5 signs it's time for a new vehicle


Man driving his new vehicle.

Purchasing a new vehicle is a big decision, and it can be difficult to determine the “right” time to do it. Are you financially ready to take on a new auto loan? Will your current car run for many more years or break down tomorrow? Do you need a new vehicle, or do you just want one?

There are endless factors to consider, and the process can quickly become overwhelming! Luckily, these 5 signs that it’s time for a new vehicle can help make your decision a little easier! Continue reading to learn more:

1. your repair costs are adding up  

The most practical sign that it’s time for a new vehicle is when repairs cost more than your car is worth. For example, if you need to spend $2,000 in maintenance for a car only worth $1,000, you should consider other options. This is because a vehicle is essentially an investment - and once you're unlikely to see a return on your investment, it’s no longer a good one.

So how do you know how much your car is worth? Or when should you stop putting money into repairs? Resources such as Kelly Blue Book are beneficial and easy to use. You can get a rough estimate of your vehicle's trade-in value within a few minutes. And once you've determined that price, assessing the value of your repair costs will be much easier. Especially when the repairs are expensive - such as a faulty engine or transmission.

the “tire test”

Another factor to consider is the “tire test” on an older vehicle. No matter how well you take care of your vehicle, you'll eventually have to replace the tires. Is it even worth purchasing them if your car is on the verge of breaking down or has a low value? In these situations, it's probably better to save the money and put it towards a new vehicle.

pro tip: Although it’s not technically a repair, the amount you spend on gas can be significant. The older the car, the less fuel efficient it is. If you find yourself at the gas pump a few times a week, it might be time to consider something else – especially if you drive often! It’s easy to think you’re saving money because you don’t have a car payment, but these costs add up over time and are often overlooked.


Repair costs and gas prices aren’t the only expenses that can add up! Unfortunately, a wide range of unexpected events can leave you in financial hardship. If you’re finding it difficult to pay your monthly bills, take advantage of BlueOx Credit Union’s Payment Protection. Under this program, your loan balance or monthly payment could be canceled without any penalty or added interest. Click the link to learn more:

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2. you need repairs/maintenance often

Maybe your repairs aren’t exceeding your vehicle’s value, but if you need them often, it’s just as good of a reason to start car shopping. Not only do frequent repairs cost money, but they’re also stressful and inconvenient.

While your car is in the shop, you'll likely have to rely on others or public transportation to get you to work and appointments. Most people have been in this predicament once or twice. And while it's not fun, it's at least manageable every now and then. However, it might be time to purchase a more reliable vehicle if it's constantly happening. You’ll save yourself money and the frustration of having to coordinate a ride.

pro tip: Car experts have a general rule that you shouldn’t be experiencing breakdowns more than twice a year. That doesn’t include cosmetic repairs such as replacing an air filter or changing a lightbulb. It’s the repairs that prevent you from driving the vehicle - such as problems with your radiator or exhaust system. If you're exceeding a two-time-a-year breakdown, it’s an excellent sign you need to start car shopping.


Accidents happen, and expensive auto repairs can come out of nowhere. BlueOx Credit Union is here to help with Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Mechanical Repair Coverage (MRC)! GAP will help protect members against financial loss in the unfortunate event of an accident. While MRC can help deflect some of those costly repairs. Click the link to learn more:

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3. you no longer feel safe

Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your passengers when driving a vehicle. This is why it’s essential to pay attention to your safety features and ensure they are efficient. Even if your car is in good shape - if the airbags, seatbelts, or brakes are lacking, it may be time for an upgrade.

Safety technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Modern cars now offer safety features such as backup cameras, blind spot detectors, and lane assistance that are incredibly helpful for minimizing the risk of an accident! Driving your older vehicle until it’s covered in rust might save you money. However, it’s not worth it if your safety is being compromised!

4. your lifestyle has changed

It’s possible to outgrow a vehicle before you’re planning on purchasing a new one. A growing family from having children or adopting pets may require you to buy a larger vehicle. Driving a car with better gas mileage might be necessary if you get a job with a longer commute. Or maybe you’ve started a new career in labor and now need a pickup truck. Unexpected life events can definitely be a good sign that you’re ready for a vehicle change!

5. you want one!

Sometimes the best sign that you are ready for a new vehicle is simply because you want one! Maybe you want to upgrade to the latest model or have more advanced technology features. You might be switching from a lease or even purchasing your first car!

Any reason is valid if you're financially able to take on the new car payments. So, thoroughly sort through your finances and current budget before deciding. Consulting a financial advisor can also be helpful if you have any doubts or questions. While purchasing a new vehicle is exciting, it’s much better to wait if your financial wellness could be compromised!


Refinancing your current vehicle might be a better option for you than purchasing a new one. Read our blog: when should you refinance your car? to help you determine this and learn all about the process!

what’s next?

Do you think it’s time for a new vehicle?? If so, BlueOx Credit Union has you covered! We offer great rates, along with affordable payment and vehicle protection options, including Auto Essentials and Depreciation Protection Waiver. Click the link below to learn more! 

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