You vowed to drive ol’ Bessy until her bumpers rusted and her wheels fell off, but after your last visit to the mechanic…you’re not so sure any more. When is it no longer economical to pay for auto repairs? When is it really time to buy a new car? Watch for these 10 signs and you’ll know!
Consider buying a new car when…
1. Your safety is at risk. This is the most obvious sign it’s time to buy a new car. Anything can happen on the road. If your car isn’t properly equipped to handle it, you and your family are at risk. The problem could be with your airbags, seat belts, brakes, engine, or other essential part of the car. Wherever the problem stems from, it’s time to buy a new car if you fear your car will break down and leave you stranded at a moment’s notice.
2. Repair costs are getting out of hand. It’s usually cheaper to keep fixing up an old car rather than buy a new one–until it isn’t. Think about the math for a second. In most cases, it doesn’t make sense to spend $3,000 to repair a car with a Kelley Blue Book value of $2,000.
Consider how long your next pricy repair will extend the life of your vehicle. If it’ll add years to its lifespan, it might be a good investment. If you’ve been paying for the same repair every few months, be honest with yourself about the reliability of your ride. How much is the car really worth compared to the price of the repair?
3. The parts are expensive or difficult to find. Unless you’re restoring a classic or antique car, your car parts shouldn’t be too difficult to track down. If you find yourself relying on friends, rental cars, or public transportation for weeks at a time while waiting for the right part to arrive, the repair may not be worth your time or money. Time to buy a new car.
4. Your car doesn’t pass emissions. Some older model cars do not have the “drive clean” technologies they need to pass state smog and emissions requirements. This equipment comes standard on newer model vehicles, improving the tailpipe emissions and preventing harmful damage to the environment. Depending on the age of your vehicle and your state laws, you could be required to spend money on expensive technology to A) bring your emissions up to code so you can B) get your license plate and tags renewed!
5. Breakdowns are becoming a way of life. Car troubles should not cause you to consistently be late for work or miss out on important events with friends and family. If it’s not due to minor troubles (like a flat tire or dead battery), consistent breakdowns are a sure sign it’s time to buy a new car.
6. It doesn’t match your lifestyle. You’ve got three kids, two dogs, a schedule full of activities…and a 4-door sedan. Cramped? We thought so. There are plenty of lifestyle changes that could cause you to re-evaluate your current car. Perhaps you take a job across town and need a car with better MPG; your kids move out and you no longer need a spacious minivan; you start a career as a real estate agent and need a nicer vehicle to escort clients; or you’re welcoming a new family member and need room for a baby car seat!
7. You spend big at the pump. Are you at the gas station more than twice a week? Does the cashier know you by name? Older cars are typically less fuel efficient than newer ones. New car technology comes out every year, with each new car model becoming a little more fuel efficient than the last. If you drive a car from the 1990’s, chances are you’re spending a lot more at the pump than your neighbor who drives a car from the 2000’s. Upgrading to a newer vehicle (even if it’s used) could help lower your overall operating costs and save at the pump.
8. Your friends and family refuse to ride with you. This one might sound superficial, but hear us out. Do your loved ones always offer to drive or say, “Hey, we’ll meet you there!” If no one wants to ride shotgun with you, it might because the springs in your car seats poke through, the doors sound rickety, and you have a habit of showing up late due to “car problems.” Free rides are great. Dangerous rides? Not so great.
9. Your car makes you sad. American drivers spend an average of more than 17,600 minutes behind the wheel each year, according to a survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. That’s equivalent to seven, 40-hour work weeks at the office. If you’re spending 17,600 minutes every year in a car you can’t stand, it’s time to buy a new car. Your mental health and happiness will thank you!
10. You want one and you can afford it. With today’s resources, there’s almost always a way to get what you want, when you want it. myAutoloan is one of those resources. Calculate how much you could borrow with the myAutoloan loan amount calculator and apply for an auto loan online.
Nothing lasts forever, including your car. If all signs are pointing you in the direction of a new car, check out today’s new car loan rates and apply for a car loan today. myAutoloan will connect you with multiple auto loan offers in just minutes!