11 signs you need to replace your car

In case you didn't already know you needed a new car.

11 signs you need to replace your car
13 min read
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Here's what you need to know

✔️  One of the biggest reasons to change your car is if develops faults constantly and needs frequent repairs.

✔️  Or perhaps you've finished paying off your car loan and you're looking for something new.

✔️  Another reason is the fact that you if you sell your old car, and get one on subscription, you can switch vehicles as often as you'd like!

If you're wondering how often you should replace your car, there are a few signs you can look for to help you decide.

One of the most important signs is how often you have to take it in for repairs outside of the routine maintenance. If you find yourself at the mechanic more and more often, it may be time for an upgrade or getting a car on subscription. But that's not the only way you know it may be time for a new car!

So, what are the signs that you need to ditch your old car and get a newer vehicle?

Emissions standards have changed and your current car is no longer compliant

Emission standards are constantly evolving, the rules and regulations are becoming more stringent, and cities are turning busy city centres expensive to drive in. All in an effort to be kinder to the environment.

All cars on British roads must comply with the EU's Euro 6 emissions standards.

The purpose of this latest emission standard is to lower the number of harmful emissions that soot from diesel engines, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter.

This means if you visit London’s ULEZ area daily with a car that isn't Euro 6 compliant, you will be charged £12.50 per day, or £3,250 per annum (based on being charged 5 days a week). Bristol is also another city looking to implement a low emissions zone.

If you're driving an older petrol car or a diesel produced before 2016, you should definitely think about switching to a newer car.

Your car doesn't feel safe to drive

A lot of factors can lead you and your passengers to feel unsafe when on the road. An obvious one is steering wheel shaking. This is usually an indication of poor tyre alignment or balance, but it could be something more serious. Keep an eye on the electronic stability control light too!

Many non-essential parts, buttons, knobs, dials and fittings are made of plastic, which degrades over time. If pieces start falling apart, it may be time to test drive a new car.

Also, if the engine gets hot, especially when the weather conditions and temperature can't justify it, it may mean your cooling system is starting to give up. It's one of those issues which can be fixed but often lead to requiring more repairs down the line.

Newer cars, especially electric vehicles, come with heaps of safety features. You know, the usual blind-spot monitoring, or side airbags, pretty much comes as standard these days!

Features like automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning and lane departure avoidance are safety features many modern cars benefit from.

Your car breaks down often and spends a lot of time in the garage

The older the car, the more likely it is to break down. Especially if it hasn't been maintained properly. Not to mention that the resale value goes down the longer you keep it, unless you have one of those marques which petrol heads are always after!

According to the AA, the typical causes of breakdowns are related to:

  • Faulty battery or not charging
  • Damaged tyres and wheels
  • Issues with the diesel particulate filter (DPF)
  • Engine oil problems
  • Starter motor problems
  • Alternator faults
  • Engine overheating

Repair costs can be high. When you recognise the early signs of needing a new car, you could think about a new car, even part exchange it. And if you don't want to deal with all of the above issues, you could get an electric vehicle too.

If driven for many miles over the car's lifetime

When cars pass 75,000 miles, the chance of breakdown increases. Some people recommend you to start thinking about your next car after you pass the 100,000 mark.

In such a case, when you want to keep your car, you are risking it turning into a money pit. You're accepting the risk of frequent breakdowns and even more regular maintenance.

When it comes to car subscription, similar to other financing options, you can generally pick a new car, with a new engine, that's more efficient - it could work out a better deal in the long run! What other reasons to subscribe do you need?

The fuel efficiency of your current car is bad

In the best-case scenario, your car is just not as efficient as newer modern cars and you're finding yourself at the pump more often than you'd like. Considering the current energy crisis, you may even consider an electric car, and an EV energy tariff for your home, so you can save money on fuel.

In the worst-case scenario, if you need to keep refuelling, this may be a sign of a fault with your fuel pump. This usually costs anything between £400 and £1,200!

If such a fault appears on a subscription car, you'll be covered and you won't be out of pocket. Is it a no-brainer? Keep reading.

Your car brings back bad memories

Your car can be a constant reminder of the good times, but it can also be a very strong reminder of parts of your life which weren't very good. A bad breakup? A divorce? Whatever the bad memories, your motor won't let you forget.

A new car represents a new start, a way to move forward. Plus, you get the enjoy the latest and greatest different brands have to offer!

Your car insurance premium keeps increasing

Unfortunately, as your car ages so would the chance of a breakdown. In the long term, your insurer will likely see your car as unreliable and costly to repair.

You can always pay cash, and get the insurance paid off in one goal to save a couple of months worth of payments, but in the end, it's the car that would need replacing.

Your old car doesn't fit your lifestyle anymore

People change, circumstances change, and so would your requirements. Maybe you've moved into a city and need a smaller run-around, or you've been blessed with two kids, so you need to think about a safe SUV.

Or, maybe you spend your summers touring around the country, while in the winter you focus on work and avoid driving so much. In such cases, a car subscription could be an option, because you can swap your cars as often as every month, without the long-term commitment which comes with car leases.

You feel like you're missing out on the latest technology

When Apple CarPlay doesn't cut it anymore you may have your eyes on something even more flashy. Wait, maybe your old car doesn't even have CarPlay or Android Auto? Both are still a good upgrade. However, some of the latest EV's like Model 3 and e-Tron can bring up to speed with the latest. Some say driving a Tesla is like driving an iPhone - you get the idea!

You've made your final car loan payment

Buying a car on finance can sometimes feel like getting a mortgage! The Personal Contract Purchase, the Hire Purchase or Lease can feel like you've been tied to that same car for years!

However, if you have finally paid it off, you can think about your next run around! You should check out the trade-in value or decide whether to put the cash towards a new financial agreement or get one on a subscription!

Maybe you just want a new car!

Sometimes you don't need any reasons to want to treat yourself! If you have the desire, the cash, and a dream car in mind, there's little to stop you from getting what you want.

Should I buy a new car or could a vehicle subscription be the answer?

Car subscription has become a wise choice for thousands UK drivers, because it combines all car expenses (including insurance costs and maintenance costs) in one monthly car payment.

For many, this makes financial sense, since budgeting is easier, and you don't have to worry about unexpected costly repairs.

When you buy a car, you’ll need a lot of cash upfront for the down payment. You’ll also need some money saved for emergency maintenance, insurance, servicing, and MOT tests. As a result, buying a new car requires a significant financial commitment right from the start.

You should check out our in-depth subscription vs buying comparison to learn when to buy a new car and when should you replace your car with one on a monthly subscription.

On the other hand, with a vehicle subscription, you’ll pay more per month but costly repairs are factored into the total costs of the subscription payment.

If you pick an electric car subscription provider, such as elmo or Onto, you can be sure you'll be able to pick a brand new car or a nearly new vehicle.

So, is it time to replace your old car and get a new vehicle?

The bottom line: make the decision before the car makes it for you

If you're experiencing any of these signs, then it might be time to start browsing for a new car. Just be sure to do your research so you can find the perfect one for your needs and budget.

The list of car subscription providers in Britain keeps growing, so you won't be short of options. The past few years have seen an ever-increasing demand for EVs, you may want to start looking sooner rather than later! Sometimes delivery can take weeks!

When should you replace your car: FAQs

What is car depreciation?

Car depreciation is the decrease in the value of a vehicle over time. This can be due to many factors such as wear and tear, age, and mileage.

It is estimated that a car's value can fall by 40% in the first 3 years - some cars see this decline in value in their first years! Some automobiles can be affected more rapidly and some brands like BMW and Audi hold their value better.

How long should you keep your car?

This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on several factors. Ultimately, it is up to the owner to decide when to sell or trade in their car. However, there are a few general guidelines that can be followed.

One factor to consider is the age of the car. As a car gets older, it will inevitably require more maintenance and repairs. If the cost of these repairs begins to outweigh the value of the car, it may be time to sell.

Another factor to consider is how often the car is driven. If a vehicle is only driven occasionally, it may last longer than one that is driven daily.

Finally, it is important to think about how much money you are willing to spend on your car. If you are not willing to invest in repairs or upgrades, it may be time to let your old car go.

How often does the average person change their car?

According to research, on average people keep their cars for 6 years.

How long should my car last?

The average lifespan of a car nowadays is almost 12 years, or 200,000 miles, provide it's been maintained regularly. That's probably the breaking point at which you should consider changing it.

Should you change your car every 3 years?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, it depends on how much you drive your car. If you only use your car for short trips around town, then you might not need to change it as often as someone who drives long distances on the motorway.

Second, it depends on how well you take care of your car. If you regularly maintain your car and keep it in good condition, then it will last longer than if you don't.

Third, it depends on what kind of car you have. Some cars are just built to last longer than others. So, there is no definitive answer to the question of how often you should change your car. It depends on your situation.

How do you know if a car is dying?

There are a few telltale signs that your car is dying. If the engine starts making strange noises, if the vehicle starts to vibrate excessively, or if the check engine light comes on, these are all signs that your car needs some serious maintenance.

If you ignore these signs and continue to drive your car, it will eventually break down completely.

Should I use my money for repairs or down payment?

Every car finance deal requires a deposit. You could be charged £1,000 for a repair. Alternatively, you could even sell your vehicle and use that budget to fund your car subscription payments for a few months. It's one of those things where you have to decide what you value and what will bring peace of mind!

Is it worth keeping an old car?

If you are attached to your car and it has sentimental value, then it may be worth keeping it, even if it's not the most practical option. However, if you are simply trying to save money or reduce your carbon footprint, then selling your old car and buying a new, more efficient one may be the better option.

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