“I’m worried. Should I just get rid of this car?” That’s a question we hear around the All Tune and Lube Tempe shop from time to time and the answer is usually pretty simple. Hang on to your older car for as long as you can, especially if you don’t owe anything on it. As long as your ride isn’t costing more than your car is worth and is reliable, you’re in good shape. Your insurance will typically be lower on an older vehicle, and you can use the money you’re saving for a down payment when the time does come to make a change.
But there are a few things that should influence your decision. One consideration is how well the car has been maintained over time. A well-maintained vehicle will last a lot longer than one that’s been abused and neglected. Even a car that was sort of “low end” when it was new can last a very long time if it’s well cared for. But if you’re trying to eke 20,000 more miles out of a car that’s started hemorrhaging oil all over your garage, you have to ask yourself if this is just the last in a long line of calamities. If it looks like a major failure is looming, it might be a good idea to consider making a change sooner rather than later.
If, when your car breaks down, you can do the repairs yourself it will probably make sense to hang on to the car longer. But if you have to pay a shop for your repairs, or a breakdown could put you in harm’s way, then maybe you want to upgrade. Also, if you rely on your car for your livelihood. When you’re in sales and you’re cold-calling all over the county, not having a reliable vehicle is more than an inconvenience.
An automobile can represent more than a means of transportation to many people, too. Cars might symbolize status, freedom and other non-transportation related ideals. When those motives become part of the mix, deciding when to sell can get more complicated. If you don’t have a car payment now and you can’t afford one, you’ll just have to weigh the intangible benefits of a nice ride against the real and immediate need to eat regularly.
If you decide to take the plunge and get rid of your car in favor of something newer, do your homework. Trading in your vehicle is the most convenient way to upgrade, but it might cost you. Dealerships typically pay wholesale prices for trade-ins, and you’ll be able to get more for your old car if you sell it yourself instead. Remember, it may be an eyesore and a big disappointment to you, but to someone else, it could be a diamond in the rough.
This from your local mechanics, All Tune & Lube Total Car Care in Tempe Arizona. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance.