Most of us depend on our cars each and every day, to successfully complete the school run, the supermarket sweep, after-school activities, the gym, the list goes on. Our vehicles are well used and well loved. And as reliable as your car has been over the years, it will eventually need replacing for a newer model. So how do you know when it’s the right time to let go?
You’ve Outgrown It
You may love the sporty hatchback you bought pre-children, but is it still practical? If the lack of space for book bags, PE kit, shopping and kids is stressing you out, it may be time to upgrade to a bigger model. To figure out the best option for you, assess your lifestyle. Do you need large boot space? If so, an estate car might be for you. Do you go on a lot of family holidays in rural areas such as the Lake District? Then it may be worth investing in a 4×4.
Your Journeys Have Changed
It is also worth looking at the types and lengths of journey you are making. This will help you to assess whether your vehicle is still cost effective in terms of fuel. If you use your car as a run-around and only do 10-15-minute journeys at a time, a petrol engine might be the best option. However, if you do a hundred miles on the motorway every day at fast speeds, a diesel may be a wiser choice to reduce fuel consumption. If your current engine is no longer suitable for your journeys, it may be time to sell.
Consider how much you are spending on maintenance. Ultimately, this comes down to how often your car requires repairs and how costly they are. If you need a one-off repair, such as worn brake pads, it will probably be more cost effective to get them fixed. However, if your car is regularly breaking down and you are forking out repeatedly, getting a new vehicle may save you money in the long term.
To figure out the best option, assess the current value of the car. If the repairs are going to cost a significant percentage of the car’s value, don’t go ahead with the maintenance. For example, if your car is worth £5,000, and a mechanic states it will cost £3,000 in repairs, you are probably better off investing that money in a new model.
So, is it time to switch?
If you think the time has come to sell and switch, due to high maintenance costs or practicality, a used car might be more cost effective than a brand-new model. Used Cars NI have a great range of vehicles at affordable prices.