In my 20s, I was a car fanatic. I’d trade cars every one or two years because it was fun. I loved to haggle with strangers to try and get the best deal possible. As I grew older and wealthier, my interest in cars waned. Today, I believe the ideal length of time to own a car is between 8-10 years if you buy new.
If you drive a new car for 8-10 years, you will have maximized its value while also minimized any safety risks that tend to appear due to age. I assume an average annual mileage of 12,000. Of course, if you don’t drive much, you can easily extend your car ownership period.
If you buy a used car, the best buying strategy for value, safety, and enjoyment is to buy a 3-5-year-old car and drive it for 5-7 years. If you do, you will skip the steepest portion of the depreciation curve. You can then turn around and sell the car for a reasonable price.