If you don’t feel safe or happy in your car, are always worried about breaking down, or if your car is just causing you more trouble than it’s worth, it may be time to buy a new car. If you can, think of doing this sooner rather than later: as a rule, the gap between the trade-in value of a used car and the price of a new car gets bigger every year. Let’s go through the factors that could make it well worth your while – and peace of mind – to buy a new car.
Signs it’s time to buy a new car
Dated safety features
The safety of your car is largely based on its structural integrity and the safety features it has. Patches of rust or rusted metal falling off your car indicate it could be structurally compromised. Shaky steering or unusual vibrations are signs that your car has wheel-alignment issues, or wear and tear of parts that should be replaced by a mechanic. A shaky wheel can be very difficult to control and puts you at risk of an accident. If this is a recurring issue for you it may well be a sign that it’s time for an upgrade.
Airbags, seatbelts, and crumple zones are passive safety features in most older cars. Many newer models have active safety technologies like blind-spot monitoring (BSM) and autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which can help avoid a crash entirely. If your car has no active safety features, it could be time to take advantage of today’s technology and find a newer car that is safer.
Serious engine issues
Older cars – especially those not serviced regularly – are more at risk of a breakdown or not starting compared to new cars. Dashboard warning lights being permanently on is a sign there could be a serious engine problem and your car could break down any time, even while you’re driving. Another indicator of engine damage is if you can see visible metal shavings when the oil is changed. Oil leaks or overheating are also signs that something is wrong and a new car might be on the cards, especially if you’re dealing with constant maintenance issues.
Smoke, noise or an unusual smell when the car is running may point to a serious engine problem. The colour of the smoke can indicate different issues – burning oil will cause blue smoke, a cooling system leak will cause white smoke and petrol burning will cause black smoke. Any of these signs could mean it’s time to consider a new car. Poor fuel economy or frequent repairs are other signs that your car might be costing you more than it’s worth to fix.
Comfort and convenience
There are many other indicators that your car may have passed its use by date; here are a handful of examples:
• It has high mileage – and you need a reliable car that’s not just driven for the grocery run.
• You’ve done many DIY repairs with super glue or duct tape.
• The interior is cracked and faded, requiring detailing.
• The heater or air conditioner doesn’t work.
• It doesn’t run well in hot or cold weather or handles poorly in the rain, snow, or frost.
• You can’t replace parts because they’re no longer made.
If you can see any of the signs above, it’s time to keep you and your family safe and happy by buying an upgraded car. First, decide how much you are willing to spend, then work out what type of car will suit you. Do your homework by researching a few car makes and models online on Gumtree. Soon, you’ll find the perfect fit and you’ll never look back.