Deciding When To Get a New Car Might Not Be Easy

Breaking a car lease early can be costly. But consumers have avenues if they need to end a lease agreement ahead of schedule.
It’s sometimes hard to decide when to give up your car. –iStock

Getting rid of a car can be sentimental. Buying or leasing a new car can be expensive. But, there comes a point when keeping your current car might just be more of a hassle than it’s worth.

I spoke with Peter Kakridas, the owner of Boston Village Auto Body & Repair in Allston, to see when it’s time to start looking for some new wheels. Turns out, it might not be as simple as you thought with the changing way cars are being manufactured.

Kakridas does body work, so his first piece of advice is to be mindful of the problems exterior rust can cause.

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“Rust is a big player,’’ he said. “When it continuously rusts, you can’t stop it without replacing parts. It’s really expensive.’’

Rusting is a big factor especially in New England where the winters are filled with cold, salt covered streets. To avoid this, you need to wash many parts of your car regularly.

“Wash your car, wash underneath, was the wheel wells and keep it waxed,’’ he said.

Kakridas also offered an obvious, but sometimes easily forgettable piece of advice: “If it needs body work, make sure it’s done well.’’

Don’t just go to any body shop. Make sure it is reputable, get tips from friends who have been, or read Yelp reviews.

He said other big factors that can cause a car to become un-drivable are issues with alignment, suspension, shock, and oil.

All of these issues can lead to bigger problems with the car that might shorten its lifespan. Get your car frequently inspected to avoid these issues if you are looking for your car to last.

But, not everyone wants or needs their cars to last long periods of time.

Kakridas said when you get a new car, it is important to plan out how long you intend on keep it for.

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“A car, if maintained, and hasn’t been in accidents, it can go 20 years,’’ he said. But, it depends on how much you drive and what kind of driving you are doing. (Boston’s potholes and hard winters don’t really help this.)

He said if you take care of your car well, depending on the model and type of car, it will last, but “people get bored.’’

In 2012, during the height of the recession, USA Today reported that fewer people were buying new cars and that many people were keeping their cars for 10 years or more, based on an AutoMD.com poll.

People often move on to new cars because of enticing new technology, he said. still thinks that updated technology in cars is a “reason people move on.’’ But, there have been some changes in the auto industry that has brought some uncertainty in how long cars will last.

“We are still within 10 years of a new way of building cars,’’ he said. “Breaks will be electric and run on computers, everything is very different.’’

He is unsure as to how long these computers will last, and that might affect how long people keep these new modern cars.

“At the end of the day, it is what makes you feel good,’’ Kakridas said. “Nothing better than having new fluffy comfortable seats.’’

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