Are you holding onto an older car, hoping to squeeze a few more thousand miles out of it, all while wondering if now’s the time to trade it in? Perhaps your vehicle is paid off and you’re not ready to tackle a monthly car payment. Or maybe you feel loyalty to your vehicle and you’re hanging onto it because you just love it. Knowing when to get a new car can be a tough call: should you continue to invest in more repairs or is it time for an upgrade? While every driver has unique needs, here are seven signs that it’s time to buy a new car:
7 Signs it's Time to Buy a New Car
Repair costs are more than the car’s value.
Parts of a car are only designed to last so long. If your repair costs add up to more than what your old car is actually worth, then it’s probably time to move on. This is especially true if your car is prone to chronic problems. You’ll also want to look at potential future repairs. Spending $1,500 or so for a repair job now may help you eke out a few more miles but what’s likely to come next? Consider having a trusted mechanic take a look at the car to spot any looming problems you may encounter in the not so distant future.
You have safety concerns.
Do you refuse to drive at highway speeds because too many things could go wrong? Or do you have a process for “engaging” the breaks? If you find yourself dreading trying to start your car on a cold morning or driving home in the snow or rain, now might be the time to look for a new car. Not only do older cars tend to wear out but they don’t come equipped with the standard safety equipment you’ll find on a newer vehicle. Today, cars come with a lot of standard safety equipment, things like advanced airbags, side airbags, better handling and brakes, electronic stability control, and rearview back-up cameras.
The value of the car is rapidly decreasing.
If you make the decision to replace your car early, you might be able to get a reasonable amount of cash for it. Wait too long and you’ll have to make due with scrap value. So, if you’re relying on the sale of your clunker in order to cover the down payment a new vehicle, you might want to consider selling your current car while it still holds some value.
You want better gas mileage
The older the car, the less fuel efficient it’ll be. Each year, new car models come out and each is a bit more fuel efficient than the previous year’s models. If you’re still driving around in the car you bought during the 1990s, chances are you’re spending a lot more time and money at the gas pump than you want. If so, an upgrade might be the answer.
It doesn’t work for your lifestyle anymore.
The old beater that served you so well during your young years might no longer meet your needs if you’re a new mom. Or, maybe you just got a new job that requires a longer commute so you need a car with better gas mileage. There are plenty of life changes that might have you rethinking what you’re driving. Is now the time to trade in that sport ride for a family friendly SUV?
Your car couldn’t pass an emissions test.
Emission standards have been on the rise for years. And, in several states across the country, motorists are required to take their car in for an emissions test before registering it. Newer vehicles have been built with various “drive clean” technologies that emit less toxic fumes than older cars. Older car models do not have these technologies and many will not pass the emissions tests. If this happens to you, you might want to consider replacing your car rather than shelling out big money to get your old car to drive cleaner.
You’ve found a good deal.
Car dealerships often cut prices or offer special promotions. Maybe there’s a special offer on a new car you’ve been eyeing. Just like any other purchase, timing is everything when it comes to buying a new vehicle.
Protect What Matters
Whether or not now’s the time to buy a new car, you can rest assured that auto insurance with Farm Bureau Financial Services offers a wide range of options to keep you safe, both on the road and off.