Cars are indeed appliances, but sometimes you just can’t help but fall in love with them. However, everything must come to an end, even your vehicle ownership. With new car prices soaring through the roof, it’s not easy to jump ship and dive head-first into a brand-new car. That said, you’ve still got to squeeze out as much as you can and know when you need to start thinking about selling your car.
So here are all the things that will let you know when it’s time to start searching for a new car. It must be said though that apparent factors such as the age of the car, current exterior quality and general mechanical well-being must be considered, as knowing when you need to part ways with your car is always subjective to your circumstances.
Warranty/ service plan
Assuming that when you first had the car given to you it was brand new, there would have been a warranty included with your new car and it’s important to know when that warranty/service plan ends. Typically these warranties range from as little as 3 years to 10 years! Unfortunately, BMWs are often parted off after surpassing that 100 000km mark – usually due to issues brought on by poor maintenance and treatment. Second-hand cars from dealerships might offer warranty or service plans, however, informal buying and selling of cars rarely come with any kind of service plan included. Dealerships may offer warranty/service plan extensions, but best not to bet on that. Once that warranty runs out, you’ll have to start dishing out money for every service on your own. This leads to the next point, Service costs.
Service costs are a constant aspect of vehicle ownership. Unless you’re skilled enough and equipped to repair and service your car on your own then it’s unavoidable. Cars that cost a fair bit more will more often than not be accompanied by equally costly service expenses and repair costs. Older cars are prone to parts breaking and needing repairs. A 25-year-old car is more likely to need a trip to the mechanic than a Mini that just rolled off the showroom floor.
My point is, being mindful and aware of the impact these costs have on your quality of life is paramount. Be honest and ask if you’re capable of shovelling out heaps of money.
Corrosion and damage
Living closer to the sea increases the likelihood of your car developing some rust. Older cars are at greater risk than newer cars. Cars older than 15 years and that have been exposed to the salty sea air for several years will most likely have some rust or corrosion. Spots to look out for include rust on the chassis, rust on the pillars of the car connecting to the roof, around the windows, the floor of your car.
The severity of said corrosion is also a factor to consider. If the rust is something that can just be smoothed down and treated then all good but if it’s something that requires an extensive amount of work then that can quickly become a pricey rabbit hole to dive into. Essentially if you can see through that corroded piece of metal, big red flag. Always seek the advice of an expert to get an assessment.
Mechanically, your car should be able to run at its best. A ding on the body is better than your car misfiring or a faulty steering rack. If your car has irreparable damage in areas such as the engine, transmission or steering column then it’s best to start considering parting ways with the car.
Aside from the initial purchase price, everyday costs such as fuel or cleaning costs will become an integral part of your ownership. If your car begins to put a financial strain on you, it might be time to consider a change. The perfect car for you should get you from point A to point B comfortably, safely and efficiently. Take note of how practical your car is and if owning it has more pros than cons.
How often do you have to fuel up? How often do you have to kick-start it? How often do you find yourself inconvenienced by your car? How often does it break down? Taking an honest look at how your car affects your daily life will reveal how much of an asset your car is to you.
Remember to keep a level head when deciding whether or not this is the end of the road for you and your hooptie. Ultimately, choose what works best for you and what’s most beneficial to do.
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