Buyers' Guide: Three signs it’s time for a new car
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Wondering if it’s time to end the relationship with your car and go your separate ways? We know breaking up with your ride can be difficult, but on the other hand ... buying a new one can be rather exciting.
If you’re debating whether it’s time to move on, here are some signs that might help you with the tough decision ahead.
Cost of repairs
We don’t always get to decide when to change our vehicles. If major repairs are needed, they can often be uneconomical to fix. For example, the cost to remedy an engine failure can come in at half the vehicle’s financial worth.
Often your mechanic will use your Warrant of Fitness (WoF) sheet or servicing invoices to include notes about potential issues to look out for, so don’t throw these away as soon as you’ve left the workshop. Make sure you read them carefully to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
If you’ve kept on top of your car’s servicing and are still faced with unexpected repairs, it may be an opportune time to seriously think about replacing your vehicle.
Investigate the potential costs before you decide to fix the problem and, even if it’s manageable, think carefully about whether this could be the start of a number of repairs as costs will quickly accumulate. If you’re unsure what decision to make, ask your mechanic for advice.
Some drivers regularly upgrade their vehicle to avoid repair costs and devaluation as a result of the benefits you receive when buying new. Benefits include longer WoF and maintenance intervals, and reduced registration costs thanks to added safety features.
Over time, changes to your lifestyle may determine the car that you need.
We get a lot of calls from AA members seeking recommendations for cars that are more suitable for their growing families — more often than not, with a focus upon greater passenger capacity, increased safety and reliability.
Similarly, people moving between urban and rural environments often get in touch to discuss the benefits of switching between city hatches and sedans, and more robust vehicles such as utes or SUVs.
We encourage people to consider the bulk of their time that’ll be spent behind the wheel — you don’t want to drive through town in your beloved manual truck changing gears every minute.
We know that safety is a high priority for our members, especially those with families.
So, if you know your car is ageing quickly and you are questioning its safety, then it’s probably time for an upgrade.
Take a look at some of the latest safety features on models in today’s market and compare them to what your car is equipped with. We’re talking lane keep assist, electronic stability control, blind spot warning, auto headlights, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and the list goes on.
If you’ve never heard of these safety features, it’s a good idea to look into them further to understand their true benefits.
You can also use resources such as the latest Used Car Safety Ratings to identify how safe your car is when positioned against other similar makes and models, and the ANCAP website (ancap.co.nz) provides stats about the differences between a new car that carries a five-star safety rating versus one that doesn’t.
Whether you’re changing your car through choice or necessity, it’s important to ensure that you’re making the right decision. Don’t rush, pick wisely and invest in the safest car that is going to meet both your budgetary and lifestyle requirements.