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Signs it’s time to break up with your old car

Friday, June 07, 2019

For some, the time to get a new car is when a shiny new model captures their attention. Others re-evaluate their car situation when their family grows. However, the most common sign you need a new car is when your existing vehicle is getting old and you can no longer trust its reliability.

While some owners are perfectly happy to keep soldiering on with an aging car because it still has some life in it, it’s usually good to retire an old vehicle before it leads to safety concerns or completely gives up the ghost. So, how do you know when your car’s best days are over, and it’s time to upgrade to a new ride? Look out for these signs.

You, and everyone else, feel embarrassed to be seen in your car

Do you park your car really far down the street when dropping off your children at school? Does your date prefer to use a ride hailing service instead of letting you pick them up? Many drivers think all that matters is that the car gets them from point A to B, even though it is repaired with duct tape or covered in rust. Others treat it as a status symbol. So, if your car looks like it belongs at a scrap yard rather than on the road, it may be time to get rid of it.

It doesn’t get you to work on time anymore

If your car constantly leaves you stranded on the freeway, you need to part ways with it. Even though old cars occasionally break down due to things like an overheated engine, an empty gas tank or worn parts, it shouldn't fail you basically every time you drive it.

It costs more to fix the car than its actual value

Sometimes getting your car repaired can be pricey and if you need to pay R30 000 for a new engine but your car’s current retail value is R20 000, it’s  not worth repairing anyway. If you’ve been in an accident and your car insurance company finds that it’s going to cost them more to have it fixed, they will write it off and pay you the insured value.

You spend more money than average at the pump

If you still own the vehicle you bought in the mid-1990s, you’re likely making more trips to the petrol station than your neighbour who drives a more modern model.  Modern cars are fitted with technology that make them more fuel efficient than their predecessors. You may have paid off your car loan long ago but stopping at the petrol station five times a week is a no-brainer that you should dump your old car.

With today’s lifestyle, a car is not only a want but also a need. For most people, having their own personal mode of transport is the only option for mobility. To enjoy the liberty and independence that come with a car, it’s best to keep pace and invest in a reliable vehicle.