Your vehicle plays an important role in your daily life. Your car helps you get your kids to school; allows you to make it to work on time; and is vital to getting children to and from their activities, friends’ homes, and medical appointments. Since cars are expensive, one of the dilemmas that you may face is deciding when it is time for a new family car. Here are five of the key signs that it may be time to retire your old ride in favor of a newer or more reliable car.

1. Your Vehicle Shakes and You Don’t Know Why

One of the signs that it may be time to retire your existing car in favor of a new family car is that your vehicle is starting to shake and you do not know why. According to CarsDirect, three of the most common components that can lead to car vibrations and be shaky when they are failing are the universal joints, or U-Joints, couplers, and carrier bearings. Unfortunately, these parts can all be costly to repair, and if one starts to go out, the rest may not be too far behind.

2. Your Vehicle Won’t Pass Smog or Emissions Tests

Another sign that it may be time for a new family car is that your vehicle will not pass smog or emissions tests. Nearly every state requires you to get an emissions test to register your vehicle. This is designed to help keep the air cleaner and help cut back on smog. Older cars do not have the clean systems that newer cars do, and as such, if your vehicle fails a smog test, it is a key indicator that your car is outdated. Additionally, it can cost thousands of dollars to upgrade your car and have it pass smog or emissions tests.

3. Repair Costs Are Higher Than a Down Payment

One of the tough decisions that you have to make as a vehicle owner is deciding which repairs should be made and which indicates it is time to give up on your car. As a general rule of thumb, if the repairs on your vehicle total the cost of a down payment, you are likely better off using the money towards a down payment. Fortunately, you should have no problems finding a new car. According to Zippia, 9.2 million US vehicles were produced in 2021.

4. Certain Car Parts Are Obsolete

As your car ages, it can be hard to find the parts that are needed when repairs are necessary. According to Consumer Reports, most luxury cars come with an automatic transmission that offers anywhere from six and nine speeds. If you have one of these cars and the part is hard to find, it drives the cost of repairs upward, and may even cause delays in you getting the repairs you need. If you start to notice that you can’t find the car parts you need to get repairs made, it may be time to retire your car.

5. You Can No Longer Trust or Rely on Your Vehicle

Lastly, if you are worried about your car breaking down on you or leaving you stranded, it is time to replace your car. Your car should be reliable. When it becomes unreliable, you want to invest in a new family car.

Deciding when to get rid of your old vehicle and invest in a new vehicle can be a difficult decision. But, it doesn’t have to be. If you notice that your car is shaking and you do not know why, if you need costly repairs that are equivalent to a down payment, if your car parts have become obsolete if you cannot trust or rely on your car, or if your vehicle won’t pass an emissions test, it is time to get a new family car.