Are you umming and ahing about whether or not it's time to trade your car in for a smoother and sleeker model? If you recognise any of our points below, that time may have come!
You know you need to trade your car in when...
You break down three times on your way to the shop (down the road)
The convenience of owning a car soon goes out the window when small journeys take longer than they would have had you walked. If you find your car is slowing you down more than it is helping you get places faster, then it goes without saying...but we'll say it anyway: Trade that car in!
Your car dances more than Beyoncé
If your car is known to shake its boot-y when driving, that's a worry. If it's prone to a bit of popping and locking, it's not a good sign. If it swerves from side to side or moves slow and stiff like a robot, it might be a safety hazard. If your car does the mashed potato...well, that's pretty cool, actually. All in all, though, if your car is dancing and you're not taking the lead, it might be time for it to bust a move.
Your kids are embarrassed to be seen in it
When you're taking the kids to school, have you noticed you're being asked to pull over and drop them off further and further away from the school itself? No, your kids haven't suddenly realised that if they want make it as professional walking athletes one day they'll need the practice. It's far more likely that they're just a little embarrassed to arrive at the school gates and have to step out of car that's spewing smoke out of the exhaust and stalling worse than a TV quiz show contestant waiting for the host to slip them a clue.
Your mechanic invites you to his/her birthday party
Aww. Don't get us wrong, it's a very sweet gesture and we're happy that you and your mechanic have hit it off so well, but it might be a sign that you're spending too much time taking your car in to be serviced. Go to the birthday party and have a ball, by all means, but when you get home it might be a good time to start hunting for a new car. Keep in touch with your mechanic though; it's always nice to have one as a friend should anything happen in the future.
The duct tape holding the mirrors in place has changed colour
It's been a year now since that mirror was knocked off, hasn't it? The black duct tape you used to hold it in place didn't look so bad at the time, but now that the sun has had its wicked way with it, it's safe to say that a dirty grey doesn't suit it quite as well.
Your kids are now so tall that their knees come up to their shoulders
There was plenty of room in the backseats when the kids were younger, but now that they're older, and taller, it's getting pretty cramped back there. If their knees are squished up to their shoulders when you're driving, either pull your chair forward or trade up for a car with plenty of rear legroom. Take care of your children's legs - they'll need them to look after you one day!
The cassette tape player keeps draining your battery
If playing your cassette tapes is having an impact on...wait, rewind a second...cassette tape player? It's 2014! Unless you're going for retro-chic, trade that car in for something a little more hi-tech - or at least get a car audio cassette adaptor for your MP3 player!
You see someone else driving it and feel sorry for/laugh at them
Have you ever been cruising down the road when you pull up at a traffic light, glance over at the car adjacent to you and see someone behind the wheel of a sorry-looking car? You can't help but feel a bit bad for them. But...hold on, isn't that the same car you're driving? It is! Oh dear. It might be time to trade this car in for a model that doesn't require you to wear a baseball cap pulled down over your face as a disguise when you're behind the wheel.