7 Ways To Tell It’s Time to Buy Another Used Car

December 17th, 2016 by
old car

Know when it’s time to ditch your current used car car and buy another used car with these helpful tips


There are some people who love their car so much that they will hang on to it forever. The emotional bond trumps the endless breakdowns along with the unnecessary squeaks, creaks, and leaks. Who doesn’t know someone who is driving around a clunker with over 200,000 miles on it? While owning a car for many, many years can advance your financial situation, at some point, it no longer becomes economical. When you are constantly taking it into the shop, waiting on parts that may or may not exist anymore, or questioning “what’s that noise?” then it’s time to purchase another one. Of course, there are numerous other reasons why buying another car is a good idea. And, believe it or not, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you know you’re due for another or need a little extra push, the following tips will help you know how to tell when it’s time to buy another car.

Repairs Cost More Than the Car is Worth
An occasional need for repairs or even a once-in-awhile breakdown due to the age of a car, is to be expected, but when you find your car is constantly breaking down with increased frequency, it’s likely time to consider getting another used car to replace your current vehicle. Replacing a windshield wiper blade, air conditioner, or car battery are all part of normal wear and tear on a car. So when we’re talking about breakdowns, the issues are greater. Things like replacing radiators, failed engines, transmission issues and exhaust systems that keep you from completely driving your car and require large, costly repairs are all signs it’s time to move on. A good rule of thumb is anything more than two breakdowns a year is too many. If you’re at the point where you can’t go a month without your car breaking down, you should start shopping soon for another used car. With such a serious problem on your hands, who knows when your car will completely go!
After all, eventually repairing your old car will star costing more than the car is actually worth. Think of it this way, if you find yourself paying $1,500 to repair your engine and your car is only worth $1,000, then you’re really just throwing your money away getting it fixed. Another way to look at it is to do the “tire test.” Decide if a new set of tires for your vehicle would cost more than the entire cost of the car. If the answer is ‘yes’ then it’s time to buy another car. This simple test is not just easy, it’s practical. When it comes to the mathematics involved with repairs, there’s no arguing the matter. When you are paying enormous amounts to fix an old car and there is no return on investment it might just be time for you to retire that beloved car of yours to the scrap yard.

Safety is Becoming an Issue
The last place you want to feel unsafe is behind the wheel of a used car. But the truth is, no matter how many years of excellent maintenance you’ve put into your car, it will eventually become unsafe to drive. Beyond breakdowns on the highway at dangerous times and unreliability, if your car is too old, you’re missing out on the more advanced safety features found in newer models of used cars. Some features like side airbags, rear view cameras, forward collision alert, blind spot monitoring, electronic stability control, and others you may not even realize exist, can make a used car significantly safer. While these may be considered “optional” features, it can also be argued that an old car missing a muffler or a functioning driver side rearview window, shouldn’t be driven at all. It all comes down to how you and your passengers feel. If at any time you feel it’s a risk to be on the road, than it’s time to upgrade to another used car.

Your Friend & Family Won’t Go Anywhere with You
When your friends and family call your car a “Rust bucket,” it’s not a term of endearment. Besides feeling unsafe, your friends and family are avoid riding in your car because they are embarrassed and don’t want to be seen in it. Whether it’s the different colored car doors or the unsightly rust, there’s nothing worse than being seen in an eyesore. As the owner, you may be completely oblivious to just how bad your car looks. After all, it’s the baby you’ve had for years! So while you may think your car has character, everyone else is self-conscious by your car’s unsightly appearance. Take their rejection for rides as a sign that it’s time to get a different used car.

The Interior of the Car is Falling Apart
Even if the exterior looks fine, the interior can tell a lot about your car too. A sign that the life of your vehicle is almost up is when the interior of the car is no longer salvageable. From ripped seats and torn fabric to holes in the floor and roof, along with nonfunctioning windows and moon roofs, when your car feels as though something new falls apart with every trip, it’s time to head to the used car dealership to look for a different used car. Auto City has a wide inventory of vehicles to help you find a new used car that you are sure to love for years to come.
The Cost to Insure the Vehicle is Getting Ridiculous
With limited safety features and the chances of breaking down more often, older cars are much more expensive to insure. Because you have paid this price for as long as you’ve had your vehicle, you may not be aware that you are paying more than your neighbor driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla. Newer used cars are much safer and because of that, insurance companies jack up the price of older vehicles causing the annual insurance premiums to go sky high. Higher insurance rates are especially prevalent if you use regularly use your old car to commute to and from work (as in, you use it regularly). Expensive insurance, a higher bill at the pump, and repairs, all indicate that your monthly expenses for your vehicle are getting out of hand. If you are noticing your wallet getting thinner and your car is only getting older, it may be time to check out the array of used cars at Auto City and get another used car.

The Car is Not Fuel Efficient
If the price tag at the pump seems to be going up, it’s not just the price of oil. The older the car, the less fuel efficient and more it will cost you. Car companies are constantly developing cars that are more and more fuel efficient. Each year models get more miles to the gallon than the previous year. If your car was purchased in the mid-1990s then you’re probably spending a lot more at the pump than those driving newer hybrids. You may try to justify the extra cost with the fact you’re not making car payments anymore, but long road trips, and even weekly trips to the pump can really add up. Depending on how much you drive, if you find yourself headed to the gas station more than twice a week, than you should upgrade to a new used car built in this decade. It will be more fuel efficient and save you money in the long run.

The Car No Longer Passes Emissions Tests
In case you didn’t know, it’s a big deal when your car no longer passes emissions tests. Failing the tests immediately proves your car is outdated and is a hazard to the environment. New vehicles have technologies that make emissions much cleaner and healthier for the environment and atmosphere. So while the exhaust from your car is undoubtedly very smelly, it also is not up to the modern ecological standards. Bad emission can be an issue when attempting to renew your license plate as passing the test is often required for a new one. While you could spend a lot of money to add the new technology to your vehicle just to pass the test, chances are you’re better off replacing your car instead of paying the hefty price tag to drive cleaner.

If all of these indicators are hitting home to the fact that it’s time to buy a new used car, you can comfortably know that shopping for a new used car doesn’t have to be scary. Change is hard and letting go of the car you’ve had “forever” may be tough, but if you’re in El Cajon or greater San Diego, stop on by Auto City. We have hundreds of used cars for sale at great prices. You’ll be eager to drive away with something more fuel-efficient, safer, and, one your friends will want to be seen it.