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My 07 Suburban has 90,000 miles and gets 13 mpg. I have three kids, and could get by with a smaller vehicle most days. But once a month or so I do need the extra passenger and cargo space in the Suburban. Should I trade it for a new one ($40,000 after trade-in), or keep it around and get a cheaper vehicle ($30,000 with no trade-in) that uses less gas for everyday use?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Colleen McGee, Driving Instructor at Americas Driving School Hello Christy! The answer to your question really depends on your budget. having two vehicles will mean more for insurance, maintenance, auto loan payment and licensing fees. However a new vehicle will likely be more for insurance, license fees and auto loan payment. If either option ( buying new or getting a used keeping the old vehicle)puts you in a harder financial strain than you are in now, I would advise to keep what you have and save up for what you need so you have less to pay monthly on a vehicle. If you can pay all cash for a vehicle even with a trade in that would be best. Consider carefully all your options. Good luck in your decision! Colleen M

Georgia Brown, Director of Education at National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) While such a decision is really a personal one, some things you might think about (if you haven't already): Insurance, registration, and maintenance costs for keeping the Suburban. What is it really costing you to use it once or twice amonth? How much do you really realize from the trade-in? How much does that impact your monthly payments if you are not paying cash. Consider your annual costs (gas included) for both and then just the one newer vehicle. Georgia Brown NIADA

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