When is it time to buy a new car? For many of us, the answer is probably something like “about two years ago” or similar. Buying a new car is a big deal financially, which puts a lot of us off pulling the trigger, even if we want to, until we absolutely have to.
But when is that “absolutely have to” time? What are the tell-tale indicators that time is up on your current four-wheel friend? Here are five of the biggest signs that it’s time to get a new car.
Ah, the MOT. That yearly event that seems to come round all too quickly, you’re never quite prepared for and – if you’ve got a bit of an old banger to your name – you’re quite nervous about.
The aftermath of a failed MOT can be awfully costly to correct. Plus, with the new way MOT testing has been regulated, any car with “dangerous” or “major” faults to its name may not be able to leave the garage until those faults are corrected. If your car has failed consecutive MOTs or is coming out of the test with severe faults to its name, it’s probably time to start thinking about a new car for a whole host of financial, practical and safety related reasons.
High running costs
With the average person tending to become a little more sensible, dare we say a teensy bit more “boring”, as life goes on, the practicalities of a car tend to appeal more than the fun elements. That means if you’ve got a sportier, less fuel-efficient car, you might be getting fed up with ploughing loads of money into petrol each month. Likewise, if you’ve got a car that is constantly suffering hiccups and needs regular servicing, you won’t be best pleased about constantly forking out money at the local garage.
With so many efficient, low running cost cars out there, your current car shouldn’t be demanding regular financial upkeep. If it is, then it’s time to think about a change.
High insurance costs
The same sentiment goes for insurance. As you get older and more experienced, your insurance costs (barring the event of any accidents occurring) should steadily decrease. With the likes of black boxes becoming increasingly popular in both the insurance and bad credit finance world, there’s less excuses than ever to be paying over the odds.
If, for whatever reason, your car is holding you back from cheaper insurance, you need to ask yourself if you should be looking for new options.
A change in your circumstances
Things change in life, and your priorities do too. Say you’ve got your first child on the way, that two door sports coupe sat on the drive is going to start to make much less practical sense than before. Similarly, a change in financial circumstances might mean you want to downgrade or upgrade your current model.
Your car should be a reflection of your lifestyle (typically in a practical sense for most people), so if your car suddenly doesn’t reflect your needs, it’s time to find one that does.
Not passing the eye test
Finally, a bit more of superficial one, but if your car has got to the point where the kids would rather walk to school or you’re getting concerned looks from passers-by, upgrading to a more aesthetically pleasing and all-round pleasant vehicle is a perfectly reasonable excuse to get a new car.
It might not be the most pressing of needs, but if your car is visually in a state of disrepair then there’s a good chance that sterner problems are around the corner, so the necessity of a new car could be more pressing than you think.
So, now you know the warning signs, is it time for an upgrade?