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When Should You Change Your Car

Often it can feel like a moral dilemma when you consider replacing your current car. On the one hand you want something a little newer, more modern and better on fuel. But suddenly doubt creeps into your mind, am I making a smart choice or simply spending more money? Everyone’s personal situation is different; you must make your own judgment to decide if the time is right to part with old faithful. Fortunately there are a number of key points to help you make your decision. Once you understand these you will have the much needed reassurance to pull the trigger or ride it out a little longer.

Age and Mileage

It’s common sense that older cars with more mileage will have an increased chance of mechanical issues.  Regular maintenance and servicing will help keep a car going strong for longer, but once it begins to creep past 100,000 miles it’s definitely going to be showing signs of its age. Many years of life on our potholed roads is going to be tough on any car. The winter seasons can be especially harsh on exposed components under the car due to salt and moisture presence. If your car’s mileage and age are creeping up too far it would be a legitimate reason to consider an updated model.

Recent Costs

Go back through all your recent repairs, bills and car related expenses as far back as you can. How much money is the car actually costing you, is it getting worse? If bills for the last year or two are getting close the actual value of your car then you could well be burning through money. By critically assessing your running costs you can easily decide whether the car has been good to you. If the costs to keep it on the road seem to be stacking up then you should definitely consider shifting it.

Your Financial Situation

You must analyse your personal financial situation. Consider your options even more carefully if you will be buying a car on finance. Will the bills still be manageable in the long term? If you don’t have a stable income it would be a poor choice to make such a long expensive commitment. Always remember there may be additional costs such as car insurance or a used Car Warranty. For some situations it may be smarter to stick with your current car for the time being, or maybe even consider other cheaper options for transport.

Check Your Car’s Value

The value of your car will be largely determined by the manufacturer, model, mileage and condition. Although there are other factors, these will have the greatest influence when comparing your car to the rest. Search online classified adverts for similar models and take note of their asking prices. By directly comparing these cars to your own you will quickly discover its worth. Additionally there are many free online car valuation services, although much quicker to use they may not always be accurate. Knowing the current market value for your car will put you in a strong position for selling or trading in.

Look for Dealership Deals

Worked your way down this list and still seriously considering changing your car?  You need to head to your local dealerships. Often they will have their own special promotions or deals when trading in an existing car to put towards a new one. Incentives to purchase with them will vary periodically so ensure you are making the trade at the right time before going ahead. Remember to use your market value research to ensure you are getting a good trade in price. Don’t be afraid to haggle!

published: 26/08/2014 09:08:46

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