Driving a Disaster – 5 Signs That You Should Trade in Your Car
Imagine for a moment you have the car all packed, cruising down the highway for that long awaited weekend away at the beach. When all of a sudden, black smoke starts billowing out from underneath your bonnet and you are forced to pull over. Suddenly, a beach weekend away with your partner turns into a night with Bobby from a tow truck company.
Now I don’t know about you, but I personally would rather a beautiful beach than the company of a repair shop. So, before you enjoy that vending machine dinner in the garage, here are 5 signs that you should trade in your car.
1. Rips in your car’s interior isn’t fashion
For kids these days rips in jeans are a fashion statement. The same can’t be said for your car’s interior, I’m afraid. That worn, stained look on a car seat doesn’t quite get the same reaction as a bold fashion statement. If your car is starting to look weathered or has that unique odor that you seemingly can’t smell but your passengers can, then take that as a sign it’s time to trade in.
I remember my first trade in; it was so easy to trade up to my Dodge. Using Steve Jones Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & RAM, I didn’t even have to visit a single dealership, they did it all for me with just a few details and a mouse click.
2. They don’t work like they used to
Not just a fun and colloquial saying for the older generations, at some point in our lives we will have all said this about some part of our car. Whether it’s that pesky window which doesn’t roll down anymore, the stereo speaker which is 12 decibels higher than the other, or the new air-con feature of winding down the windows because the actual air-con doesn’t work.
These things are inevitable in your car, so read the signs and start taking the right steps immediately. A car door that doesn’t open for example doesn’t exactly scream functional. So when you find yourself coming up with these little workarounds, take it as a sign that it’s time to trade it in.
3. Breaking Point… otherwise known as the silent thief
At night while you sleep whether you are aware of it or not there is a silent thief stealing your valuables. No, I’m not talking about a physical burglar who will, as the movies have taught us, crash into some pots and pans in the kitchen alerting you to their presence. Rather, the silent thief known as depreciation.
Any car owner will tell you that depreciation is the real driving force behind trading in your car. Depreciation can hit your car at a rate of knots, but understanding where the breaking point is for value vs usefulness will really help ensure that any loss is minimized. . Depreciation is unstoppable, but a perfectly timed trade in can help increase your return on investment and ensure you don’t reach your own personal breaking point.
4. Fueled by money
Not an often considered thought, but one which should always be present in the conversation on trading in your car, is the cost to run your vehicle. Picture it is a sunny March day in 2015, the price of petrol sits at 1.48 a gallon. You are happy, carefree, planning that 800 mile road trip around the country in a 20 gallon capacity four wheel drive. What could go wrong?
If the cost of running your car isn’t a key consideration in today’s day and age, then it should be. Fuel guzzling cars can cost a small fortune to run when it comes to fuel. What worked in 1995 may not necessarily work for you now. A clear sign that it’s time to trade your car in might be the difference in the cost of running ‘the beast’ vs running the 2019 hybrid, fuel efficient motor on the road now.
5. Adding oil to your weekly shopping list
A good oil change is about as good for your car as a holiday is for you. A smoother running engine just makes the car feel like a million dollars. But if you need to change that oil as regularly as you fill the fuel tank you might be looking at a telltale sign it’s time to trade it in. Regular maintenance is one thing but when that maintenance because a frequent flyer on your chore list consider whether it’s time to send her to better place.
To avoid being stranded in God-knows-where with a mechanic who has nothing but bad news, read the signs and ask yourself if it is time to trade in your car.