So this has been bugging me for a while, because I am facing a similar dilemma and I don't think anyone gave a clear answer.
I bought a 2012 kia soul in 2012. 36 months financing at 300/mo.
Will be done with my car loan in 2015.
I plan on keeping it, while saving the same amount of money 300/mo until I buy my next car.
But, I also have an option of trading it in for the the next car.
Question: should I trade it in in 2015. should I keep it for 2 years more? 3 years more, before I buy the next car? What makes most financial sense and savings.
I tried to dig up some data on edmunds - the trade-in value and "true cost to own" calculator. The make and model of my car started in 2010, so I do not have historical data, as well as "cost to own" calculator only spans 5 years.
So - this is what I came up with:
Where numbers in blue are totally made up/because I don't have the data for it.
Granted, the trade-in values for the "future" years are guesstimated - based on Kia Soul's trade-in values from previous years (2010, 2011, 2012)
But, this is handy, and as it gets closer to 2015 and beyond, I can re-plug in the data where it is available and have a better understanding of the trade-in vs keep it longer decision.
Hope this helps.
If the analysis is totally off the rocker, please let me know - i'll adjust it/delete it.