Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Keep My Car Or Trade It In?

This question was submitted on The Frugal Life Forum:

Hello everyone!

My family has 2 cars: a 5-year old car with 100,000 miles on it, and a 4-year old car with 30,000 miles on it.
Both cars are paid off - no payments, and both are efficient little cars (Escort and Tracer), and both are running like tops - nothing but preventative maintenance!

At 100,000 miles, the Escort loses its extended warranty. Our plan is to trade in the Escort for a new car. The question is: WHEN? We were thinking at the end of 2003, before the car racks up too many miles, but we're also considering the end of 2004, when the Tracer is 5 years old, so we'll have a "new" car and an "old" car (to avoid getting socked with 2 cars needing costly repairs at the same time).

We'd like to buy a car at the end of a year so we can get a last-year's model off the lot at a deep deep discount. What do you think? This year? Next year? Scrap the plan and go with something else?

Thanks!
Rach

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