There are lots of good reasons to buy a new car. Maybe your trusty truck’s transmission died after reliably serving you for over 15 years. Maybe your car got totaled in a flood. Maybe the cost of your laundry list of needed repairs are just more than the car’s worth. All of these are decent reasons to consider buying a new car. Below, though, you’ll find 3 bad — very bad — reasons to buy a new car.
All of these come to us via a friendly Redditor who claims they themselves are a car salesman. Buckle up — these four bad reasons to buy a car are real things that people actually say to justify taking out a multi-thousand dollar loan.
You want new gadgets and gizmos
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the technological components in your car’s head unit are actually some of the cheapest parts of the vehicle — not to mention some of the easiest to replace. Apparently, this car dealer found themselves constantly selling brand new vehicles to people over the simply ability to playback audio over Bluetooth.
I sold $50k cars weekly because of Bluetooth capabilities. No matter how old your car is, you can add this to any existing car for around $200. Cheaper if your DIY.
As they mention, this is a hilariously easy fix, and if we’re honest, anyone using this to justify buying a new car is doing just that — justifying a stupid decision with an even stupider reason. It’s stupid cheap to add something like Bluetooth to your car no matter how old it is. Even if you have a car from the 90s with nothing more than FM radio, Bluetooth FM transmitters are cheap.
Classic mistake: Status symbol
Ah, the classic reason.
Cars always look amazing at a dealership where they are waxed, clean, and smothered in Armor All and tire shine. In two weeks the difference between your old car and your new car will probably be negligible. The whole status symbol thing really only lasts a few weeks. Most of your peers don’t know the difference between a new and much older models if they are both dirty.
I will have to disagree with this salesman here though — I think status symbols can very much transcend how clean your car is. It’s true that dirty cars tend to just look like dirty cars no matter how expensive they are, but I think it’s obvious when your friend is driving a dirty Porsche versus a dirty Honda. That said, it’s still a really bad reason to run out and buy a car.
Your old car is messy
This last bad reason to buy a new car might be the most egregious of all. There are actually people in this world that go out and buy a brand new car because their current daily driver is a bit dirty. Newsflash: You can get your car detailed for a couple hundred bucks, and it’ll feel brand new.
I sold a ton of cars to people who’s current car they hated simply because it was dirty. Some elbow grease or paying for a good detail could have saved them $20k.
It goes without saying that you don’t need to spend $20k to get a car that’s in good shape. Maybe, for one, it’s a good idea to take car of your car no matter how old it is? Or just live with a little bit of dirt sometimes? Either way, this is an embarrassing and comical reason to blow the budget.
Good reasons to buy a new car
Thankfully, there are good reasons to buy a new car, as mentioned at the top of the post. The most obvious, as this salesman mentions, is upgrading when the cost of repairs on your beater are going to outweigh its resale value… why would anyone want to go deeper on a money pit?
This is the only reason I would advise anyone to purchase a car. Eventually the repairs get to the point where it’s more expensive to keep it than to move on. If you are buying a car for any other reason than this… don’t!
Another good reason to buy a new car is safety! There’s no financial price that you can put on your life, so paying up to drive something safer for you or your family is always a smart idea.
My wife and kids drive in a 5 star crash rating car with every modern safety feature. We have chose to be stingy in other places in our finances so we can afford to have a car with these types of features. It’s worth a little bit of money to us to know our family is safe and to be able to see when backing out of the driveway.
If you just want to buy a new car… sure, go for it. I’m just a guy writing a blog post on the internet. I can’t tell you what to do. What I would recommend, though, is keeping a budget and minimizing the amount of that vehicle you’re putting on high interest loans. If it’s me? Avoid all these bad reasons to buy a car, save for a significant-if-not-complete down payment, and rest easy knowing you were smart with your finances. Oh, and maybe enjoy your new car, too.