Of course, life isn’t exactly ‘back to normal’, but I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel a lot better. It’s nice to be able to call at my parents house and stay for dinner, without swinging by and waving from the bottom of the drive. It’s nice to go back to the hairdressers, in which I did so for the first time last week. Never again shall we take for granted our everyday lives.
When the world slowed right down, so did something else: driving cars. The roads were so empty during the height of lockdown, and even when restrictions started to ease up, ‘rush hour’ never really returned thick and fast. Saying that though, with people not venturing out in their cars for months, it’s lead alot of people to discover a whole load of vehicle problems.
Those who had older cars and may have toyed with upgrading their cars before lockdown might be finding that their cars are in a worse way now things have picked up. A car less driven and stood still on a driveway for months isn’t ideal, and I feel many people may face a few hefty bills, like tyre replacement and flat battery problems.
I’m actually ready to change up my car, as I’ve had long enough during lockdown to ponder my options for upgrading my car.
If you’ve been thinking the same, and now are considering changing your car now life is slowly returning to normal, you may have a few questions in mind. So let’s find out if it’s the right time to replace your car, and what really needs thinking about…
Has Your Vehicle Become Unreliable or Unsafe?
Depending on the extent of any damage to your car, like flat tyres, you may be able to save the car from being unreliable, and it might not even be that costly.
The best way is to measure up just how many things are wrong with the car. It can become costly if a number of factors stack up. Plus, if you worry that the next time you take your car in for it’s MOT that it will reveal that your car isn’t in the best safe and reliable state, it could be a sign it’s time to replace.
Reliability is the key factor when considering a new car. If your car dies on you as a one-off, it’s not always the most worrying thing. However, if more problems then arise, or you run into a huge fault again, your car then becomes unreliable and unsafe – which is an urgent problem.
Regardless of whether you buy a second hand, older car, or a brand new one, you should always bear in mind that things can go wrong beyond yours and the cars control. Warranty is always advised, and say for example you were looking for a Toyota, you should opt to take out warranty on a reliable Toyta.
You have to ask yourself how much time your current car is taking up. If it’s a constant worry, then it may be time to get a new car.
Your Car Maintanence Spending
In a similar way to the above, how much you are forking out on your current car may give you the answer you need. If you’ve had to fork out for new tyres, new brakes and other engine parts at the start of lockdown but are still noticing other things going wrong, you could be spending too much on an older vehicle.
However, if you have quite a reliable vehicle that you don’t have many problems with and you own the car out right, spending a little bit of money on it every now and again isn’t so bad. It’s about weighing up how old or new the car is, and your current spending on it.
Is it Wise to Spend on Repairs or a Down Payment on a New Car?
Look at how often you use your car, how often you like to drive and be independent on the roads, and how old/new your car is. If you’ve had it 3/4 years and lots of things are starting to go wrong, and you drive daily, then a new car is seen as an investment.
It’s always worth buying a car outright or trading your old car in, over opting for a car loan or finance option. But this isn’t always do-able for everyone. Look at cars that have a reasonable number of mileage and have only had one or two owners maximum, and you should have the comfort of knowing a potential new car is going to be a reliable drive for you.
If you decide it’s time to treat yourself to a brand new car, which doesn’t usually need an MOT for 3 years, it always helps to be able to put a large down payment down. This might hinder your timing. If your savings are quite there yet, could you hold off for another 6 months until you can save up a little more money? Or, is your current car going to run into more problems in that 6 months, and you’ll find yourself forking out more?
Ask yourself the questions above and be realistic with the answers.
Make the Decision Yourself, Don’t Let Your Car Make it For You!
Remember that you want to be able to make the decision to upgrade your car to a newer one yourself, before your current one dies on you, or runs into a financial mess. If you’re aware your car is borderline unreliable or unsafe, do something about it sooner rather than later – you’ll be thankful you did!