Sometimes, it can be difficult for a driver to keep his or her eyes from ogling all the latest cars that are whizzing down the road. The average age of cars on the road today is 11 years old, meaning that many people are driving cars without the latest fuel economy technology, connectivity and safety features. However, not everyone needs to purchase a new car. Here are four ways that families will know when they need a new ride.

Gas Guzzling

Newer cars have greatly improved fuel economy over those designed eight or more years ago. While lowered pump prices have made this not as much of a concern as it once was, Consumer Reports says that individuals who go from a car with 26 to a car with 36 miles per gallon and who drive around 12,000 miles per year will save $282 each year. Even bigger ranges will yield greater savings.

Costly Repairs

Most vehicles that are eight or more years old require costly repairs that can create hardship for a family budget and take a family’s car out of commission for several days. Families should consider how much annual payments for a new car would be and whether that would be cheaper than the amount that they are currently putting into annual repairs for their older vehicles.

Lack of Safety Features

The most important reason why a family should consider a new ride is because of a lack of safety features in their old vehicles. Vital safety features today include side curtain air bags to protect from side impacts as well as electronic stability control. Consumer Reports also lists back-up cameras and forward-collision warnings as necessities. Families should consider buying a new car that has lane-departure warnings, automatic braking and blind-spot monitoring, such as is found in the 2017 Nissan Altima sold at Bay Ridge Nissan and similar dealers.

Growing Family

Sometimes a family needs a new ride because they have outgrown the old one. This could be due to increasing numbers of children in the family or due to the need to transport more equipment or luggage.

Families must consider the cost-savings and safety improvements that they would find by switching to a newer ride. While no one looks forward to making car payments, these payments are oftentimes cheaper than is the cost of maintaining an older car. Additionally, newer cars often have far greater connectivity, providing families with more enjoyable rides.