Every year that you continue to drive your old car is another year you don’t have to worry about paying for a new vehicle. Yet, with each turn of the odometer, you’re a mile closer to bigger maintenance and repair bills. At some point, it gets too expensive to keep your old car on the road specially if it’s for family use. While there is no magic mileage threshold that will tell you when it is time to sell your car, there are a few steps that can help you determine if the time has come to trade in your old car.
1. Find Out What Your Vehicle is Worth
Any smart decision starts with this step. You can start by searching for the value of your car on an auto valuation site like www.sellmycar.com.au. You will have to fill in a few questions about the make, model, and year, the odometer reading, as well as the condition your car is in and whether or not you are planning on making any repairs before selling it to come to the trade-in value.
2. How Much Is It Going to Cost to Keep On the Road?
This is a really good way of determining whether or not your car is too old to sell. Ask your mechanic for a rundown of:
- Any additional repairs that you can postpone for another year
- Major repairsthat need to be done right now to keep the car running
- Big maintenance that is possible in the next year based on the car’s mileage
Here, you should be thinking less along the lines of oil changes and more along the lines of costly work, such as changing coolant and transmission fluid to rotors, brake pads, and suspension parts.
3. Do Your Sums
Now, add up all the maintenance and repairs that are going to be necessary over the next 12 months and compare that amount to the trade-in value of your car. If it seems like you are going to spend more than what your car is worth to keep it running, it’s time to sell it.
4. Use Past Repair Bills and Recalculate Your Costs
If your comparison seems to fall on the side of keeping your old car going, you’re not quite finished. Remember, even if a mechanic can’t predict future repairs in the next 12 months, there are very likely going to be a few. Check out reliability guides for full lists of problems that tend to plague cars as they age and remember, the older your car gets, the more things are going to break.
5. Trust Your Judgment
If you are still having trouble deciding, spend a few weeks really evaluating your old ride. How well does it run right now? If you feel as though you are behind the wheel of a rattling death trap, it’s time for something new, and you might as well save your money on repairs and replace your car.
Use these 5 questions to help you figure out if it is worth continuing to run your old car or if it may be time to trade it in for something newer and more reliable – and less costly in the long run.