7 Critical Signs It’s Time You Buy a New Car

  | 6 min read

All cars have an expiry date

We all know someone who has been driving the same car for what seems like an eternity. In fact, when we think about this person we automatically remember their car, and not for good reasons. The car squeaks when it’s on the move, it’s got rust in the paint, and whenever you get in you leave with a cough from the dust in the seats, but the owner won’t let go. Some of us even go as far as to give the owner a nickname like ‘Juma Corolla’ (indicating that Juma drives an infamous Corolla). And we are all waiting for the day when the car itself gives up and stops working no matter how hard the mechanic tries to fix it.

The thing is, while few of us will hold on to a car for as long as the ‘Juma Corolla’ we know, many of us still keep cars way past their expiry date. You see, even if your car doesn’t look super old or make squeaky sounds it may still be time to sell it and get a new car. So, how exactly do you know that it’s time to buy a new car? Here are 7 key indicators.

1. It consistently breaks down

Like most machines, your car will at some point fail you and break down. Whether it’s a blown fuse, battery failure, or something wrong with the engine, it’s safe to assume that at some point during your ownership of your vehicle something will go wrong. However, just because it’s normal to expect that your car will break down doesn’t mean that you should be okay with it happening frequently.

So, if your car breaks down every couple of months, and it’s not minor issues like a flat tyre or low battery charge, then it may be time to sell it and buy a new one. We all know someone who consistently has car problems, today it’s the break, next month they need new shock absorbers, the month after that they need to replace the alternator. If this is you, then take all these breakdowns as red flags that the car is slowly dying, and you need to replace it soon.

2. Repairs are costly

If your car consistently breaks down that means that you are also spending a lot of money on repairs. Once again, minor repairs like replacing blown fuses, and recharging your battery won’t hurt your pockets. But if at some point you have to start replacing expensive car parts like your cylinder blocks, shock-up breaks, and valves, then you have to seriously ask yourself if the costs are worth keeping the vehicle?

For instance, if the costs of repair are TZS 700,000 and you bought your car for TZS 7,000,000 and you know that according to the current market rates the highest amount you’d be able to sell your car for is TZS 6,000,000. Well then, the TZS 700,000 costs of repair aren’t worth it.

3. No one wants to ride it

If your friends hesitate and think twice every time they have to ride in your car, then you know you have a serious problem – because who doesn’t get excited over getting a free ride?

Moreover, while you shouldn’t base your life choices on superficial things like the way your car looks, if you feel that the appearance of your car affects the way people see you in a significant way then it may be time for something new.

For instance, if you are a manager at a company, and you have to use your car to go meet clients, then having a car that makes weird squeaky sounds, and/or looks incredibly beat down and rusty is not a great first impression to make.

4. You are worried about your safety

If you are concerned about your car breaking down in the middle of the night, potentially faulty brakes, an unreliable alarm system, or any other car issues that may put you are risk – then the decision is already made, it’s time to get a new car.

However, this is only the case for cars that consistently have problems. As mentioned before, it’s expected that your car will at some point have some glitches and breakdowns, but when it becomes something that you anticipate rather than a rare incident, then you have a problem.

Also, this puts you at high risk of getting into an accident and injuring yourself and others, or even worse causing a fatality.

5. The insurance/premium costs keeps rising

A lot of insurance companies will increase your insurance premium the longer you have a car, especially if there is evidence that your car is depreciating in value. So if you are incurring high costs of insuring your car because of the condition it’s in, this is a clear indication that it’s time to upgrade to a new vehicle.

6. You always worry about your car

If you have your mechanic’s number on speed dial and have dreams about your car, then you have a problem. Your car is supposed to make your life easier by getting you from one place to another, not stress you out even more.

7. You secretly hate the car

If you groan every time you see your car and curse at it like it’s someone you hate, then it’s clear – time to get a new one.

New car, new beginnings

Car owners are different, and while some of us are eager to change and upgrade our cars every couple of years, there are those of us who will hold on to a vehicle until the wheels fall off. And while it’s economical to keep the same vehicle for a reasonable period of time, rather than consistently spending money on getting a better car, you need to be able to recognise when it’s time to move on.

At the end of the day, cars are supposed to simplify our lives, instead of complicating them.

So, while you may be a little anxious about selling your car, and getting a new one. You should look forward to a life with a vehicle that won’t cause you stress and consistently drain your pockets.


Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.