When you love your car, it's easy to see it through rose colored glasses, disregarding what's wrong in favor of what's right. But at some point, there's no way around it: when repair costs are too high, gas prices have you down, and you're tired of leaving your ride at the mechanic multiple times a month, you need a new car. If you're seeing any of these six signs, it may be time to invest in an updated vehicle.
1. Mechanics Can't Fix What's Wrong
A broken air conditioner. A transmission that won't stop making that weird noise. A strange leak no one can identify. If you've taken your car to a few different mechanics and none of them can take care of the issues you're facing, it may be time to rethink your car. When small things are unfixable, there's a good chance bigger, car-ruining problems are right around the corner.
2. A Surprise Emissions Test
If you live in a state with mandatory testing, checking in on your car's pollutants and emissions is an essential part of car ownership. Most vehicles pass with flying colors, but if yours isn't so lucky, there are likely bigger issues afoot. When the costs to bring things up to code exceed the value of your car, you have a perfect reason to start shopping around for something new.
3. Mounting Repair Costs
All cars have issues from time to time, but when your car seems to be having all of the issues, all of the time, you may find your costs of ownership increasing exponentially. A few repairs here and there is one thing, but pouring thousands of dollars in an old car isn't sustainable, especially when the problems keep coming. If your repairs are more than your car payment would be, it's time to go shopping.
4. Gas Costs Are Unsustainable
Maybe your car had great gas mileage when you bought it, but over time, things started to get worse. And then even worse than that. When your car transforms into a gas guzzler that's costing you a small fortune just to commute, a new car should be on the horizon. Today's models are more economic than ever, giving you a safe car that will save you money in the long run.
5. Calls to Roadside Assistance Are Mounting
How many times have you found yourself on the side of the road, waiting for a tow? If it's more than once in the last year or so, there may be a problem. In general, calling AAA or your insurance company for a tow should happen once in a blue moon, not all the time. If you can't make it from point A to point B without an expensive visit to a repair shop, you need to invest in a more reliable vehicle.
6. You're in the Mood for Something New
You don't need an excuse to buy a new car, even if your current car is still doing its job. If the costs fit in your budget, you have a resale plan in place, and your credit score will qualify you for great rates, it's the right time to go shopping.