Owning a car is a brilliant thing when you’re starting out, but every dog has its day and every car has its lifespan before it is, as they say, “on its way out”. As much as it’s a big commitment to replace your car, there are telltale signs that subtly indicate that it’s time to start looking for a new one. This guide will take you through each of the signifiers that your car replacing, and tips on how to make the most informed decision on your next car.
Signs That You Should Start Searching for a New Car
Does your car keep breaking down or take a struggle to get working? Your car has been through tens of thousands, if not, hundreds of thousands of miles, so wear and tear is not just likely but expected at this point. If it keeps breaking down, its function as a reliable means of transportation is becoming less and less viable. You can often feel as though you aren’t safe in your own car anymore, which is a horrible feeling to have on the daily commute to work. It’s time to start looking elsewhere.
Increasing Servicing Costs
A big part of the reason your car might be suffering from reliability issues is that its parts are wearing down to a point where they need servicing. Your MOTs are getting increasingly pricey every year, and repairing and replacing parts can be an expensive ordeal, even if it’s something as simple as an engine belt, especially if it’s the engine itself. On top of that, older models will find it more difficult to find spare parts. Rather than go through all that to still be driving a car that has run-down parts everywhere, why not up sticks and move to a brand new car?
Do you find yourself constantly needing to refuel? This may be because of wear on the engine or a faulty petrol pump. Not only do new cars not suffer from this, but also have higher fuel economy to begin with thanks to new technologies being developed all the time. Today, there are even options that don’t produce CO2 at all, as EVs are coming off the rack into people’s lives at a rapid rate, and will enjoy an almost certain dominance in the future. If your car is one of those that coughs out visible smoke from the exhaust on the dual carriageway, it might be time to start looking at what’s on offer today.
Your life can and will change dramatically over the lifespan of a car. For example, you may have bought your first car as a city-living single person and now still use it in the countryside as a family car. While cars are versatile, having a car that’s designed for the job will make life much easier. If you’ve moved to the city, have a more nimble, fuel-efficient city car, whereas if you’ve settled down in the suburbs, you’ll prefer a more spacious and practical car.
Bored of Your Car
Finally, you could simply be bored with your current car. This is a perfectly fine reason! Being in the same car year after year is not for everyone. This is why car leasing is perfect for this, as you can essentially ‘loan’ a brand-new car for a few years and are free to get another one.
Choosing Your Next Car Wisely
Assess Your Needs
With so many cars to choose from these days, the first thing you need to consider is which type of car is best suited for you. This will help narrow down your search considerably by looking at what you will use the car for. Plus, once you have got a long list of what you need, you can then start to look at what you want, and start choosing cars for purely personal reasons. This can be simple things like what features you like or what cars you like the look of.
Additionally, it’s best practice to look at reviews to see if the car is quality, this can help you compare and contrast different models to see the best thing you can get for your money.
Consider the Budget
Buying a car is one of the greatest financial decisions outside of buying a house, so it’s critical to consider your budget. You need something that won’t put you out of pocket, and setting a maximum budget is the best way to avoid overpaying. Remember to consider additional running costs such as costs of ownership, tax, fuel and maintenance that you can count up beforehand but may not consider until after you’ve made the purchase.
Decide Between Buying or Leasing
Traditionally, most people buy outright, but car leasing is becoming an increasingly popular option. Each has its pros and cons – buying means you retain ownership of the car and can do what you want with it, meaning you’re free to sell or trade it in when you are ready. By contrast, leasing has lower overall costs and can have another brand-new car after a couple of years. The choice is all up to which appeals best to you.
Book a Test Drive
Finally, once you have built your shortlist to a select few, the best thing you can do is go out and try them out physically by booking a test drive. This will give you a real-world feel to all those stats you’ve found while researching, and help you understand how it feels to drive – is the handling good? Does it have enough acceleration to help you on the slip roads safely? Are the brakes responsive? All this you will be able to find out for yourself and make the most informed decision you can.