How Long Should You Keep a Car?

There’s a contentious question that a car owner is always asking: “When is it time to get rid of my car”? Whether you’ve bought it new or pre-owned, a car seldom grows in value. In fact, almost all cars begin to depreciate as soon as you’ve signed the bill of sale. The longer you own it, the more value it loses. So, how long should you keep a car? The answer isn’t the same for everyone. There are three main schools of thought for how long should you keep a car, and there isn’t one that’s right all the time. Let’s explore the three different answers for “How long should you keep a car”.

How Long Should You Keep a Car?

The Frequent Flipper

Some people think that owning a car comes at a cost, and it does. So they decide they’re always going to drive a newer car. They’ll buy one that they love and drive it until something better comes along. No matter what, they never own a car more than a year or two, sometimes much less. The problem with this method is that the depreciation accumulates. You barely get a chance to build equity before you switch into a different car. That keeps your payments high, but the trade-off is you’re always driving a newer vehicle.

The Forever Keeper

Other drivers embrace depreciation, like a captain going down with a sinking ship. They’ll keep driving their car, fixing it or bearing with its problems, until it’s completely worthless. There’s no point trading it in or selling it, just hauling it off to the junkyard. Of course, depreciation still catches up. There could be a few years without payments in there, but when you need to buy your next car, you have no down payment or trade-in value.

The Every Few Years Buyer

Others prefer to buy a different car every few years. Three to five years is their benchmark. It’s a moderate action, often keeping a car that has warranty for most of your ownership but not spending too much on payments in the meantime. Of course, depreciation still comes into play but there aren’t any big fluctuations along the way. Usually you can keep a similar payment all the time and just upgrade your vehicle.   At Jay Wolfe Auto Outlet, it doesn’t matter to us which type of car owner you are. The bottom line is that we want to be your dealer when you want to change vehicles. Give us a call or stop in to find out how we can get you in the best car for your money today as well as the next time you need a car.