5 Signs It's Time to Buy a New Car
The further you drive with the same car after your loan payments stop, the further ahead you'll be financially. But how long is long enough, and when do you know that it's time to upgrade?
When the cost of owning your old car becomes too high, it's time to bite the bullet and consider a new car.
If you are ready to upgrade your car now, get in touch with a car loan specialist to find out what your car loan options are and how to upgrade your car.
Here's what to look for:
'Should I replace my car?'
Here are five sure signs that it's time to consider trading in your car for something that will make your life more comfortable.
1. Repair and towing costs grow quickly
If you've had to get your car towed a few times over the last few months, you'll realise that towing can be very expensive, not to mention a hassle.
Older cars can become more expensive to repair as the parts may no longer be stocked by your mechanic or the dealership where you get your car serviced. The same goes for tyres, in-car equipment and gauges, and even little things like windscreen wiper blades.
Depending on the age and condition of your car, it may even become hard to get car insurance.
If your car is over seven years old, consider these costs and what you might end up spending to keep your car running over the next 12 months. If this figure is similar to what you might spend on car loan payments and running costs for a newer car, it's time to consider an upgrade.
2. Fuel costs are too high
Every year new cars become more fuel-efficient, so if your current car is quite old, you could potentially make significant savings by upgrading. There's a good chance a new car will also have lower emissions, making an upgrade an environmentally friendly decision.
If you're changing to a smaller car, consider a hybrid or electric option. While battery rental or purchase can be expensive, the fuel savings will add up as you reduce your environmental impact. You can finance a hybrid or electric car too.
3. Safety is an issue
If you're having recurring issues that affect your safety on the road, you definitely need to consider buying a new car as soon as possible. While your car is still running, there's a chance you'll get something for it by selling or trading it in, and letting someone else fix it up.
This includes the brakes, gearbox and drive-train functioning, and general safety rating. Many older cars have a low ANCAP safety rating, which means as an occupant you're at a high risk of injury in an accident.
4. You need more space
If you suddenly find you need to transport extra people around, you have a growing family, or you've taken up camping on weekends, your small runabout might not stretch to fit in your passengers and the luggage they need too. You might consider the best family cars available if this is your situation.
Changes in lifestyle are one of the main reasons that people upgrade their car loans, whether it's that you need a car for work, you're downsizing or upgrading.
5. Your driving needs have changed
Whether you're driving further for work, spending more time on rural roads or even off the bitumen, there comes a point where owning a practical car makes sense. You might be driving a lot, and need a more economical car to save on fuel costs. Perhaps you need a 4WD to get off-road.
Whatever your changing driving needs are, having the right car for the roads that you travel will make your commute safer and more comfortable.
Choosing a new car
Once you decide that it's time to buy a new car, give yourself enough time to research the most appropriate options for your needs so that you don't rush into a purchase that you'll have to then replace.
Consider whether you can afford to pay cash or if you'd be better off taking out a car loan. If you'll be taking out a car loan, check your credit score and get a pre-approval to ensure that you purchase within your budget.
Sticking out a few extra days or weeks with your old car while you research options and test drive some different cars to meet your new needs will pay off in the long run.
Using a car loan to upgrade
You can use a car loan to upgrade your car and sell the car you currently own to help with a deposit towards your new car. This car loan approval checklist can help you to prepare to apply for a car loan.
A Positive car loan broker can help you to select the right loan type for your exact use case, so don't hesitate to get in touch about your car loan options. We can even help you to find the right new car, so don't hesitate to ask your lending manager any questions you have about upgrading your car and getting the right loan.