Posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 by Uri Halevi
I was 16 and had just received my driver’s license when my parents graciously presented me with my first car, a green’96 Toyota Rav 4. Yes, I know I am very fortunate to have been given a car, and believe me, I was extremely grateful for my new freedom in the form of a used SUV.
“Mimi,” as I called her, was an important part of my teenage years, transporting my friends and me to all of the places that would become lasting memories. Even when I graduated high school and moved two hours away for college, Mimi was alive and well, and I wouldn’t have traded her for the world. Fast-forward to my college graduation and first real job, and, you guessed, Mimi was still my one and only car. No matter how much my life changed, my car was the one thing that remained constant, and that was very comforting. I really did love that car. So, when Mimi started making strange noises and not driving quite like she used to, I tried to ignore it for as long as I could. I’d turn up the radio to block out the grinding sounds and merge to the slow lane when I wasn’t able to accelerate to the speed limit. It was truly devastating when she finally died on me during my morning commute. After having her towed to the repair shop, I got the news. The necessary repairs would be far more than what the car was worth.
It’s been years since my Rav 4’s demise, and while I treasure the time I had with her, I find myself asking why I didn’t see it coming. So what are the signs it’s time to buy a new car?
If you’re bringing your car in every other week to fix some new problem, it would be wise to sit down and calculate how much those continual repairs are costing you. Compare this number to the estimated worth of you car to help you decide if it’s time for an upgrade. Kelley Blue Book is a widely accepted resource for determining the current worth of your car, and is also helpful when shopping for a new car.
With prices at the pump frequently rising, it’s important to monitor the fuel-efficiency of your car. If you’re finding you can barely afford to fill up the tank, it might be time to look into other options. Hybrid or electric cars are a great option and can save you money down the road. For even more savings, try companies like Auto Credit Express to find a monthly auto loan that won’t break the bank.
This one should go without saying, but there are plenty of drivers who’ve tried to hold on to a car that has been damaged in a flood. Even once the water recedes, it’s nearly impossible to eliminate the smell of standing water that will remain in the carpet. Plus, the cost of inevitable mechanical repairs most likely won’t be worth the huge investment.
Sure a tiny, two door compact works fine for just you, but if you are planning to expand your family, you’ll want to prioritize your needs to decide on the best vehicle for you and your little ones. You’ll need a vehicle that is safe, reliable and can make your life easier, as you juggle transporting the kids to all of their activities.
If your car is continually failing emission tests, it’s probably a sign of more serious, underlying problems (not to mention the effects on the environment your car is having). If this describes your vehicle, it’s time to bite the bullet and look to buy a new car.
With the amount of time people spend in their cars everyday- driving to and from work, running errands, going on road trips- it doesn’t seem so strange that drivers often become very attached to their ride. But the circle of life applies to cars as well, so remember to look for the signs and be honest with yourself when it’s time to buy a new car.