How to know when to say goodbye to your car

Trading in your old car and buying a new one is a significant financial decision — whether you upgrade often or you’ve been driving the same car for years. As cars get older, they lose value, but at what point does that warrant an upgrade?

If you need help deciding, here are some signs to look out for.

Is it becoming more expensive to maintain?

More often than not, the older a car gets, the more frequently it needs to be serviced. Certain parts could start to wear more quickly, meaning maintenance may be more expensive than before. Eventually, the servicing costs may even outweigh how much your car is worth. At this point you could consider upgrading.

If you need help valuing your car, most car sales websites have a free tool.

Is it fuel efficient?

Older cars are often less fuel efficient then newer ones. So if you have a large petrol bill, upgrading  may help you save in the long run, despite potentially high up-front costs. Fuel-efficient cars are more environmentally friendly, too.

Is it up to date with the latest safety ratings?

Having a car with the latest safety features — which older cars may not have — is important. If you’re unsure about your current car’s safety rating, or you’re doing research for a new car, ANCAP and the RAC’s Used Car Safety Ratings Buyer’s Guide are great tools.

Does it suit your lifestyle?

Your needs might have changed since you bought your car, so it may not be suitable anymore. Say you purchased a large SUV to accommodate your growing family 10 years ago — today, your children are older and you may not need the space anymore. Given the expense of driving a larger car, it could be time to downsize.

Is it still comfortable?

Even if the car is still in okay shape, making sure it’s still comfortable is important. For example, if you spend a lot of time on the road for work, Bluetooth functionality may allow you to safely make and receive calls while you drive. A working air conditioner may be a deal-breaker too.

Is it the right time of year to buy?

Savvy car buyers will know that EOFY is often the best time to score a bargain from a dealership. Some dealers may even throw in some extras for free. So if you’re thinking about buying a new car, it may be wise to wait until June 30. In the months leading up, you could start doing your research so you’re ready once EOFY rolls around.

Do you have the right level of insurance cover?

If you’ve made the decision to buy a new car, having the right level of insurance can give you extra peace of mind. You’ll know that if anything unexpected were to happen, your new car will be covered.

New car replacement cover – included with GIO Comprehensive Insurance – lets you hold onto that new car feel, long after you’ve left the dealership. If your car is written-off in an insured event, we’ll replace it with a brand new one of the same make and model, or as close as we can find. Terms and conditions apply. For example, your car must be less than two years old. For the full details, read the PDS.

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. The Target Market Determination is also available. 

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.