How to Tell When It Is Time to Sell Your Old Car
Posted by: Dan on 14/09/2016
Just like an old but comfy pair of shoes, calling it quits on a car that has become too run-down isn’t easy.
You’ve got an attachment, you’ve got many great memories – and you’ve got the knowledge that it has pulled through plenty of repairs – so you hold some hope that it will stay running forever.
But all good things must eventually come to an end, and this is just as true of your old car. It’s apparent in the fact that Australians are on pace to set an all-time record for new car purchases, with 689,471 sold so far this year.
The key is knowing when to cut your losses and move on to a new vehicle. Here are 5 signs that it’s time to say sayonara to your old car.
1. Repairs are piling up
There was a point in time when it felt like your car needed no repairs. Then, there was that point where it started to need work. Before you knew it, those repairs became more frequent, and right now you feel like hardly a month goes by that you don’t have to pay a visit to the mechanic.
You may rationalise it all at first, and because you love your current vehicle, you may even be OK with having to make regular trips to the mechanic. But if you look back over your calendar and realise that a multitude of evenings and weekends have been ruined by a breakdown, that’s a clear sign that it’s high time to look for another car.
2. The repairs never quite fix it
While repairs may be a constant part of your driving experience, that’s not the only issue. The problem is that even when repairs are done, they don’t quite fix the problem. Every time you visit your mechanic, he feels less and less confident about what he can do for you, and openly admits “I’ll have to Google that” whenever he sees a new problem arise.
If this sounds familiar, it means you need to prepare to say goodbye to your current ride, and seek out a vehicle that will stop your mechanic from wanting to run in the other direction when he sees you coming.
3. New cars are starting to look very affordable
Depending on when you bought your current ride, you may not have planned to buy a new car any time soon, as university bills, rent payments, and other life expenses can certainly eat at your paycheck.
A new mindset may be needed once you recognise that buying a new car could actually save you money in the long run. Whenever you buy a car, whether it costs $4,000 – or $40,000 – you should always look with value in mind. But if your repair bills are regularly going beyond the hundreds, it's time to look at a new car as something you can afford, and repair bills as something you can’t.
4. New cars have features you want
Aspiring to always have the latest and greatest in car features is definitely a fast way to kiss affordable driving goodbye. If every time a new car is launched, you’re scanning your savings account and diving behind the couch for change, that could be a problem.
On the other hand, if you hop into a new car at the dealership and find it replete with features your current car doesn’t have – from Bluetooth to a phone charger to GPS and more – that’s proof positive your vehicle currently sits in that awkward period between old and vintage. So, be ready to look back at it fondly in 20 years when it shows up on a vintage car TV show, but in the meantime, get rid of it.
5. It’s just not fun anymore
Ultimately, driving should be something that’s fun. Sure, there are rules of the road that you need to follow, and peak-hour traffic on Friday evening doesn’t make for a great start to the weekend – but if you’ve got a good car and a good stereo you’ll more often than not find yourself enjoying your daily drive.
If you find yourself dreading getting into your car, worried about what could go wrong, and focusing not on the actual drive but just on making it to your destination – this means your very next trip should be to a car dealership.
The case for a keeper
There can certainly be exceptions to doing away with your current car, even if the writing's on the wall. If you’re lucky enough to have a car collection, the space to store an old car, or just simply wish to keep it in the rotation for an occasional weekend drive (problems notwithstanding), then you may find that there’s a case to be made for keeping your current car.
Such a case is rare, however, and doesn't address your need for a reliable daily car.
Now that you’ve gone through this list, you’re likely to have one of two mindsets: you’re either ready to accept that now is the right time to start searching for a new car, or you’ll find yourself thinking that despite all these factors, you still want to keep your current vehicle.
If you’re in the latter category, know that a new car can give your driving a new lease on life. You can always replace your current car with a new model by the same manufacturer to ensure that what you like and enjoy about your current car endures.
True, it is never easy to call time on a car you love, and you may want to hang on – but part of being a car owner is knowing when to say goodbye.
How did you decide it was time to move on from your current car? Let us know in the comments below: