Car workshop
0 View
Article Rating
1 звезда2 звезды3 звезды4 звезды5 звезд

When should you let go of a used car?

When should you let go of a used car?

Chevy Trailblazer at Ohio Valley Goodwill Auto Auction

However, as much as we love our cars and use them daily, they aren’t meant to last forever. There comes a time when it’s better to let go of an old car than to keep it around where it will take up valuable space in your garage or driveway. When you choose to donate your car, you’ll be extending the usefulness of your vehicle and helping others in need at the same time.

Not sure if it’s the right moment to get rid of an older vehicle? Here are some telltale signs it’s time to say goodbye and donate your car:

#1: Your car needs pricey repairs

As your car ages, it’s likely that it will need more and more repairs to remain driveable. Those frequent visits to the mechanic can add up quickly, and could even exceed the value of your vehicle! If your car needs major repairs, such as engine or transmission work, seriously consider if it’s worth spending the money or if you’re better off moving on to your next vehicle.

#2: Your car has high mileage

Even if your car isn’t decades old, having high mileage could decrease the value of your car and lead to issues requiring frequent maintenance and repairs. If your vehicle is approaching the 200,000-mile mark, it might be time to think about car donation.

#3: You’re ready for a change

Maybe your car doesn’t have any major issues, but it just doesn’t fit your needs and lifestyle anymore. For example, a growing family calls for a larger vehicle like a minivan or SUV. Or, maybe you’re ready to downsize your current vehicle and cruise in style with a sleek sedan or sports car. Whatever your situation, there’s no sense in delaying the switch to a vehicle that works better for you!

Lineup of 5 cars at Ohio Valley Goodwill

Donated cars at Ohio Valley Goodwill

Is it time to donate your car?

When you realize it’s time to let go of your current vehicle, Ohio Valley Goodwill is here to help! We make it easy for you to donate a car in Cincinnati and create a positive impact in your community through our car donation program and weekly auto auction in Cincinnati.

Donating your car to Goodwill is a quick, easy, and meaningful way to get rid of an older car. Our convenient donation drop sites are located throughout the Cincinnati area, so all you need to do is drive up and donate! Ohio Valley Goodwill accepts cars, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles in any condition, so even if your vehicle isn’t running, you can arrange a FREE tow and donate your vehicle easily.

When you choose to donate a car in Cincinnati to Ohio Valley Goodwill, you can be confident that the value of your vehicle will be maximized to do the most good in your community. That’s because Ohio Valley Goodwill uses the revenue raised from the sale of your vehicle to help support life-changing job skills training and employment services for individuals with disabilities and others facing barriers to employment. We run our auto auction completely in-house, so there’s no outside company getting a cut of your vehicle donation!

Donate a Car. Change a Life.

Donate a Car. Change a Life.

Plus, by donating a vehicle to Goodwill and supporting our mission, you may become eligible for a tax advantage—learn more at With so many good reasons to donate your car to Goodwill, why wait?

Get started today by filling out our donation form and we’ll be in touch with you soon!

10 Ways To Know When It’s Time To Repair Or Replace Your Car

Handing over car keys

For many consumers, owning a car is not a luxury but a necessity. That doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their car, even pamper it like a member of the family. But time and road miles tend to wreak all sorts of damage and wear on even the best-kept vehicle.

Sooner or later, the decision must be made whether to repair or replace your car. Here are 10 ways to help make the choice a little easier.

When repairs or maintenance cost more than the car is worth. You’ll know it’s time to get rid of the car and get a new one when the dollars start adding up to the point where it’s going to cost you more I repairs or continual maintenance than the old car is actually worth. The key point to keep in mind here is that older cars tend to require bigger and more costly repairs.

Look at potential future repairs. Plunking down $1,500 or so for a repair job now may help you eke out a few more miles from your old car, but what’s likely to come next? This is the automotive equivalent of a home money pit. At this point, have a trusted mechanic take a look at the car to spot looming problems and give you advice on how serious it is. The more the repair estimates or forecasts climb, the closer you may be to deciding on a new car.

What about safety? Not only do older cars, even the best-maintained of them, tend to wear out, consider the potential risks of having a breakdown while driving. New cars today come equipped with a lot of standard safety equipment, things like advanced airbags, side airbags, better handling and brakes, electronic stability control (now mandated by the federal government), and even rearview cameras. Optional active safety technology includes blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems, forward collision alert, drowsiness alert, and automatic parking. Since your old car likely doesn’t have these safety features, when it starts to show its age, maybe it’s time to look at a new car as a replacement.

When your car eats gas and mileage suffers, the problem may not be fixable. Let’s face it. The older your car is, the less fuel-efficient it’s going to be. That’s because it doesn’t have the engineering advances of newer engines, is likely nearing the end of its useful life, and will continue to go downhill or require increasingly more expensive repairs – like a new engine, transmission, or both.

Know what your car is worth. Before making the decision to go ahead and pay for repairs on your old car, you should take the time to find out what it’s worth. Use tools available from sites like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to determine trade-in or retail value of cars similar to yours. A good rule of thumb is to employ the so-called “50-percent rule.” When repairs cost 50 percent of what your car is worth, it’s time to replace.

Know what your next car will cost. You probably have some idea of the next car you want to buy, since you’ve likely been eyeballing magazine articles and kept a keen eye on models that catch your attention. Not only should you have a fairly good idea what that new car you want will cost, you’ll also need to figure out how you’re going to pay for it. Use the proceeds from the sale or trade-in of your old car to serve as a down payment to lower the amount you’ll need to finance. Weigh and balance whether that monthly payment for the next 36 to 60 months is more or less than the anticipated annual outlay in repairs for your current car. Another rule of thumb here is to consider replacing your car if yearly repair bills are more than 10 percent of the price of the new car you’re looking at.

Factor in insurance costs. Do your homework and calculate the difference in annual insurance costs for your old car compared to a brand-new one. If your old car isn’t worth that much, you could drop comprehensive and collision, saving several hundred dollars. But your old car likely won’t qualify for as many safety-related discounts available for new cars. Also keep in mind that performance, sporty and luxury cars cost more to insure than family sedans. In the end, insurance costs may not move you one way or another to repairing or replacing your old car, but they are something to take into consideration in the decision.

Pay attention to rebates and incentives. Nothing is more enticing than substantial money on the hood or low or zero-percent financing. You might even decide that leasing is a more attractive proposition this time around. When the incentives offered by automakers make the financial case for you, this is really a no-brainer for dumping a repair-prone older car and getting into something new. On the other hand, if your ride isn’t that old and you’ve kept it up religiously, maybe foregoing the temptation to buy new is the right choice.

Lifestyle changes may dictate it’s time for a change. Has your family size increased or decreased? Do you have longer or shorter commutes to work or school? Are there different recreational pursuits you’re now engaged in that require more space or capability, maybe the need to haul items and gear or tow a boat or trailer? Maybe getting into a new vehicle that’s more suited to your driving habits and needs is in order.

When you’ve just had enough of your old car. There’s also a lot to be said for getting out of your old car and into a new one just because you’re past being okay with what you have. You may have started a new job and want something more appropriate for business or you’ve yearned for a new car for the past few years and kept nursing the old one along as long as you could. In this case, if the financial picture makes sense and you can snag a good deal, go for the new car.

11 Smart Questions to Ask When Buying a Used Car


Blurred-out couple buying a new car.


Article QuickTakes:

  • Are Any Service Records Included?
  • May I Have a Vehicle History Report?
  • Any pre-sale servicing?
  • May I get a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI)?

A vehicle sitting in the classifieds or on a dealership lot may have many stories to tell, as long as you know what questions to ask when buying a used car. Shopping for a used car can seem like a challenge, and you’re not alone if you feel this way. Arming yourself with strong questions could help you know what you’re getting into.

When shopping around, don’t be afraid to grill a salesperson. Off the bat they may lack answers, but that’s nothing a little digging on their part can’t solve. What about questions to ask when buying a used car from a private party? The good news is that private-party sellers may know more about their cars than dealers do. After all, they’ve probably been driving the vehicle for a while, and in some cases, they may even have owned it since new.

Here’s a look at several important questions to ask when buying a used car from either a dealer or private party.

What Is the Car’s History?

While you can’t expect a salesperson to know the history of every vehicle on a big lot, it’s always worth asking them what they know about the car. Maybe they handled the trade and can provide some hints about how the previous owners used it. Or they can tell you if it was acquired, as so many cars are, at a dealer-only auction.

You’ll have better luck with this question in a private-party sale. When inquiring, you’re looking to learn about when the seller acquired the car and how they used it. If they were not the vehicle’s first owner, they may be able to tell you a little about its past prior to their acquisition. A history of garage storage—as well as whether the car has seen more highway, suburban, or urban use—can be highly desirable.

Are Any Service Records Included?

Asking this question can tell you a lot about how fastidious the previous owner has been. Meticulous maintenance with documentation shows an owner who cared about their vehicle and was willing to spend money to keep it going. While you needn’t write off a dealer or seller who is unable to provide receipts, the car may need a little more stringent inspection should you choose to go see it.

Has The Car Been Wrecked or Previously Stolen?

A «yes» to either of these does not have to automatically lead to a «no» from you, but it should open some follow-up questions, such as the severity of damages incurred and extensiveness of repairs. Documentation for these items is critical as it can be hard to take a seller at their word.

If the car was previously wrecked or stolen and recovered, you’ll want to inspect the title closely to ensure it is «clean,» meaning the car has not been issued a salvage title at the behest of an insurance company.

May I Have a Vehicle History Report?

Two major firms provide vehicle history reports that can detail where a car was registered throughout its life, give you a glimpse into its service history, and tell you if it was ever in a wreck or had its odometer altered. Carfax is costlier and more comprehensive than AutoCheck, but using both in tandem can uncover a lot about a car.

Dealers typically provide one or both, but you may need to request the data. Be wary of a dealer who is unwilling to provide a history report. Don’t worry if the Carfax or AutoCheck data makes no mention of service history. Not all shops or dealerships report information to those organizations.

Private-party sellers will sometimes provide a Carfax or AutoCheck history report. If they choose not to do so, the seller can provide you with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) so you can purchase one yourself. While not a car’s biography, such documentation often reveals a lot about a vehicle—and it can tell you if the seller has been truthful.

What Problems Have You Had With the Car?

This really just applies to private-party sales, but there aren’t too many used cars in perfect condition, so let this question rip. Odds are the owner has had at least an item or two repaired, which can add to your pre-purchase peace of mind. There’s no reason to fear recent major fixes—if anything, evidence of such work can save you thousands in the long run because someone else took care of those gremlins for you.

A follow-up to this question can include asking whether there are any open recalls—that is, recalls up to 15 years old left unaddressed. If the seller is unsure (or you want to be certain for yourself), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains a database of open and completed recalls that you can access using the car’s VIN.

Are There Any Current Problems?

Here’s where you can start putting your negotiator’s hat on. Hopefully, the seller will disclose any issues even before you go to see the car.

If there are smaller issues—especially wear items such as tires or brakes that will eventually need to be replaced on any car—you can do a little research ahead of time to determine the cost of replacement. Armed with that knowledge, you can try to negotiate a lower price.

What Else Is Included With the Car?

A new car comes with more than just a key. A well-kept used car should retain two keys and remote fobs (if applicable), as well as the owner manuals. These items are important to have, but can be expensive to recover if they’ve gone missing—modern keys can cost upward of $500 to replace .

Additional items to consider include floor mats (both carpeted and winter-ready rubber), roof rack cross bars, luggage covers, or winter wheels and tires. While many dealers will discard service records for privacy reasons, some will provide you with redacted documentation—or at least be able to print out a car’s service history if it was maintained in their shop.

Careful private sellers will likely include the owner’s manual and extra keys. Additional items can obviously vary by car, but it’s better to ask than not for extras. Furthermore, you can ask if the seller has kept the original window sticker—the federally-mandated document that was affixed to the car’s window when it was new. This lists out the vehicle’s original specification, including major factory-installed options. This can be useful when comparing cars, and again, it shows the owner may have been meticulous with their vehicle.

What Service Did You Perform to Prepare the Car for Sale?

A traded-in vehicle is rarely immediately ready to go to a used-car lot, as are many private-party, pre-owned vehicles. Dealerships typically perform at least some servicing, and they will normally be able to provide documentation. The best private sellers do this, too. An oil change and replacement of wiper blades sounds basic, but may save you some money. Bigger work, such as installation of new tires, brake pads and rotors, or even regularly scheduled maintenance, may save you thousands. This kind of work is worth factoring into the price you want to pay for the car.

Is There a Warranty?

There are three kinds of warranties you may find on a used car.

  • The remainder of a factory warranty: A relatively new used car may still have some coverage provided by the manufacturer. A call to the manufacturer’s customer service line can verify how much is left.
  • A Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) warranty: On a car that has passed a manufacturer-backed CPO inspection, this warranty can provide similar coverage to the factory warranty for as much as two years depending on the brand.
  • A dealership-provided warranty: Many dealers will include a short-term warranty—typically three or six months—that can cover certain repairs. While not particularly comprehensive, and often served with strings attached, these warranties can offer peace of mind as long as you’ve read the fine print first.

Can I Have an Independent, Pre-Purchase Inspection Performed?

If you find that you like the car, a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) from a trustworthy mechanic or repair shop can be worth its weight in gold, as it can determine any underlying issues not immediately visible to an untrained eye.

A transparent seller should be willing to have such an inspection performed, though typically it is the potential buyer’s responsibility to pay for this.

Can I Return the Car if I Don’t Like It?

You might be surprised with the answer to this one. Many dealerships have a policy that will let you return a car within a few days (and a few hundred miles) if for some reason you decide it’s not the vehicle for you. That said, you can save yourself the hassle by asking about an extended overnight test drive.

It should go without saying that posing this question to a private seller won’t go over so well. In fact, you might be surprised with the answer, but not in a positive way.

TAGS Buying a Used Car Vehicle History Report Warranty Pre-Purchase Inspection

This site is for educational purposes only. The third parties listed are not affiliated with Capital One and are solely responsible for their opinions, products and services. Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The information presented in this article is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change. The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.


author photo

Andrew Ganz has had cars in his blood ever since he gnawed the paint off of a diecast model as a toddler. After growing up in Dallas, Texas, he earned a journalism degree, worked in public relations for two manufacturers, and served as an editor for a luxury-lifestyle print publication and several well-known automotive websites. In his free time, Andrew loves exploring the Rocky Mountains’ best back roads—when he’s not browsing ads for his next car purchase.

Related Articles

The ZF 8HP Is the LS of Transmissions

This popular eight-speed automatic shows up in everything from Alfas to Volkswagens.

May 2, 2023

2024 Mazda CX-90 Test Drive and Review

Mazda ditches the CX-9 for the CX-90, but its riches likely remain in the niches.

May 1, 2023

What I Learned Driving the 2023 Infiniti QX60 on Snow and Ice

How letting loose in the Infiniti QX60 on a purpose-built snow track makes for more competent driving across all four seasons.

Ссылка на основную публикацию