Could it be time to upgrade your heavily-used car? And how does one determine when it’s time to part ways? Most money-wise people are not prey to splurging on a new car when they get a raise in paycheck, or when they see the latest release from their favorite car maker. However, it can be hard to nail down an expiry date on a car that has served you well for many years. So in what situation would it be better to upgrade or explore other means of transportation?
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to help you determine if you should look for junk yards near you, or if your car is still good for another year of use:
Question 1: Do I feel safe driving my car?
Perhaps your car has passed your state’s annual car inspection. But the real measure of its safety is whether you still feel safe driving it. Or, an even better question to ask yourself is whether there are better safety options that you should be looking into. Today’s car models come with the latest array of safety features. These include advanced airbags and rearview cameras to help ensure a safer experience. If your current car is over 10 years old, no matter how many car inspections it passes, it can’t compare with safety features that newer models have. In situations where your safety is in the balance, you might save a penny now, but end up spending much more in the case of an accident or worse.
Question 2: Is this car meeting my present needs?
Have you recently switched jobs or moved to be closer to your workplace? Or maybe you found a place with a lower cost of living? And is your workplace now accessible by other means of transportation?
Or maybe you are a new parent with additional family members that need ferrying about? Your car that used to meet your needs a couple years ago, may no longer be a good fit. Trying to work around a car that no longer meets your needs could become a source of unnecessary frustration in your life. If any of this sounds true for your situation, it might be time let your first love go for something that will improve your quality of life.
Question 3: Has my car become a gas- and money-guzzling machine?
Does it seem that no amount of repairs seem to do the trick? Does your car spend more time in the repair shop than in your driveway? Are you now needing to fill up your gas tank more often than in years past? For most models, the older the car, the less efficient the car’s gas mileage will be. Holding on to your car to save money has a limit. And that limit becomes clear when you spend more on gas than what you would be spending driving a newer vehicle. Cars built within the last couple of years are more eco-friendly and fuel efficient than their predecessors. To get a car with better gas mileage, you don’t even need to buy one brand new. Consider buying a used car that is a newer model than the car you presently own as a way of upgrading your ride in a manner that won’t hurt your wallet too much. But which will still take care of cutting down on fuel fees and repair costs.
The money-conscious person will avoid ditching their well-used car for shallow reasons. (So what if they no longer care for the car’s mauve exterior that they thought was so appealing when they first bought it. Sure, it has a few dings here and there that a detailing couldn’t fix, but that adds character, right?) But asking yourself these questions can help you figure out if your car could be draining your wallet and if it’s now time to plug that hole.