Snow is still falling in many parts of the country, but we’re just two weeks away from Daylight Savings Time, and spring won’t be that long in coming after that.
That means you should start thinking now about the ways you want to become car-ready by the time the new season arrives. I’m talking about everything from maintaining your car to buying a new one, to deciding what your future transportation needs will be.
For every step, you need a strategy, and that starts with the way you use your car. Here are five questions to ask yourself.
1. Am I happy with what I’m driving? The answer lies in how you view your automobile. Is it a matter of convenience, or a statement of style? Is your car still within your budget? Could you afford to step up to something fresher?
2. Is my car serving me well, or is it in the shop more than I’d like? Automobile quality is better than ever, but when a car reaches a certain point in its life-cycle, it can mean some major time and money spent on repairs.
3. Do I want to keep driving? How many times have you vowed, “This is the year I’m going to start taking the bus?” Likewise, do visions of Townie bikes dance in your head? Only you can decide whether you are ready to give up an automobile and go the public transit route.
4. Which car would I buy if I had my choice? Maybe you’ve done well in the market recently, or you got a bonus check. Perhaps you’ve finally gotten the settlement from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. This is a good time to go car shopping, while dealers still have good inventories, so take a look at car company Web sites and videos.
5. Where would I like my car to take me? If you are going to drive somewhere, now is a time to think about where. Play with Google Maps, look at sites like Gadling.com and plan some road trips. I drove all over the South last summer and am thinking about a trip East this year.
Disclaimer: This article was originally posted on Forbes.com.