How To Tell When It’s Time for a New Car

February 20, 2023

In this highlight, we discuss how to tell when it is time for a new car.


When it comes to deciding whether to get a new car, there are a lot of factors to consider. Taylor asked, “How do you decide it’s time to get a new car?” She explained that she and her husband have a paid off 2005 Ford Taurus with 200,000 miles on it, but they have a baby on the way and are wondering when it’s no longer safe to keep driving an older car.

It’s important to think about the safety of your family when it comes to your vehicle. I asked if Taylor and her husband had talked about getting a new car before the baby was on the way, and she said they had discussed it more in terms of the size of the vehicle rather than its age or condition.

My wife wanted an SUV when we were expecting our first child, and I emphasized the importance of making sure our family is safe and protected while driving. I want you to have peace of mind that if you had to go visit family and they’re three hours away, that when you go get in that car in the morning and load up all the things that you have to keep your children safe and happy while you’re over the relatives, that you can actually do it.

Of course, safety isn’t the only consideration when it comes to getting a new car. Financial factors also come into play. We have a car buying rule called the 20/3/8 rule that we often talk about on the Money Guy Show: put 20% down, finance for no more than three years, and make sure your payments don’t exceed 8% of your income. By following this rule, you can make sure you’re not overspending on a car and putting yourself in a financially risky position.

So, when is it time to get a new car? The answer depends on a variety of factors, including the car’s age, mileage, and condition, as well as your family’s needs and budget. I suggest having hard discussions with your spouse or partner if you’re unsure about whether your current car is safe or reliable enough for your growing family.

Ultimately, the decision to get a new car is a personal one that requires careful consideration of all the relevant factors. By keeping safety and financial responsibility in mind, you can make the best decision for you and your family.



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