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Your car vs. a new car

Want to know, from a financial point of view, whether it's time to give up on your old car? Here's how Consumer Reports magazine suggests you find out:

Your car (expenses over three years)

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________ Maintenance (annual cost of regular checkups, oil changes, tires, etc. x 3 years) +________ Insurance (annual premium x 3 years) +________ License (any state fees) =________ Cost of keeping your car -________ Trade-in value in three years =________ Net expense

A new car ________ Maintenance (annual cost of regular checkups, oil changes, tires, etc. x 3 years) +________ Insurance (annual premium x 3 years) +________ License (any state fees) +________ Typical down payment +________ Monthly payments (x 3 years) +________ Sales tax =________ Total new-car costs over three years - ________ Trade-in value in three years =________ Net expense

For a rough estimate of your car's trade-in value in three years, look up its value at intellichoice.com or edmunds.com and add three years' worth of mileage.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society