Everyone wants to get the most out of their vehicle, but cars and trucks always have a shelf life. At a certain point, it makes more sense to replace a vehicle rather than repair it. If your car or truck’s best days are behind it, chances are it’s starting to cost you more money than you might like, to say nothing of the safety risks involved with operating a vehicle that’s no longer suited for regular use.
Keeping your vehicle insurance in Alberta as low as possible means that you should go claims-free, and driving a safer car or truck is an excellent way to reduce your risk. You’ll also benefit from reduced operating expenses and improved reliability, which can make a major difference in the daily grind.
To determine whether it’s time to leave your old wheels behind and invest in a new vehicle, there are some telltale signs you should look for.
Is it Time for a New Car or Truck?
While the odometer is a key indicator of how much service time your car or truck has left, it isn’t everything. What’s more important is to look at the vehicle’s performance. Specifically, is it still running efficiently, or have breakdowns and repairs become more frequent and more costly?
It’s almost always cheaper to fix a damaged car than it is to replace it…except when repairs and maintenance issues have become so frequent that your vehicle has become a money pit. If you’re having to take your vehicle in for major repairs more than once a year or so, it might be time to start thinking about a new set of wheels.
You should also keep careful tabs on your fuel efficiency, especially if you’re driving a higher-mileage vehicle. If you’ve noticed a sharp decline in your vehicle’s fuel performance that doesn’t seem to improve with regular maintenance tasks, this is a key sign that its lifespan is nearing its end. Dramatically diminishing fuel efficiency shows that the vehicle is really struggling to perform, and if increased fuel consumption coincides with other major mechanical issues, it might be time to walk away.
Insurance Considerations for Vehicle Purchases
If you’ve decided that the time is right for a new car or truck, you should research insurance costs before you sign off on your purchase. Certain makes and models cost more to insure than others — particularly those with higher theft rates. Insurance companies make model-specific rate decisions based on risk, and risk profiles can vary significantly from vehicle to vehicle. Many a driver has experienced sticker shock when they went to insure their vehicle after purchase rather than before, and this is something you can easily avoid by educating yourself ahead of time.
While the purchase method – leasing versus buying – doesn’t have much impact on insurance rates, you do need to take your credit rating into consideration. People with good credit generally get better rates on vehicle insurance in Alberta, so be sure to choose the purchase option that poses the least amount of risk to your score.
Selling Your Old Car or Truck
If the vehicle you’re moving on from still has some serviceable years left, you’ll want to learn how to market it effectively if you’re not going to be trading it in to a dealer. To this end, here’s a checklist that will help you attract as many buyers as possible:
- Collect all available service records, and make copies for prospective buyers to review
- Clean the vehicle, inside and out
- Take clear, detailed photographs from every possible angle, showing both the exterior and interior of the vehicle
- Research resale values to determine your starting list price
- Be courteous, helpful and honest when dealing with prospective buyers
Once you’ve moved on from your old car or truck, be sure to follow these important maintenance tips to keep your new wheels running smoothly.
Great Advice and Competitive Rates on Vehicle Insurance in Alberta
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage, offering competitive rates on all forms of vehicle insurance coverage from major providers. Because Lane’s is a brokerage, our representatives work for you, not the insurers, so you can rest assured that we’re always working to protect your best interests.
Lane’s also offers extensive resources, courteous customer service and outstanding claims support in addition to fantastic rates. To get a fast, free quote, please visit Lane’s Insurance online today.