“It Just Needs A Lick Of Paint!” When Is It Time To Say Goodbye To Your Car?


Your first car sees you through so many different rites of passage in your life. It has solidified many a picture in your mind during your life, whether you were listening to your favorite music on your first journey after you passed your driving test, or the car set the backdrop to your first proper job, or the freedom you first felt when embarking on your first road trip. But a lot of these wonderful memories can cloud our judgment, especially when it comes to getting rid of this hunk of junk. In many ways, it’s our baby, and for a lot of us, it was probably our first love. As a result, we can feel somewhat reticent to give it up. But, let’s provide you with the cold, hard facts, here are some things that are major red flags and it is time to say goodbye to your first love.

It Costs You More To Repair It Than It Is To Buy A New One

A car is a big expense at the best of times. Getting your car repaired on a regular basis to keep it up to code is costly. But our sentimentality can cloud our judgment. Sometimes it’s better just to think about trading in your car rather than going to the mechanic time and again. Let’s face it; if you are on first-name terms with half of the mechanics, you are going there way too often! There are small DIY jobs you can undertake yourself, but this is only if you have the time and the luxury. But, there will be a time when you take your car into the test center, and the bill becomes so much, that you are putting more money into this than anything else, it is time to give up the ghost. 

Parts Become Discontinued

This is a problem predominantly for older cars. If you take it upon yourself to bring your car back up to code, and undertake those relevant DIY jobs, you may find yourself in over your head. If you are lucky, you may know people who know people that can source a specific part, but there comes a time when these spare are items are more difficult to search for. If you find yourself frantically scouring the internet late at night, for parts across the world, and you are more than happy to pay to have it shipped over, is it financially viable? The fact of the matter is that these parts may very likely come apart again. But, on the plus side, if you have spare parts that you have needed to use, and you decide to sell up, you can sell the spare parts as well. You could earn a good amount of money selling these rare bits and pieces.

You Step Into The Car With A Feeling Of Dread

One of the most stressful aspects of driving is when you have limited finances and the dreaded petrol light comes on. It can feel like you’re playing Russian Roulette, and you see if you are able to eke out the journey for a bit longer than normal. But when it gets to the point that there are funny noises, and the car isn’t doing what you want it to, such as the play veering in one different direction, making turns somewhat hazardous, surely it’s time to stop? Sure, there are parts that we need to fix, but if every single time you get into the vehicle, you’re wondering if you’re going to make it to your destination, the alarm bells should start ringing in your head.

The Rust Is Beginning To Spread Too Far

Even when you see your first signs of rust, you’ve got to get on top of it. There are ways to minimize rust, but if the whole vehicle is starting to show signs, you should think about a change. Rust can spread very quickly, and even if you keep on top of minimizing rust, it is a very time-consuming task. It all depends on the car you have. If you’ve got a classic, then no doubt, you are determined to put in the time and effort. And if it’s something that’s really not worth the effort, do yourself a favor.

There’s More Duct Tape Than Upholstery

Not that we’re knocking tape, but even though it can be very useful, if there’s an issue, inside or outside of the car, duct tape is a very good short-term fix. But when you start to see more of this wonder material holding upholstery together, holding lights together and turning your car from its natural color to a something with metallic gray stripes all over the place, you’ve got to ask yourself if you’ve got enough finances to really undertake the changes the car needs. It’s at this point where you need to really ensure that the car gets the best possible care.

You Have Concerns About Safety

It doesn’t even have to be you; if you’ve got a family now, and your car is a decade older than your firstborn child, you have got to think about the changes in car safety standards. Older cars weren’t built for safety. As we all know, there weren’t even seatbelts on cars until the late 60s. Now, you’ve got to think about how much this will impact your journeys out with the family. You can modify a vehicle to a certain extent, but with regards to child safety, if the vehicle is not up to code with the latest child specifications, and is not LATCH or ISOFIX ready, is it worth the bother? 

Your Fuel Consumption Is Increasing Evermore

Better fuel consumption has been one of the main draws for those looking to be more environmentally friendly, and as manufacturers are dishing out fuel-efficient cars across the market, including hybrids and electric cars, if you’ve got an older vehicle that is draining your finances, you’ve got to think about the financial aspect. In addition to this, you might be using more oil than you used to, which could be due to a leak somewhere, or the engine is burning it. If you see a cloud of smoke coming from the exhaust, this is a sign that you are likely burning more oil.

You Can’t Find The Answers To Your Problems Online

If you’ve been trying to identify why there’s a specific issue, and you’ve been around the houses, contacting your parents, or heading online, and you’re not able to find exactly what the issue is, then you can either take into a mechanic who will charge you through the nose, or you can save yourself the money and trade it in.

Have Your Needs Changed?

While it could be your first or second car, it naturally holds a special place in your mind. It’s been with you through so many different parts of your life, but people change. It’s not always about the mechanics of the vehicle. Sometimes, the car is just not what you need anymore. Your life has changed, whether you’ve had kids, or you need something sturdier for longer commutes because of a new job. When your life makes major changes, your car naturally evolves with it.

Everybody Is Telling You To Give Up The Ghost

Not just your friends or family, but if an expert is asking you if you thought about trading it in, this will spell the death knell. Mechanics know how much each individual part of the vehicle costs, and while you might think they are trying to fleece you for every last penny you’ve got, there are nice ones around that just want to do a favor and spare you potential bankruptcy.

That Noise…

You might have been oblivious to a tapping sounds, and you’ve just pushed on through. But when that tapping noise emanating from the engine starts to get louder, and becomes a banging sound, this can highlight there could be an issue with the camshaft or a problem with the bearing. Look at your odometer, how many hundreds of thousands of miles has the car done? If you’ve been ignorant to that gentle tapping noise, and were reluctant to go to the mechanic, and would rather fix it yourself but can’t identify anything, your only options are to trade it in or send it to the local scrapyard.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and if you’ve been holding onto your car for sentimentality reasons, but life has changed, you are wasting money, or it’s just not safe anymore, it’s better to do yourself a favor and trade the car in. As cars get older, they naturally deteriorate. What you can do at this point is salvage the car for parts or just trade it in. It can be a kick in the teeth when you get next to nothing for trading it car in, but when you look at your bank balance and see that you’ve wasted hundreds, if not thousands on getting this car fixed again and again, it is time to say goodbye.