Should elderly couple buy a new car?
Dear Driving for Dollars,
My husband is 81 and I am 75. We live in snow country and drive a 2007 Dodge Caravan with 60,000 miles. The car is paid for, gets great gas mileage and hasn’t needed any major repairs other than brakes. Should we buy a used car or “demo” car with very low mileage, or should we keep our current car? Our lives are dependent on a good vehicle.
— Phyl from northern N.Y.
From a financial perspective, it’s almost always a smarter choice to drive a used car that is paid for than to buy a new car that will require a loan. Your car is just four years old and still has relatively low mileage, so it’s unlikely it will require any major repairs in the next few years as long as you take good care of it and perform the recommended maintenance. You may want to consider investing in a set of winter tires, because you live where it snows regularly. You’ll want to have these installed as soon as the temperatures drop. Your all-season tires will have compromised performance, which could lead to you having an accident.
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