It’s not wrong to hold onto your car for as long as you can. After all, middle-class Americans who drive their cars for hundreds of thousands of miles before selling
Loans are neither free nor cheap so each time you move to a more expensive model, you reduce the amount of your income available for saving and investment.
That being said, unless you are a collector of vintage cares, there will always come a time when selling is the right thing to do.
Knowing when you should do that is a bit like applying the Kanban methodology to your personal life. Here are the signs you should keep an eye on in that regard.
1. Breakdowns Happen Too Often
Every car will require some repair at some point. Even a brand new car less than a month old may be involved in an incident that demands a mechanic’s attention.
However, there’s a difference between once-in-a-while breakdowns and finding yourself at the mechanic every month.
You should be wary if you are spending thousands of dollars on major repairs every couple of months. That amount could instead go into making the down payment for a newer vehicle.
Frequent breakdowns are not just expensive but they rob you of peace of mind. Whenever you are on the road, you cannot stop thinking whether your car will fail you again.
2. No Longer Feels Safe
Driving can be fun but is also fraught with risk. Thousands of people die from road accidents each year and many more are injured.
A minimum safety standard must, therefore, be one of the things your car must fulfill for you to continue driving it.
If your car has ever come to a sudden stop on the Interstate, that’s the danger you shouldn’t want to gamble on.
You may be avoiding buying a new car because you want to grow your savings account but nothing is more important than your life and safety.
3. It’s Affecting Your Work
Most employers are reasonable. If you come in late because your car broke down, they won’t make much of it.
It’s a bit like an unexpected medical emergency that you could not prevent. But that is only to a certain point.
If your car breaking down causes you to come late for work three or four times, you’ll start to get the kind of attention you don’t need.
It will be variously interpreted as unreliability, poor time management, and poor resource management. You can easily be fired. It’s not worth it.
4. Few Want to Ride in It
If you offer your work colleagues, family or friends a ride but they seem more keen on going with someone else, chances are that it has nothing to do with you as a person.
Your car just may be the problem. Nobody wants a noisy, bumpy and problem-filled ride if they can avoid it.
Your prospective passengers may feel uncomfortable or unsafe from just looking at your car. It’s about time you got yourself a new ride.
5. Your Circumstances Have Changed
The reasons there are different car models, categories and sizes are not just because people have different tastes and budgets. Rather, the type of car you drive is often informed by your needs.
For example, it may have been ok to drive a small car when you were unattached. But once you start a family, you may have to upgrade to an SUV or minivan so there’s sufficient room to comfortably accommodate your family and the items you want to carry with you.
If you have a new job that’s much further from where you are, going for a fuel efficient car would be prudent.
If at least some of these signs are true for your car, put it up for sale, develop a budget, outline your driving needs, do your research and buy another automobile.