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In theory, you should be able to keep the same car for around 8-10 years. However, studies have shown UK drivers like to change their cars more often and only keep the same car for around 3-5 years instead. The most frugal drivers will hold onto their car for as long as possible, but they could be costing themselves more money in the long run! Usually, older cars come with high mileage and more frequent repairs but how do you know when it’s time for a new car? Out 8 tell-tale signs it’s time for a new car are here to help you!

1. Your car breaks down often or keeps needing repairs. 

One of the most obvious signs you need to buy a new car is it breaks down too often. It is common for older cars to break down and this could be down to several reasons but if your car is breaking down or needing repairs every couple of months, it may be worth buying a new car instead. As a general rule, your car should only break down a maximum of two times over the year. Anything more than this and it may not be worth keeping your current car.

man fixing car at repair shop

My car has broken down – what do I do?

2. Repair costs are more than the car is worth. 

Another major sign it’s time to buy a new car is when your car repairs costs more than the car is worth. If your car needs a serious repair such as an engine or catalytic converter replacement, it can cost you up to £2,000! If your car has depreciated rapidly over the time you’ve owned it, it can make more sense to replace the car with a brand-new one instead. If your car is involved in an accident and sustained serious damage your car insurance company may even declare the car as a write-off if it is not worth fixing. 

Follow our basic car maintenance tips to help prolong the lifespan of your car

3. Your car no longer feels safe. 

You may feel uncomfortable in your car if it’s prone to breaking down or if it lacks basic safety features. If your car has broken down recently, you may be worried it could happen again and it would be even worse if it happened on the motorway! If driving is making you anxious, it is a tell-tale sign it’s time to buy a new car. Many modern cars come with some great safety technology as standard and older cars may be lacking features such as forward collision warning, lane departure warnings and blind spot technology which could help to keep you safe on the road. 

4. Your car no longer meets your needs. 

In some cases, you may need to replace your car if it no longer is fit for purpose. Replacing your old car doesn’t have to always be due to problems with the vehicle or old age. For example, if you get a new job that is farther away from your home, replacing a petrol car with a diesel car could make sense because they usually provide a higher MPG. You may also need to get a larger car than you have if your family expands or downside to a smaller car if one of your children has flown the nest! 

5. Your car has high mileage. 

The more miles a car has covered, the more likely it is to have faults which need repairing. One of the biggest signs to get a new car is when your vehicle has covered more miles than it should. Typically, for every year your car has been around, it should cover around 10,000 miles. For example, if the car is 7 years old, there should be around 70k miles on the clock. If you feel your car has covered too many miles for its age, it could be a good idea to trade your old car in now

car driving on road to get to destination

6. Insurance costs are increasing each year. 

The older your current car gets, the more likely it is to break down and the more likely you are you break down, the more likely you are to make an insurance claim. Your provider may see this vehicle as a higher liability if you’re more likely to need to make a claim on your insurance. Having a newer or lower mileage car can help to lower insurance premiums and you may find older cars have higher premiums as they age. 

How to save money running a car.

7. Your car needs refuelling more often. 

When you drive an older car, it can be worth keeping an eye on how often you need to refuel. If you notice you’re filling up your car more than normal, it can be a warning sign you need to get a new car. Newer cars are more fuel-efficient and the longer you own your current car, the efficiency will reduce, and you’ll spend more money topping up the tank.

8. You’ve fallen out of love with it. 

Sometimes the biggest sign to buy a new car is that you no longer have any love left for your current one. If you find yourself often fantasising about a new car, why not make that dream a reality? Our used car finance deals let you spread the cost of your next car into affordable monthly payments! We help you find a finance deal from one of our trusted lenders and you can choose the car you want within your budget. 

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All our finance deals come with NO deposit to pay, and your credit score WON’T be harmed when you apply!

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