Man in suit holding a floating dollar symbol

How often should I get a new car?

How to Decide if you Need a New Car

Some people say you need to trade up every two years to minimize your car’s value depreciation. Others refuse to own vehicles under 20 years old. Chances are that everyone you know has a different bit of advice that they swear by when it comes to getting new vehicles.

We here at Hall Mazda did some research and have come up with a few questions to consider in order to help you decide if you should stick with your old ride or upgrade to a new one.

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Car keys sitting on top of a pile of cashHow Often Should I Get a New Car?

It depends. You need to consider multiple factors:

  • How often do you have to fill up your gas tank?
  • Do you spend more on repairs than car payments?
  • Are you still making car payments?
  • Can you fix your own car?
  • Do you sell your old vehicles? If so, what’s its resale value?
  • Are your car’s safety features up to date?
  • Is the latest technology important to you?

Depending on how you answer these questions, you might want to keep your old vehicle for a few more years, or you may be overdue to upgrade.



If your car is a gas guzzler, then updating may help. Going from a car that gets 20 mpg to one that gets 30 mpg can save you about $440 a year.

If at year’s end you spent more on repairs than you did on your collective car payments, its time to upgrade. In the first 10 years of a car’s life, you can expect maintenance costs to go up by $50 a year. If you know how to fix your own car, then this might be less of a factor, as you no longer must worry about labor costs.

Car values depreciate over time. If you purchased a $34,000 vehicle, after only 1 year, it will be worth $25,000. After 5 years, it’ll be down to $12,000. Also, if your car is completely paid off, chances are it’s getting old and will be lacking on safety and tech.

Hand pointing at a dent in rear passenger door and quarter panelSafety

As technology advances, cars get safer. New features like automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, and lane assist are a great value. These alone are worth considering getting a new vehicle.

If your car lacks curtain airbags, electronic stability control, a back-up camera, or forward collision warning, it’s time for a new ride. These basic features are the industry standard now for a reason.


If like being able to use voice commands, built-in navigation, or want integrated applications like Spotify, then getting a new car is worth considering.

If you have a smart phone, then USB ports, Bluetooth® connectivity, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are no-brainers. While aftermarket parts can fix this, they tend to hurt resale and trade-in value. At this point, it’s best to upgrade to a newer vehicle if technology matters to you.

Decided that You Need a New Car?

Here at Hall Mazda near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we want to make sure that you can get your new car at an affordable price. Take a peek at our secure credit approval tool and play around with the trade-in value calculator to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your dream car.