For many of us, our car is one of our most prized possessions and one we use the most too. As a result, if our vehicle starts to play up and isn’t so reliable, this can cause untold headaches and stress. This is particularly true if you use your car for work and need it to do your job.
If you start to see some or all of the below signs that your current vehicle is on the way out, it’s time to start looking at replacement options.
Sign 1: You’re Embarrassed to Drive It
If your car is ancient and dilapidated and you feel embarrassed to drive it, seeing if you can afford to upgrade to something you’ll be happier to be seen in is wise. Keep in mind that it’s hard to feel your most confident self when you don’t feel you’re presenting yourself adequately, and this includes your set of wheels, in addition to how you look and dress.
In particular, if you drive clients around in your car or meet them at open homes, meetings, or other places, you can struggle to give the impression you want, and your lack of confidence can affect how many customers you land and deals you close. Sometimes, if you do your research well and negotiate effectively, you can upgrade your car to something that looks and feels much better without spending much more money. This time and effort will be well worth it.
Sign 2: It’s Unsafe
If your safety and that of your family, friends, pets, other drivers and passengers, pedestrians, etc., is being compromised by your vehicle because it’s not operating correctly, you should start looking for a new car ASAP. The last thing you want is to drive a big machine that makes you uneasy every time you start the engine or leave your driveway.
While modern cars are very safe and boast many incredible features that lower the risk of causing a crash or other incident, all vehicles eventually age and become unsafe to operate. Don’t wait for the day to come when your car won’t start again and can’t be fixed; upgrade while your safety and everyone else’s isn’t on the line.
Sign 3: It’s Costing You Too Much in Repairs and Time to Keep Running
Next, examine how much time, energy, and money you’re putting into your car over a year and see if it’s worthwhile continuing trying to keep it going. If you regularly have to book your vehicle in at the mechanic to get it looked at and to get parts replaced or various elements fixed, or do jobs yourself, it’s likely not worth the investment to keep this up.
Although you can purchase AC tools, hand and power tools, and other equipment for an affordable price and complete simple repairs yourself, especially if you’re handy and mechanically minded, there has to come the point when you say enough is enough. Once your car becomes a money pit and you’re spending more to keep it running than it’s worth or than you could buy a replacement vehicle for, you should say goodbye to it.
Sign 4: Your Car No Longer Suits Your Needs
Another top reason to buy a new car is if it’s clear that your current one no longer suits your needs. We replace clothes when they don’t fit or otherwise work for us anymore and upgrade our homes when we need more space, and the same should be done with vehicles. For example, you might be expecting a baby, so your current two-door coupe won’t fit a baby seat and all the related baby paraphernalia that comes with having a child, or the new addition to the family might not fit in your sedan if you already have three kids.
Alternatively, if you’re getting a big dog or changing a career and will be doing deliveries or need to fit in other oversized or excess items, you may need to upgrade to an SUV or some other bigger car. For some people, a more economical vehicle is also vital if they change jobs and will have a significantly longer commute. Regardless of the situation, if your current car doesn’t work for you anymore, you should start researching new options that will work better for the next few years, at least.
Some other signs that it’s time to consider investing in a new vehicle are when your current car is making strange noises or emitting worrisome smells, spare parts are no longer available for it, mechanics don’t feel comfortable or know how to work on it, or insurance costs are too much. Also, if it has racked up a massive amount of miles on the odometer over the years or has poor emissions tests, it’s worth changing to something more appropriate.
Always look for a new car before you’re desperate so you have enough time to research alternatives, test drive many options, and negotiate the best deal for yourself.