you spend more or less on average than $554/month? If so, it’s highly likely keeping your current wheels is the cost-efficient thing to do.

Of course, there’s also non-money costs. Seeing a shop costs you your time and your energy. What may be money affordable may not be time affordable. Something to consider when debating car shopping.

Ultimately, what’s “right” is different for everyone, but I hope this helps make the decision easier.

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