Feature article

Five reasons why people change car

There are many reasons why people enter the buyers’ market and change their car, but here are five key motivations.

Changing car is a major decision, and not something the majority of us do often – on average, Kiwis tend to keep their car for at least five years before the need (or desire) for change strikes. So, what are the five most compelling reasons why we look to change car, and is it time for you to switch?

1) Safety

Nothing beats safety as a reason to consider change – especially as it’s more possible than ever to purchase a vehicle that’s affordable and safe. A combination of the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) can be used to assess safety credentials of the cars we drive. If the scores for our current vehicle are worryingly low, changing car quickly goes from ‘maybe we need to change car?’ to ‘wow, we really need to change car!’.

2) Running and repair costs

Running and maintaining a car is expensive, no doubt about it. If costs seem to be escalating in an unpleasant direction, it’s worth checking if a more cost-effective option is available within your budget. For example, if it’s costing a fortune in fuel consumption, this is soon going to hit the family finances. If this sounds painfully familiar, it might be time to do some research.

3) Growing families

Circumstances change. A sporty two-seater might have been perfect for you and your other half, but it’s considerably less practical if your first little bundle of joy comes along and space for a car seat is now essential. Similarly, the ultra-convenient and compact hatchback that suited your city-commuter needs loses its appeal when needed for ferrying three or four kids (or indeed fur babies) around. Maybe it’s time to consider a sedan or SUV?

4) Age concern

Effects from the passage of time are inevitable for all of us – whether you’re a mature individual in late adulthood, or a 1997 Mazda Demio. Regardless of how well it’s still running and how reliable ‘Old Trusty’ continues to be, it’s reasonable to worry what might crop up during your next WoF and if a structural or performance deterioration is imminent. If this anxiety is growing, maybe it’s time to consider something a decade or two newer.

5) The thrill of the new

No matter how practical you are, the need for change can strike. Change can be exciting, necessary, and life-affirming – changing your car is no different. Putting aside potential performance, safety, and feature improvements that come with an upgraded vehicle, the switch can also simply remind you to fall in love with driving again.

Get some advice

Whatever your reasons for deciding to change car, it’s super important to make sure you get it right. Check out our buying advice section to help you make the best choices, and make sure that changing your car is enjoyable, secure and successful.