The lure of new

I took my Prius to the shop last week and got a loaner car, which happened to be a new Prius.

When I picked up my kids in the loaner car, they feel in love with the new car. My kids marveled over all the subtle differences between our car and the new car. In short time they begged me to buy a new car.

What is it about new cars? Is ‘new car smell’ a psychoactive drug, spurring people to buy cars they don’t need? 

The new car was cleaner, smoother, and faster than my car. And for a moment I considered an upgrade. But then I thought about spending $20,000 to replace something that didn’t need replacing. Our car works great.

Even though I didn’t buy a new car, I felt the lure of new. And my kids really felt the lure.

100,000 miles or 10 years used to be a good time to replace a car. However, today cars are living longer – more like 200,000 miles. Luckily, my car is a baby with just 60,000 miles.

The lure of new is strong, but my desire to avoid car payments is stronger.

How about you? Have you felt the lure of new?

Liz Pulliam Weston estimates that owning cars for 10 years instead of 5 could save you $250,000 over your lifetime. Sounds good to me!


  1. Yes , I feel the lure. Our car has over 300 000 kilometers and will need to be replaced soon. I have convinced my husband that we should maintain it perfectly and replace it with a second hand prius in a year or two. We have had no problems with our Corolla, but rattles are appearing everywhere and at some point something major is going to simply wear out.

  2. Our newest car is 17 years old… :D (we also have an 18 year old, and a 34 year old)

    Only reason we’d consider buying something else (new to us, used) is lack of reliability, and if we suddenly had to put more money into the car than we’d have to pay for a used one.

    I also figure… why take up space in the junkyards with an extra autobody if it’s still serviceable, too? :)

  3. I keep my cars an average of 8 years or 200k miles. I’ve had my current vehicle for almost 6 years and it has roughly 86k on it right now. (low for me and it was used when I bought it). I plan on having it at least another 4 years but I am already thinking about what I would like for my next (used) vehicle…a subaru or honda perhaps? Hubby’s last car we had for 8 years, 228k miles and it died in the dealership after he traded it in for his newest car (leftover from year prior model) they seriously had to tow it to the back of the dealership! It was great!

  4. we just bought a new Prius a few months back and are loving it. Hope to drive it for years and years, so we are taking care to KEEP it looking new. For instance, we use a windshield visor through the summertime to keep the sun off the inside upholstery, but I’m tempted to use it during the winter months too!

  5. Cars are such a part of our cultural landscape! They really do symbolism freedom in so many ways. I recently decided not to replace my car after a wreck and I am sooooooo much happier living car free. But it would be a total lie if I didn’t admit that I get a longing when I see cousins of my old car or feel frustrated when I want to just get up and go without any planning. Not that the longing is going to make me go out and buy another car (the money I am saving! Holy crapoly!), but oy. Sometimes I think the car is stitched into the fabric of America!

    • I wish it was easier to go “car-free” in the USA – more transportation options. Not having a car can save you a bundle (and it’s one less thing to take care of).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s