“Should I Sell My Car?” 7 Signs It’s Time to Give It Up

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Marc Skirvin

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Is the love you have for your car blinding you to its depreciating value?

Some people feel as if their car is actually a part of their family. This sentiment is warranted. You trust your car to get you to work and drop your kids off at school.

So how do you know when it’s time to sell it? As much as you love your car, it may have overstayed its welcome. There are many blatant warning signs that it’s time to sell your old car.

You’ve been avoiding these red flags for years. Don’t wait until it’s too late and your car has zero trade-in value. Your old car should be used as a bridge to your new one.

We develop sentimental attachments with our cars, but no vehicular relationship is meant to last forever. “Should I sell my car,” you ask? The answer is yes if you notice some of these signs.

1. Is Your Check Engine Light Always On?

Do you drive one of those cars where no matter how many times you get it fixed the check engine light is always on? There seems to be nothing you or your mechanic can do to turn that annoying thing off!

This is not a phantom signal. Your car is crying “uncle”. If your check engine light never goes off, then it’s time to call it quits.

2. Are Your Maintenance Costs Higher Than the Monthly Payments?

All those check engine light inspired trips to the mechanic can really add up. You might get to a point when you’re paying more to keep your car running than you are to actually keep your car.

Your maintenance fees should not be higher than your monthly car payments. Any money you put into your car should not be more than 8 percent of your monthly income.

If maintenance and your car payments are over this percentage, then it’s time to get more affordable wheels.

3. Has Your Family Grown Out of Your Car?

Yes, you might think of your car as a member of your family, but it can’t take precedence of your real one.

You may have had your car since before you’ve had kids. It was the perfect ride for a single person to grow up with. But now you’re older and need to worry about more than just yourself.

If your car is too small to fit your family, then you need to get a new one.

Getting the big soccer family van may make you cringe, but it’s the right thing to do. Stuffing your kids in a car without enough room is dangerous and illegal. Every member of your family should feel safe and comfortable in their car seats.

4. Are There Certain Benefits You Are Missing Out On?

A new car may seem like a huge expense, but it can actually save you money. Many dealerships offer free maintenance for the cars they sell you. For at least a five-year warranty window, you won’t have to worry about the costs to upkeep your car.

With your old piece of junk, you may be spending hundreds a month on maintenance. So in some regard, it really pays to have a new car. 

Plus you can’t beat the extra confidence boost you’ll get from behind new wheels. This pep in your step can help you make gains in all aspects of your life. 

5. Are Repair Costs More Than Your Car’s Value?

Getting your car’s engine or transmission replaced can be a huge expense. These fixes can sometimes cost thousands and thousands of dollars. If your old clunker is only worth around one thousand bucks, why put double its value into saving it?

Little repairs can add up too. Let’s say your window isn’t rolling up or need some upholstery fixed. Those maintenance jobs may only be a few hundred each, but after a while, they can dwarf your car’s value as well.

Stop throwing good money at a bad car. Take the money you would spend on the constant maintenance for your old car and buy a new one!

6. Is Your Car No Longer the Safety Standard?

You may not think your old car is a piece of junk. Maybe it still runs like a dream and has no body damage. But just because a car runs well doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive.

There have been many advancements in driver safety over the years. Your trusty old car may not be so trusty after all. It may not be compliant with the latest car safety standards.

This means your car is not only dangerous for you and your family, but it can also be a danger to other drivers. Modern car bodies are made to collapse in accidents to avoid more damage. If your car isn’t modern, it probably isn’t safe.

7. Have You Earned a New Car?

Loyalty should be rewarded. You and your car have been through a lot. You can remember driving it off the lot. Then maybe you drove it to a new city to start your adult life.

Your loyalty and care for your car have kept it in good condition. You may not see a reason to sell it. But after years of hard work you have finally earned an upgrade. 

If you can afford a new car, a valuable trade-in only makes that deal sweeter. 

Should I Sell My Car?

If you answered yes to any of those questions above then now might be the right time. After you get a new car, you won’t have to think about the question “Should I sell my car” for a very long time!

What are you waiting for? To start the process of selling your car, contact us today!

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About the Author

Picture of Marc

Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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