Big old car or little new car?

Reader question:

I have an older car that’s on the big side, but doesn’t have all of the newest safety features. Is it better to stick with this car than it is to get a new car that’s smaller but has all of the new safety technology?


Great question.

It sounds like you’re debating whether to get a new car. Remember that it doesn’t have to be an ultimatum. There are plenty of mid sized and bigger cars out on the market now that would be great replacements for your older car. Even if you aren’t looking for a new car (and by you I mean the general you), big versus small is something that you should definitely think about, because it should be a factor in deciding whether or not to get a certain car. After all, it will definitely be a factor in the outcome of a collision or in your car insurance rates.

It’s often suggested to go with a mid sized car instead of a big or small one, because they receive and cause less damage in the case of a collision. This is a great general rule, but you should also remember that size isn’t everything. It’s also true that design factors into it, and some cars have bodies that are built to take impact while others just crumple. Things that are especially important is how well the car reacts to different situations, especially dangerous ones. If you start skidding, is it over? Then something is wrong.

In general, I would suggest going with the newer, smaller car. I’m iffy on suggesting that people buy smaller cars in general, but new cars come with so many safety features that cut down the risk of collision and death or injury as a result by so much that it isn’t even funny. It’s remotely possible that your older, bigger car could measure up to a newer one in an accident, but unlikely. If you are unsure, however, always check the car crash test result.


Fashun Guadarrama.

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."