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Should I Keep My Car Longer or Trade It In for a Newer Model?

At one time the average person would keep their car or truck for 8.5 years. These days, the trend is to keep cars longer, extending ownership to 11.5 years, especially if the vehicle was manufactured after 2012, when better technology and safety features were mandated for all vehicles, with anti-braking systems and electronic stability controls to help drivers maintain control of the car when turning to avoid sliding and skidding.

How long to keep your vehicle is a personal choice. There are those car owners with no financial constraints who want to keep up with the latest technology and safety features and love the new car smell and feel, who will trade in their vehicle every one to two years. Some car owners will keep their vehicle for as long as the warranty lasts unless they go for an extended warranty.

These days car loan financing terms have stretched out from the average four to five years to seven years, after which time some owners are ready to trade-in their vehicle for a newer model. Others are relieved to be without a car payment after so many years that they decide to keep their vehicle even longer. Then there is also the owner’s emotional attachment to a vehicle that prompts them to keep the vehicle till it dies.

Location, such as the terrain and quality of the roads where you live can make a difference on how long to keep a vehicle. For example, car owners in Iowa tend to treat their cars as practical tools that are necessary for getting around the rural state. That pragmatism typically extends to keeping their vehicles in good working order and doing the work on the vehicle themselves.

With that said, since in the last decade vehicles have never been built better, and they are safer with fewer breakdowns, a car with 100,000 is no longer an issue; in fact, with proper maintenance, you may be able to get 200,000 miles or more on your car.

The best way to make your car last many years is to keep up with regular maintenance - regular oil changes, changing the air filter, making sure your car’s tires are not worn, changing fluids, keeping the interior and exterior of your vehicle clean and by maintaining good driving habits. Driving aggressively in adverse conditions can shorten the lifespan of your vehicle.

One reason you may strongly consider replacing your vehicle for a newer model is if your monthly repair bill exceeds a monthly car payment. Another reason is used vehicles are considered “hot items” these days. The short supply of new cars due to delays in parts and interruptions in the chain of deliveries has caused a surge in demand for used cars. You may get a good deal trading-in your car for a newer model and even come out ahead! It may be worth checking with your local dealer to find out the trade-in value of your car.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned. CarouselPreowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.

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