10 Signs You Need a New Car


Car envy is a real thing, and it can really cause you to make some rash decisions. If all of your friends are getting new rides and you’re stuck in your old clunker, you’ll probably want to follow suit and get behind the wheel of something you’re proud of. On the other hand, you might be perfectly comfortable with your old clunker now that you’re done with monthly payments, but is that practical? Keep in mind that the longer you drive your car, the lower the resale value will be when you’re ready to sell. So it’s time to weigh your options: is it more beneficial to hold on to your car for a few more years, or will it make your life easier to trade it in now?

Here are 10 signs you might be ready for a new car:

1. Your check engine light is always on.

Your check engine light is not something that should be treated as a suggestion. If it’s on, there’s a reason. If you’re regularly visiting the service bay for repairs and your light is still on, you’re missing out on one of your car’s biggest safety features. In the event that something worse happens that requires immediate attention, your check engine light will not be able to warn you if it’s already on. This may not be a reason to drop what you’re doing and go buy a brand new car, but it might help jumpstart your shopping process.

2. You’re not passing your inspections.

In order to legally drive your vehicle, you need a valid inspection sticker. If you’re going in year after year and not passing, it might be a sign that you and your car should call it quits. Sure, you can pay for the repairs as a short-term solution to get that sticker, but if it keeps happening, it might be more worthwhile to think about moving on.

3. You’re getting horrible gas mileage.

The truth is, older cars just don’t have the fuel efficiency that newer ones do. You might not see this as a problem yet, but think about it — with a new car, you could take all the money you’ll save on gas and put it towards your monthly payments. You might end up finding that you’re not paying too much more for something much newer.

4. You’re always breaking down.

If every time you go out, you have to worry about making it back home safely, is it worth it? Sure, your breakdowns might be minor and easily fixable now, but what if they start becoming more serious? What if you end up broken down on a deserted back road in the middle of a snowstorm with no cell reception? A new car could save you the stress and potential danger that comes with driving a car that’s prone to breakdowns.

5. You’re spending too much on repairs.

Is it costing you more money to repair your car every time it breaks down than it would cost to replace it? The truth is, repairs costs are just going to keep coming, regardless of how many times you visit the service bay. Think about reallocating your money towards payments on a new car rather than repairs on an old one. It will help your bank account and your stress level.

6. Your car has over 100,000 miles.

If your odometer is reading six digits, it probably means you’ve been taking pretty good care of your car. However, it also means that costly repairs are inevitable, if they haven’t started already. With more miles comes more chance for error, so you might want to think about replacing your vehicle before things get worse.

7. Rust has become second nature.

Sure, when cars are old, they rust. If you’re not bothered by how it looks, that’s fine, but you might change your mind when the floor of your vehicle collapses in while you’re driving. Not only is rust cause for potential danger, it will also drastically decrease the resale value of your car.

8. You don’t have the safety features you need.

With advancements in vehicle technology come advancements in safety features. Sure, you might not need remote start or Bluetooth capabilities, but what about a backup camera? You may think you’re fine without some of these features, but that’s probably because you haven’t experienced life with them yet. Even if your backup camera stops just one potential fender bender, it will do wonders for your safety and for the state of your vehicle.

9. You’ve undergone a lifestyle change.

Maybe you’ve recently started a new job with a longer commute and need something more fuel-efficient to take back and forth. Maybe you’ve started a family since your last vehicle purchase and need something like an SUV or a minivan to cart your kids back and forth to school, soccer practice, and dance lessons. There are a number of lifestyle changes that might cause you to need a new vehicle. If you can afford it, it’ll probably make you happier in the long run.

10. You just want a new car.

Again, car envy is a real thing. As models are updated each year, you might see something that really stands out to you and makes you think, this is the car I want. If you’ve done your research, you’ve started shopping around, and you know you can afford it, why not go for it?