You love your car. It’s been with you through many of life’s ups and downs. You may have even affectionately named your auto. But lately you’ve been thinking it might be time to trade in the keys for a newer set.

How do you know when it’s time to get a new car? Here are some signs that it’s time to consider buying a new vehicle.

1. The car needs a major repair

If you have an older car and it requires a major, expensive repair, such as to the transmission or suspension, it may be time to consider buying a new car. It’s possible that the repair fee will be more costly than the value of the car itself. A new car is definitely wise to consider if your mechanic tells you that the vehicle is likely to require additional work in the near future, because of its age.

2. Your vehicle has become unreliable

It may not even be one big repair that occurs. Perhaps even more of a problem is the car that begins having a bunch of “little” issues that render it unreliable. If it’s gotten to the point where every time you climb into your car and turn the ignition, you pray you won’t be stranded, it’s probably time to start looking at new cars.

3. You worry for your safety

If your car has become so unreliable that your safety and that of your passengers’ is becoming an issue, it’s definitely time to consider a new ride. No matter how well maintained a car is, older vehicles are more prone to breaking down at inopportune times, such as while you’re driving on the highway.

Older cars don’t have the benefit of all the safety features included in newer models, such as side airbags, rearview cameras, and blind spot monitoring.

4. The car’s interior shows signs of wear and tear

No matter how well you care for your auto, every car eventually shows its age on the interior. Weather changes and regular use will cause a host of problems inside your car. These include cracked or torn leather or vinyl seats, and worn and stained fabric seating. Cup holders may also become cracked and knobs may fall off. Eventually, the headliner, which is the fabric attached to the interior roof of your car, will sag if it becomes detached from the backing board.

While you can most likely ignore various signs of wear and tear in your car’s interior for a time, as the car continues to deteriorate, you’ll probably tire of the faded and worn look – especially if functionality becomes an issue.

5. You have to refuel more often

Over time, a vehicle’s fuel efficiency tends to dip as the engine and all its parts age. If you find that you’re going to the gas station more often to fill up and there isn’t a fixable mechanical reason, it might be time to think about getting a more fuel efficient car. Many newer car models are designed to substantially save on fuel costs.

6. Your lifestyle changed

You might still love your two-door sports car, but you’re having a hard time cramming your growing family into the vehicle. Or perhaps you need to commute farther to work nowadays and want a roomier, more comfortable ride. Whatever the reason—life sometimes requires that you look into a new vehicle that provides a better fit for your lifestyle.

7. You’re ready for a change

Maybe you want to spice things up and are just tired of driving around the same old car. That’s perfectly understandable. With all of the great options out there, it’s definitely exciting to shop for and find a new car. If you’ve got the itch for a new vehicle, now may be the perfect time to find your next “auto soulmate.”

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