When is the Best Time to Buy a New Car?

Should I keep my current car and drive it for a while longer or is it time to buy a new car? That’s a question most of us ask ourselves at least once in our lives. The answer depends on several factors, including the condition of your car, your finances, and any special offers available through the dealer. You also should consider the reduction in maintenance costs, as well as improvements in safety and connectivity in today’s new cars.

Think of it this way: the only older cars worth keeping are the ones that are reliable and safe. And no matter how well your existing car is treating you, even the most reliable models grow more troublesome as they age, as a survey of readers of Consumer Reports found.

Mel Rapton Honda wants to make certain you make the decision that’s right for you. So here are six factors that you should consider before you make the decision to purchase that new car, truck, or SUV.

Recent Improvements in Safety

There’s no doubt that the current model year vehicles are safer than those built just a few years ago. There’s an increase in the percentage of high-strength steel in the chassis and body and advancement in front crush structure design helps mitigate injuries in frontal collisions. In addition there’s a whole suite of electronic safety measures that warn if you’re following a car too closely, drifting out of your lane, or even if there’s a motorcycle in your blind spot. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) won’t award its top rating of “Top Safety Pick +” to a vehicle unless it has it an automatic emergency braking system. Few, if any, of these features were likely available when you purchased your last car.

Cost of Maintenance and Repair

Your car, truck, or SUV is a machine made out of thousands of parts. And like all machines they wear over time and require service and sometimes replacement of components. When your machine is brand new, all those components are new and free of wear. With use, they begin to need service or replacement. A Consumer Reports survey indicated that the maintenance cost for a seven year old car is twice that of a four year old car.

Extended Warranties

Honda’s basic limited warranty is consistent with other manufacturers, covering the vehicle for three years or 36,000 miles, with a powertrain limited warranty of five years or 60,000 miles. You can also purchase a Honda Peak performance Honda Care Maintenance plan. Not only does this plan cover routine oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks, it also covers multi-point inspections. If your current car requires repairs each month, a new Honda with Honda Care Maintenance can ensure optimal operation, reliability and safety as well as identify and repair problems before they become unexpected failures.

Fuel Economy

Almost across the board cars, trucks, and SUVs all deliver better fuel economy than the same model did just a few years ago. New engines with direct fuel injection, some with turbocharging, actually make more power yet deliver better mileage than their predecessors due to their great efficiency in burning fuel. For example, If you trade-in a vehicle with fuel economy of 26 mpg to a new vehicle that achieves 34 mpg, you can save nearly $300 per year in fuel costs.


To the degree with which electronic communications has entered our lives could not have been predicted even a few years ago. The tether of a land line was long ago broken and users expect access to the internet virtually everywhere they travel. It’s common for vehicles today to offer an in-car WiFi HotSpot for all passengers. In addition, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phones and tablets connect directly to the HondaLink system in your car, truck, or SUV. So if staying connected is a critical component of your life, you’ll not find these features in older cars.

What Are Your Current Car’s Repair Costs

It’s a pretty easy decision when the annual repair bills for your existing car, truck, or SUV exceeds a year’s worth of new vehicle payments. However, as was mentioned earlier, repair costs on cars rise exponentially as they age. The repair bills for this year (or last) can’t be assumed to be a flat expense for another year or two. In fact, if you’re driving a five year old car, expect a nearly 50 percent increase in repair costs by year seven – money that could have been going to a new car payment.

Incentive, Specials, Promotions, and Clearance Sales

You’ve probably noticed that car dealers have promotions going frequently. Some of these are national promotions supported by Honda itself. Another type is a regional promotion where the dealers in the area, through their dealer council, agree on a promotion specific to their local area and customer needs. Then the dealership itself can sponsor promotions of its own. Clearance occur typically at the end of a model year, for example, 2017 models after 2018 model hit the dealer lot.

So if you’re shopping for a new Honda, be sure to bring and promotion or offer you’ve received and we’ll sit with you and examine it to be sure It’s legitimate. For example, sometimes other dealers will advertise a low monthly price but require a huge down payment in the fine print. We’ll make sure you get the best deal, and not just in purchase price, but financing and service as well.

After you’ve collected all the information about your existing car, truck, or SUV, bring it with you to the experts at Mel Rapton Honda and they’ll take you through how a new Honda can not only make financial sense, but also provide you with the peace of mind that can only come from a new vehicle under warranty.