Before you buy that new car

Yesterday, my car went in for major maintenance. We are talking MAJOR maintenance. The total bill will be between $950 and $1150. My car has almost 100,000 miles on it. I started thinking about buying a new car. Then I remembered how much I love not having a car payment. Even if I had a  $250 a month car payment, I’m only looking at four payments to cover the repairs. That means eight months without shelling out cash. The car should last me another 40,000 – 50,000 miles, which means I have another three or four years without car payments. At $250 a month, that’s at least $9,000 in savings. Even if some of that money goes to repairs, I’m still way ahead of the game.

Would it be nice to drive a newer car? Maybe, but I love the fact that I haven’t had a car payment since 2005. My car may be almost eight years old, but it’s still running great. Yes, it has dings and scratches. Yes, it’s the crappiest car in the parking lot when I go to continuing education classes. But I love my car. It gets me where I need to go, when I need to get there.  I look forward to a few more road trips with it before the end of its life.

Do you have an older car that you just love? How much have you saved in car payments by hanging on to it? How much could you save if you held on to your car just a bit longer? On average how long do you keep your cars?